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Technical Paper

Octane Response of a Highly Boosted Direct Injection Spark Ignition Engine at Different Compression Ratios

Stringent regulations on fuel economy have driven major innovative changes in the internal combustion engine design. (E.g. CAFE fuel economy standards of 54.5 mpg by 2025 in the U.S) Vehicle manufacturers have implemented engine infrastructure changes such as downsizing, direct injection, higher compression ratios and turbo-charging/super-charging to achieve higher engine efficiencies. Fuel properties therefore, have to align with these engine changes in order to fully exploit the possible benefits. Fuel octane number is a key metric that enables high fuel efficiency in an engine. Greater resistance to auto-ignition (knock) of the fuel/air mixture allows engines to be operated at a higher compression ratio for a given quantity of intake charge without severely retarding the spark timing resulting in a greater torque per mass of fuel burnt. This attribute makes a high octane fuel a favorable hydrocarbon choice for modern high efficiency engines that aim for higher fuel economy.
Technical Paper

Influence of Coolant Temperature and Flow Rate, and Air Flow on Knock Performance of a Downsized, Highly Boosted, Direct-Injection Spark Ignition Engine

The causes of engine knock are well understood but it is important to be able to relate these causes to the effects of controllable engine parameters. This study attempts to quantify the effects of a portion of the available engine parameters on the knock behavior of a 60% downsized, DISI engine running at approximately 23 bar BMEP. The engines response to three levels of coolant flow rate, coolant temperature and exhaust back pressure were investigated independently. Within the tested ranges, very little change in the knock limited spark advance (KLSA) was observed. The effects of valve timing on scavenge flow and blow through (the flow of fresh air straight into the exhaust system during the valve overlap period) were investigated at two conditions; at fixed inlet/exhaust manifold pressures, and at fixed engine torque. For both conditions, a matrix of 8 intake/exhaust cam combinations was tested, resulting in a wide range of valve overlap conditions (from 37 to -53°CA).
Journal Article

Octane Appetite: The Relevance of a Lower Limit to the MON Specification in a Downsized, Highly Boosted DISI Engine

Market demand for high performance gasoline vehicles and increasingly strict government emissions regulations are driving the development of highly downsized, boosted direct injection engines. The in-cylinder temperatures and pressures of these emerging technologies tend to no longer adhere to the test conditions defining the RON and MON octane rating scales. This divergence between fuel knock rating methods and fuel performance in modern engines has previously led to the development of an engine and operating condition dependent scaling factor, K, which allows for extrapolation of RON and MON values. Downsized, boosted DISI engines have been generally shown to have negative K-values when knock limited, indicating a preference for fuels of higher sensitivity and challenging the relevance of a lower limit to the MON specification.