Water Injection to Improve Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine Efficiency
The increasing use of downsized turbocharged gasoline engines for passengers cars and the new European homologation cycles (WLTC and RDE) both impose an optimization of the whole engine map. More weight is given to mid and high loads, thus enhancing knock and overfueling limitations. At low and moderate engine speeds, knock mitigation is one of the main issues, generally addressed by retarding spark advance thereby penalizing the combustion efficiency. At high engine speeds, knock still occurs but is less problematic. However, in order to comply with thermo-mechanical properties of the turbine, excess fuel is injected to limit the exhaust gas temperature while maximizing engine power, even with cooled exhaust manifolds. This also implies a decrease of the combustion efficiency and an increase in pollutant emissions. Water injection is one way to overcome both limitations.