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The closed-loop control of internal combustion engine spark timing may be accomplished by means of a combustion phase indicator i.e., a parameter derived from in-cylinder pressure analysis, whose variation is mainly referable to combustion phase shift and assumes a fixed reference value under optimal spark timing operation. The aim of the present work is a comparison between different combustion phase indicators, focusing on the performance attainable by a feedback spark timing control, which uses the indicator as pilot variable. An extensive experimental investigation has been carried out, verifying the relationship between indicators' optimal values and the main engine running parameters: engine speed, load, and mixture strength. Moreover assessment on the effect of the most common pressure measurement problems (which are mainly related to pressure referencing, sampling resolution, top dead center determination, and cycle-by-cycle variations) on the indicators' values and on the performance attainable by the spark timing control is included. The results of the comparison point out two indicators as the most suitable: the location of pressure peak and the location of maximum heat release rate. The latter, not available in literature, has been introduced by the author as an alternative to the 50% of mass fraction burned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)052808-1-052808-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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