A New Method to Determine the Impact of Individual Field Quantities on Cycle-to-Cycle Variations in a Spark-Ignited Gas Engine

Clemens Gößnitzer*, Shawn Givler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cycle-to-cycle variations (CCV) in spark-ignited (SI) engines impose performance limitations and in the extreme limit can lead to very strong, potentially damaging cycles. Thus, CCV force sub-optimal engine operating conditions. A deeper understanding of CCV is key to enabling control strategies, improving engine design and reducing the negative impact of CCV on engine operation. This paper presents a new simulation strategy which allows investigation of the impact of individual physical quantities (e.g., flow field or turbulence quantities) on CCV separately. As a first step, multi-cycle unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (uRANS) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of a spark-ignited natural gas engine are performed. For each cycle, simulation results just prior to each spark timing are taken. Next, simulation results from different cycles are combined: one quantity, e.g., the flow field, is extracted from a snapshot of one given cycle, and all other quantities are taken from a snapshot from a different cycle. Such a combination yields a new snapshot. With the combined snapshot, the simulation is continued until the end of combustion. The results obtained with combined snapshots show that the velocity field seems to have the highest impact on CCV. Turbulence intensity, quantified by the turbulent kinetic energy and turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate, has a similar value for all snapshots. Thus, their impact on CCV is small compared to the flow field. This novel methodology is very flexible and allows investigation of the sources of CCV which have been difficult to investigate in the past.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4136
Number of pages14
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021


  • CFD
  • Combustion
  • Cycle-to-cycle
  • RANS simulation
  • Variations internal combustion engine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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