Factors Influencing Spark Behavior in a Spray-Guided Direct-Injected Engine 2006-01-3376
The spark process has previously been shown to heavily influence ignition stability, particularly in direct-injected gasoline engines. Despite this influence, few studies have addressed spark behavior in direct-injected engines. This study examines the role of environmental factors on the behavior of the spark. Through measurement of the spark duration, by way of the ignition current trace, several observations are made on the influence of external factors on the behavior of the spark. Changing the level of nitrogen in the cylinder (to simulate EGR), the level of wetting and velocity imparted by the spray, the ignition dwell time and the orientation of the ground strap, observations are made as to which conditions are likely to produce unfavorable (shorter) spark durations. Through collection of a statistically significant number of sample spark lengths under each condition, histograms have been assembled and compared under each case. In addition, visual observations from high-speed laser-based imaging provide insight into why certain conditions are better or worse than others in providing a more robust spark.