Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a low temperature combustion strategy that simultaneously improves fuel efficiency and lowers engine-out NOx emissions. Unfortunately, broad usage of HCCI is hampered by combustion instabilities and a limited operation envelope. To help understand these limitations, this paper treats individual cylinders in a production four-cylinder engine as dynamical systems that iterate CA90 (the crank angle where 90% of net heat release is achieved) cycle-to-cycle as the engine operates in an unboosted, negative valve overlap HCCI combustion mode. This approach is shown to provide qualitative understanding of the stability limit bifurcation behavior, while also enabling quantitative cycle-to-cycle predictions of combustion phasing across a wide variety of transient and steady-state conditions, right up to complete misfire.

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