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Technical Paper

Impact of Ignition Energy Phasing and Spark Gap on Combustion in a Homogenous Direct Injection Gasoline SI Engine Near the EGR Limit

For spark-ignition gasoline engines operating under the wide speed and load conditions required for light duty vehicles, ignition quality limits the ability to minimize fuel consumption and NOx emissions via dilution under light and part load conditions. In addition, during transients including tip-outs, high levels of dilution can occur for multiple combustion events before either the external exhaust gas can be adjusted and cleared from the intake or cam phasing can be adjusted for correct internal dilution. Further improvement and a thorough understanding of the impact of the ignition system on combustion near the dilution limit will enable reduced fuel consumption and robust transient operation. To determine and isolate the effects of multiple parameters, a variable output ignition system (VOIS) was developed and tested on a 3.5L turbocharged V6 homogeneous charge direct-injection gasoline engine with two spark plug gaps and three ignition settings.
Journal Article

The Impact of Spark Discharge Pattern on Flame Initiation in a Turbulent Lean and Dilute Mixture in a Pressurized Combustion Vessel

An operational scheme with fuel-lean and exhaust gas dilution in spark-ignited engines increases thermal efficiency and decreases NOx emission, while these operations inherently induce combustion instability and thus large cycle-to-cycle variation in engine. In order to stabilize combustion variations, the development of an advanced ignition system is becoming critical. To quantify the impact of spark-ignition discharge, ignitability tests were conducted in an optically accessible combustion vessel to characterize the flame kernel development of lean methane-air mixture with CO₂ simulating exhaust diluent. A shrouded fan was used to generate turbulence in the vicinity of J-gap spark plug and a Variable Output Ignition System (VOIS) capable of producing a varied set of spark discharge patterns was developed and used as an ignition source. The main feature of the VOIS is to vary the secondary current during glow discharge including naturally decaying and truncated with multiple strikes.