Investigation of Multiphase Spray Characteristics at High-temperature and High-pressure Conditions using Engine Combustion Network (ECN) standard injectors.

  • Moaz Al-lehaibi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Transportation sector is the backbone of today’s society and its being revolutionized by the development of electric cars. The subject of electrification of the fleet involves many challenges starting from building the require infrastructure all the way to securing raw material for batteries. Charging times and energy density are also two major challenges especially in heavy transportation. With current technologies it is impractical to use electric trucks as the advantages of direct injection engines are unmatched. A typical diesel car or truck has a very long range reaching around 1000 km using single fuel tank. The high energy density of fossil fuels is a corner stone of the heavy transportation sector. It is hard to imagine electric trucks without a breakthrough in battery technology that has very high energy density. High pressure combustion has great potential in extracting more power from liquid fuel. This is mainly attributed to the instant vaporization because of the vanishing surface tension once the fuel goes through a supercritical process, thus energy to vaporize the fuel is saved. Another advantage is in the better mixing that the highly dense and the highly diffused fluid possesses in that region. On the other hand, many of the modelling aspects requires to be investigated. For example, which equation of state predicts the correct density and what are the effect of the pressure and temperature dependant fluid properties on the spray development. To isolate the effect of the high pressure combustion from other possible modelling effects and to facilitate the investigation, simulations using both OpenFOAM and CONVERGE were conducted. First the morphologies of Spray C was numerically characterized under high-temperature and high-pressure conditions. The Volume of fluid method captured the cavitation properly upon using 7.8 μm mesh. The mass flow rate and the transient of the injection process were accurately captured. Implementation of appropriate high pressure models using OpenFOAM to account for real fluid effects showed that three-parameter Redlich-Kwong Peng-Robinson equation of state were superior than two-parameters realfluid equation of state. The correctness of fuel density and viscosity is dependant of the equation of state with ideal gas equation of state being inferior to the realfluid equation of state. The combustion characteristics of Spray A were investigated using coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian approach. This approach demonstrated the ability of the modeling framework in predicting wide variety of parametric effects.
Date of AwardDec 2022
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorHong G. Im (Supervisor)


  • ECN
  • Spray A
  • Spray C
  • Spray D
  • Injectors
  • PR
  • Supercritical
  • reacting Sprays
  • Converge
  • OpenFOAM
  • high-temperature
  • high-pressure
  • Numerical investigation

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