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Technical Paper

Investigation of Flow Conditions and Tumble near the Spark Plug in a DI Optical Engine at Ignition

Abstract Tumble motion plays a significant role in modern spark-ignition engines in that it promotes mixing of air/fuel for homogeneous combustion and increases the flame propagation speed for higher thermal efficiency and lower combustion variability. Cycle-by-cycle variations in the flow near the spark plug introduce variability to the initial flame kernel development, stretching, and convection, and this variability is carried over to the entire combustion process. The design of current direct-injection spark-ignition engines aims to have a tumble flow in the vicinity of the spark plug at the time of ignition. This work investigates how the flow condition changes in the vicinity of the spark plug throughout the late compression stroke via high-speed imaging of a long ignition discharge arc channel and its stretching, and via flow field measurement by particle imaging velocimetry.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Combustion Knock Distribution in a Boosted Methane: Gasoline Blended Fueled SI Engine

Abstract The characteristics of combustion knock metrics over a number of engine cycles can be an essential reference for knock detection and control in internal combustion engines. In a Spark-Ignition (SI) engine, the stochastic nature of combustion knock has been shown to follow a log-normal distribution. However, this has been derived from experiments done with gasoline only and applicability of log-normal distribution to dual-fuel combustion knock has not been explored. To evaluate the effectiveness and accuracy of log-normal distributed knock model for methane-gasoline blended fuel, a sweep of methane-gasoline blend ratio was conducted at two different engine speeds. Experimental investigation was conducted on a single cylinder prototype SI engine equipped with two fuel systems: a direct injection (DI) system for gasoline and a port fuel injection (PFI) system for methane.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study on the Interaction between Flow and Spark Plug Orientation on Ignition Energy and Duration for Different Electrode Designs

Abstract The effect of flow direction towards the spark plug electrodes on ignition parameters is analyzed using an innovative spark aerodynamics fixture that enables adjustment of the spark plug gap orientation and plug axis tilt angle with respect to the incoming flow. The ignition was supplied by a long discharge high energy 110 mJ coil. The flow was supplied by compressed air and the spark was discharged into the flow at varying positions relative to the flow. The secondary ignition voltage and current were measured using a high speed (10MHz) data acquisition system, and the ignition-related metrics were calculated accordingly. Six different electrode designs were tested. These designs feature different positions of the electrode gap with respect to the flow and different shapes of the ground electrodes. The resulting ignition metrics were compared with respect to the spark plug ground strap orientation and plug axis tilt angle about the flow direction.
Journal Article

Investigation of Impacts of Spark Plug Orientation on Early Flame Development and Combustion in a DI Optical Engine

Abstract The influence of spark plug orientation on early flame kernel development is investigated in an optically accessible gasoline direct injection homogeneous charged spark ignition engine. This investigation provides visual understanding and statistical characterization of how spark plug orientation impacts the early flame kernel and thus combustion phasing and engine performance. The projected images of flame kernel were captured through natural flame chemiluminescence with a high-speed camera at 10,000 frames per second, and the ignition secondary discharge voltage and current were measured with a 10 MHz DAQ system. The combustion metrics were determined using measurement from a piezo-electric in-cylinder pressure transducer and real-time engine combustion analyzer. Three spark plug orientations with two different electrode designs were studied. The captured images of the flame were processed to yield 2D and 1D probability distributions.
Technical Paper

Air Charge and Residual Gas Fraction Estimation for a Spark-Ignition Engine Using In-Cylinder Pressure

An accurate estimation of cycle-by-cycle in-cylinder mass and the composition of the cylinder charge is required for spark-ignition engine transient control strategies to obtain required torque, Air-Fuel-Ratio (AFR) and meet engine pollution regulations. Mass Air Flow (MAF) and Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensors have been utilized in different control strategies to achieve these targets; however, these sensors have response delay in transients. As an alternative to air flow metering, in-cylinder pressure sensors can be utilized to directly measure cylinder pressure, based on which, the amount of air charge can be estimated without the requirement to model the dynamics of the manifold.
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.