Testing of a Modern Wankel Rotary Engine - Part III: Firing Condition Analysis 2022-01-0591
This work represents a further contribution to reporting experimental activities carried out on a modern Wankel rotary engine. Specifically, in this study, the firing performance of the Advanced Innovative Engineering 225CS engine is analysed. Preliminary presentations of the experimental and measurement setup and a motoring analysis were extensively covered in Part I and II of this suite of papers while the current work presents the combustion analysis of the firing indicated pressure cycles collected through the bespoke combustion analyser software developed within the project. With the Wankel rotary engine gaining popularity again due to its potential as a range extender for battery electric vehicles, the aim of this work was mainly to analyse the fuel consumption together with the overall efficiency and the emissions at different engine speeds and loads as per classic steady-state engine testing. The characteristic curves of power and torque thus derived from the experimental measurements are reported while further deductions on combustion phenomena are then drawn from an analysis of the indicated pressure cycles. Specifically, parameters such as the rate of heat release, the net heat release, the IMEP and the indicated instantaneous torque are assessed. Further considerations are drawn on the overall mechanical efficiency relying on the IMEP computed from the indicated pressure cycles and the BMEP inferred from the torqued measured experimentally under steady-state conditions. Furthermore, the effects of the combustion on the internal pressure of the Self-Pressurizing Air-Rotor-Cooling System employed are evaluated in addition to parameters such as the Coefficient of Variation of the IMEP for the evaluation of the cycle-to-cycle combustion quality and engine regularity. Finally, the post-processed data represent an update to the historical literature on Wankel rotary engines. In addition, it can be used for the development and validation of numerical models for such engines hence allowing investigation by means of simulations of the effect on efficiency and performance of the rotary engine when employing alternative fuels such as hydrogen in the future.