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Technical Paper

Bridging the Gap between HCCI and SI: Spark-Assisted Compression Ignition

Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) has received much attention in recent years due to its ability to reduce both fuel consumption and NO emissions compared to normal spark-ignited (SI) combustion. However, due to the limited operating range of HCCI, production feasible engines will need to employ a combination of combustion strategies, such as stoichiometric SI combustion at high loads and leaner burn spark-assisted compression ignition (SACI) and HCCI at intermediate and low loads. The goal of this study was to extend the high load limit of HCCI into the SACI region while maintaining a stoichiometric equivalence ratio. Experiments were conducted on a single-cylinder research engine with fully flexible valve actuation. In-cylinder pressure rise rates and combustion stability were controlled using cooled external EGR, spark assist, and negative valve overlap. Several engine loads within the SACI regime were investigated.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Alternative Strategies for Reducing Hydrocarbon and Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Small Two-Stroke Engines

Five small two-stroke engine designs were tested at different air/fuel ratios, under steady state and transient cycles. The effects of combustion chamber design, carburetor design, lean burning, and fuel composition on performance, hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions were studied. All tested engines had been designed to run richer than stoichiometric in order to obtain satisfactory cooling and higher power. While hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions could be greatly reduced with lean burning, engine durability would be worsened. However, it was shown that the use of a catalytic converter with acceptably lean combustion was an effective method of reducing emissions. Replacing carburetion with in-cylinder fuel injection in one of the engines resulted in a significant reduction of hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions.
Technical Paper

System Efficiency Issues for Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engines in Heavy-Duty Stationary Applications

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has been proposed for natural gas engines in heavy duty stationary power generation applications. A number of researchers have demonstrated, through simulation and experiment, the feasibility of obtaining high gross indicated thermal efficiencies and very low NOx emissions at reasonable load levels. With a goal of eventual commercialization of these engines, this paper sets forth some of the primary challenges in obtaining high brake thermal efficiency from production feasible engines. Experimental results, in conjunction with simulation and analysis, are used to compare HCCI operation with traditional lean burn spark ignition performance. Current HCCI technology is characterized by low power density, very dilute mixtures, and low combustion efficiency. The quantitative adverse effect of each of these traits is demonstrated with respect to the brake thermal efficiency that can be expected in real world applications.