Model Control and Transition of Residual-Affected HCCI Engines by electro-
hydraulic Valve Actuation System
Gao Fengjun, Guo Yingnan*, Liu Fafa, Pan Xixi,Wang Kaiyou,Ji Honggang
State Key Laboratory of Automobile Dynamic Simulation, Jilin University, Changchun, 130022, China
Abstract—Since the homogeneous charge compression ignition
(HCCI or CAI) was put forward, different manners were
adopted to realize HCCI combustion with gasoline and ethanol.
However, each combustion mode could only work in a narrow
operation region. In order to put the HCCI modes into practice,
the researchers suggested that the engine operated in more
different HCCI modes and operated in conventional
combustion mode (SI CI) in others operation conditions,
which was called hybrid combustion mode engine. In this
paper, HCCI combustion was achieved in a modified single
cylinder mass production engine through preheating the intake
charge and trapping residual gases. Three modes of trapping
residual gases were realized by a newly developed full variable
valve timing system controlled by electronic system. The
transition smoothness was improved by applying the strategy
in which the fuelling consumption was compensated. Due to the
cycle-synchronous control of valve timings, injection and
ignition offered by the control system, transitions between the
HCCI modes and SI operating mode can be realized without
misfire or negative torque response. In order to control the
HCCI combustion modes, the internal EGR strategies were
studied by GT-POWER coupled with CHEMKIN.
Index Terms—combustion mode transition, homogeneous
charge compression ignition (HCCI), spark ignition (SI), fast
thermal management system (FTMS), EGR (key words)
In the gasoline engine, HCCI combustion can be
achieved by the following strategies: inlet air heating directly,
high compression ratio, exhaust gas recirculation or adding
additive [1, 2, and 3]. The mode of negative overlap studied
was studied in the previous study, the mechanical devices
was relatively simple. The high-temperature EGR can heat
the fresh charge, which provide hot atmosphere for the fuel
combustion reaction process, so that fuel compositions are
activated, hereby, the capacity of mixed charge on fire is
enhanced. While the EGR diluted the oxygen concentration,
the volumetric efficiency, the maximum temperature and the
largest peak value of cylinder pressure reduced. Hence, the
EGR can effectively slow burning rate, combustion reaction
rate decreased, so that combustion duration was prolonged,
the maximum cylinder temperature and largest peak pressure
decreases, increasing high-load when CAI antiknock ability.
Both trapping residual gases and rebreathing exhaust
gases can trap internal EGR. Two modes of rebreathing
Exhaust gas was further studied, the first is exhaust valve re-
opened during the intake stroke, the second is the exhaust
valve closed late in the exhaust stroke, so that a portion of
the exhaust gas from the exhaust pipe refilled the cylinder.
The intake temperature on HCCI combustion behavior has
been studied on a rapid compression machine. The
experiment results showed that with the increase of the
intake temperature, the time of combustion duration
decreases, the maximum heat release rate increases, the
maximum pressure rise rate becomes higher and its
corresponding timing advances. With air-fuel ratio of the
combustible mixture increasing, the start of combustion
delays, the combustion duration increases, the maximum
heat release rate decreases, and the maximum pressure rise
rate becomes lower and its corresponding timing delays [11].
Under the help of the warm-up system, experiments have
been carried out to search induction temperature’s influences
to the HCCI combustion [1]. The results show, the induction
temperature does great influences to HCCI combustion.
when keep the engine speed and air/fuel equivalence ratio
constant, as the temperature increases, the phasing of
combustion ignition occurs earlier, combustion duration
becomes shorter, the rate of combustion increases, the rate of
pressure rise increases, the maximum cylinder pressure
increases, the combustion efficiency increases, the indicated
efficiency increases. But as the temperature increase further,
the indicated efficiency decreases.
