Because they have the potential for ultra low NOx emissions and high efficiency, Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engines have the potential to develop a significant niche. However, a narrow operating range, (bracketed by severe knock and misfire problems), presents a formidable obstacle to developing usable HCCI combustion systems. HCCI combustion is influenced by a complex array of operating variables including fuel octane quality, intake preheating temperature, compression ratio, equivalence ratio, exhaust gas recirculation and engine component temperature. These variables affect the two critical combustion parameters: ignition timing and combustion duration. If these two parameters can be controlled by appropriate settings of the operating variables, a good HCCI combustion scheme could be achieved. Therefore, the theoretical prediction of these two combustion parameters as a function of the key operating variables is necessary for development of HCCI combustion. This paper describes a stand-alone, single-zone and multi-zone combustion model which have been developed for the specific purpose of investigating HCCI combustion control. In the multi-zone model, temperature and composition in each zone were adjusted in order to study the effect of in-homogeneity which is critical to understanding ignition timing and combustion duration in real HCCI engines. The models simulated HCCI combustion using two fuels: hydrogen, (11 species, 23 reactions- from CHEMKIN library), and natural gas, (53 species, 325 reactions- from GRI mech). The capabilities of the two models to predict ignition timing, combustion duration and peak pressure were verified against experimental and simulation results of Fiveland et al [2, 11]. The models were then used to study the effect of different in-homogeneity levels of equivalence ratio, intake temperature and residual fraction. The single zone model could only predict ignition timing while the multi-zone model shows the capability to mimic realistic HCCI combustion phenomena. The study showed that some degree of in-homogeneity is critical to predicting performance of the homogeneous charge compression ignition engine. Further, stratification of equivalence ratio was relatively ineffective at changing combustion while stratification of mixture temperature was very effective. Stratification of the residual fraction proved to be the most promising method of controlling combustion parameters and the mechanism was primarily thermal.

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