Fuel spray injection is expected to be one of the key elements for enabling high-efficiency, low-emission engines of the future. Understanding the details of the spray combustion process is therefore now more important than ever. But investigating engine combustion processes is challenging due to the many factors that affect the in-cylinder environment where mixing with fuel sprays occurs. The temperature, pressure, density, and composition of the in-cylinder gases as well as fuel injector conditions have a direct effect on combustion and emission-formation processes.
The CRF’s Spray Combustion Vessel can simulate a wide range of ambient (charge gas) environments at the time of fuel injection, allowing researchers to assess the effect of each variable with more control than can be achieved in an engine. The capabilities of the combustion vessel are unique in the world. With full optical access, the following ambient conditions can be simulated:
- Ambient gas temperatures from 450 K to 1400 K
- Ambient gas densities from 1 kg/m3 to 60 kg/m3
- Ambient gas oxygen concentrations from 0% to 21%
Advanced optical diagnostics are used to study the sprays in a fundamental manner. The data obtained in this facility are used both to guide engine design and to help improve computational fluid dynamic models, which in turn are used to optimize engine designs. The wide range of conditions employed in the chamber permit model validation with many different boundary conditions. An extensive dataset from this laboratory is available to download at the Engine Combustion Network, which seeks to advance the state of the art in engine combustion modeling.