You can learn a lot about the inner working of an engine from physical tests — how it heats up, how it cools down, how it behaves during acceleration, and so on. Looking at the test cell data from the dynamometer, Tony Willcox, Pinnacle Engines’ director of simulation and controls, can gauge the engine’s average performance characteristics such as torque, power, fuel flow, and emissions. He can examine crank-angle-resolved data to analyze cylinder and port pressures, rotation speed, and piston position during a series of combustion events. But Willcox and the simulation team at Pinnacle are also interested in what they cannot see or measure. To extract every last joule of energy from the fuel, they need to peel off the engine cover and look inside to quantify and improve each source of energy loss from spark to exhaust. And that’s where they run into the limitations of physical tests. “Optical engine technologies exist that enable some visibility into the cylinder,” he remarked, “but they present their own sets of challenges: for example, their configurations are limited, and it’s very expensive to implement them.”
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About Convergent Science
Founded in 1997 in Madison, Wisconsin, Convergent Science is a global leader in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. Its customers include leading automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers, tier one suppliers, and professional motorsport teams.
Its flagship product, CONVERGE, includes groundbreaking technology that eliminates the user-defined mesh, fully couples the automated mesh and the solver at runtime, and automatically refines the mesh when and where it is needed. CONVERGE is revolutionizing the CFD industry and shifting the paradigm towards predictive CFD.