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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Alain Fossi and Alain DeChamplain

Safety improvement and pollutant reduction in many practical combustion systems and especially in aero-gas turbine engines require an adequate understanding of flame…

Abstract

Purpose

Safety improvement and pollutant reduction in many practical combustion systems and especially in aero-gas turbine engines require an adequate understanding of flame ignition and stabilization mechanisms. Improved software and hardware have opened up greater possibilities for translating basic knowledge and the results of experiments into better designs. The present study deals with the large eddy simulation (LES) of an ignition sequence in a conical shaped bluff-body stabilized burner involving a turbulent non-premixed flame. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of spark location on ignition success. Particular attention is paid to the ease of handling of the numerical tool, the computational cost and the accuracy of the results.

Design/methodology/approach

The discrete particle ignition kernel (DPIK) model is used to capture the ignition kernel dynamics in its early stage of growth after the breakdown period. The ignition model is coupled with two combustion models based on the mixture fraction-progress variable formulation. An infinitely fast chemistry assumption is first done, and the turbulent fluctuations of the progress variable are captured with a bimodal probability density function (PDF) in the line of the Bray–Moss–Libby (BML) model. Thereafter, a finite rate chemistry assumption is considered through the flamelet-generated manifold (FGM) method. In these two assumptions, the classical beta-PDF is used to model the temporal fluctuations of the mixture fraction in the turbulent flow. To model subgrid scale stresses and residual scalars fluxes, the wall-adapting local eddy (WALE) and the eddy diffusivity models are, respectively, used under the low-Mach number assumption.

Findings

Numerical results of velocity and mixing fields, as well as the ignition sequences, are validated through a comparison with their experimental counterparts. It is found that by coupling the DPIK model with each of the two combustion models implemented in a LES-based solver, the ignition event is reasonably predicted with further improvements provided by the finite rate chemistry assumption. Finally, the spark locations most likely to lead to a complete ignition of the burner are found to be around the shear layer delimiting the central recirculation zone, owing to the presence of a mixture within flammability limits.

Research limitations/implications

Some discrepancies are found in the radial profiles of the radial velocity and consequently in those of the mixture fraction, owing to a mismatch of the radial velocity at the inlet section of the computational domain. Also, unlike FGM methods, the BML model predicts the overall ignition earlier than suggested by the experiment; this may be related to the overestimation of the reaction rate, especially in the zones such as flame holder wakes which feature high strain rate due to fuel-air mixing.

Practical implications

This work is adding a contribution for ignition modeling, which is a crucial issue in various combustion systems and especially in aircraft engines. The exclusive use of a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code widely used by combustion system manufacturers allows a direct application of this simulation approach to other configurations while keeping computing costs at an affordable level.

Originality/value

This study provides a robust and simple way to address some ignition issues in various spark ignition-based engines, namely, the optimization of engines ignition with affordable computational costs. Based on the promising results obtained in the current work, it would be relevant to extend this simulation approach to spray combustion that is required for aircraft engines because of storage volume constraints. From this standpoint, the simulation approach formulated in the present work is useful to engineers interested in optimizing the engines ignition at the design stage.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2019

Rui Liu, Jing Sheng, Jie Ma, Guang Yang, Xuefei Dong and Yongsheng Liang

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knock combustion characteristics, including the combustion pressure, heat release rate (HRR) and knock intensity of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knock combustion characteristics, including the combustion pressure, heat release rate (HRR) and knock intensity of aviation kerosene fuel, that is, Rocket Propellant 3 (RP-3), on a port-injected two-stoke spark ignition (SI) engine.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental investigation using a bench test and the statistical analysis of data to reflect the knock combustion characteristics of the two-stroke SI unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine on RP-3 kerosene fuel.

Findings

Under the full load condition of 4,000 rpm, at the ignition timing of 25 degree of crank angle (°CA) before top dead centre (BTDC), the knock combustion is sensitive to the thinner mixture; therefore, the knock begins to occur when the excess air ratio is larger than 1.0. When the excess air ratio is set as 1.2, the knock obviously appears with the highest knock intensity. At the excess air ratio of 1.2, better engine performance is obtained at the ignition timing range of 20-30 °CA BTDC. However, the ignition timing at 30° CA BTDC significantly increases the peak combustion pressure and knock intensity with the advancing heat release process.

