Advanced gasoline engine development using optical diagnostics and numerical modeling

M. C. Drake, D. C. Haworth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

290 Scopus citations


Twenty years ago, homogeneous-charge spark-ignition gasoline engines (using carburetion, throttlebody-, or port-fuel-injection) were the dominant automotive engines. Advanced automotive engine development remained largely empirical, and stratified-charge direct-injection gasoline-engine production was blocked by lack of robustness in its combustion process [W.G. Agnew, Proc. Combust. Inst. 20 (1984) 1-17]. Today, a wide range of direct-injection gasoline engines are in (or near) production, and combustion science is playing a direct role in advanced gasoline-engine development through the simultaneous application of advanced optical diagnostics, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling, and traditional combustion diagnostics. This paper discusses the use of optical diagnostics and CFD in five gasoline-engine combustion systems: homogeneous spark-ignition port-fuel-injection (PFI), homogeneous spark-ignition direct-injection (DI), stratified wall-guided spark-ignition direct-injection (WG-SIDI), stratified spray-guided spark-ignition direct-injection (SG-SIDI), and homogeneous-charge compression-ignition (HCCI). The emphasis is on WG-SIDI, SG-SIDI, and HCCI engines. Key in-cylinder physical processes (e.g., sprays and vaporization, turbulent fuel-air mixing, wall wetting, ignition and early flame development, turbulent partially premixed flame propagation, and emissions formation) can be visualized, quantified, and optimized through optical engine experiments and CFD-based engine modeling. Outstanding issues for stratified engines include reducing piston wall-wetting, pool fires and smoke in WG-SIDI engines, eliminating intermittent misfires in SG-SIDI engines, and optimizing lean NOx after-treatment systems. HCCI engines require better control of combustion timing and heat-release rate over wide speed/load operating ranges, smooth transitions between operating modes, and individual cylinder sensors and controls. Future directions in optical diagnostics and modeling are suggested to improve our fundamental understanding of important in-cylinder processes and to enhance CFD modeling capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-124
Number of pages26
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume31 I
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007
Event31st International Symposium on Combustion - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: Aug 5 2006Aug 11 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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