The present paper describes the effects of some air-path operating parameters on the performance of a modern common-rail diesel engine when it runs under Low Temperature Combustion (LTC) conditions. Aim of the experimental work was to explore the potential of the control of each parameter on the improvement of LTC application to the modern LD diesel engines for passenger cars, in order to meet future NOx emissions limits avoiding penalties in fuel consumption and drivability. In particular, the effects on LTC performance of the following operating parameters were analysed: intake air temperature, exhaust EGR cooler temperature, intake pipe pressure, exhaust pipe pressure and swirl ratio. Tests are carried out with a single-cylinder research diesel engine derived from FIAT 1.9 JTD 16V Multi-Jet in the EURO4 version. Results analysis have shown a significant influence of some examined parameters on the improvement of EGR tolerability, that has led to sensitive NOx reduction, within fixed limits in fuel consumption and smoke. On the contrary, engine behaviour is insensitive to the variation of the other air-path parameters.

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