The Influence of Ignition Control Parameters on Combustion Stability and Spark plug Wear in a Large Bore Gas Engine



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Authors Abstract
The paper presents novel studies on the impact of different ignition control parameters on combustion stability and spark plug wear. First, experimental results from a 32.4-liter biogas fueled large bore single cylinder spark ignition engine are discussed. Two different ignition systems were considered in the experiment: a DC inductive and an AC capacitive. The spark plugs used in the experiment were of dual-iridium standard J-gap design of different electrode gaps. Test results show the importance of different degrees of freedom to control a spark. A robust ignition is found to be achieved by using a very short spark duration, which in turn reduces total energy discharge at the gap. Further observations reveal that once a stable and self-propagating flame kernel is developed, it becomes independent of the spark energy further added to the gap. Finally, results from the spark plug wear tests using a pressurized rig chamber are discussed. It is found that an excessive spark energy discharge at the gap contributes to high erosion of spark plug electrodes, which is not desirable. However, spark energy is not the only factor affecting spark plug erosion. It is also the type of spark discharge (DC/AC) that governs the electrode wear over time. Therefore, the advantage of an AC spark discharge over a DC spark has been well established through the experimental results. The inherent property of an AC spark is found to be significantly slowing down electrode wear over time, hence increasing the service life of a spark plug.
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Saha, A., Ojanperä, A., Hyvonen, J., Aengeby, J. et al., "The Influence of Ignition Control Parameters on Combustion Stability and Spark plug Wear in a Large Bore Gas Engine," SAE Technical Paper 2023-01-0257, 2023,
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Apr 11, 2023
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Technical Paper