Advanced Systems for Thermal Engines Optimization

The division covers different topics on fluid flow analysis, air-fuel mixing, combustion and engine control to address issues associated with fossil fuels, their effects on emissions and the prospective given by the increasing interest in renewable fuel sources. A key factor for reaching the extremely stringent emissions regulations lies in acontrol strategy among the fuel injection, combustion optimization, EGR and after-treatment systems during steady state and transient conditions.

To fulfill these targets the division has developed extensive know-howinvestigatingcompression & spark ignited engines supplied by fossil and alternative fuels including, but not limited to:

  • Gasoline, Diesel and Biodiesel blends
  • Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Bio-CH4/H2
  • Alcohol (Ethanol, Butanol)

Technical assets in gasoline and diesel engines include:

  • In-cylinder and intake flows characterization
  • Fuel spray characterization (Imaging, LDA, PDA, PIV)
  • Spray combustion &chemical species characterization (UV-Visible Chemiluminescence & Emission Spectroscopy)
  • Improvement of Fuel Economy and of Low Emission Combustion Technologies
  • Development of Dual Fuel Engine Technology for Off-Road & Marine Applications
  • Application of Advanced Technology for Knocking Control in Spark Ignited Engines (Water Injection, Cooled EGR, Ion Current Sensor)
  • Application of Engine Control Systems
  • Modeling of Phase Change Materials (PCMs) for Thermal Energy Storage
Engines & Equipment Used

The engines used represent a spread of the currently available and potential future technologies, ranging from adownsized gasoline engine (0.875 dm3, 63.7kW) to a SI PFI/Lean Burn with NG (7.8dm3, 200kW), as well as a prototype large-bore single cylinder diesel engine (4.2 dm3, 160kW). Furthermore, a single cylinder 2-stroke diesel engine, optically accessible, is used for experiments on alternative fuels: spray combustion and chemical species evolution are investigated using optical diagnostics.
Engines are fully instrumented using custom-designed components and multi-purpose data acquisition systems. Specialized Test Equipment includes:

  • Phase Doppler Anemometry system for two-components, single point air velocity and droplets size measurements
  • Particle Image Velocimetry system for gaseous and liquid droplets velocity vector distribution
  • ICCD Camera & Spectrometer for UV-Visible Chemiluminescence &Emission Spectroscopy
  • Fast response NO/NOx, THC, CO/CO2 (1÷8 ms) emission analyzers for cycle resolved measurements at cylinder exhaust
Research Facilities
  • Full Diesel & Dual Fuel Single Cylinder Heavy-Duty Engine
  • HD Multi-cylinder Syngas Engine
  • DF Multi-cylinder Light Duty Engine
  • Hybrid System for Natural Gas Engine
  • Test cells complying with natural gas and hydrogen utilization.
  • Single Cylinder Compression Ignition Engine, Optically Accessible
  • 315 kW @ 3500 rpm active dynamometer for heavy duty engines.
  • Two low inertia a.c. dynos (150 kW/10,000 rpm, 250 kW/12,000 rpm) for transient engine tests.

Referente: Iannaccone Sabato