Skip to main content

EGR Dilution and Fuel Property Effects on High-Efficiency Spark-Ignition Flames...

by Flavio Dal Forno Chuahy, Derek A Splitter, Martin L Wissink, Vicente Boronat Colomer
Publication Type
Journal Name
SAE Technical Paper Series
Publication Date
Page Number

Modern spark ignition internal combustion engines rely on fast combustion rates and high dilution to achieve high brake thermal efficiencies. To accomplish this, new engine designs have moved towards increased tumble ratios and stroke-to-bore ratios. Increased tumble ratios correlate positively with increases in turbulent kinetic energy and improved fuel and residual gas mixing, all of which favor faster and more efficient combustion. Longer stroke-to-bore ratios allow higher geometric compression ratios and use of late intake valve closing to control peak compression pressures and temperatures. The addition of dilution to improve efficiency is limited by the resulting increase in combustion instabilities manifested by cycle-to-cycle variability. A number of effects - preferential diffusion, turbulence-combustion interactions, stochastic flow patterns, laminar-turbulent flame kernel transitions, and relative length and velocity scales between flame and turbulence - are believed to be responsible for the increase in cycle-to-cycle variations, where their contributions are likely interlinked. Several studies have shown the influence of stochastic flow characteristics on the nature of combustion instabilities, such as velocity patterns on flame kernel formation and cycle-to-cycle variations in residual gas. However, few have focused on the specific effects of fuel properties. The objective of this work is to contrast the effects of dilution on propane stoichiometric combustion against gasoline. Dilution tolerance experiments were conducted in a purpose-built high stroke-to-bore ratio single cylinder engine with both gasoline and LPG. Three-dimensional full cycle computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations employing a level-set combustion approach and Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) turbulence modeling was used to qualitatively assess the changes in length and velocity scales for turbulence and the flame. The experimental results showed that LPG can tolerate higher exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) dilution under a variety of conditions. Analysis of CFD simulations showed that propane flames are likely less sensitive to influences from the flow field due to less thickening of the flame and higher effective flame speeds.