Variable Compression Ratio for Gasoline Engines
- 133 Downloads
Downsizing in combination with turbocharging enables a sustainable CO2 emission reduction. In order to mitigate knock at higher engine loads the compression ratio has to be diminished with increasing boost pressure levels. To alleviate disadvantages of reduced efficiency at part load FEV developed a two-stage variable compression ratio mechanism.
In order to meet the CO2 fleet threshold value of 130 g/km in the vehicle inertia class of 1372 kg introduced by the European Commission, manufacturers already started offering boosted engines with reduced displacement. Lower throttle and friction losses of these smaller turbocharged engines enable a CO2 reduction between 10 and 20 % — depending on vehicle mass and downsizing level.
The application of downsizing in context with boosting presents a disadvantage because of the higher knock sensitivity at higher engine loads, thus the compression ratio (CR) has to be reduced. Despite the fact that the majority of the turbocharged engines are equipped with direct fuel injection, today’s boosted engines are designed for RON 95 gasoline with a compression ratio lowered by 1 to 1.5 units in comparison to naturally aspirated engines. Decreased pressures and temperatures at the end of compression shift the knock border line to higher loads. Hence, the more beneficial location of the center of combustion offers improved efficiency at full load. However, this full load benefit is at the cost of reduced thermal efficiency at low engine loads.
Besides downsizing in combination with boosting, several other means to reduce fuel consumption of gasoline engines can be considered. The modular application of a variable compression ratio mechanism lends itself to resolve this conflict.
SYSTEM PROPERTIES OF THE TWO-STAGE VCR SYSTEM
The VCR systems with variable kinetic connecting rod lengths entail variable powertrain components which can be used instead of the conventional components and thus only require minor modifications to existing engine architectures.
To adapt the system to existing engine architecture requires only relatively small changes to existing parts as compared to the requirements of other VCR systems at acceptable additional manufacturing costs. The influence on the lubrication circuit of the engine is so small that the oil pump capacity does not need to be increased.
The reduction of moving masses is part of current development activities. For engines with a cylinder displacement of approximately 0.4 l the oscillating mass increases by 30 to 50 % depending on stroke-to-bore ratio. Simulation results have shown that optimising the design and utilising high-strength steel significantly reduces the mass of the conrod.
In the case shown, the switching point from high to low compression ratio is located exactly at the beginning of the load step. The switch-over is completed after 0.6 s as illustrated in the simulated actual compression trace (actual C.R). The CR switch-over takes place much faster than boost can be generated by the highly dynamic and optimised boosting system. Therefore, further reduction in response time would not result in further improvement. In fact, faster switch-over efficiency may lead to unintended torque reductions. The influence of the oil temperature on the response time is relative small. At an oil temperature of 0 °C the response time going from high to low CR increases only by a small amount compared to the response time at warm engine.
CO2 POTENTIAL OF A TWO-STAGE VCR SYSTEM
Investigations so far have shown that the fuel consumption improvement potential for a continuous compression ratio adjustment over the European NEDC Cycle is between 6 and 8 % . With a two-step VCR, due to knock limitation occurring now at part load, the CR needs to be switched back to the lower value as designed for full load operation earlier in the upper area of the load map. Thus, the fuel efficiency is slightly reduced.
: inertia class of 1372 kg
: turbocharged DI-Engine
: 180 kW/350 Nm (RON 95)
: manual transmission, start/stop system.
The adjustment of the CR range results in changes regarding the transition function in the engine map. With an increased maximum CR the knock limit is reached at lower part load. With an increase in minimum CR an efficiency benefit can be achieved in the areas not relevant to knocking. However, at full load the increased minimum CR leads to a reduced achievable BMEP level due to knock limitation.
The potential fuel consumption improvement in the WLTP requiring higher engine loads is still at 5%. For both cycles the combination of 8/13 has the greatest fuel consumption benefit. This is caused by the higher loads during the WLTP; a switch-over to the lower CR is required. Therefore the selection of the maximum CR regarding the fuel consumption result has a greater impact on the WLTP than on the NEDC.
Overall, it can be stated that for the two-step VCR system there is a low sensitivity regarding the selection of the compression ratio range as well as the influence of the driving profile.
POTENTIAL WITH OTHER FUTURE CO2 TECHNOLOGIES
: extreme downsizing concept with further reduced displacement of 1.5 l while full load torque is kept constant
: Gasoline Controlled Auto Ignition (GCAI)
: alternative fuels with high knock resistance.
The example of further downsizing (1.5 l) results in 120 kW/l specific power to offer identical drive power. While the fuel consumption benefit of the extreme downsizing without VCR over the NEDC still reaches about 3 to 4 %, it has to be stated that with the two-step VCR fuel efficiency can be increased between 6 and 7 % for both investigated driving profiles. In comparison to the base variant with 2.0 l displacement the further potential of a two-step VCR will be higher for the extremely downsized engine with operation at higher engine load. Minimum as well as maximum CR has to be analysed and a reduction of the upper compression ratio value by one unit from 13 to 12 represents the best trade-off while a CR of 8 is still the optimum for the lower stage.
COMBINATION OF GCAI AND TWO-STAGE VCR SYSTEM
ALTERNATIVE FUELS WITH HIGH KNOCK RESISTANCE
Achieving a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions make alternative fuels a suitable option. Besides CNG, Ethanol represents a meaningful alternative to conventional gasoline fuel combining the CO2 reduction potential gained from a partially closed carbon cycle with high knock resistance. This provides the opportunity to select a higher compression ratio and significantly enhance the efficiency over the entire engine map particularly for boosted applications .
In order to comply with the strict CO2 emission worldwide, manufacturers will have to introduce technologies other than downsizing concepts involving boosting and direct injection. Further increase of compression ratio to enhance the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine at part load is limited due to knock sensitivity. One possibility to resolve this conflict is the introduction of a variable compression ratio (VCR) mechanism.
The presented two-stage VCR system can be integrated into existing engine families with competitive additional costs. The transition duration is sufficiently short especially for boosted engines and almost independent from boundary conditions.
The VCR system can be used to allow for fuels with different octane ratings by shifting the compression ratio transition strategy accordingly. The presented system expands the CO2 reduction potential of other future technologies such as multi-stage boosting and controlled auto-ignition and thus offers an important contribution to reduce fuel consumption on gasoline powertrains.
- Pischinger, S.; Wittek, K.; Tiemann, C.: Zweistufiges variables Verdichtungsverhältnis durch exzentrische Kolbenbolzenlagerung. In: MTZ 70 (2009), No. 2, pp. 128–136Google Scholar
- Wittek, K.; Tiemann, C.; Pischinger, S.: Two-stage variable compression ratio with eccentric piston pin and exploitation of cranktrain forces. SAE 09PFL-0468Google Scholar
- Schwaderlapp, M.; Pischinger, S.; Yapici, K.I.; Habermann, K.; Bollig, C.; Variable Verdichtung — eine konstruktive Lösung für Downsizing-Konzepte. 10. Aachener Kolloquium Fahrzeug- und Motorentechnik, 2001Google Scholar
- Schwaderlapp, M.; Adomeit, P.; Kolbeck, A.; Thewes, M.: Ethanol und sein Potenzial für Downsizing-Motorenkonzepte. In: MTZ 73 (2012), No. 2, pp. 120–125Google Scholar