Effects of Sub-Chamber Configuration on Heat Release Rate in a Constant Volume Chamber simulating Lean-burn Natural Gas Engines 2019-32-0551
Sub-chamber is a useful device with regard to sustaining stable operation of compressed natural gas (CNG) engines under lean burn conditions. In our previous studies, we applied a sub-chamber injection system to CNG engines, in which a single injector and a spark plug are mounted in a small sub-chamber. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of the sub-chamber configuration on heat release in the main combustion chamber. 11 types of sub-chamber with different nozzle number, nozzle diameter, and sub-chamber volume were examined under a condition that pressure is 2.3 MPa, and global equivalence ratio is 0.6. When the sub-chamber with smaller nozzles are used, the penetration velocity of burned gas jet increases. In addition, the velocity also increases with an increasing sub-chamber volume. The high-speed penetration of burned gas jet shortens the period of initial flame development. This is because the high-temperature burned gas quickly reaches to side wall of main chamber, and immediately ignites lean mixtures existing in the main chamber. Consequently, combustion duration time until heat release reaches 90 % is also shortened. On the other hand, the velocity difference between the jets from sub-chambers with different nozzle numbers is small. To predict the penetration velocity, we proposed an empirical formula based on the volume, nozzle diameter and nozzle number of sub-chamber. The jet intensity evaluated from the formula shows correlations with duration times of combustion periods as well as penetration velocities of burned gas jets.