Multiphysics performance assessment of hydrogen fuelled engines

Rahmani, Ramin, Dolatabadi, Nader and Rahnejat, Homer orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2257-7102 (2023) Multiphysics performance assessment of hydrogen fuelled engines. International Journal of Engine Research . ISSN 1468-0874

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In the quest for decarbonisation, alternative clean fuels for propulsion systems are sought. There is definite advantage in retaining the well-established principles of operation of combustion engines at the core of future developments with hydrogen as a fuel. Hydrogen is envisaged as a clean source of energy for propulsion of heavy and off-road vehicles, as well as in marine and construction sectors. A source of concern is the unexplored effect of hydrogen combustion on dilution and degradation of engine lubricants and their additives, and consequently upon tribology of engine contact conjunctions. These potential problems can adversely affect engine efficiency, durability, and operational integrity. Use of different fuels and their method of delivery, produces distinctive combustion characteristics that can affect the energy losses associated with in-cylinder components and their durability. Therefore, detailed predictive analysis should support the developments of such new generation of eco-friendly engines. Different fundamental physics underpin the various aspects of a pertinent detailed analysis. These include thermodynamics of combustion, in-cylinder tribological interactions of contacting surfaces, and blowby of generated gasses. This paper presents such an integrated multi-physics analysis of internal combustion engines with focus on hydrogen as the fuel. Such an in-depth and computationally efficient analysis has not hitherto been reported in the literature. The results show implications for lubricant degradation due to the use of hydrogen in the performance of in-cylinder components and the underlying physical principles.

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