The benefits of thermal management to reduce friction losses in engines

Addison, James Edward (2015) The benefits of thermal management to reduce friction losses in engines. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The research reported in the thesis addresses questions of how engine fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are can be reduced through improvements in thermal management, lubricant design, and energy recovery. The investigations are based on simulation studies using computational models and sub-models developed or revised during the work, and results provided by complementary experimental studies carried out by collaborating investigators.

The brake thermal efficiency of the internal combustion engines (ICE) used in cars and light duty commercial vehicles is reduced by frictional losses. These losses vary with engine design, lubricant formulation and thermal state. They are most significant when the engine is running cold or partially warm. Over the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), engine friction losses raise vehicle fuel consumption by several percentage points. A version of the computational model, PROMETS, has been developed and applied in studies of thermal behaviour, friction and engine lubricant to investigate the performance of a 2.0l, I4 GTDI spark ignition engine and in particular, how these influence fuel consumption over the NEDC.

Core parts of PROMETS include a physics-based, empirically calibrated friction model, a cycle averaged description of gas-to-structure heat transfer and a lumped capacity description of thermal behaviour of the engine block and cylinder head. In the thesis, revisions to the description of friction and interactions between friction, local thermal conditions and lubricant are reported. It is shown that the bulk temperature of coolant rather than oil has the stronger influence on friction at the piston-liner interface, whilst bulk oil temperature more strongly influences friction in crankshaft bearings and other lower engine components. However, local oil film temperatures have a direct influence on local friction contribution. To account for this, local values of oil temperature and viscosity are used in describing local friction contributions. Implementation required an oil system model to be developed; an iterative model of the frictional dissipation within the main bearings, and a prediction of piston cooling jet heat transfer coefficients have been added to the oil circuit.

Simulations of a range of scenarios and design changes are presented and analysed in the thesis. The size of the fuel savings that could potentially be made through improved thermal management has been demonstrated to be 4.5% for the engine being simulated. Model results show that of the friction contributing surfaces, the piston group is responsible for the highest levels of friction, and also exhibits the largest absolute reduction in friction as the temperature of the engine rises. The relatively low warm-up rate of the lower engine structure gives a correspondingly slow reduction in friction in crankshaft bearings from their cold start values. Measures to accelerate this reduction by raising oil temperature have limited effect unless the strong thermal links between the oil and the surrounding metal are broken. When additional heating is applied to the engine oil, only around 30% is retained to raise the oil temperature due to these thermal links.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Shayler, P.J.
Keywords: Internal combustion engines, Spark ignition engines, Thermodynamics
Subjects: T Technology > TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery > TJ751 Internal combustion engines. Diesel engines
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Item ID: 29002
Depositing User: Addison, James
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 12:00
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 14:29

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