Water Injection Benefits in a 3-Cylinder Downsized SI-Engine
With progressing electrification of automotive powertrains and demands to meet increasingly stringent emission regulations, a combination of an electric motor and downsized turbocharged spark-ignited engine has been recognized as a viable solution. The SI engine must be optimized, and preferentially downsized, to reduce tailpipe CO2 and other emissions. However, drives to increase BMEP (Brake Mean Effective Pressure) and compression ratio/thermal efficiency increase propensities of knocking (auto-ignition of residual unburnt charge before the propagating flame reaches it) in downsized engines. Currently, knock is mitigated by retarding the ignition timing, but this has several limitations. Another option identified in the last decade (following trials of similar technology in aircraft combustion engines) is water injection, which suppresses knocking largely by reducing local in-cylinder mixture temperatures due to its latent heat of vaporization.