Multi-mode combustion strategies may provide a considerable thermal efficiency improvement targeted at part-load operating conditions for light-duty spark-ignition (SI) engines. The extension from boosted SI mode at high loads to advanced compression ignition (ACI) mode at low loads can be achieved by increasing compression ratio and utilizing intake air heating. In order to enable an accurate control of intake charge condition for ACI control and rapid mode-switches, it is essential to gain fundamental insight into the autoignition process with regard to thermal and fuel-air mixture stratification in the combustion chamber. In this work, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study is carried out to reveal some degrees of correlation between the mixture and thermal stratifications induced by the cylinder wall temperature and combustion-phasing across varying engine load conditions.
The computational analysis begins with a calibrated simulation setup best matching the engine experiments, and subsequently evaluates the baseline setup for an extended range of engine load conditions for two excess-air ratio cases. The present study emphasizes the dominance of thermal stratifications for autoignition process due to wall temperature effects depending on the engine load conditions of interest. In addition, this study also aims to provide insight into the impact of mixture stratification on cyclic variability, especially at colder wall engine conditions (e.g., cold start). Observations herein provide highlight of the propensity of autoignition in correlation with mixture reactivity space.