In this paper, three modes of HCCI combustion was
studied by GT-POWER coupled with CHEMKIN, which
consists of one-dimensional fluid dynamics code and a
detailed chemical kinetics code. Intake preheating system
and/or trapped residual exhaust gases is used to heat fresh
charge, so that the mixture temperature at the end of
compression stokes reaches self-ignition temperature. The
modes transition from HCCI to SI was studied by a newly
developed full variable valve timing system controlled by
electro-hydraulic system. The transition smoothness was
improved by applying strategies, in which the fuelling
consumption was compensated. We had designed the
induction warm-up management system; the selected warm-
up unit realized the quick and steady temperature’s control
and designed the electro-circuit and the executable outfits.
A. control and test system
The investigation was performed in a modified single
cylinder production diesel engine, and the schematic diagram
of the experimental setup is showed in Fig.1.
978-1-4244-584 - /10/$26.00 ©2010 IEEE 8 6
Figure 1. Experimental setup schematic diagram
Engine dimension and specifications are given in Table 1.
The compression ratio meet the requirement of HCCI and SI
combustion, the gas was injected into the intake pipe to form
homogeneous charge under the control of the self-developed
electronic control fuel injection system. A fast thermal
management system (FTMS) was developed to preheat the
fresh charge so as to achieve HCCI combustion.
Index Specifications
Rated speed/r/min
Combustion chamber

B. electro-hydraulic variable valve timing system
To achieve acceptable NVH behavior (Noise Vibration
Harshness) in the mode transition from HCCI to SI and get
real-time and accurate control of the internal EGR rate, an
new electro-hydraulic driven variable valve timing(VVT)
system of exhaust valve was developed and optimized
without any change of cylinder head structure, shown in fig3
And fig4. The electronic control system includes
microcontroller (80C196KC), speed sensor, compression
TDC sensor, valve lift sensors and the input and output
interface circuit. Engine speed signal of the engine
crankshaft generated from photoelectric encoder to provide
position and velocity feedback. Compression TDC sensor
mounted on the camshaft, which is a Hall-effect sensor,
generates a square wave pulse signal at each revolution. The
valve control parameters were controlled by programme. The
valve control system was shown in fig. 4.
Figure 2. Schematic of valve control system
Figure 3. Experimental setup schematic diagram
Figure 4. Schematic of valve hydraulic system
C. valve timing control trategies
The extensive background with different variable valve
actuation was a key element in the successful
implementation of this new combustion process. Especially
the feature of electromechanical valve train maximum
flexibility, is very helpful to identify and evaluate the
optimum EGR strategy for controlled auto ignition. The
valve timing strategy to trap residual gases was studied, three
modes of valve timingincluding CCR, eEGR and iEPR,
are shown in Fig. 5.
Charge mixture
Charge mixture
Figure 5. valve timing control modes
Internal EGR modes were studied by the mode built up
by GT-POWER coupled with CHEMKIN, which consists of
one-dimensional fluid dynamics code and a detailed
chemical kinetics code. The VVT system model was
established in GT-POWER software, gasoline combustion
model was from CHEMKIN software. The heat release rate
and in-cylinder composition concentration were calculated
by MATLAB software. In addition, the CAI combustion has
been calculated at speed of 1000rpm to achieve the lowest
CAI combustion temperature and EGR quantity. Simulation
also predicted load range of CAI combustion engine with
different speed, which will be written in another paper.
A. EGR rate distribution without heating directly
1) EGR rate distribution of CCR mode
The CCR mode of internal EGR, early exhaust valve
closing combined with late intake valve opening were
studied, shown in fig.6. The EGR rate is determined mainly
by the EVC (exhaust valve close), the influence of the IVO
(intake valve open) on EGR rate and control of the HCCI
combustion is less pronounce. The IVO mainly influence the
pumping losses. With the postponement of EVC (ATDC, i.e.
After Top Dead Center), trapped exhaust reduced, at the
same time, more fresh mixture enters into the cylinder,
which improved volumetric efficiency and IMEP. When the
EVC is greater than 250 ° CA (110 °CA BTDC i.e. before
top dead center), IVO have little effect on the charge
efficiency. When the EVC is less than 250 ° CA, due to
fluctuations of the flow, with the EVC's advance, EGR
curves bends obviously, the amount of trapped exhaust is
determined by the EVC and IVO.
