Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-24-0053

The Effects of a Radio Frequency Ignition System on the Efficiency and the Exhaust Emissions of a Spark-Ignition Engine 2013-24-0053

Plasma sustained ignition systems are promising alternatives to conventional spark plugs for those applications where the conditions inside the combustion chamber are more severe for spark plug operation, like internal combustion engines with high compression ratio values and with intake charge dilution.
This paper shows the results of an experimental activity performed on a spark ignition engine equipped alternatively with a conventional spark plug and a radio frequency sustained plasma ignition system (RFSI). Results showed that RFSI improved engine efficiency, extended the lean limit of combustion and reduced cycle-by-cycle variability, compared with the conventional spark plug at all test conditions. The adoption of the RFSI also had a positive impact on carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbon emissions, whereas nitrogen oxide emissions increased due to higher temperatures attained in the combustion chamber.


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