What is Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) | Working Operation
Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)
In internal combustion engines, Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI), also known as Petrol Direct Injection or Direct Petrol Injection or Spark Ignited Direct Injection (SIDI) or Fuel Stratified Injection (FSI), is a variant of fuel injection employed in modern two-stroke and four-stroke gasoline engines. The gasoline is highly pressurized, and injected via a common rail fuel line directly into the combustion chamber of each cylinder, as opposed to conventional multi-point fuel injection that happens in the intake tract, or cylinder port.
The major advantages of a GDI engine are increased fuel efficiency and high power output. Emissions levels can also be more accurately controlled with the GDI system. The cited gains are achieved by the precise control over the amount of fuel and injection timings that are varied according to engine load. In addition, there are no throttling losses in some GDI engines, when compared to a conventional fuel-injected or carbureted engine, which greatly improves efficiency, and reduces ‘pumping losses’ in engines without a throttle plate. Engine speed is controlled by the engine control unit/engine management system (EMS), which regulates fuel injection function and ignition timing, instead of having a throttle plate that restricts the incoming air supply. Adding this function to the EMS requires considerable enhancement of its processing and memory, as direct injection plus the engine speed management must have very precise algorithms for good performance and drivability.
The engine management system continually chooses among three combustion modes: ultra-lean burn, stoichiometric, and full power output.
Ultra lean burn or stratified charge mode is used for light-load running conditions, at constant or reducing road speeds, where no acceleration is required. The fuel is not injected at the intake stroke but rather at the latter stages of the compression stroke. The combustion takes place in a cavity on the piston’s surface which has a toroidal or an ovoidal shape, and is placed either in the centre (for central injector), or displaced to one side of the piston that is closer to the injector. The cavity creates the swirl effect so that the small amount of air-fuel mixture is optimally placed near the spark plug. This stratified charge is surrounded mostly by air and residual gases, which keeps the fuel and the flame away from the cylinder walls. Decreased combustion temperature allows for lowest emissions and heat losses and increases air quantity by reducing dilation, which delivers additional power. This technique enables the use of ultra-lean mixtures that would be impossible with carburettors or conventional fuel injection.
Stoichiometric mode is used for moderate load conditions. Fuel is injected during the intake stroke, creating a homogeneous fuel-air mixture in the cylinder. From the stoichiometric ratio, an optimum burn results in a clean exhaust emission, further cleaned by the catalytic converter.
Full power mode is used for rapid acceleration and heavy loads (as when climbing a hill). The air-fuel mixture is homogeneous and the ratio is slightly richer than stoichiometric, which helps prevent detonation (pinging). The fuel is injected during the intake stroke.
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