Experimental Determination of the Heat Transfer Coefficient in Piston Cooling Galleries

Piston cooling galleries are critical for the pistons’ capability to handle increasing power density while maintaining the same level of durability. However, piston cooling also accounts for a considerable amount of heat rejection and parasitic losses. Knowing the distribution of the heat transfer coefficient (HTC) inside the cooling gallery could enable new designs which ensure effective cooling of areas decisive for durability while minimizing parasitic losses and overall heat rejection. In this study, an inverse heat transfer method is presented to determine the spatial HTC distribution inside the cooling gallery based on surface temperature measurements with an infrared (IR) camera. The method utilizes a piston specially machined so it only has a thin sheet of material of a known thickness left between the cooling gallery and the piston bowl. The piston - initially at room temperature - is heated up with warm oil injected into the cooling gallery. The transient of the piston’s outer surface temperature is captured with an IR camera from the top. Combining the temperature transient of each pixel, the HTC is later obtained through an inverse heat transfer solver based on one-dimensional heat conduction inside the piston material. To the authors’ knowledge, the current study presents the first application of an inverse heat transfer method for spatially resolved and experimentally determined heat transfer coefficients inside a piston cooling gallery. Preliminary measurements at standstill to demonstrate the method display an area of increased heat transfer where the entering oil jet impinges onto the wall of the cooling gallery.


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  • Accession Number: 01708626
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: SAE International
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 2018-01-1776
  • Files: TRIS, SAE
  • Created Date: Oct 8 2018 1:22PM