Reliably starting the engine during extremely cold ambient temperatures is one of the largest calibration and emissions challenges in engine development. Although cold-start conditions comprise only a small portion of an engine's typical drive cycle, large amounts of hydrocarbon and particulate emissions are generated during this time, and the calibration of cold-start operation takes several months to complete. During the cold start period, results of previous cycle combustion event strongly influences the subsequent cycle due to variations in engine speed, residual fraction, residual wall film mass, in-cylinder charge and wall temperatures, and air flow distribution between cylinders. Including all these parameters in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is critical in understanding the cold start process in transient and cumulative manner. Measured cold start data of a production of four-cylinder spark-ignition (SI) direct-injection engine were collected for this study with an ambient temperature of −30 °C. Three-dimensional (3D) transient engine flow, spray, and combustion simulation over first three consecutive engine cycles is carried out to provide a better understanding of the cold-start process. Measured engine speed and one-dimensional (1D) conjugate heat transfer (CHT) model is used to capture realistic in-cylinder flow dynamics and transient wall temperatures for more accurate fuel–air mixing predictions. The CFD predicted cumulative heat release trend for the first three cycles matches the data from measured pressure analysis. The same observation can be made for the vaporized fuel mass as well. These observations are explained in the report.

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