Weall, A., Szybist, J., Edwards, K., Foster, M. et al., "HCCI Load Expansion Opportunities Using a Fully Variable HVA Research Engine to Guide Development of a Production Intent Cam-Based VVA Engine: The Low Load Limit," SAE Int. J. Engines 5(3):1149-1162, 2012, https://doi.org/10.4271/2012-01-1134.
While the potential emissions and efficiency benefits of HCCI combustion are well known, realizing the potentials on a production intent engine presents numerous challenges. In this study we focus on identifying challenges and opportunities associated with a production intent cam-based variable valve actuation (VVA) system on a multi-cylinder engine in comparison to a fully flexible, naturally aspirated, hydraulic valve actuation (HVA) system on a single-cylinder engine, with both platforms sharing the same GDI fueling system and engine geometry. The multi-cylinder production intent VVA system uses a 2-step cam technology with wide authority cam phasing, allowing adjustments to be made to the negative valve overlap (NVO) duration but not the valve opening durations. On the single-cylinder HVA engine, the valve opening duration and lift are variable in addition to the NVO duration.The content of this paper is limited to the low-medium operating load region at 2000 rpm. Using different injection strategies, including the NVO pilot injection approach, the single-cylinder engine is operated over a load range from 160-390 kPa net IMEP at 2000 rpm. Changes to valve opening duration on the single-cylinder HVA engine illustrate opportunities for load expansion and efficiency improvement at certain conditions. For instance, the low load limit can be extended on the HVA engine by reducing breathing and operating closer to a stoichiometric air-fuel ratio (AFR) by using valve deactivation.The naturally aspirated engine used here without external EGR confirmed that as operating load increases the emissions of NOx increases due to combustion temperature. NOx emissions are found to be one limitation to the maximum load limitation, the other being high pressure rise rate. It is found that the configuration of the production intent cam-based system represents a good compromise between valve lift and duration in the low to medium load region. Changing the extent of charge motion and breathing via valve deactivation prove beneficial at moderating the pressure rise rate and combustion stability and extending the low load limit at 2000 rpm on the HVA engine. It also confirms that strategies using a pilot fuel injection are beneficial at low operating loads but that as operating load is increased, the benefits of multiple injection diminish to the point where a single injection offers the best performance.