Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-37-0035
2020-06-30

Analysis of the Combustion Process of SI Engines Equipped with Non-Conventional Ignition System Architecture 2020-37-0035

The use of lean or ultra-lean ratios is an efficient and proven strategy to reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. However, the lower fuel concentration in the cylinder hinders the mixture ignition, requiring greater energy to start the combustion. The prechamber is an efficient method to provide high energy favoring the ignition process. It presents the potential to reduce the emission levels and the fuel consumption, operating with lean burn mixtures and expressive combustion stability.
In this paper the analysis of the combustion process of SI engines equipped with an innovative architecture and operating in different injection modes was described. In particular, the effect of the prechamber ignition on the engine stability and the efficiency was investigated in stoichiometric and lean-burn operation conditions. The activity was carried out in two parts.
In the first part the investigation was performed in a research small direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine, running at 2000 rpm WOT, and fueled with Methane. The combustion process was studied using optical diagnostics.
Methane was injected both in the prechamber and in the main chamber through the port fuel injection (PFI) mode. The ignition was obtained with a properly designed fueled prechamber prototype. It was equipped with a gas direct injector, used to inject the fuel into the prechamber, and a spark plug used to ignite the mixture. The gaseous fuel in the main chamber was ignited by the plasma jets coming from the prechamber. The combustion of the prechamber mixture generates four plasma jets that quickly ignite the mixture into the combustion chamber, and the flame speed is much faster than the traditional ignition. The optical data were correlated with the engine performance and indicated measurements that showed an increase of the Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) and the reduction of the Coefficient of Variation (CoV).
In the second part, the optimization of the gasoline combustion by means of a passive prechamber was performed. The investigation was carried out in a commercial small SI engine at 2000 rpm, fueled with gasoline in PFI mode and equipped with the same prechamber used in the first part of the activity. But in this case the prechamber works in passive mode. During the compression stroke, the lean mixture (air-gasoline) formed in the main chamber, by the port fuel injection of the gasoline, is forced into the prechamber by interconnection orifices. There is no injection into the prechamber.
The IMEP and the heat release rate allowed the evaluation of the engine performances. The regulated gaseous emissions were measured as well as the particle, number and size. In order to have the same peak pressure in motored condition for the prechamber and the standard ignition condition, WOT and partial load (PL) were chosen, respectively. The results indicated that both performance and emissions were strongly influenced by the prechamber.
The use of lean or ultra-lean ratios is an efficient and proven strategy to reduce fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. The literatures indicate that lean burn mixtures improve the engine thermal efficiency by improving the combustion quality, reducing the heat transfer losses and increasing the possibility of apply higher compression ratios. However, the lower fuel concentration in the cylinder hinders the mixture ignition, requiring greater energy to start the combustion. Several methods to provide high energy have been studied to favor the ignition process. Among them, the prechamber ignition system presents the potential to reduce the emission levels and the fuel consumption, operating with lean burn mixtures and expressive combustion stability. In this paper the analysis of the combustion process of SI engines equipped with an innovative architecture and operating in different injection modes was described. In particular, the effect of the prechamber ignition on the engine stability and the efficiency was investigated in stoichiometric and lean-burn operation conditions. The activity was carried out in two parts.
In the first part the investigation was carried out in a research small direct injection spark ignition (DISI) engine fueled with Methane. The engine runs at 2000 rpm and at wide open throttle (WOT).
The combustion process was studied using optical diagnostics that permitted a deep insight into the fundamental processes such as flow development, fuel injection, and combustion process.
Methane was injected both in the prechamber and in the main chamber through the port fuel injection (PFI) mode. The ignition was obtained with a properly designed fueled prechamber prototype. It was equipped with a gas direct injector, used to inject the fuel into the prechamber, and a spark plug used to ignite the mixture. The gaseous fuel in the main chamber was ignited by the plasma jets coming from the prechamber. Significant information about the flame propagation in terms of the velocity and the radius were obtained. The combustion of the prechamber mixture generates four plasma jets that quickly ignite the mixture into the combustion chamber, and the flame speed is much faster than the traditional ignition. The optical data were correlated with the engine performance and indicated measurements that showed an increase of the Indicated Mean Effective Pressure (IMEP) and the reduction of the Coefficient of Variation (CoV).
In the second part, the optimization of the gasoline combustion by means of a passive prechamber was performed. The investigation was carried out in a commercial small SI engine at 2000 rpm, fueled with gasoline in PFI mode and equipped with the same prechamber used in the first part of the activity. But in this case the prechamber works in passive mode. During the compression stroke, the lean mixture (air-gasoline) formed in the main chamber, by the port fuel injection of the gasoline, is forced into the prechamber by interconnection orifices. Nothing injection occurs in the prechamber/There is no injection into the prechamber.
The IMEP and the heat release rate allowed the evaluation of the engine performances. The regulated gaseous emissions were measured as well as the particle, number and size. In order to have the same peak pressure in motored condition for the prechamber and the standard ignition condition, WOT and partial load (PL) were chosen, respectively. The results indicated that both performance and emissions were strongly influenced by the prechamber.

SAE MOBILUS

Subscribers can view annotate, and download all of SAE's content. Learn More »

Access SAE MOBILUS »

Members save up to 18% off list price.
Login to see discount.
Special Offer: Download multiple Technical Papers each year? TechSelect is a cost-effective subscription option to select and download 12-100 full-text Technical Papers per year. Find more information here.
X