Homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) provides improved efficiency and emissions relative to current engine technologies. One of the barriers to implementing HCCI on production engines is the development of a robust control strategy to transition from traditional spark-ignition (SI) mode to HCCI mode and back. This paper presents such a strategy, based on the control of combustion phasing using fuel injection timing during the mode switch from SI to HCCI. The controller is based on a cycle-by-cycle combustion model developed in previous work. In order to obtain a state estimator for both modes, the model is linearized around operating points corresponding to the steady-states before (SI) and after (HCCI) the switch. The linearized HCCI model is used to synthesize a closed-loop controller to track a desired combustion phasing, with fuel injection timing as the controlled input. The control strategy is tested on a single-cylinder HCCI engine with direct injection. Experimental results at different operating points show that the controller is able to maintain a desirable phasing transient during the mode switch, prevent cycles with very early or late phasing and enable smooth transitions with minimal load fluctuations.

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