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Technical Paper

Experimental Studies on Controlled Auto-ignition (CAI) Combustion of Gasoline in a 4-Stroke Engine

This paper presents results from an experimental programme researching the in-cylinder conditions necessary to obtain gasoline Controlled Auto-ignition (CAI) combustion in a 4-stroke engine. A single-cylinder, variable compression ratio research engine is used for all experiments. Investigations concentrate on establishing the CAI operating range with regard to Air/Fuel ratio and Exhaust Gas Re-circulation (EGR) and their effect on ignition timing, combustion rate and variability, ISFC, and engine-out emissions, such as NOx, CO, and unburned HC. Comprehensive maps for each of the measured variables are presented and in relevant cases, these results are compared to those obtained during normal spark-ignition operation so that the benefits of CAI combustion can be more fully appreciated.
Technical Paper

Matching Ignition System Multi-Spark Calibration to the Burn-Rate of an Engine to Extend Ignitability Limits

“Multi-Spark” refers to the charging and discharging of an ignition coil multiple times during a single combustion event. This paper attempts to use multi-sparking to achieve an effect similar to a long duration spark to enhance combustion during slow burn conditions. Although multi-sparking is more typical of capacitive discharge (CDI) ignition systems, this paper discusses the multi-sparking of Kettering ignition systems to achieve the benefits of multi-sparking without CDIs' cost, packaging, complexity and reliability issues. The goal of the multi-spark calibration is to successfully initiate flame kernal development with the first spark discharge and add supplemental energy fast enough through restriking to prevent the flame kernal from quenching.
Technical Paper

The Search for a Truly International Radio Frequency Interference Standard

SAE J551a (radio interference from ignition systems) was the first Standard revised specifically for compatibility with international requirements. Subsequent revisions (presently 551g) have made it significantly more stringent than the standard used overseas. U.S. automotive manufacturers have voluntarily designed vehicles to conform since 1962, without the necessity of Federal regulation. Liaison with Canada resulted in the use of the SAE Standard when RFI regulations were promulgated. Twenty years international negotiations have resulted in a common concept for North American and world requirements. The RFI Subcommittee will continue harmonization toward the objective of achieving a worldwide standard.
Technical Paper

Turbocharging the 1983½-1984 Ford 2.3L OHC Engine

Successful application of turbocharger technology to the Ford 2.3L OHC engine requires management of thermal loading. The 1979/1980 2.3L draw-thru carbureted engine was octane and spark advance limited, requiring calibration to worse case 91 RON conditions. Since no adaptive calibration control was possible relatively late ignition timing compromised engine performance. To improve performance, driveability, fuel economy and emission control, work was initiated in mid 1980 on a blow-thru electronic fuel injected engine scheduled for 1983½ production. Program assumptions were issued specifying a tuned EFI blow-thru inlet system, exhaust manifold mounted AiResearch T03 turbocharger with integral wastegate and 8.0:1 compression ratio with a dished piston. Also included were base engine revisions to accommodate increased thermal and mechanical loads.
Technical Paper

Correlation of Air Fuel Ratio with Ionization Signal Metrics in a Multicylinder Spark Ignited Engine

Accurate individual cylinder Air Fuel Ratio (AFR) feedback provide opportunities for improved engine performance and reduced emissions in spark ignition engines. One potential measurement for individual cylinder AFR is in-cylinder ionization measured by employing the spark plug as a sensor. A number of previous investigations have studied correlations of the ionization signal with AFR and shown promising results. However the studies have typically been limited to single cylinders under restricted operating conditions. This investigation analyzes and characterizes the ionization signals in correlation to individual AFR values obtained from wide-band electrochemical oxygen sensors located in the exhaust runners of each cylinder. Experimental studies for this research were conducted on a 2.0L inline 4 cylinder spark ignited engine with dual independent variable cam phasing and an intake charge motion control valve.
Technical Paper

Suitability Study of n-Butanol for Enabling PCCI and HCCI and RCCI Combustion on a High Compression-ratio Diesel Engine

This work investigates the suitability of n-butanol for enabling PCCI, HCCI, and RCCI combustion modes to achieve clean and efficient combustion on a high compression ratio (18.2:1) diesel engine. Systematic engine tests are conducted at low and medium engine loads (6∼8 bar IMEP) and at a medium engine speed of 1500 rpm. Test results indicate that n-butanol is more suitable than diesel to enable PCCI and HCCI combustion with the same engine hardware. However, the combustion phasing control for n-butanol is demanding due to the high combustion sensitivity to variations in engine operating conditions where engine safety concerns (e.g. excessive pressure rise rates) potentially arise. While EGR is the primary measure to control the combustion phasing of n-butanol HCCI, the timing control of n-butanol direct injection in PCCI provides an additional leverage to properly phase the n-butanol combustion.
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.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

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

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

A Variable Displacement Engine with Independently Controllable Stroke Length and Compression Ratio

A variable displacement engine with the capability to vary stroke length and compression ratio independent of one another has been designed, prototyped, and successfully operated. Reasons for investigation of such an engine are the potential for improvement in fuel economy and/or performance. Literature has shown that engines with variable compression ratio can significantly decrease specific fuel consumption. Engines with variability in stroke length can maintain peak efficiency running conditions by adjusting power output through displacement change verses through the efficiency detriment of throttling. The project began with the synthesis of a planar 2-dimensional rigid body mechanism. Various synthesis techniques were employed and design took place with a collection of computer software. MATLAB code performed much of the synthesis, kinematic, and dynamic analysis.
Technical Paper

Spark Mechanism in High Speed Flow

An experimental study was performed to investigate spark ignition and subsequent spark stretch evolution in an inert environment at high- flow velocities up to 32 m/s across the spark plug gap in a constant-volume optical combustion-vessel at pressures representative of those in an engine. The vessel is capable of generating various in-cylinder thermodynamic conditions representative of light-duty spark ignition engines. The characteristic behavior of the spark was investigated using both a high-speed optical diagnostics and electrical measurement. Charge gas pressures were varied from 15 to 45 bar. Results show that the spark, flowing downstream the spark plug, is subject to short circuits of the spark channel and/or restrikes. The frequency of the restrike increased with increased flow velocity and charge gas pressure and decreased discharge current level.