Accurate heat release analysis based on the cylinder pressure trace is important for evaluating combustion process of diesel engines. However, traditional single-zone heat release models (SZM) have significant limitations due mainly to their simplified assumptions of uniform charge and homogeneity while neglecting local temperature distribution inside cylinder during combustion process. In this study, a heat release analysis based on single-zone model has been evaluated by comparison with computational analysis result using Fire-code, which is based on multi-dimensional model (MDM). The limitations of the single-zone assumption have been estimated. To overcome these limitations, an improved model that includes the effects of spatial non-uniformity has been applied. From this improved single-zone heat release model (Improved-SZM), two effective values of specific heats ratios, denoted by γV and γH in this study, have been introduced. These values are formulated as the function of charge temperature changing rate and overall equivalence ratio by matching the results of the single-zone analysis to those of computational analysis using Fire-code about medium speed marine diesel engine. Also, it is applied that each equation of γV and γH has respectively different slopes according to several meaningful regions such as the start of injection, the end of injection, the maximum cylinder temperature, and the exhaust valve open. This calculation method based on improved single-zone model gives a good agreement with Fire-code results over the whole range of operating conditions.

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