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Technical Paper

Prediction of the Knock Limit and Viable Operating Range for a Homogeneous-Charge Compression-Ignition (HCCI) Engine

A method is presented for predicting the viable operating range of homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI) engines. A fundamental criterion for predicting HCCI knock is described and used to predict the minimum air/fuel ratio (and hence maximum torque) available from the engine. The lean (misfire) limit is computed using a modification of the multi-zone method of Aceves et al. [1]. Numerical improvements are described which allow even very complex fuel chemistry to be rapidly modeled on a standard PC. The viable operating range for an HCCI engine burning a primary reference fuel (PRF 95) is predicted and compared with literature experimental data. The new ability to accurately predict the operating range for any given HCCI engine/fuel combination should considerably simplify the tasks of designing a robust engine and identifying suitable fuels for HCCI.
Technical Paper

Effects of Variations in Market Gasoline Properties on HCCI Load Limits

The impact of market-fuel variations on the HCCI operating range was measured in a 2.3L four-cylinder engine, modified for single-cylinder operation. HCCI combustion was achieved through the use of residual trapping. Variable cam phasing was used to maximize the load range at each speed. Test fuels were blended to cover the range of variation in select commercial fuel properties. Within experimental measurement error, there was no change in the low-load limit among the test fuels. At the high-load limit, some small fuel effects on the operating range were observed; however, the observed trends were not consistent across all the speeds studied.
Journal Article

Primary Reference Fuel Behavior in a HCCI Engine near the Low-Load Limit

In a previous study, a wide range of gasolines with RON∼90 were tested in a single cylinder engine operated in HCCI mode using negative valve overlap, and all were found to have very similar behavior near the low-load limit. Here we broaden the range of gasolines to include PRF90 and PRF60. At high engine speed, both PRF60 and PRF90 behave similarly to all the other gasolines tested. However, at 1000 RPM, PRF90 is very different from all the other gasolines: it ignites very late, and the engine cannot be operated at low load. Simulations using a popular fuel chemistry model cannot distinguish PRF60 and PRF90 under these conditions. However, a new fuel chemistry model correctly shows the onset of fuel sensitivity at low engine speed. Sensitivity analyses indicate the low-load limit at low engine speed strongly depend on both the chemistry parameters and on the heat-transfer parameters.
Journal Article

The Underlying Physics and Chemistry behind Fuel Sensitivity

Recent studies have shown that for a given RON, fuels with a higher sensitivity (RON-MON) tend to have better antiknock performance at most knock-limited conditions in modern engines. The underlying chemistry behind fuel sensitivity was therefore investigated to understand why this trend occurs. Chemical kinetic models were used to study fuels of varying sensitivities; in particular their autoignition delay times and chemical intermediates were compared. As is well known, non-sensitive fuels tend to be paraffins, while the higher sensitivity fuels tend to be olefins, aromatics, diolefins, napthenes, and alcohols. A more exact relationship between sensitivity and the fuel's chemical structure was not found to be apparent. High sensitivity fuels can have vastly different chemical structures. The results showed that the autoignition delay time (τ) behaved differently at different temperatures. At temperatures below 775 K and above 900 K, τ has a strong temperature dependence.