Figure 6. effect of valve timing on the EGR rate
2) EGR rate distribution of eEGR mode
The eEGR mode of internal EGR was studied, shown in
fig.7. The intake valve open timing and exhaust close timing
have a great impact on the EGR rate. Inlet valve opening
timing keep constant, with the postponement of EVC, the
mount of trapped EGR became large, the mount of fresh
charge became less. In the lower left area, intake valve
open at 0 ´ CA -30 ´CA), the trapped EGR rate is less
than 39%. In the upper right corner of the figure,intake
valve open at 50 ´ CA -70 ´CA and exhaust valve close
at 150 ´ CA -209 ´ CA·, the trapped EGR rate is more
than 83%.
Figure 7. effect of valve timing on the EGR rate
3) EGR rate distribution of iEPR mode
The iEPR mode of internal EGR was studied, shown in
fig.8. Two areas exits in the EGR rate map: the left (intake
valve timing from 400 ° CA to 468 ° CA), right (intake valve
timing from 468 ° CA to 580 ° CA). In the left area, the rate
of change in cylinder EGR intake valve closing angle mainly
affected by early intake valve close timing, the fresh charge
into the cylinder was gradually reduced. In the A-zone, a
higher EGR rate appears due to a larger intake valve closing
angle. In the B-zone, an island emerges because intake valve
closing timing is too late. In the C-zone, EGR rate less than
42%, this can not achieve stable CAI combustion.
Figure 8. effect of valve timing on the EGR rate
B. Temprature distribution when heating directly
With the induction warm-up management system, HCCI
combustion had accomplished without EGR [1]. With the
intake air temperature increasing from 300Kto 350K in CCR
mode, T10(temperature at 10 ´CA BTD) became higher,
show in fig 9 and fig 10. With the intake air temperature
increasing, valve timing region in which T10 was more than
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
936K expanded, and the corresponding ignition timing
advanced. maximum load increased by 13% through
Heating the fresh charge in HCCI combustion. Therefore,
fresh charge heating directly is a direct and effective way to
increase the CAI combustion region with internal EGR.
Figure 9. effect of valve timing on T10 temprature with 300K intake air
Figure 10. effect of valve timing on T10 temprature with 350K intake
A. modes switch under thermal management
With the warm-up system, the experiments of induction
temperature influence to the HCCI combustion have been
carried out. When the combustion modes switches between
SI and HCCI, for low temperature air exist between the
FTMS and the intake pipe, the transition could not be
completed within one operation cycle and this resulted in the
fluctuations of engine speed and mean effective pressure in
the transition process[1]. When the modes switches between
SI and HCCI by heating directly, the histories of cylinder
pressure, engine speed and pe are shown in Fig 11. While the
engine works in HCCI modes with internal EGR, when the
fresh charge need heating to expand the load range, the
change also need several cycles, for low temperature air exist
between the FTMS and the intake pipe.
0 10 20 30 40
0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000
Crank angle/°CA
Figure 11. SI-HCCI transition under thermal management
B. modes switch under EGR management
The engine operates firstly in SI cold starting up then in
HCCI with medium or SI with heavy load. In the SI mode,
excess air coefficient was 1.0. With the amount of exhaust
gas recirculation gradually increasing, the engine works with
spark assisted and compensation for oil. It will take some
time to control valve timing step by step to realize HCCI
modes, so the transition could not be completed within one
operation cycle, shown in fig.12. This resulted in little
fluctuation of engine speed and brake mean effective
pressure in the transition process. Compared to thermal
management, large amount of EGR reduces the combustion
rate and the pressure peak rise rate and maximum
combustion pressure of cylinder, which prevent the engine
from detonation. HCCI engine would be more stable with
spark assisted than without spark assisted.
