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Technical Paper

Boosted Current Spark Strategy for Lean Burn Spark Ignition Engines

Spark ignition systems with the capability of providing spark event with either higher current level or longer discharge duration has been developed in recent years to help IC engines towards clean combustion with higher efficiency under lean/diluted intake charge. In this research, a boosted current spark strategy was proposed to investigate the effect of spark discharge current level and discharge duration on the combustion process. Firstly, the discharge characteristics of a boosted current spark system were tested with a traditional spark plug under crossflow conditions, and results showed that the spark channel was more stable, and was stretched much longer when the discharge current was boosted. Then the boosted current strategy was used in a spark ignition engine operating under lean conditions. Boosted current was added to the spark channel with different timing, duration, and current levels.
Technical Paper

Transient Characteristics of Combustion and Emissions during Start up at Higher Cranking Speed in a PFI Engine for HEV Application

The transient characteristics of combustion and emissions during the engine start up at different higher cranking speeds for hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) applications were presented in this paper. Cycle-by-cycle analysis was done for each start up case. Intake air mass during the first several cycles decrease as the engine was cranked at higher speed. Ignition timing is delayed with higher cranking speed, which leads to an increase of exhaust temperature. For various start up cases, similar quantity of fuel is injected at the first cycle, but the ignition timing is significantly delayed to meet the acceleration requirement when cranking speed enhanced. Because of the deterioration of intake charge, the air-fuel mixture is over-enriched in the first several cycles for the cases at higher cranking speed. With cranking speed is increased, the in-cylinder residual gas fraction rises, which leads to poor combustion and decrease of mass fraction of burned fuel.
Technical Paper

A Novel Closed Loop Control based on Ionization Current in Combustion Cycle at Cold Start in a GDI Engine

As the invalidation of the oxygen sensor in the initial cycles at cold start, the engine can not operate based on the closed loop control based on oxygen sensor. And it may result in the misfire events and higher hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during this period. To solve this problem, a novel closed loop control based on ionization current in combustion cycle is proposed. The in-cylinder combustion quality is monitored by means of the ion current detection technique; meanwhile, if the misfire event is detected in the combustion cycle, the spark re-ignition is made in the current combustion cycle. In addition, to optimize the combustion and reduce HC emissions during cold start, the fuel injection quantity and ignition timing in the next cycle are adjusted based on the current ion current signal.
Technical Paper

Transient Characteristics of Cold Start Emissions from a Two-Stage Direct Injection Gasoline Engines Employing the Total Stoichiometric Ratio and Local Rich Mixture Start-up Strategy

To improve the cold start performance and to reduce the misfire occurrence at cold start, the start-up strategy of total stoichiometric ratio combined with local rich mixture was applied in the study. The effect of injection strategy (the 1st injection timing, 2nd injection timing, 1st and 2nd fuel injection proportion and ignition timing) on the cold start HC emissions in the initial 10 cycles were investigated in a Two stage direct injection (TSDI) gasoline engine. The transient HC and NO emissions in the initial 10 cycles were analyzed, when the fuels are injected in the only 1st cycle and in the followed all cycles. The transient misfiring HC emissions were compared between the single and two-stage injection modes. In addition, the unburned HC (UBHC) emissions in the 1st cycle are compared among the TSDI engine, Gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine, Port fuel injection (PFI) engine and Liquefied petroleum gaseous (LPG) engine at the stoichiometric ratio.
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

Parametric Analysis of Ignition Circuit Components on Spark Discharge Characteristics

The development of the present day spark ignition (SI) engines has imposed higher demands for on-board ignition systems. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances. In this paper, the authors studied the relationship between spark discharge characteristics and different inductive spark ignition circuit parameters with the help of a simplified circuit model. The circuit model catches the principle behavior of the spark discharge process. Simulation results obtained from the model were compared with experimental data for model verification. Different circuit model parameters were then tuned to study the effect of those on spark discharge current and spark energy properties. The parameters studied include the ignition coil coupling coefficient, ignition coil primary and secondary inductances, secondary circuit series resistance and spark plug gap width.
Technical Paper

A Study on Combustion and Emission Characteristics of GDI Engine for HEV at Quick Start

Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines have attracted interest as automotive power-plants because of their potential advantages in down-sizing, fuel efficiency and in emissions reduction. However, GDI engines suffer from elevated unburned hydrocarbon (HC) emissions during start up process, which are sometimes worsened by misfires and partial burns. Moreover, as the engine is cranked to idle speed quickly in HEVs (Hybrid Electric Vehicle), the transients of quick starts are more dramatically than that in traditional vehicle, which challenge the optimization of combustion and emissions. In this study, test bench had been set up to investigate the GDI engine performances for ISG (Integrated Starter and Generator) HEVs during start up process. Based on the test system, cycle-controlled of the fuel injection mass, fuel injection timing and ignition timing can be obtained, as well as the cycle-resolved measurement of the HC concentrations and NO emissions.
Technical Paper

Improvement on Energy Efficiency of the Spark Ignition System

Future clean combustion engines tend to increase the cylinder charge to achieve better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions. The increase of the cylinder charge is often associated with either excessive air admission or exhaust gas recirculation, which leads to unfavorable ignition conditions at the ignition point. Advanced ignition methods and systems have progressed rapidly in recent years in order to suffice the current and future engine development, and a simple increase of energy of the inductive ignition system does not often provide the desired results from a cost-benefit point of view. Proper design of the ignition system circuit is required to achieve certain spark performances.
Technical Paper

Cyclic Variations of Argon Power Cycle Engine with Fuel of Hydrogen

The work of this paper aimed at investigating the cyclic variations of argon power cycle engine with fuel of hydrogen at lean burn operating conditions. The engine had been modified based on a 0.402 L, single-cylinder diesel engine into spark ignition engine with a port fuel injection system. The influencing factors on the cyclic variations, such as ignition timing, engine speed and compression ratio, were tested in this study. In all tests, the throttle opened at 0%, and the excess oxygen coefficient was maintained at 2.3. The results showed that as the ignition timing retards, CoVPmax and CoV(dp/dφ)max of argon power cycle engine increased, while CoVIMEP decreased firstly and increased afterward. And there is an ignition timing to make the lowest CoVIMEP, which is not consistent with MBT.
Technical Paper

Combustion and Emissions of Ethanol Fuel (E100) in a Small SI Engine

An air-cooled, four-stroke, 125 cc electronic gasoline fuel injection SI engine for motorcycles is altered to burn ethanol fuel. The effects of nozzle orifice size, fuel injection duration, spark timing and the excess air/ fuel ratio on engine power output, fuel and energy consumptions and engine exhaust emission levels are studied on an engine test bed. The results show that the maximum engine power output is increased by 5.4% and the maximum torque output is increased by 1.9% with the ethanol fuel in comparison with the baseline. At full load and 7000 r/min, HC emission is decreased by 38% and CO emission is decreased 46% on average over the whole engine speed range. However, NOx levels are increased to meet the maximum power output. The experiments of the spark timing show that the levels of HC and NOx emission are decreased markedly by the delay of spark timing.
Technical Paper

A Study of LPG Lean Burn for a Small SI Engine

This paper presents a study of LPG lean burn in a motorcycle SI engine. The lean burn limits are compared by several ways. The relations of lean burn limit with the parameters, such as engine speed, compression ratio and advanced spark ignition etc. are tested. The experimental results show that larger throttle opening, lower engine speed, earlier spark ignition timing, larger electrode gap and higher compression ratio will extend the lean burn limit of LPG. The emission of a LPG engine, especially on NOx emission, can be significantly reduced by means of the lean burn technology.