The antithetical goals of reducing fuel consumption and emission levels, improving torque and power is currently achieved through the so-called downsizing, consisting in engine displacement reduction connected to a higher compression ratio. This approach allows to reach a better global efficiency, thanks to supercharging with variable geometry turbine (VGT). Knock is controlled by means of Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), cooled EGR and Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) systems, together with the use of advanced sensors for the diagnostic of the combustion process.
In Istituto Motori, due to a long experience both in modelling and in engine management, including electronic control and fluid-dynamic field, research activities on the following topics are in progress:
- study of the formation process of the air/gasoline mixture (in relation to the choice of the position and of the type of injectors, to the air motion depending on the geometries of intake ducts and combustion chamber) through the use of three-dimensional proprietary and open source CFD codes;
- study of the control strategies of injection (single or multiple), ignition and EGR;
- study and realisation of prototypes for the measurement of the ionization current between the spark plug electrodes, for the purposes of combustion and knock diagnostics and ignition control;
- study and realisation of electro-hydraulic and electro-magnetic VVA prototypes;
- study of heavy duty engines fuelled with NG/H2 blends on European Transient Cycle (ETC);
- dual fuel technology with homogeneous air/fuel charge ignited by a diesel pilot injection.