Practical implications

Gasoline has a low flash point, a high-saturated vapour pressure and relatively high volatility, and it is a potential hazard near a naked flame at room temperature, which can create significant security risks for its storage, transport and use. The authors adopt a low-volatility single RP-3 kerosene fuel for all vehicles and equipment to minimise the number of different devices using various fuels and improve the military application safety.

Originality/value

Most two-stroke SI UAV engines for military applications burn gasoline. A kerosene-based fuel for stable engine operation can be achieved because the knock combustion can be effectively suppressed through the combined adjustment of the fuel amount and spark timing.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2020

Rui Liu, Haocheng Ji and Minxiang Wei

The purpose of this paper is to investigate power performance, economy and hydrocarbons (HC)/carbon monoxide (CO) emissions of diesel fuel on a two-stoke direct injection…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate power performance, economy and hydrocarbons (HC)/carbon monoxide (CO) emissions of diesel fuel on a two-stoke direct injection (DI) spark ignition (SI) engine.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental study was carried out on a two-stroke SI diesel-fuelled engine with air-assisted direct injection, whose power performance and HC/CO emissions characteristics under low-load conditions were analysed according to the effects of ignition energy, ignition advance angle (IAA), injection timing angle and excess-air-ratio.

Findings

The results indicate that, for the throttle position of 10%, a large IAA with adequate ignition energy effectively increases the power and decrease the HC emission. The optimal injection timing angle for power and fuel consumption is 60° crank angle (CA) before top dead centre (BTDC). Lean mixture improves the power performance with the HC/CO emissions greatly reduced. At the throttle position of 20%, the optimal IAA is 30°CA BTDC. The adequate ignition energy slightly improves the power output and greatly decreases HC/CO emissions. Advancing the injection timing improves the power and fuel consumption but should not exceed the exhaust port closing timing in case of scavenging losses. Burning stoichiometric mixture achieves maximum power, whereas burning lean mixture obviously reduces the fuel consumption and the HC/CO emissions.

Practical implications

Gasoline has a low flash point, a high-saturated vapour pressure and relatively high volatility, and it is a potential hazard near a naked flame at room temperature, which can create significant security risks for its storage, transport and use. The authors adopt a low volatility diesel fuel for all vehicles and equipment to minimise the number of different devices using various fuels and improve the potential military application safety.

Originality/value

Under low-load conditions, the two stroke port-injected SI engine performance of burning heavy fuels including diesel or kerosene was shown to be worse than those of gasoline. The authors have tried to use the DI method to improve the performance of the diesel-fuelled engine in starting and low-load conditions.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 93 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2018

Rui Liu, Xiaoping Su, Xiaodong Miao, Guang Yang, Xuefei Dong, Yongsheng Liang and Taiqi Huang

The purpose of this paper is to compare the combustion characteristics, including the combustion pressure, heat release rate (HRR), coefficient of variation (COV) of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the combustion characteristics, including the combustion pressure, heat release rate (HRR), coefficient of variation (COV) of indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP), flame development period and combustion duration, of aviation kerosene fuel, namely, rocket propellant 3 (RP-3), and gasoline on a two-stoke spark ignition engine.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an experimental investigation using a bench test to reflect the combustion performance of two-stroke spark ignition unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) engine on gasoline and RP-3 fuel.

Findings

Under low load conditions, the combustion performance and HRR of burning RP-3 fuel were shown to be worse than those of gasoline. Under high load conditions, the average IMEP and the COV of IMEP of burning RP-3 fuel were close to those of gasoline. The difference in the flame development period between gasoline and RP-3 fuel was similar.

Practical implications

Gasoline fuel has a low flash point, high-saturated vapour pressure and relatively high volatility and is a potential hazard near a naked flame at room temperature, which can create significant security risks for its storage, transport and use. Adopting a low volatility single RP-3 fuel of covering all vehicles and equipment to minimize the number of different devices with the use of a various fuels and improve the application safeties.

