Spark Assist for CA50 Control and Improved Robustness in a Premixed LTGC Engine – Effects of Equivalence Ratio and Intake Boost
Low-temperature gasoline combustion (LTGC) engines can deliver high efficiencies, with ultra-low emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). However, controlling the combustion timing and maintaining robust operation remains a challenge for LTGC engines. One promising technique to overcoming these challenges is spark assist (SA). In this work, well-controlled, fully premixed experiments are performed in a single-cylinder LTGC research engine at 1200 rpm using a cylinder head modified to accommodate a spark plug. Compression ratios (CR) of 16:1 and 14:1 were used during the experiments. Two different fuels were also tested, with properties representative of premium- and regular-grade market gasolines. SA was found to work well for both CRs and fuels. The equivalence ratio (ϕ) limits and the effect of intake-pressure boost on the ability of SA to compensate for a reduced Tin were studied. For the conditions studied, ϕ=0.42 was found to be most effective for SA.