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Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Understanding the Effect of Capacitive Discharge Ignition on Plasma Formation and Flame Propagation of Air–Propane Mixture

[+] Author and Article Information
Kwonse Kim

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Mississippi State University,
Starkville, MS 39762

Omid Askari

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Mississippi State University,
Starkville, MS 39762
e-mail: askari@me.msstate.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 24, 2018; final manuscript received January 4, 2019; published online January 30, 2019. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(8), 082201 (Jan 30, 2019) (14 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1909; doi: 10.1115/1.4042480 History: Received December 24, 2018; Revised January 04, 2019

This work is an experimental and computational study to investigate the effect of capacitive discharge ignition (CDI) on plasma kernel formation and flame propagation of air–propane mixture. This paper is mainly focused on the plasma formation and flame propagation characteristics, pressure rise, propagation time, velocity field, and species concentrations. A conventional ignition system is used for comparison purpose. A constant volume combustion chamber with volume of 400 cm3 is designed for experimental study. This chamber is utilized to visualize the plasma formation as well as the flame propagation induced from two ignition sources. The experiments are performed in a wide range of operating conditions, i.e., initial pressure of 2–4 bar, temperature of 300 K, chamber wall temperature of 350 K, spark plug gaps of 1.0–1.5 mm, discharge duration of 1 ms, discharge energy of 500 mJ, and equivalence ratio of 0.5–1.0. The computational study is performed by ANSYS fluent using the partially premixed combustion (PPC) model having the same conditions as experimental study. It is shown that the average peak pressure in CDI increased by 5.79%, 4.84% and 4.36% at initial pressures of 2, 3, and 4 bar, respectively, comparing with conventional ignition. It could be determined that the impact of combustion pressure in CDI system is more significant than conventional ignition particularly in lean mixtures. Consequently, the flame propagation rate in CDI system, due to the large ionized kernel around the spark plug, can be significantly enhanced.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagrams of (a) conventional ignition and (b) CDI systems

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Fig. 2

Circuit diagrams of (a) conventional ignition and (b) CDI systems

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Fig. 3

Schematic of experimental setup

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Fig. 4

Input pulse signal algorithm

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Fig. 5

Computational model design

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Fig. 6

Simulation model and boundary conditions

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Fig. 7

Voltage signal characteristics for conventional ignition and CDI systems

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Fig. 8

Average maximum stored and breakdown voltages in terms of input frequency for different electrode gaps of 1, 1.25, and 1.5 mm

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Fig. 9

Average maximum discharge voltage in terms of input frequency for different electrode gaps of 1, 1.25, and 1.5 mm

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Fig. 10

Flame propagation snapshots in air/C3H8 mixture with different N2 dilution at initial pressure of 4 bar and a wide range of air/fuel equivalence ratios: (a) 0% N2, (b) 10% N2, (c) 20% N2, and (d) 30% N2

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Fig. 11

Combustion pressure characteristics for a wide range of air/fuel equivalence ratios and dilutions: (a) conventional ignition system (experiment) and (b) CDI system (experiment), (c) conventional ignition system (simulation), and (d) CDI system (simulation)

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Fig. 12

Flame propagation time at initial pressure of 4 bar, wide range of air/fuel equivalence ratios and four different nitrogen dilutions: (a) 0% N2 dilution, (b) 10% N2 dilution, (c) 20% N2 dilution, and (d) 30% N2 dilution

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Fig. 13

Velocity field at three different propagation times of 5, 10 and 15 ms: (a) λ = 1.0, (b) λ = 1.2, (c) λ = 1.4, and (d) λ = 1.6

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Fig. 14

Species mass fraction at initial pressure of 4 bar, propagation time of 10 ms, and different air/fuel equivalence ratios: (a) λ = 1.0, (b) λ = 1.2, (c) λ = 1.4, and (d) λ = 1.6

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