Originality/value

Most two-stroke spark ignition UAV engines continue to combust gasoline. A kerosene-based fuel operation can be applied to achieve a single-fuel policy.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2020

Alain Fossi, Alain DeChamplain, Benjamin Akih-Kumgeh and Jeffrey Bergthorson

This study aims to deal with the large eddy simulation (LES) of an ignition sequence and the resulting steady combustion in a swirl-stabilized liquid-fueled combustor…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to deal with the large eddy simulation (LES) of an ignition sequence and the resulting steady combustion in a swirl-stabilized liquid-fueled combustor. Particular attention is paid to the ease of handling the numerical tool, the accuracy of the results and the reasonable computational cost involved. The primary aim of the study is to appraise the ability of the newly developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methodology to retrieve the spark-based flame kernel initiation, its propagation until the full ignition of the combustion chamber, the flame stabilization and the combustion processes governing the steady combustion regime.

Design/methodology/approach

The CFD model consists of an LES-based spray module coupled to a subgrid-scale ignition model to capture the flame kernel initiation and the early stage of the flame kernel growth, and a combustion model based on the mixture fraction-progress variable formulation in the line of the flamelet generated manifold (FGM) method to retrieve the subsequent flame propagation and combustion properties. The LES-spray module is based on an Eulerian-Lagrangian approach and includes a fully two-way coupling at each time step to account for the interactions between the liquid and the gaseous phases. The Wall-Adapting Local Eddy-viscosity (WALE) model is used for the flow field while the eddy diffusivity model is used for the scalar fluxes. The fuel is liquid kerosene, injected in the form of a polydisperse spray of droplets. The spray dynamics are tracked using the Lagrangian procedure, and the phase transition of droplets is calculated using a non-equilibrium evaporation model. The oxidation mechanism of the Jet A-1 surrogate is described through a reduced reaction mechanism derived from a detailed mechanism using a species sensitivity method.

Findings

By comparing the numerical results with a set of published data for a swirl-stabilized spray flame, the proposed CFD methodology is found capable of capturing the whole spark-based ignition sequence in a liquid-fueled combustion chamber and the main flame characteristics in the steady combustion regime with reasonable computing costs.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed CFD methodology simulates the whole ignition sequence, namely, the flame kernel initiation, its propagation to fully ignite the combustion chamber, and the global flame stabilization. Due to the lack of experimental ignition data on this liquid-fueled configuration, the ability of the proposed CFD methodology to accurately predict ignition timing was not quantitatively assessed. It would, therefore, be interesting to apply this CFD methodology to other configurations that have experimental ignition data, to quantitatively assess its ability to predict the ignition timing and the flame characteristics during the ignition sequence. Such further investigations will not only provide further validation of the proposed methodology but also will potentially identify its shortfalls for better improvement.

Practical implications

This CFD methodology is developed by customizing a commercial CFD code widely used in the industry. It is, therefore, directly applicable to practical configurations, and provides not only a relatively straightforward approach to predict an ignition sequence in liquid-fueled combustion chambers but also a robust way to predict the flame characteristics in the steady combustion regime as significant improvements are noticed on the prediction of slow species.

Originality/value

The incorporation of the subgrid ignition model paired with a combustion model based on tabulated chemistry allows reducing computational costs involved in the simulation of the ignition phase. The incorporation of the FGM-based tabulated chemistry provides a drastic reduction of computing resources with reasonable accuracy. The CFD methodology is developed using the platform of a commercial CFD code widely used in the industry for relatively straightforward applicability.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Peter Hooper

The purpose of this paper is to present results of practical experience of cold starting a gasoline engine on low volatility fuel suitable for unmanned aerial vehicle…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present results of practical experience of cold starting a gasoline engine on low volatility fuel suitable for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) deployment.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental research and development is carried out via dynamometer testing of systems capable of achieving cold start of a spark ignition UAV engine on kerosene JET A-1 fuel.

Findings

Repeatable cold starts have been satisfactorily achieved at ambient temperatures of 5°C. The approximate threshold for warm engine restart has also been established.

Practical implications

For safety and supply logistical reasons, the elimination of the use of gasoline fuel offers major advantages not only for UAVs but also for other internal combustion engine-powered equipment to be operated in military theatres of operation. For gasoline crankcase-scavenged two-stroke cycle engines, this presents development challenges in terms of modification of the lubrication strategy, achieving acceptable performance characteristics and the ability to successfully secure repeatable engine cold start.

