International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.44, No.60, 32254-32270, 2019
Fundamental characterization of backfire in a hydrogen fuelled spark ignition engine using CFD and experiments
Backfire, an abnormal combustion phenomenon, in a hydrogen fuelled spark ignition (SI) engine was analyzed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental tests. One of the main causes of backfire origin is the presence of any high temperature heat source including hot spot in the combustion chamber of the engine during intake process. A CFD based parametric study was carried out by varying the temperature of hot spot and its location in the combustion chamber of the engine in order to analyze their effects on backfire origin and its propagation in the intake manifold of the engine. The temperature of hot spot was varied from 800 K to till the temperature of backfire occurrence. The minimum temperature of hot spot at which backfire occurred was observed as 950 K and beyond. The probability of backfire occurrence increases with increase in hot spot temperature. The CFD simulations were also carried out by varying the location of hot spot (spark plug tip and exhaust valve) and the results indicate that the location of hot spot does not influence the characteristics of backfire but it affects the timing of its origin. The average backfire velocity is 230 m/s based on the average turbulent flame velocity during backfire propagation in the intake manifold and the value agreed reasonably well with the experimental observations of backfire propagation on the engine with the transparent intake manifold. Backfire propagation is under the category of deflagration based on its velocity (subsonic), and the maximum pressure gradient (<0.3 bar). The backfire phenomenon is characterized into three stages namely ignition delay for backfire, backfire propagation and its termination. The study results provide a better in-depth understanding of backfire origin and its propagation and would be helpful for developing a robust control strategy. Based on this study, it is recommended that the spark plug and exhaust valves of hydrogen fuelled SI engine should be customized in such a way that the temperature of spark plug tip and exhaust valves should not exceed 900 K during suction process in order to eliminate backfire occurrence. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.