ANALYSIS AND CONTROL OF COMPRESSION-IGNITION AND SPARK-IGNITED ENGINES OPERATING WITH DUAL-FUEL COMBUSTION STRATEGY
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In recent years, the implementation of a dual-fuel combustion strategy has been explored as a means to improve the thermal efficiencies of internal combustion engines while simultaneously reducing their emissions. The dual-fuel combustion strategy was introduced in compression ignition engines to control the combustion phasing by varying the proportion of two simultaneously injected fuels, and altering the combustion timing. The dual-fuel injection strategy also allowed to extend the load limitation of advanced combustion engines, since the two injected fuel ignite in succession reducing the high peak pressures that generally act as a limiting factor. In spark-ignited (SI) engine, the implementation of a dual-fuel combustion strategy serves as an alternative approach to avoid knock (the inadvertent auto-ignition of the fuel mixture). Although conventional engines rely on delaying spark timing to avoid knocking cycles (which significantly reduces the thermal efficiency), the dual-fuel SI engine rely on the simultaneous injection of a low knock resistance and high knock resistance fuel to dynamically adjust the fuel resistance to knock as required. The dual-fuel SI engine thereby successfully suppresses knock without compromising the engine efficiency. Despite the benefits of the dual-fuel combustion strategy, several challenges arise in its implementation, especially when it is implemented along with other advanced combustion strategy leveraging variable valve timing, exhaust gas recirculation, turbocharging, and so forth. This study explores some of these challenges and addresses them from a control standpoint. Cylinder-to-cylinder variations is identified as one of the main challenges. An in-cylinder oxygen estimation strategy and modification to the conventional fueling strategy are proposed as approaches to reduce the combustion variations. In SI engines, the valve dynamics in transient operations are shown to negatively impact the dual-fuel control strategy. The effect of the valve timing on knock propensity and the resulting effect on the fueling strategy is investigated. Finally, the dual-fuel SI engine relies on measurements of the combustion intensity to adjust the fuel split between the low RON and high RON fuel. The implementation of a conventional knock control is shown to be counterintuitive for dual-fuel SI engines due to the highly reactive nature of the controller and the deterministic approach that assumes cycle-to-cycle correlation of the combustion intensity. Statistical investigation of the combustion intensity metric is conducted to identify key properties that can be leveraged for more effective control strategy.