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Technical Paper

Infrared Borescopic Analysis of Ignition and Combustion Variability in a Heavy-Duty Natural-Gas Engine

Optical imaging diagnostics of combustion are most often performed in the visible spectral band, in part because camera technology is most mature in this region, but operating in the infrared (IR) provides a number of benefits. These benefits include access to emission lines of relevant chemical species (e.g. water, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide) and obviation of image intensifiers (avoiding reduced spatial resolution and increased cost). High-speed IR in-cylinder imaging and image processing were used to investigate the relationships between infrared images, quantitative image-derived metrics (e.g. location of the flame centroid), and measurements made with in-cylinder pressure transducers (e.g. coefficient of variation of mean effective pressure). A 9.7-liter, inline-six, natural-gas-fueled engine was modified to enable exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and provide borescopic optical access to one cylinder for two high-speed infrared cameras.
Technical Paper

Infrared Borescopic Evaluation of High-Energy and Long-Duration Ignition Systems for Lean/Dilute Combustion in Heavy-Duty Natural-Gas Engines

Natural gas (NG) is attractive for heavy-duty (HD) engines for reasons of cost stability, emissions, and fuel security. NG cannot be reliably compression-ignited, but conventional gasoline ignition systems are not optimized for NG and are challenged to ignite mixtures that are lean or diluted with exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR). NG ignition is particularly challenging in large-bore engines, where completing combustion in the available time is more difficult. Using two high-speed infrared (IR) cameras with borescopic access to one cylinder of an HD NG engine, the effect of ignition system on the early flame-kernel development and cycle-to-cycle variability (CCV) was investigated. Imaging in the IR yielded strong signals from water emission lines, which located the flame front and burned-gas regions and obviated image intensifiers. A 9.7-liter, six-cylinder engine was modified to enable exhaust-gas recirculation and to provide optical access.