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Technical Paper

Controlling Cyclic Combustion Variations in Lean-Fueled Spark-Ignition Engines

This paper describes the reduction of cyclic combustion variations in spark-ignited engines, especially under idle conditions in which the air-fuel mixture is lean of stoichiometry. Under such conditions, the combination of residual cylinder gas and parametric variations (such as variations in fuel preparation) gives rise to significant combustion instabilities that may lead to customer-perceived engine roughness and transient emissions spikes. Such combustion instabilities may preclude operation at air-fuel ratios that would otherwise be advantageous for fuel economy and emissions. This approach exploits the recognition that a component of the observed combustion instability results from a noise-driven, nonlinear deterministic mechanism that can be actively stabilized by small feedback control actions which result in little if any additional use of fuel.