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Ion Current Sensing for HCCI Combustion Feedback

Dept. of Automatic Control, Lund Institute of Technology-Johan Bengtsson, Rolf Johansson
Div. of Combustion Engines, Lund Institute of Technology-Andreas Vressner, Per Tunestål, Bengt Johansson
Published 2003-10-27 by SAE International in United States
Measurement of ion current signal from HCCI combustion was performed. The aim of the work was to investigate if a measurable ion current signal exists and if it is possible to obtain useful information about the combustion process. Furthermore, influence of mixture quality in terms of air/fuel ratio and EGR on the ion current signal was studied. A conventional spark plug was used as ionization sensor. A DC voltage (85 Volt) was applied across the electrode gap. By measuring the current through the gap the state of the gas can be probed. A comparison between measured pressure and ion current signal was performed, and dynamic models were estimated by using system identification methods.The study shows that an ion current signal can be obtained from HCCI combustion and that the signal level is very sensitive to the fuel/air equivalence ratio. The most important result from this study is that the ion current signal proved to be an excellent indicator of the actual combustion timing which is crucial piece of information for HCCI control.
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