Large-eddy simulation on the effects of fuel injection pressure on gasoline spray characteristics
Licentiate thesis, 2019

Increasing the injection pressure in gasoline direct injection engines has a substantial potential to reduce emissions while maintaining high efficiency in spark ignition engines. Present gasoline injectors operate at pressures of 20 to 30 MPa. However, the use of higher-pressure fuel injection (40 to 60 MPa or more) could potentially reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency. To fully exploit the capabilities of high-pressure fuel injection technology, a fundamental understanding of gasoline spray characteristics and behavior at such high injection pressures is vital. Such an understanding could also be used to further model development and facilitate the integration of advanced injection systems into future gasoline engines.

This work presents numerical simulation studies on gasoline sprays formed at fuel injection pressures between 40 and 150 MPa. Three nozzle hole shapes (divergent, convergent, and straight) with different configurations (6 or 10 holes) were considered in the simulation to determine how a nozzle geometry affects spray formation. The numerical calculations were performed in a constant volume spray chamber under non-vaporizing conditions to best match the experimental setup. The gas flow was modeled using a large-eddy simulation (LES) approach, while a standard Lagrangian model was utilized to describe the liquid fuel spray. Spray atomization was modeled using the Kelvin Helmholtz –Rayleigh Taylor (KH-RT) atomization model, with the droplet size distribution being assumed to follow a Rosin-Rammler distribution function. Simulation results for the spray liquid penetration length are validated with experimental findings under different fuel injection pressures. Afterwards, an arithmetic mean droplet diameter (D10) and a Sauter mean droplet diameter (D32) as a function of pressure are compared against the measured droplet diameters. Simulated drop size distributions are presented and compared with measured droplet sizes. The results indicate that high fuel injection pressures increase the liquid penetration length and significantly reduce droplet sizes, and that nozzle shape significantly affects spray characteristics and spray formation.

In addition, raising the injection pressure from 40 to 150 MPa with a divergent nozzle was predicted to reduce the SMD from 13.4 to 7.5 μm while increasing the probability of observing droplet diameters of 5-10 μm from 40% to 72%. Similar results were obtained for the other nozzle shapes.

High pressure fuel-injection

GDI engine


Spray characteristics

M Room Delta-Gamma


Sandip Wadekar

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Combustion and Propulsion Systems

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

Applied Mechanics

Energy Engineering



M Room Delta-Gamma

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