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Impact of Passive Pre-Chamber Nozzle Diameter on Jet Formation Patterns and Dilution Tolerance in a Constant-Volume Optical Engine
ISSN: 1946-3936, e-ISSN: 1946-3944
Published September 11, 2023 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Lee, D., Iyer, C., Wooldridge, S., Qiao, L. et al., "Impact of Passive Pre-Chamber Nozzle Diameter on Jet Formation Patterns and Dilution Tolerance in a Constant-Volume Optical Engine," SAE Int. J. Engines 17(2):2024, https://doi.org/10.4271/03-17-02-0013.
Pre-chamber jet ignition technologies have been garnering significant interest in the internal combustion engine field, given their potential to deliver shorter burn durations, increased combustion stability, and improved dilution tolerance. However, a clear understanding of the relationship between pre-chamber geometry, operating condition, jet formation, and engine performance in light-duty gasoline injection engines remains under-explored. Moreover, research specifically focusing on high dilution levels and passive pre-chambers with optical accessibility is notably scarce. This study serves to bridge these knowledge gaps by examining the influence of passive pre-chamber nozzle diameter and dilution level on jet formation and engine performance. Utilizing a modified constant-volume gasoline direct injection engine with an optically accessible piston, we tested three passive pre-chambers with nozzle diameters of 1.2, 1.4, and 1.6 mm, while nitrogen dilution varied from 0 to 20%. With the help of high-speed imaging, we captured pre-chamber jet formations and subsequent flame propagation within the main chamber. Our novel findings reveal that asymmetric temporal and spatial jet formation patterns arising from pre-chambers significantly impact engine performance. The larger-nozzle-diameter pre-chambers exhibited the least variation in jet formation due to their improved scavenging and main mixture filling processes, but had the slowest jet velocity and lowest jet penetration depth. At no dilution condition, the 1.2 mm-PC demonstrated superior performance attributed to higher pressure build-up in the pre-chamber, resulting in accelerated jet velocity and increased jet penetration depth. However, at high dilution condition, the 1.6 mm-PC performed better, highlighting the importance of scavenging and symmetry jet formation. This study emphasizes the importance of carefully selecting the pre-chamber nozzle diameter, based on the engine’s operating conditions, to achieve an optimal and balanced configuration that can improve both jet formation and jet characteristics, as well as scavenging.