Evaluation of the effects of a Twin Spark ignition system on combustion stability of a high performance PFI engine


The continuous demand for high performances and low emissions engines leads the engine manufactures to set the operating range of combustion devices near to their stability limit. Combustion stability is closely related to the formation of the first ignition kernel: an effective way of lowering Cycle-by-Cycle Variation (CCV) is to enhance the start of combustion by means of multiple sparks. A Ducati engine was equipped with a Twin Spark ignition system and a consistent improvement in combustion stability arised for both part load and full load conditions. At part load a sensible reduction of cycle-by-cycle variability of indicated mean effective pressure was found, while at full load condition the twin spark configuration showed an increase of power, but with higher knocking tendency. The aim of this work is to better understand the root causes of the increased level of knock and to make a critical evaluation of most used knock indexes, by means of an accurate analysis of the experimental and simulated pressure signals. The numerical methodology based on a perturbation of the initial kernel by a statistical evaluation of mixture condition at ignition location. A lagrangian ignition model developed at University of Bologna was used, here modified to take into account the statistical distribution of mixture around the spark plugs. The RANS simulations proved to be accurate in representing all the main information related to combustion efficiency and knocking events. © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd

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