A detailed experimental and modeling comparison of molecular radiative heat loss in a spark-ignition engine

Lucca Henrion, Volker Sick, Daniel C. Haworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiative heat transfer has been chiefly considered negligible in internal combustion engines, except for Diesel engines where soot radiation was recognized as a significant radiative transfer source. Only more recently, detailed simulations have shown that molecular radiation can be substantial as well. In extension to this, molecular radiative heat transfer can reach detectable levels of about 5–10% of the total heat transfer in spark-ignited engines. The broadband radiative nature of the significant emitting molecules, carbon dioxide and water, makes it necessary to address whether radiative trapping plays a substantial role in either total heat loss or energy redistribution within the cylinder. An experimental setup that allows measurements of the infrared emissions at a 2-crank-angle-degree resolution was developed to determine the importance of radiative trapping by carbon dioxide and water. Measurements were conducted in the well-characterized and documented TCC-III engine at the University of Michigan. The engine operated on a stoichiometric propane/air mixture at a speed of 1,300 RPM. Large Eddy Simulations with added line-by-line photon Monte-Carlo simulations of the molecular radiation were an integral part of this study to plan and devise the measurements. Post-processing of the simulation data included an accurate representation of the experimental volume from where infrared signals are collected. Additionally, the experimental data were used for validation of the photon Monte-Carlo simulations. Joint analysis of experimental and simulated spectra allowed quantifying the significance of radiative trapping. Results show the significant role of radiative trapping when predicting radiative heat transfer in the TCC-III engine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112083
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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