LES of the Gas-Exchange Process Inside an Internal Combustion Engine Using a High-Order Method

  • G. K. GiannakopoulosEmail author
  • C. E. Frouzakis
  • P. F. Fischer
  • A. G. Tomboulides
  • K. Boulouchos


High-order, wall-resolved large eddy simulations (LES) using the spectral element method (SEM) were performed to investigate the gas-exchange process inside a laboratory-scale internal combustion engine (ICE) and study the in-cylinder flow evolution. Using a stabilizing filter, over 30 engine cycles were simulated to generate data for statistical analysis, which demonstrated good agreement in the mean and root mean-squared (rms) phase-averaged velocity fields across three different filter parameter/resolution combinations. The large scale flow motion was characterized during each stage of the engine cycle. Tumble ratio profiles indicate peak values during the intake stroke which decay during compression and are almost non-existent thereafter. The tumble breakdown process is quantified by investigating the evolution of the mean and turbulent kinetic energy over the full cycle, and its effect on the evolution of the momentum and thermal boundary layers is discussed. Algorithmic advances to the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver Nek5000, employed in the current study, resulted in significant reduction in the wall-time needed for the simulation of each cycle for mesh resolutions of at least an order of magnitude higher than the current state-of-the-art.


Internal combustion engine Large eddy simulation Tumble flow Spectral element method High performance computing 



This research used resources of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported under Contract DE-AC02-06CH11357. Preliminary simulations were performed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (CSCS) under project ID 753. Financial support from the Forschungsvereinigung Verbrennungskraftmaschinen (FVV, project no. 1286: “Wall heat transfer processes in spark ignition engines”), the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BfE, contract no. SI/501615-01) and the Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research - Efficient Technologies and Systems for Mobility (SCCER Mobility) is gratefully acknowledged (GKG, CEF, KB).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. K. Giannakopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • C. E. Frouzakis
    • 1
  • P. F. Fischer
    • 2
  • A. G. Tomboulides
    • 3
  • K. Boulouchos
    • 1
  1. 1.Aerothermochemistry and Combustion Systems Laboratory, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece

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