In this installment of a 13-part series of monthly articles, The Combustion Institute recognizes the 2019 Distinguished Papers selected from among the scientific papers presented during the 37th International Symposium on Combustion. Congratulations to C. Paul, D.C. Haworth, and M.F. Modest for winning the DPA in the Internal Combustion Engines colloquium.

Their authoritative paper, A simplified CFD model for spectral radiative heat transfer in high-pressure hydrogen–air combustion systems, has significantly improved the ability to accurately calculate radiative reabsorption at a fraction of the computational costs normally required. Using a simplified stepwise-gray model for spectral radiative heat transfer in engines, they provide a less computationally intensive model that captures the essential redistribution of in-cylinder energy and radiative heat loss and that can be used in routine engineering CFD for engine development and design.

The researchers envisioned a simplified radiation model that could address the computational cost associated with solving the complex spectral effects of radiative transfer equation. The team created a P1/Stepwise-Gray radiation model and compared it with a simpler, P1/Gray, model and more detailed, PMC/LBL and P1/FSK radiation models. The study demonstrated that the P1/Stepwise-Gray model can compute radiative reabsorption for different engine-relevant operating conditions with less than 10% error, while the error for a P1/Gray model is as high as 60% compared to the detailed radiation models. The computational cost of the P1/Stepwise-Gray model is approximately 15 times lower than that of P1/FSK and 30 times lower than that of PMC/LBL.

While the focus of the team’s study was diesel engines, they believe the proposed radiation model could be broadly applicable to other high-pressure hydrocarbon-air combustion systems, such as gas turbines and rocket engines.

The work supporting this paper began approximately in March of 2017 and concluded in November of 2017. The research was conducted mainly in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Pennsylvania State University, with collaborative support from Professor M.F. Modest of University of California Merced. Their work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the Department of Defense, Tank and Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC), and U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

The team believes their findings will help the scientific community to accurately model the radiative heat transfer of a high-pressure hydrocarbon-air combustion system at an affordable computational cost.

Over 1,600 papers were submitted to the 37th Symposium in 13 combustion science colloquia. Those papers were categorized by teams of colloquium coordinators and co-chairs, and then distributed to approximately 1,000 scientific reviewers. One paper in each discipline was awarded the recognition of Distinguished Paper.

The 13 Distinguished Papers undergo committee review for consideration to receive the Silver Combustion Medal that will be awarded during the 38th International Symposium in Adelaide, Australia. A paper selected for this honor exemplifies quality, achievement, and significance to advance a field of combustion science. Distinguished papers are selected biennially from among the scientific papers presented during the International Symposium on Combustion and accepted for publication in the Proceedings of The Combustion Institute.