Fuel, Vol.158, 11-22, 2015
On the sensitivity of low temperature combustion to spark assist near flame limit conditions
Spark assisted compression ignition (SACI) is a practical mode for controlling the heat release rate of low temperature combustion (LTC). While flames are key phenomena in the SACI combustion process, they may not always be effective or viable under the mildly stratified and highly dilute low burned gas temperature conditions of LTC. To better understand the limits of flammability or flame effectiveness, this work explores combustion within a single cylinder direct injection engine near the high load limit of the HCCI combustion regime, where spark induced flame propagation has been seen to affect combustion phasing and heat release rate. Flame limiting conditions were identified using progressively more advanced spark timing, up to 120 degrees before top dead center, for differing levels of air and EGR dilution while holding the chemical energy content of the charge constant. Under air dilute conditions, the measured combustion phasing advanced from 8 degrees to 0 degrees after top dead center with spark advance, while almost no effect was seen under EGR dilute conditions. Estimates of the experimental global and local state conditions were made at the time of spark using heat release analysis and a KIVA-3V engine model, respectively, and the flammability for each case was evaluated using the Karlovitz criterion. The results show that fuel rich stratification near the spark plug was likely responsible for the observed variations in the SACI flame behavior. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.