This study describes the use of an analytical model, constructed using sequential design of experiments (DOEs), to optimize and quantify the uncertainty of a Diesel engine operating point. A genetic algorithm (GA) was also used to optimize the design.

Three engine parameters were varied around a baseline design to minimize indicated specific fuel consumption (ISFC) without exceeding emissions (NOx and soot) or peak cylinder pressure constraints. An objective merit function was constructed to quantify the strength of designs. The engine parameters were start of injection (SOI), injection duration, and injector included angle. The engine simulation was completed with a sector mesh in the commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software CONVERGE, which predicted the combustion and emissions using a detailed chemistry solver with a reduced mechanism for n-heptane.

The analytical model was constructed using the SmartUQ software using DOE responses to construct kernel emulators of the system. Each emulator was used to direct the placement of the next set of DOE points such that they improve the accuracy of the subsequently generated emulator. This refinement was either across the entire design space or a reduced design space that was likely to contain the optimal design point. After sufficient emulator accuracy was achieved, the optimal design point was predicted. A total of 5 sequential DOEs were completed, for a total of 232 simulations. A reduced design region was predicted after the second DOE that reduced the volume of the design space by 96.8%. The final predicted optimum was found to exist in this reduced design region.

The sequential DOE optimization was compared to an optimization performed using a GA. The GA was completed using a population of 9 and was run for 71 generations.

This study highlighted the strengths of both methods for optimization. The GA (known to be an efficient and effective method) found a better optimum, while the DOE method found a good optimum with fewer total simulations. The DOE method also ran more simulations concurrently, which is an advantage when sufficient computing resources are available.

In the second part of the study, the analytical model developed in the first part was used to assess the sensitivity and robustness of the design. A sensitivity analysis of the design space around the predicted optimum showed that injection duration had the strongest effect on predicted results, while the included angle had the weakest. The uncertainty propagation was studied over the reduced design region found with the sequential DoE in the first part. The uncertainty propagation results demonstrated that for the relatively large variations in the input parameters, the expected variation in the ISFC and NOx results were significant. Finally, the predictions from the analytical model were validated against CFD results for sweeps of the input parameters. The predictions of the analytical model were found to agree well with the results from the CFD simulation.

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