Two types of variable compression ratio engine are considered: i) a continuously variable compression ratio (VCR) device that optimises engine efficiency at all loads, and ii) a VCR device that allows the engine to operate at one of two discrete compression ratios. The simulated engine configuration uses late intake valve closing (LIVC). A maximum geometric compression ratio (GCR) of 17:1 is adopted in the simulations resulting in a constant effective compression ratio of 10.2:1 in all configurations. Reduction from full load is achieved in the simulation with LIVC until the maximum GCR is reached after which lower loads are achieved through throttling. In the two-position VCR engine simulation, the full load range is achieved through throttling in combination with LIVC. At part load, in combination with LIVC, the VCR devices increase the geometric compression ratio to return the effective compression ratio to that for full load in each case. Fuel consumption for the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is assessed via numerical simulation for a representative vehicle. The simulations indicate that the increase in net fuel consumption over a driving cycle is effectively no different for the two-position VCR engine relative to a continuously variable CR and this justifies further research into two-position VCR technology. Net fuel consumption can also be improved by the use of a limited acceleration that maintains the engine in the reduced compression stroke configuration. An acceleration rate with a driver feedback mechanism is proposed which, in combination with a two-position VCR engine, shows potential for significant reduction in fuel consumption of greater than 15% relative to the full compression, fixed CR configuration for the NEDC.

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