d'Adamo, A., Berni, F., Breda, S., Lugli, M. et al., "A Numerical Investigation on the Potentials of Water Injection as a Fuel Efficiency Enhancer in Highly Downsized GDI Engines," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-0393, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-0393.
Engine downsizing is gaining popularity in the high performance engine market sector, where a new generation of highly downsized engines with specific power outputs around or above 150 HP/litre is emerging. High-boost and downsizing, adopted to increase power density and reduce fuel consumption, have to face the increased risks of pre-ignition, knock or mega-knock. To counterbalance autoignition of fuel/air mixture, such engines usually operate with high fuel enrichments and delayed (sometimes negative) spark advances. The former is responsible for high fuel consumption levels, while the latter reduces performance and induces an even lower A/F ratio (below 11), to limit the turbine inlet temperature, with huge negative effects on BSFC. A relatively simple yet effective solution to increase knock resistance is investigated by means of 3-D CFD analyses in the paper: water is port injected to replace mixture enrichment while preserving, if not improving, indicated mean effective pressure and knock safety margins. Full-load engine operations of a currently made turbocharged GDI engine are investigated comparing the adopted fuel-only rich mixture with stoichiometric mixtures, for which water is added in the intake port under constant charge cooling in the combustion chamber. In order to find the optimum fuel/water balance, preliminary analyses are carried out using a chemical reactor to evaluate the effects of charge dilution and mixture modification on both autoignition delays and laminar flame speeds. Thanks to the lower chemical reactivity of the diluted end gases, the water-injected engine allows the Spark Advance (SA) to be increased; as a consequence, engine power target is met, or even crossed, with a simultaneous relevant reduction of fuel consumption.