In spark ignition engines, gasoline direct injection (GDI) is surely the most attractive technology to achieve the demand of high energy efficiency by directly injecting fuel into combustion chamber. This work, as a preliminary study, investigates the effect of retarded injection timing on knock resistance and cycle-to-cycle variation in gasoline engine by experimental method. The retarded injection timing during compression stroke coupled with increased intake air temperature was employed to concentrate on suppressing knock occurrence with stable combustion. Based on the great advantage of injection timing retard on knock suppression, intake temperature was used in this work to reduce cycle-to-cycle variation. In addition, piezo-electrically actuated injector was employed. The results show that injection timing retard during compression stroke can significantly suppress the knock tendency, but combustion becomes unstable and cycle-to-cycle variation is larger than 10%. Thus, increasing intake temperature decreased the cycle-to-cycle variation but increased significantly the knock tendency, as expect. Meanwhile, rich fuel–air mixture in this work also had the same effect as intake temperature did. It can be concluded that retarded injection timing is of significant potential to suppress the knock in GDI engine, although the high intake temperature causes high probability of large knock occurrence. The percentages of knock at the spark timings of 24 °CA before top dead center (BTDC) and 26 °CA BTDC were significantly reduced from approximately 40% to 7% and from approximately 60% to 10%, respectively. Furthermore, the retarded injection timing not only reduced the probability of knock occurrence, but also decreased the knock intensity obviously.

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