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Motores Térmicos

Internal Combustion Engines

•Overall engine performance

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Overall engine performance
The following figure presents a typical evolution of the indicated and effective power,
mechanical losses, and effective torque in an internal combustion engine.

This figure also shows some typical engine rotational speeds. nmin is the minimum
engine rotational speed since it is the lowest speed at which the engine is able to
work (for this speed the effective power is different from zero at full load). The
engine rotational speed where the torque is maximum is represented by n B , and
e

the speed where the effective power is maximum is n P . The maximum engine
e

speed, i. e., the speed that should not be exceeded, is represented by nmax . nemb is
the runaway speed, which is the speed that the engine could attain for zero load, if
the engine did not fail before.

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Overall engine performance

The previous curves apply to a general internal combustion engine. However,


in Diesel engines, the maximum engine rotational speed, nmax , tends to be
chosen below the rotational speed for which one would obtain the
maximum effective power, n P . As a result, one has nmax = n P .
e e

Other particular case is the case of engines used to drive electric generators,
where one usually has nmax = n P = n B .
e e

In addition to the information presented in the previous figure, it is necessary


to know the specific fuel consumption, Ce . The following slide shows three
examples where the information concerning the effective power, engine
rotational speed and specific fuel consumption are condensed in the form
of contours of the specific fuel consumption in a performance map using
as independent variables the engine rotational speed and mean effective
pressure.

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Overall engine performance

These diagrams are typical of the majority of internal combustion engines.

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Overall engine performance

The location and justification for the regions where the specific fuel consumption is
high is presented in the figure below and the next two slides.

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Overall engine performance
At low loads it is verified that the mechanical efficiency is low. For SI engines the
situation is exacerbated because the pumping losses increase markedly for low
loads, decreasing the engine efficiency quite a lot. For this reason, an engine
should not be over-rated for the task it has to perform.
At high engine rotational speeds the mechanical losses are high because these losses
vary according to a polynomial of the third degree in terms of the rotational speed.
As a consequence, at high rotational speeds the mechanical efficiency will be low,
increasing the specific fuel consumption. This effect tends to be more marked for
engines with a wide range of engine rotational speeds.
At low engine rotational speeds the thermal losses are high, because there is plenty of
time for heat exchange between the gas and the cylinder walls, and so the relative
efficiency deteriorates. The decrease of relative efficiency, ψ, may also result from
a degradation in the combustion due to a low turbulence resulting from the low
gas velocities.
The region where Diesel and SI engines differ most is at high loads, where the relative
efficiency, ψ , may have a different behaviour. At high loads, the relative efficiency
for Diesel engines deteriorates because the combustion is more and more
incomplete, and ends up later in the expansion stroke.

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Overall engine performance
For SI engines there are two distinct cases that should be analysed. If the engine has a
three-way catalyst (case of most of recent car engines), the engine control system
maintains the fuel to air ratio at stoichiometric conditions, and the relative
efficiency, ψ , varies very little. As a consequence, the minimum of the specific fuel
consumption occurs at, or very near, the full load. If the engine does not have a
three-way catalyst, at high loads the fuel to air ratio may be slightly rich, resulting
in a slightly lower relative efficiency, because the combustion is more incomplete
(there is not enough oxygen left). These differences are illustrated in the next
figure.

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Overall engine performance
Considering the arguments presented in the previous slides, it can be
concluded that the minimum specific fuel consumption occurs for a
medium engine rotational speed, and partial load. The different behaviour
of Diesel and SI engines manifest itself in the location of the minimum
specific fuel consumption, which is near to 2/3 to 3/4 of full load for Diesel
engines, and between 4/5 and 1.0 for SI engines (three-way catalyst
engines will have the minimum of Ce near unity), see next figure.

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Overall engine performance
The next figure shows the evolution of the hourly fuel consumption, Ch .

It can be seen that, contrary to the specific fuel consumption, the hourly
consumption increases with the effective power. Therefore, the contours
of hourly consumption present a shape similar to hyperboles
(corresponding to constant effective power in the diagram (n; pe ) , with
some distortion).

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Overall engine performance

An important parameter describing the adequacy of an engine to the


performance of a given task, is the Torque Increase. This variable
measures the ratio between the maximum torque and the torque
developed by the engine at the situation of maximum power. It can be
defined using the following equation:

Be
TI =
Be
Pe

or, the alternative equation:

 B 
TI =  e − 1 × 100%
 Be 
Pe

see figure on the next slide.

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Overall engine performance

The Torque Increase gives an idea of the range of engine rotational speeds for
which the engine develops an acceptable performance.

A value of TI near unity implies that the engine was designed to work at high
engine rotational speeds, near n P . A high value of TI indicates that the
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engine is prepared to work in a wide range of engine rotational speeds,


including low speeds relative to the maximum speed.

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Overall engine performance
Typical values of the Torque Increase are indicated in the next table, with should be
used with some prudence.

The values indicated in the table range from a low value of TI = 1.0, typical of engines
used to drive electric generators, or engines designed to run at constant speed, to
a high value of TI = 1.6 , typical of engines used in off-highway dump trucks.

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Overall engine performance
There are cases where there is a relationship between the load and the corresponding
engine rotational speed. Typical examples are engines used to drive an electric
generator, or engines directly coupled to a maritime propeller.

For these cases, it does not make sense to present the full performance map in the
diagram (n; pe ) , and so, the variables defining the engine performance are presented
as a function of the mean effective pressure, pe , considering that the relationship
between load and engine rotational speed is respected. A typical example is presented
in the figure above.

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Overall engine performance
Aircraft engines

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Overall engine performance
Aircraft engines

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Bibliography
Bibliography
• Chapter 3, section 3.8
“Motores de Combustão Interna – uma abordagem
termodinâmica”
J. M. C. Mendes Lopes, Folhas AEIST, 2003

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