The combustion duration in an internal combustion engine is the period bounded by the engine crank angles known as the start of combustion (SOC) and end of combustion (EOC), respectively. This period is essential in analysis of combustion for the such as the production of exhaust emissions. For compression-ignition engines, such as diesel engines, several approaches were developed in order to approximate the crank angle for the start of combustion. These approaches utilized the curves of measured in-cylinder pressures and determining by inspection the crank angle where the slope is steep following a minimum value, indicating that combustion has begun. These pressure data may also be utilized together with the corresponding cylinder volumes to generate the apparent heat release rate (AHRR), which shows the trend of heat transfer of the gases enclosed in the engine cylinder. The start of combustion is then determined at the point where the value of the AHRR is minimum and followed by a rapid increase in value, whereas the EOC is at the crank angle where the AHRR attains a flat slope prior to the exhaust stroke of the engine. To verify the location of the SOC, injection line pressures and fuel injection timing are also used. This method was applied in an engine test bench using a four-cylinder common-rail direct injection diesel engine with a pressure transducer installed in the first cylinder. Injector line pressures and fuel injector voltage signals per engine cycle were also recorded and plotted. By analyzing the trends of this curves in line with the generated AHRR curves, the SOC may be readily determined.

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