-20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

Crank angle(CAD)
Figure 12. cylinder pressure curves for different amounts of EGR
In the test of CCR mode at speed of 1000r/m, while the
NVO angle was less than 140 ° CA, the output cylinder
pressure was higher and engine worked crudely. With the
NVO angle increasing, the maximum cylinder pressure
decreased and the output power of engine decreases. When
the NVO angle was greater than 210 ° CA, the engine can
not work stably. The main reason is that, as the NVO angle
was too little to trap enough EGR, and too much fresh charge
enters into the cylinder, so the cylinder pressure was too high.
While the NVO angle increases, the trapped EGR increased,
the mount of fresh charge reduced, the high EGR rate led to
lower pressure. When the valve trapped excessive exhaust
gas, the engine would misfire.
In the test of eEGR mode at 1000r/m, while the exhaust
valve closed late and inlet valve opened late, the exhaust gas
was rebreathed into cylinder to achieve CAI combustion.
The intake valve opening angle was set as 28 ° CA ATDC,
the exhaust valve closing angle was set between 131 ° CA
ATDC and 191 ° CA ATDC. With the exhaust valve closing
later, the time of re-breathing exhaust gas increases, then the
amount of re-breathed exhaust gas cylinder increased, the
value of maximum cylinder pressure fell. When the EVC
angle is less than 131 ° CA ATDC, the engine works crudely;
While the EVC angle is greater than 191 ° CA ATDC, the
engine can not be stable in HCCI without heating directly.
While the amount of EGR is too less to heat the fresh
charge, the engine in the HCCI combustion mode can not
stabilize without heating the fresh charge. While the EGR is
more than enough, the engine would appear sharp shake and
the output torque decreases rapidly. Because the engine
cylinder size and the inlet air pressure is unchanged, the
amount of exhaust gas recirculation is limited to not more
than a constant, and the amount of fuel and air mixture
heated by EGR is also limited, resulting that HCCI engine
can not work under higher loads than SI combustion. With
the increasing charge pressure, the engine's power output
range increase.
Three modes of internal EGR management were
simulated with GT-POWER coupled with CHEMKIN. An
experimental study aiming at investigating the effect of
trapped EGR on improving gasoline engine performance was
introduced in this paper. The experiment was performed on a
modified SI engine equipped with electron-hydraulic
controlled variable valve, on which an injection system was
added to the intake manifold to realize port injection. The
injection timings and durations of gasoline can be adjusted
on-line through a self-developed ECU. The main conclusions
are listed below:
• By the thermal and EGR management, three modes
of HCCI were achieved at a four stroke engine. EGR
rate distribution was simulated and analyzed by the
software; it fluctuated with different valve timing
and EGR.
• By thermal management, the SI/HCCI combustion
mode transition can not be completed within one
engine operation cycle no matter what the transition
direction and engine speed are under current
experimental conditions. By EGR management, the
SI/HCCI combustion mode transition was tested
which can be completed within one engine operation
cycle no matter what the transition direction and
engine speed.
• There are fluctuations in engine speed and brake
mean effective pressure in the transition process, no
matter what the transition direction, by the thermal
and/or EGR management. The smoothness of the
SI/HCCI combustion mode transition was improved
with spark ignition.
• The engine should operate in SI mode both at cold
starting up and heavy load, and in HCCI modes at
medium load. Heating fresh charge by thermal
management is a direct and effective way to expand
the region of CAI combustion with internal EGR.
The authors wish to show appreciation to the Ministry of
Science and Technology for its “973 Program” Project Fund
(Approval No. 2007CB210004) and to corresponding
teachers and classmates in the Guo Lab in the Department of
Internal Combustion Engine Engineering, Jilin University.
Gao Fengjun is doctorate student in College of
Automobile Engineering, Jilin University, China. The main
direction of his research is engine combustion control. E-
mail: gaofj07@mails.jlu.edu.cn Guo Yingnan is currently a
professor in College of Automobile Engineering, Jilin
University, Campus Nanling, Renmin Street, Chuangchun,
Jilin province, China. His research interests include internal
combustion engine emissions control, engine combustion
control and engine substitute fuel, etc. E-mail:
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