A High-Energy Continuous Discharge Ignition System for Dilute Engine Applications 2013-01-1628
SwRI has developed the DCO® ignition system, a unique continuous discharge system that allows for variable duration/energy events in SI engines. The system uses two coils connected by a diode and a multi-striking controller to generate a continuous current flow through the spark plug of variable duration. A previous publication demonstrated the ability of the DCO system to improve EGR tolerance using low energy coils. In this publication, the work is extended to high current (≻ 300 mA/high energy (≻ 200 mJ) coils and compared to several advanced ignition systems. The results from a 4-cylinder, MPI application demonstrate that the higher current/higher energy coils offer an improvement over the lower energy coils. The engine was tested at a variety of speed and load conditions operating at stoichiometric air-fuel ratios with gasoline and EGR dilution. In most every case, increasing the coil energy and using a continuous discharge allowed for a significant expansion in the dilution tolerance of the engine. The resulting dilution tolerance enabled an improvement in fuel consumption through typical dilution mechanisms - a reduction in knock, pumping work and heat transfer.