A simplified CFD model for spectral radiative heat transfer in high-pressure hydrocarbon-air combustion systems

C. Paul, D. C. Haworth, M. F. Modest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Detailed radiation modeling in piston engines has received relatively little attention to date. Recently, it is being revisited in light of current trends towards higher operating pressures and higher levels of exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR), both of which enhance molecular gas radiation. Advanced high-efficiency engines also are expected to function closer to the limits of stable operation, where even small perturbations to the energy balance can have a large influence on system behavior. Detailed radiation modeling using sophisticated tools like photon Monte Carlo/line-by-line (PMC/LBL) is computationally expensive. Here, guided by results from PMC/LBL, a simplified stepwise-gray spectral model in combination with a first-order spherical harmonics (P1 method) radiative transfer equation (RTE) solver is proposed and tested for engine-relevant conditions. Radiative emission, reabsorption and radiation reaching the walls are computed for a heavy-duty compression-ignition engine at part-load and full-load operating conditions with different levels of EGR and soot. The results are compared with those from PMC/LBL, P1/FSK (P1 with a full-spectrum k-distribution spectral model) and P1/Gray radiation models to assess the proposed model's accuracy and computational cost. The results show that the proposed P1/StepwiseGray model can calculate reabsorption locally and globally with less than 10% error (with respect to PMC/LBL) at a small fraction of the computational cost of PMC/LBL (a factor of 30) and P1/FSK (a factor of 15). In contrast, error in computed reabsorption by the P1/Gray model is as high as 60%. It is expected that the simplified model should be broadly applicable to high-pressure hydrocarbon-air combustion systems, with or without soot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4617-4624
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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