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Technical Paper

The Effect of High-Power Capacitive Spark Discharge on the Ignition and Flame Propagation in a Lean and Diluted Cylinder Charge

Research studies have suggested that changes to the ignition system are required to generate a more robust flame kernel in order to secure the ignition process for the future advanced high efficiency spark-ignition (SI) engines. In a typical inductive ignition system, the spark discharge is initiated by a transient high-power electrical breakdown and sustained by a relatively low-power glow process. The electrical breakdown is characterized as a capacitive discharge process with a small quantity of energy coming mainly from the gap parasitic capacitor. Enhancement of the breakdown is a potential avenue effectively for extending the lean limit of SI engine. In this work, the effect of high-power capacitive spark discharge on the early flame kernel growth of premixed methane-air mixtures is investigated through electrical probing and optical diagnosis.
Technical Paper

Evaporation Characteristics of n-Heptane Droplet Streams in a Heated Air Channel Flow

An experimental study is presented on the evaporation of diluted droplet-laden two-phase jet flows within a heated air channel co-flow. In this study, n-heptane is pre-atomized by an ultrasonic nozzle to produce droplet cluster with a median diameter of about15μm, and a continuous cold air flow is applied to carry the fuel droplet cluster to emerge from a nozzle tube, producing a free turbulent jet of droplet stream. The droplet stream is then introduced as a central jet into a square-shaped channel with heated air co-flow for evaporation investigations. With flexibilities of the initial properties of droplet stream and surrounding conditions of channel flow, the axial evolution of droplet size is determined to characterize the evaporation behavior of n-heptane droplet stream under various boundary conditions. The equivalence ratios of droplet streams are varied by changing both the carrier-air flow rate and the fuel flow rate.
Technical Paper

Development and Evaluation of the Performance Characteristics of a Poly-Disperse Droplet Stream Generator

A specially designed generator has been developed to produce poly-disperse droplet streams: A liquid fuel (n-heptane) is metered to an ultrasonic atomizer to produce droplets, which are then carried and accelerated vertically upwards through a nozzle tube by carrier-air flow. Conditions of the streams at the nozzle exit are modulated by varying the length of nozzle tubes, the fuel and carrier-air flow rate. Optical measurement techniques such as direct photography method, schlieren photography and particle image velocimetry (PIV) are employed to characterize its performance characteristics. Effects of the nozzle tube length, the carrier-air and fuel flow rate are investigated to evaluate the performance of the generator. Longer nozzle tubes provide a better flow guidance for the carrier-air, and tend to generate streams with less and smaller droplets due to the transporting losses.