An Automotive Engineer with more than 35 years’ industry experience. He is part of Shell’s Engine and Vehicle Technology team and has been working with Shell V-Power fuels since the early days of the development programme.
Just as you and I need our “five a day” to stay healthy, your car or bike’s engine also needs a good diet.
Glenn Wilson is an Automotive Engineer who has worked for Shell for over 25 years. His wealth of experience has made him something of an engine nutritionist, and he knows exactly what their diets should consist of.
The key to developing our best performance fuel is the understanding of what goes on right at the heart of the engine: the interaction between the fuel and the engine components. You want your car to perform and fuel choice can play a big role.
But how does Shell V-Power Nitro+ work? We asked Glenn to guide us through the anatomy of an engine.
The Combustion Chamber
The heart and lungs of the engine, where air is sucked in and combined with fuel before being tumbled, swirled, compressed, burnt and then released to exhaust. It’s known as the four-stroke Otto cycle.
In petrol engines, the spark plug initiates combustion giving a smooth burn that develops pressure, forcing the piston down. However, under high pressure and temperature some petrol fuels can show a tendency to combust spontaneously. This can result in a ‘knocking’ or ‘pinking’ sound as small erratic bursts of combustion occur. As a result, an engine may suffer from depleted performance and in the most severe cases permanent damage can occur. Petrol’s octane rating is a measure of how well the fuel can resist this knocking.
“Timing the combustion is critical to effective energy transfer from the burning fuel to the engine. A higher octane quality allows for an earlier spark, which means the piston can be pushed down more effectively and for longer,” says Wilson.