The Navy has a wide range of diesel engines with bore sizes varying by a factor of four. In general, diesel engines can have bore scaling over a full order of magnitude. As an engine cylinder gets larger its surface area to volume ratio reduces significantly, which in turn affects in-cylinder heat transfer.
In this study, a fundamental generalized thermodynamic model of diesel engines was developed. The various key model effects were systematically analyzed along with engine bore size. Further, cylinder wall temperature was varied across a range of cold start to stabilized operating temperatures.
The results of this study show that smaller bore diesel engines are always more sensitive to cold start conditions. The effect is reduced with increasing wall temperature yet smaller diesel engines have cooler end-of-compression temperatures as comparted to larger engines. The effects of engine speed, in which mean piston speed is held constant, tend to modestly reduce the differences between various size diesel engines due to non-linear heat transfer effects. When variable specific heat effects are correctly considered, end-of-compression air charge temperatures are only modestly different as a function of engine bore size. The most significant difference is the overall reduced heat transfer in larger engines due to the surface area to volume effect. A difference of a factor of three for in cylinder heat transfer relative to in-cylinder inducted air mass is predicted being much greater for the smaller engines. Higher exhaust temperatures are also characteristic of the larger bore engines. This allows more combustion work to be delivered to the piston with a correspondingly higher thermal efficiency for larger diesel engines. Future work will evaluate fuel effects on varying bore size.