An Investigation of the Impact of Cycle-to-Cycle Variations on the Ionic Current Signal in SI Engines
The applicability of the Ionic Current sensing method in production application is severely limited by the extent of cycle-to-cycle variations in the signal trace. In an attempt to investigate the sources for these cyclic signal fluctuations, experiments were conducted on a single cylinder 4-stroke, propane-operated engine. The ionic current signal was measured at two locations. The flame development phase in the vicinity of the spark plug gap was optically monitored by means of a high-speed CCD camera. The results showed that only the second part of the Ionic Current signal is directly impacted by cyclic variations in combustion parameters. The optical results provided evidence that the characteristics of the early flame development phase have a strong impact on the features in the first part of the signal.