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Technical Paper

Ignition Improvement of Premixed Methane-Air Mixtures by Distributed Spark Discharge

In order to improve the fuel economy for future high-efficiency spark ignition engines, the use of advanced combustion strategies with an overall lean and/or exhaust gas recirculation diluted cylinder charge is deemed to be beneficial, provided a reliable ignition process available. In this paper, experimental results of igniting methane-air mixture by means of capacitive coupled ignition and multi-coil distributed spark ignition are presented. It is found that with a conventional spark plug electrode configuration, increase of spark energy does not proportionally enhance the ignition flame kernel development. The use of capacitive coupled ignition to enhance the initial transient power resulted in faster kernel growth compared to the conventional system. The distribution of the spark energy across a number of spark gaps shows considerable benefit.
Technical Paper

A Preliminary Study of the Discharge Current and Spark Energy for the Multi-Coil Offset Strategy

To overcome the unfavorable operation conditions caused by lean/diluted charges in modern Spark Ignited (SI) engines, various advanced ignition systems have been proposed in the past. Among them, the dual-coil and multi-coil Transistor Coil Ignition (TCI) systems with offset discharge strategy caused significant attention in literature because they can generate a continuous spark with high spark energy being delivered into the cylinder. Comparing with the dual-coil system, a multi-coil system is capable to apply more flexible control strategies and generate a higher discharge current. However, the spark energy and transfer efficiency of the multi-coil system are still worthy to investigate as they are important performance indicators for a TCI system. In this paper, the discharge characteristics of the dual-coil and triple-coil strategies under both quiescent and flow conditions were studied firstly by experimental methods.