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Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained

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Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained

Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained






Billed as the Next Big Thing for the gasoline engine, Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) allows for diesel-like operation wherein compression, not spark, combusts lean air/gasoline mixtures for big fuel-economy gains. At least, that?s the theory. Volatile and complex to manage, HCCI?s useful operating window?and efficiency improvements?is limited to low loads: idle or cruising on the highway. Higher rpm and higher engine loads require HCCI engines to revert to spark ignition, an unpredictable, complex process.
For years, HCCI?s challenges have meant that production applications have eluded industry juggernauts such as Hyundai, General Motors, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. Now, tiny Mazda, the Japanese automaker that has just 2 percent of the global car market, says it will put a compression-ignition gas engine on sale by 2019. Mazda?s Skyactiv-X engine technically doesn?t use HCCI, though, trading that acronym for SPCCI, or Spark Plug Controlled Compression Ignition. Verbiage aside, the end result is the same, compression ignition of a lean air/fuel mixture. Here?s how it works. Nerd alert!?it?s complicated.

To Recap, This Is How Engines Work
Understanding Skyactiv-X is easier with a background in the ?suck, squeeze, bang, blow? of the four-stroke gasoline engine?s Otto combustion cycle, a diesel?s operation, and finally HCCI. Let?s begin with the gas engine, which mixes air and fuel during the intake stroke (piston moving down in the cylinder) before igniting it at the end of the compression stroke (piston moving up in the cylinder) using the spark plug. Bang! The power stroke begins, sending the piston back down, transferring the energy of that burning fuel to the crankshaft, spinning the engine. When the piston rises again, the exhaust valve opens and combustion byproducts are pushed out of the chamber and the cycle restarts. A diesel, on the other hand, ingests and compresses only air during its intake and compression strokes. Combustion is timed not to spark?diesels have no spark plugs?but to the injection of fuel at the end of the compression stroke, which combusts due to the presence of hotter gas created by higher compression in the cylinder. An HCCI engine sits somewhere in between. Although it marries its air/gasoline mixture during the intake stroke as in an Otto-cycle engine, that mix spontaneously combusts due to compression like a diesel.
Mazda?s SPCCI breaks from the experimental HCCI engines that bigger automakers have demonstrated (but never put into production) in that it employs a spark plug to control combustion events. Starting with the intake stroke, an ultralean air/fuel mixture is introduced to the cylinder. The air/fuel ratio varies but is always far greater than stoichiometric, or the ideal 14.7:1 air/fuel ratio, and so lean that it cannot be ignited by spark?hence the need for compression ignition. A baffle on the intake port introduces swirl to the combustion chamber, making the primary air/fuel mixture hug ...
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Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained Mazda?s Gasoline Skyactiv-X SPCCI Engine Explained

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Source of news: caranddriver
Source of publication: 07-09-2017 21:33
visto: 38

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