In SI engines, VVA (Variable Valve Actuation) technology is mainly used for the reduction of pumping losses at part load. This paper presents the results of fluid dynamic analyses on a 4V engine about the effects of different VVA strategies, by comparing and discussing the results in terms of organized charge motions, turbulence levels, flame developments, NO and CO emissions. CFD simulations cover five load control cases: comparison is among conventional throttling, EIVC (Early Intake Valve Closure) with symmetric and asymmetric intake lifts, LIVC (Late Intake Valve Closure) and symmetrical Multi-Lift strategies. 3D U-RANS simulations are performed, adopting the Extended Coherent Flamelet Model (ECFM) for the description of premixed SI combustion. The 3D model is also coupled to a 1D engine model which provides inlet/outlet boundary conditions. Simulation results highlight the potential of asymmetric Early Intake Valve Closure (EIVC) strategy which allows reducing pumping losses and, at the same time, achieving good turbulence intensity and combustion speed, if compared to other load control strategies. Multi-Lift strategy resulted excellent in terms of burn duration, but pumping losses are practically the same as in the throttled engine.

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