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Technical Paper

The Coaxial Cavity Resonator as a RF IC Engine Ignition Source

The Quarter Wave Coaxial Cavity Resonator (QWCCR) plasma igniter is designed, from previous theoretical work, as an ignition source for an internal combustion engine. The present research has explored the implementation of the QWCCR into an internal combustion (IC) engine. The QWCCR design parameters of inner conductor length, loop geometry, and loop position were varied for two igniters of differing operating frequency. Variations of the QWCCR radio frequency (RF) parameters, as a function of engine geometry, were studied by placing the igniter in a combustion chamber and manually varying the crank position. Three identical igniters were fitted with dielectric inserts and the parameters were studied before and after ignition was sustained in a twin-cylinder engine. Optimal resonator geometries were determined. Radio frequency parameter invariance was found with respect to crank angle and piston distance. The first successful IC engine ignition using a QWCCR was achieved.
Technical Paper

Fuel Composition Effects in a CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas Operation

Low-carbon fuels such as natural gas (NG) have the potential to lower the demand of petroleum-based fuels, reduce engine-out emissions, and increase IC engine thermal efficiency. One of the most rapid and efficient use of NG in the transportation sector would be as a direct replacement of the diesel fuel in compression ignition (CI) engines without any major engine modifications to the combustion chamber such as new pistons and/or engine head. An issue is the large variation in NG composition with the location and age of the gas well across U.S., which would affect engine operation, as well as the technology integration with emissions after treatment systems. This study used a conventional CI engine modified for spark ignition (SI) NG operation to investigate the effects of methane and a C1-C4 alkane blend on main combustion parameters like in-cylinder pressure, apparent heat release rate, IMEP, etc.
Technical Paper

CAD/CFD/CAE Modelling of Wankel Engines for UAV

The Wankel engine for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) applications delivers advantages vs. piston engines of simplicity, smoothness, compactness and high power-to-weight ratio. The use of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) and computer aided engineering (CAE) tools may permit to address the major downfalls of these engines, namely the slow and incomplete combustion due to the low temperatures and the rotating combustion chambers. The paper proposes the results of CAD/CFD/CAE modelling of a Wankel engine featuring tangential jet ignition to produce faster and more complete combustion.
Technical Paper

A Naturally Aspirated Four Stroke Racing Engine with One Intake and One Exhaust Horizontal Rotary Valve per Cylinder and Central Direct Injection and Ignition by Spark or Jet

The paper discusses the benefits of a four stroke engine having one intake and one exhaust rotary valve. The rotary valve has a speed of rotation half the crankshaft and defines an open passage that may permit up to extremely sharp opening or closing and very large gas exchange areas. The dual rotary valve design is applied to a racing engine naturally aspirated V-four engine of 1000cc displacement, gasoline fuelled with central direct injection and spark ignition. The engine is then modeled by using a 1D engine & gas dynamics simulation software package to assess the potentials of the solution. The improved design produces much larger power densities than the version of the engines with traditional poppet valves revving at higher speeds, with reduced frictional losses, and with larger gas exchange areas while also improving the fuel conversion efficiency thanks to the sharpness of opening or closing events.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of Dielectrics for Use in Quarter Wave Coaxial Resonators

Current research has involved manipulating the ignition inside of the combustion chamber. It has been demonstrated that an RF plasma flame can be generated from microwaves in a Quarter Wave Coaxial Cavity Resonator (QWCCR). By using this method, it may become possible for researchers to improve combustion and ignition characteristics of a modern internal combustion engine. Filling a plasma cavity with an appropriate dielectric medium can both alter electromagnetic properties and provide a suitable protective barrier to the harsh condition inside of a combustion cylinder. It is the purpose of this paper is to investigate both the operating frequency and quality factor of dielectric-filled cavities, as well as to suggest dielectrics that would be suitable for such an application.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 1: Combustion Behavior

Internal combustion engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) provide additional information in the quest for understanding the fundamental in-cylinder combustion phenomena. However, most optical engines have flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber to optimize the visualization process, which is different, for example, from the traditional re-entrant bowl in compression ignition engines. A conventional heavy-duty direct-injection compression ignition engine was converted to spark ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug in both optical and metal setups to investigate the effect of the bowl geometry on flame propagation. Experimental data from steady-state lean-burn conditions was used to develop and validate a 3D CFD model of the engine. Numerical simulation results show that flame propagation in the radial direction was similar for both combustion chambers despite their different geometries.
Technical Paper

CFD Simulation of Metal and Optical Configuration of a Heavy-Duty CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas. Part 2: In-Cylinder Flow and Emissions

Internal combustion diesel engines with optical access (a.k.a. optical engines) increase the fundamental understanding of combustion phenomena. However, optical access requirements result in most optical engines having a different in-cylinder geometry compared with the conventional diesel engine, such as a flat bowl-in-piston combustion chamber. This study investigated the effect of the bowl geometry on the flow motion and emissions inside a conventional heavy-duty direct-injection diesel engine that can operate in both metal and optical-access configurations. This engine was converted to natural-gas spark-ignition operation by replacing the fuel injector with a spark plug and adding a low-pressure gas injector in the intake manifold for fuel delivery, then operated at steady-state lean-burn conditions. A 3D CFD model based on the experimental data predicted that the different bowl geometry did not significantly affect in-cylinder emissions distribution.