Spark ignition engine combustion process analysis
Cylinder pressure analysis is widely used in the experimental investigation of combustion processes within gasoline engines. A pressure record can be processed to reveal detail of charge burning, which is a good indicator of combustion quality. The thesis describes the evaluation of an approximate technique for calculating the mass fraction of the charge that has burnt; a novel approach for determining heat loss to the block; the development of a powerful system for combustion analysis; and the investigation of the correlation between the crank angle location of the 50% mass burnt and minimum timing advance necessary to obtain the maximum engine torque. A detailed examination has been carried out into the uncertainties in the determination of the mass fraction burnt as suggested by Rassweiler and Withrow. A revised procedure has been developed which does not require a priori identification of the combustion end point, and a new approach is suggested to calculate the polytropic indices necessary for the pressure processing. This particular implementation of the analysis is able to identify late burning and misfiring cycles, and then take appropriate steps to ensure their proper analysis. The problems associated with the assumption of uniform pressure; alignment of the pressure changes to the volume changes; pressure sampling rate; clearance volume estimation; and calibrating the acquired pressure to absolute are also evaluated. A novel method is developed to ascertain, directly from the pressure history, the heat loss to the cylinder block. Both experimental and simulated data are used to support the accuracy of the suggested heat loss evaluation, and the sensitivity of the method to its inputs is examined. The conversion of procedures for combustion analysis into a format suitable for undertaking high speed analysis is described. The analysis techniques were implemented so that the engine can be considered to be on-line to the analysis system. The system was entitled Quikburn. This system can process an unlimited number of cycles at a particular running condition, updating the screen every 1.5 seconds. The analysis system has been used to study the potentially beneficial correlation between the location of the 50% mass burnt and MBT. The correlation is examined in detail, and found to be valid except under lean fueling conditions, which is seen to be caused by slow flame initiation. It is suggested that the optimum location of the 50% mass burnt can be used as a reference setting for the ignition timing, and as an indicator of combustion chamber performance. An engine simulation was employed to verify that changes in bum shape account for the small variation seen in the optimum 50% bum locations at different operating conditions of the engine. The bum shape changes also account for the range of optimum locations of the 50% mass burnt encountered in different engines.