Gasoline compression ignition (GCI) is a low temperature combustion (LTC) concept that has been gaining increasing interest over the recent years owing to its potential to achieve diesel-like thermal efficiencies with significantly reduced engine-out nitrogen oxides (NOx) and soot emissions compared to diesel engines. In this work, closed-cycle computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed of this combustion mode using a sector mesh in an effort to understand effects of model settings on simulation results. One goal of this work is to provide recommendations for grid resolution, combustion model, chemical kinetic mechanism, and turbulence model to accurately capture experimental combustion characteristics. Grid resolutions ranging from 0.7 mm to 0.1 mm minimum cell sizes were evaluated in conjunction with both Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) based turbulence models. Solution of chemical kinetics using the multi-zone approach is evaluated against the detailed approach of solving chemistry in every cell. The relatively small primary reference fuel (PRF) mechanism (48 species) used in this study is also evaluated against a larger 312-species gasoline mechanism.
Based on these studies the following model settings are chosen keeping in mind both accuracy and computation costs — 0.175 mm minimum cell size grid, RANS turbulence model, 48-species PRF mechanism, and multi-zone chemistry solution with bin limits of 5 K in temperature and 0.05 in equivalence ratio. With these settings, the performance of the CFD model is evaluated against experimental results corresponding to a low load start of injection (SOI) timing sweep. The model is then exercised to investigate the effect of SOI on combustion phasing with constant intake valve closing (IVC) conditions and fueling over a range of SOI timings to isolate the impact of SOI on charge preparation and ignition. Simulation results indicate that there is an optimum SOI timing, in this case −30°aTDC (after top dead center), which results in the most stable combustion. Advancing injection with respect to this point leads to significant fuel mass burning in the colder squish region, leading to retarded phasing and ultimately misfire for SOI timings earlier than −42°aTDC. On the other hand, retarding injection beyond this optimum timing results in reduced residence time available for gasoline ignition kinetics, and also leads to retarded phasing, with misfire at SOI timings later than −15°aTDC.