Large eddy simulation of high pressure spray with the focus on injection pressure

Fatemeh Salehi*, Mohammadmahdi Ghiji, Longfei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper presents a detailed numerical analysis of diesel engine spray structure induced by the Engine Combustion Network (ECN) Spray A at different injection pressures. The non-reacting simulations are performed using OpenFOAM where an Eulerian–Lagrangian model is adopted in the large eddy simulation (LES) framework. Effects of the LES mesh resolution as well as the spray model parameters are investigated with the focus on their impact on spray structure as the injection pressure varies. The predicted liquid and vapour penetration lengths agree well with the measurements at different injection pressures. The mixture fraction is well captured for the injection pressure of 100 and 150 MPa while a slight deviation from the measurements is observed for the injection pressure of 50 MPa near the nozzle. The parametric analysis confirms that the LES mesh resolution has significant effects on the results. A coarser mesh leads to higher liquid and vapour penetration lengths where the deviation from the measurements is larger, resulting in the highest error at the lowest injection pressure. As the mesh size increases, the droplet size distribution becomes narrower, its pick moves to the smaller droplet size and the probability of droplets with higher temperature increases. On the other hand, with increasing the mesh size, the carrier gas velocity decays slower and its radial dispersion decreases. It is found that the droplet characteristics are more affected by the mesh resolution when the injection pressure is the lowest while the opposite is true for the carrier phase. The number of Lagrangian particles also affects the droplet characteristics and the fuel-air mixing but their effects are not as significant as the mesh size. The results become less sensitive to the number of Lagrangian particles as the pressure injection decreases. Finally, the importance of the initial droplet size distribution is investigated, confirming its impact is marginal, particularly on the liquid length. It is observed that the initial droplet size is only important at very close to the nozzle and its impact on the spray structure becomes quickly insignificant due to the high rates of breakup and evaporation. This trend is consistent at different injection pressures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108551
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020



  • Large eddy simulation (LES)
  • OpenFOAM
  • Engine Combustion Network (ECN)
  • Spray A
  • n-dodecane

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