The heat release type models have been classified as zero-dimensional because they have no spatial resolution and therefore don't contain any information on the fluid mechanics in them. They have been a significant contribution because they incorporate the rate processes occurring in the engine and are an aid in the analysis of the data. Because they are thermodynamic models it is necessary to define the control volumes on which the thermodynamic analysis is to be performed. The different control volume descriptions, called one, two and three zone models, and the analysis of the combustion event using these models is discussed.
Finally a description of second law zero-dimensional models is given. These models have similar limitations as the First Law models; no spatial resolution and a control volume definition is required. These models are useful because they enable one to analyze the magnitude of the losses that occur in the different processes which comprise the engine cycle.