Abstract

The flex-fuel engines are quite capable of running on gasohol and hydrous ethanol. However, the in-cylinder cyclic variations, which are inherently present in spark-ignition (SI) engines, affect the performance of these engines. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis is required to evaluate the effects of in-cylinder cyclic variations of a flex-fuel engine. The experiments were carried out by using Brazilian commercial Gasohol E27 (mixture of 27% anhydrous ethanol in gasoline) and hydrous ethanol E95h (5% water by volume in ethanol) as fuels for a commercial flex-fuel spark ignition engine. A comparison between the cyclic variations of gasohol and hydrous ethanol is presented in this paper. Moreover, the effects of engine operating parameters (i.e., engine speed, engine load and relative air fuel ratio) on cyclic variations are also investigated. The acquired data of in-cylinder pressure and combustion durations are evaluated by carrying out a statistical analysis. The coefficient of variation for indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) did not exceed the limit of 5% for all tested conditions. Higher cyclic variability of maximum in-cylinder pressure is observed for gasohol fuel and higher engine speeds. The variability of in-cylinder combustion is also evaluated with the help of different combustion stages, which are characterized by corresponding crank positions of 10%, 50% and 90% mass fractions burned.

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