Originality/value

The majority of UAVs still operate on gasoline-based fuels. Successful modification to allow low volatility fuel operation would address single fuel policy objectives.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 89 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2014

Laminu Kuburi, David Obada, Ibraheem Samotu, M. Jeremiah and Zainab Kashim

Considering pollution problems and the energy crisis today, investigations have been concentrated on lowering the concentration of toxic components in combustion products…

Abstract

Considering pollution problems and the energy crisis today, investigations have been concentrated on lowering the concentration of toxic components in combustion products and decreasing fossil fuel consumption by using renewable alternative fuels. In this work, the effect of ethanol addition to gasoline on the exhaust emissions of a spark ignition engine at various speeds was established. Ethanol was extracted from groundnut seeds using fermentation method. Gasoline was blended with 20 - 80% of the extracted ethanol in an interval of 20%. Results of the engine test indicated that using ethanol-gasoline blended fuels decreased carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions as a result of the lean- burn effects caused by the ethanol, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission increased because of a near complete combustion. Finally, the results showed that blending ethanol in a proportion of 40% with gasoline can be used as a supplementary fuel in modern spark ignition engines as it is expected that the engine performs at its optimum in terms of air toxic pollutants reduction, by virtue of that mix.

Details

World Journal of Engineering, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1708-5284

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1971

M.A. Plint

A proper understanding of the principles of the spark ignition engine must include an appreciation of the effect of variation in compression ratio; a practical difficulty…

Abstract

A proper understanding of the principles of the spark ignition engine must include an appreciation of the effect of variation in compression ratio; a practical difficulty in achieving this result has for long been the very high cost of variable compression ratio engines, most of which have been primarily intended for industrial use in oil company laboratories and only incidentally for instruction.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 13 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 29 August 2019

Wojciech Piotr Adamczyk, Grzegorz Kruczek, Ryszard Bialecki and Grzegorz Przybyła

The internal combustion engine operated on gaseous fuels shows great potential in terms of integration of the renewable and traditional sources for an effective solution…

Abstract

Purpose

The internal combustion engine operated on gaseous fuels shows great potential in terms of integration of the renewable and traditional sources for an effective solution for clean energy production challenge. Different fuel mixtures that can be used to power the engine are characterized by various combustion properties, which can affect its overall efficiency. The purpose of this paper is to provide reasonable answer, how the operation condition can change due to different fuel, without enormous cost of prototyping processes using physical models a digital model can be seen as promising technique.

Design/methodology/approach

Presented work discusses the application, and extensive description of two commercial codes Ansys Fluent and Forte for modeling stationary engine fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG) and biogas. To check the model accuracy, all carried out numerical results were compared against experimental data collected at in-house test rig of single cylinder four stroke engine. The impacts of tested gaseous fuel on the engine working conditions and emission levels were investigated.

Findings

Carried out simulations showed good agreement with experimental data for investigated cases. Application on numerical models give possibility to visualize flame front propagation and pollutant formation for tested fuels. The biogas fuel has shown the impaired early flame phase, which led to longer combustion, lower efficiency, power output, repeatability and in some cases higher HC and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions as a result of combustion during the exhaust stroke. Looking at the CO formation it was observed that it instantly accrue with flame front propagation as a result of methane oxidation, while for NOx formation revers effect was seen.

Originality/value

The application of new approach for modeling combustion process in stationary engines fueled by CNG and alternative biogas fuel has been discussed. The cons and pros of the Forte code in terms of its application for engine prototaping process has been discussed.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1941

Ernest F. Fiock

A BRIEF discussion of combustion research, which has been in progress for over three hundred years, must be limited to a specific subdivision of the field. For…

Abstract

A BRIEF discussion of combustion research, which has been in progress for over three hundred years, must be limited to a specific subdivision of the field. For presentation before the Society of Automotive Engineers, it is logical that this report should be confined, in a general way, to that phase of combustion research which is concerned with explosions in gases, and particularly with explosions from which, through the medium of the internal combustion engine, usable power may be derived.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 13 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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