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High-Performance Hydrogen-Fueled Internal Combustion Engines: Feasibility Study and Optimization via 1D-CFD Modeling


Hydrogen-powered mobility is believed to be crucial in the future, as hydrogen constitutes a promising solution to make up for the non-programmable character of the renewable energy sources. In this context, the hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine represents one of the suitable technical solutions for the future of sustainable mobility. As a matter of fact, hydrogen engines suffer from limitations in volumetric efficiency due to the very low density of the fuel. Consequently, hydrogen-fueled ICEs can reach sufficient torque and power density only if suitable supercharging solutions are developed. Moreover, gaseous-engine performance can be improved to a great extent if direct injection is applied. In this perspective, a remarkable know-how has been developed in the last two decades on NG engines, which can be successfully exploited in this context. The objective of this paper is twofold. In the first part, a feasibility study has been carried out with reference to a typical 2000cc SI engine by means of 1D simulations. This study was aimed at characterizing the performance on the full load curve with respect to a baseline PFI engine fueled by NG. In this phase, the turbocharging/supercharging device has not been included in the model in order to quantify the attainable benefits in the absence of any limitation coming from the turbocharger. In the second part of this paper, the conversion of a prototype 1400cc direct injection NG engine, running with stoichiometric mixture, to run on a lean hydrogen combustion mode has been investigated via 1D simulations. The matching between engine and turbocharger has been included in the model, and the effects of two different turbomatching choices have been presented and discussed.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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