Model-based combustion duration and ignition timing prediction for combustion phasing control of a spark-ignition engine using in-cylinder pressure sensors

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Combustion phasing, which can be defined as the crank angle of fifty percent mass fraction burned (CA50), is one of the most important parameters affecting engine efficiency, torque output, and emissions. In homogeneous spark-ignition (SI) engines, ignition timing control algorithms are typically map-based with several multipliers, which requires significant calibration efforts. This work presents a framework of model-based ignition timing prediction using a computationally efficient control-oriented combustion model for the purpose of real-time combustion phasing control. Burn duration from ignition timing to CA50 (ΔθIGN-CA50) on an individual cylinder cycle-by-cycle basis is predicted by the combustion model developed in this work. The model is based on the physics of turbulent flame propagation in SI engines and contains the most important control parameters, including ignition timing, variable valve timing, air-fuel ratio, and engine load mostly affected by combination of the throttle opening position and the previous three parameters. With 64 test points used for model calibration, the developed combustion model is shown to cover wide engine operating conditions, thereby significantly reducing the calibration effort. A Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 1.7 Crank Angle Degrees (CAD) and correlation coefficient (R2) of 0.95 illustrates the accuracy of the calibrated model. On-road vehicle testing data is used to evaluate the performance of the developed model-based burn duration and ignition timing algorithm. When comparing the model predicted burn duration and ignition timing with experimental data, 83% of the prediction error falls within ±3 CAD.

Publication Title

ASME 2019 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference