The Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is the third alternative for combustion in the reciprocating engine. Here, a homogeneous charge is used as in a spark ignited engine, but the charge is compressed to auto-ignition as in a diesel. The main difference compared with the Spark Ignition (SI) engine is the lack of flame propagation and hence the independence from turbulence. Compared with the diesel engine, HCCI has a homogeneous charge and hence no problems associated with soot and NOX formation. Earlier research on HCCI showed high efficiency and very low amounts of NOX, but HC and CO were higher than in SI mode. It was not possible to achieve high IMEP values with HCCI, the limit being 5 bar. Supercharging is one way to dramatically increase IMEP. The influence of supercharging on HCCI was therefore experimentally investigated. Three different fuels were used during the experiments: iso-octane, ethanol and natural gas. Two different compression ratios were used, 17:1 and 19:1. The inlet pressure conditions were set to give 0, 1 or 2 bar of boost pressure. The highest attainable IMEP was 14 bar using natural gas as fuel at the lower compression ratio. The limit in achieving even higher IMEP was set by the high rate of combustion and a high peak pressure.
Numerical calculations of the HCCI process have been performed for natural gas as fuel. The calculated ignition timings agreed well with the experimental findings. The numerical solution, is however, very sensitive to the composition of the natural gas.