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Technical Paper

An Approach to Charge Stratification in Lean-Burn, Spark- Ignition Engines

A constant-volume combustion chamber was used to examine injection of a small quantity of slightly rich fuel/air mixture towards the spark plug around the time of ignition, in an overall very lean mixture rotating at velocities representative of modern spark-ignition engines. The results show that it is possible to achieve 100% ignitability with overall air-fuel ratios in excess of 50 and much faster burn rates than those with initially homogenous mixtures of the same equivalence ratio with high swirl and turbulence. The advantages of this method of local charge stratification have been demonstrated in terms of both pressure measurements and shadowgraphs of the early flame development while the transient characteristics of the injected rich mixture at the spark plug gap were monitored by a fast flame ionization detector.
Technical Paper

Correlation between Spark Ignition Characteristics and Flame Development in a Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

The electrical characteristics of transistorized coil ignition (TCI) and capacitor discharge ignition (CDI) systems were investigated in spark-ignited quiescent and flowing propane/air mixtures within an optically-accessible, cylindrical constant-volume combustion chamber. Under quiescent flow conditions, the initial pressure, temperature and equivalence ratio of the mixture as well as the spark gap width and geometry were varied systematically in order to examine the relationship between ignition characteristics and flame initiation and development. The effect of the flow in the spark gap on the electrical characteristics of the ignition system, mixture ignitability and flame development was also examined by varying the pre-ignition mean flow and turbulence as well as the spark plug orientation relative to the mean flow.
Technical Paper

Droplet Velocity/Size and Mixture Distribution in a Single-Cylinder Four-Valve Spark-Ignition Engine

Laser Doppler velocimetry, phase Doppler anemometry and Mie scattering were applied to a single-cylinder, four-valve, spark-ignition gasoline research engine equipped with a fully transparent liner and piston, to obtain information about the tumble flow and the droplet size and velocity distributions during induction and compression, for lean air/fuel mixture ratios of 17.5 and 24 and with closed-valve and open-valve fuel injection. The mixture distribution obtained with the two injection strategies was correlated with flame images, pressure analysis and exhaust emissions which confirmed the advantages of combining open-valve injection with tumble to allow stable and efficient engine operation at an air/fuel ratio of 24 through charge stratification and faster flame growth.
Technical Paper

Effect of Tumble Strength on Combustion and Exhaust Emissions in a Single-Cylinder, Four-Valve, Spark-Ignition Engine

Direct flame imaging and pressure analysis were applied to the combustion of gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG) in a single-cylinder, four-valve spark-ignition engine equipped with optical access via quartz windows in the cylinder liner and piston crown. Tests were performed at three engine speed/load conditions and at equivalence ratios of 1.0, 0.9 and 0.8. The four-valve head incorporated two different port geometries, with and without metal sleeves to deflect the intake air flow, in order to investigate the effect of tumble strength on combustion and engine-out emissions of unburned hydrocarbons and NOx. The results showed that sleeving of the intake ports produced a significant increase in IMEP and a reduction in CoV IMEP for both CNG and gasoline, due to the greatly reduced bum duration.
Technical Paper

Flow and Combustion in a Four-Valve, Spark-Ignition Optical Engine

The in-cylinder flow during induction and compression in the pentroof chamber of a four-valve, single-cylinder, spark-ignition optical engine was quantified by LDV and correlated with combustion development especially under lean mixture conditions. The tumble-generating capacity of the cylinder head was first characterised by a tumble adaptor under steady flow conditions and, subsequently, enhanced by two sleeves introduced into the intake ports which generated a stronger tumbling motion.
Technical Paper

Imaging of Lean Premixed Flames in Spark-Ignition Engines

Two optical single-cylinder spark-ignition engines equipped with two- and four-valve cylinder heads were used to examine the flow and flame interaction under lean mixture conditions. Images of the developing flame under quiescent, swirl, low tumble and high tumble flow conditions corresponding to a wide range of mean velocity and turbulence levels around the time of ignition were obtained with an image-intensified CCD camera using the light radiated by the flame and the flow in the vicinity of the spark plug was quantified by laser Doppler velocimetry. In the case of the tumbling flow, the flame images were software-processed to allow estimation of the total flame area, the displacement of its centre as a function of crank angle and their correlation with the cylinder pressure.
Technical Paper

Internal Flow and Cavitation in a Multi-Hole Injector for Gasoline Direct-Injection Engines

A transparent enlarged model of a six-hole injector used in the development of emerging gasoline direct-injection engines was manufactured with full optical access. The working fluid was water circulating through the injector nozzle under steady-state flow conditions at different flow rates, pressures and needle positions. Simultaneous matching of the Reynolds and cavitation numbers has allowed direct comparison between the cavitation regimes present in real-size and enlarged nozzles. The experimental results from the model injector, as part of a research programme into second-generation direct-injection spark-ignition engines, are presented and discussed. The main objective of this investigation was to characterise the cavitation process in the sac volume and nozzle holes under different operating conditions. This has been achieved by visualizing the nozzle cavitation structures in two planes simultaneously using two synchronised high-speed cameras.
Technical Paper

Tumbling Motion: A Mechanism for Turbulence Enhancement in Spark-Ignition Engines

The ability of certain induction systems to enhance turbulence levels at the time of ignition, through formation of long-lived tumbling vortices on the plane of the valve and cylinder axes, has been investigated in a two-valve spark-ignition engine by rotating the intake port at 90° and 45° to the orientation of production directed ports. Detailed measurements of the three velocity components, obtained by laser velocimetry, revealed that the 90° port generated a pure tumble motion, with a maximum tumbling vortex ratio of 1.5 at 295°CA, zero swirl, and 42% turbulence enhancement relative to the standard configuration, while the 45° port gave rise to a combined tumble/swirl structure with a maximum tumbling vortex ratio of 0.5 at 285°CA, swirl ratio of 1.0 at TDC, and turbulence enhancement of 24%. The implications of the two types of flow structures for combustion are discussed.
Technical Paper

Visualization of Flow/Flame Interaction in a Constant-Volume Combustion Chamber

A visualization study using shadowgraphy was performed in an optically-accessible, cylindrical constant-volume combustion chamber to identify the mechanism of flow/flame interaction in spark-ignited, lean propane-air mixtures. The effect of the flow on flame initiation and propagation was examined by varying the pre-ignition mean flow and turbulence within a range typical of modern four-valve spark-ignition (SI) engines, as well as the spark plug orientation relative to the mean flow. The initial flame development was quantified in terms of 2-D images which provided information about the projected flame area and the displacement of the flame center as a function of flow conditions, time from the spark initiation and spark plug orientation. The results showed that high mean flow velocities and turbulence levels can shorten combustion duration in lean mixtures and that the positioning of the ground electrode can have an important effect on the initial kernel formation.