Spark Assisted Compression Ignition (SACI) offers more practical combustion phasing control and a softer pressure rise rate than Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) combustion, and improved thermal efficiency and lower NOx emissions than Spark Ignition (SI) combustion. Any practical engine, including one that uses SACI in part of its operating range, must be robust to changes in ambient conditions.
This study investigates the effects of ambient temperature and humidity on stoichiometric SACI engine performance, combustion and emissions. It is shown that at the medium speed and load SACI test point selected for this study, increasing ambient air temperature from 20°C to 41°C advances combustion phasing, increases maximum pressure rise rate, causes a larger fraction of the charge to be consumed by auto-ignition (and a smaller fraction by flame propagation), increases NOx, and increases Brake Specific Fuel Consumption (BSFC). Increasing ambient humidity from 32% to 60% retards combustion phasing, reduces maximum pressure rise rate, causes a larger fraction of the charge to be consumed by auto-ignition and a smaller fraction by flame propagation, increases Coefficient of Variation of IMEP (COV) of IMEP, reduces NOx, and increases BSFC. These results show that successful implementation of SACI combustion in real-world driving requires a control strategy that compensates for changes in ambient temperature and humidity.