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Multiphysics Helps Engineers Improve Engine Fuel Efficiency by 50 Percent

Multiphysics Helps Engineers Improve Engine Fuel Efficiency by 50 Percent

The automotive industry is constantly looking to make cars more eco-friendly. To achieve this goal, engineers need tools that can model a car’s inherent multiphysics.

For instance, take an engine. To optimize this subsystem, engineers need to model the engine’s motion, thermal dynamics, mechanical strength, fluid dynamics, combustion and more.

However, these engineers can only truly optimize the engine when these models are combined in multiphysics simulations.

A team of engineers from Achates Power uses multiphysics tools within the ANSYS Platform to optimize the fuel efficiency of their two-stroke, opposed-piston internal combustion engine. Their current designs are about 50 percent more fuel efficient than conventional gasoline engines and 30 percent more efficient than diesel engines in both city and highway conditions.

Simulation Reduces Engine Design Iterations from Months to Days

Simulations predict the hot spots of this piston. These hot spots were eliminated by changing the combustion parameters and adding a bowl shape to the geometry.

The major physical difference between Achates Power’s engine design and traditional engines is that this new design lacks a cylinder head in the opposed-piston configuration.

Instead of relying on physical prototypes to test this design, Achates Power models the engine using multiphysics simulations.

This digital prototype sped up Achates Power’s development cycle. They could test new ideas — like a lack of a cylinder head — in a matter of days instead of months.

In fact, many of the multiphysics simulations were automated within the ANSYS Platform. This further reduces the time to set up simulations and ensures that the same methods, best practices and assumptions are used.

The Platform enables these multiphysics simulations by implementing the communication and data exchange channels between numerous ANSYS software products. The Platform makes it easy for Achates Power to pass on the results of one simulation to another. The team is also able to completely couple simulation tools for more complex multiphysics problems.

To see how Achates Power designs their engines using multiphysics simulations, read Cool Idea for Engine Design.