Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Mahdi Shahbakhti


For the past three decades the automotive industry is facing two main conflicting challenges to improve fuel economy and meet emissions standards. This has driven the engineers and researchers around the world to develop engines and powertrain which can meet these two daunting challenges.

Focusing on the internal combustion engines there are very few options to enhance their performance beyond the current standards without increasing the price considerably. The Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine technology is one of the combustion techniques which has the potential to partially meet the current critical challenges including CAFE standards and stringent EPA emissions standards. HCCI works on very lean mixtures compared to current SI engines, resulting in very low combustion temperatures and ultra-low NOx emissions. These engines when controlled accurately result in ultra-low soot formation. On the other hand HCCI engines face a problem of high unburnt hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions. This technology also faces acute combustion controls problem, which if not dealt properly with yields highly unfavorable operating conditions and exhaust emissions.

This thesis contains two main parts. One part deals in developing an HCCI experimental setup and the other focusses on developing a grey box modelling technique to control HCCI exhaust gas emissions. The experimental part gives the complete details on modification made on the stock engine to run in HCCI mode. This part also comprises details and specifications of all the sensors, actuators and other auxiliary parts attached to the conventional SI engine in order to run and monitor the engine in SI mode and future SI-HCCI mode switching studies.

In the latter part around 600 data points from two different HCCI setups for two different engines are studied. A grey-box model for emission prediction is developed. The grey box model is trained with the use of 75% data and the remaining data is used for validation purpose. An average of 70% increase in accuracy for predicting engine performance is found while using the grey-box over an empirical (black box) model during this study. The grey-box model provides a solution for the difficulty faced for real time control of an HCCI engine. The grey-box model in this thesis is the first study in literature to develop a control oriented model for predicting HCCI engine emissions for control.

Included in

Engineering Commons