Demonstrating Optimum HCCI Combustion with Advanced Control Technology
We have converted a Caterpillar 3406 natural gas spark ignited engine to HCCI mode and used it as a test bed for demonstrating advanced control methodologies. Converting the engine required modification of most engine systems: piston geometry, starting, fueling, boosting, and (most importantly) controls. We implemented a thermal management system consisting of a recuperator that transfers heat from exhaust to intake gases and a dual intake manifold that permits precise cylinder-by-cylinder ignition control. Advanced control methodologies are used for (1) minimizing cylinder-to-cylinder combustion timing differences caused by small variations in temperature or compression ratio; (2) finding the combustion timing that minimizes fuel consumption; and (3) tuning the controller parameters to improve transient response.