Impact of fuel octane quality on various advanced vehicle technologies 2020-01-0619
Fuel with higher octane content is playing a key role in optimising engine performance by allowing a more optimal spark timing which leads to increased engine efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.
In a previous study the impact of octane was investigated with a vehicle fleet of 20 vehicles using market representative fuels, varying from RON 91 to 100. The resulting data showed a clear performance and acceleration benefit when higher RON fuel was used.
In this follow-up study 10 more vehicles were added to the database. The vehicle fleet was extended to be more representative of Asian markets, thus broadening the geographical relevance of the database, as well as adding vehicles with newer technologies such as boosted down-sized direct injection engines, or higher compression ratio engines. Eight different fuel combinations varying in RON were tested, representing standard gasoline and premium gasoline in different markets around the world.
The new results augment our previously published octane study and result in a vehicle fleet dataset comprising 30 cars from 18 different automotive manufactures.
Two key metrics were investigated; the time to accelerate under wide open throttle between two speed gates and the maximum power output at fixed engine speed.
For all combinations tested, the fuel with higher RON showed an improvement in fleet average power. The five new gasoline technology vehicles showed a higher octane response than previously tested vehicles. The vehicle with the highest compression ratio technology showed the largest and most consistent octane appetite.
Caroline Magdalene Zinser, Alastair Smith, Patrick Haenel
Shell Global Solutions (Deutschland), Shell Global Solutions (UK)