University Capstone Project: Enhanced Initiation Techniques for Thermochemical Energy Conversion
Final rept. 30 Sep 2010-29 Sep 2012
PRINCETON UNIV NJ DEPT OF AEROSPACE AND MECHANICAL SCIENCES
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A microwave-assisted spark plug and a nano-second pulsed spark plug were developed to enhance ignition and combustion efficiency for a small scale internal combustion engine and a pulse detonation engine. An engine test platform was developed to measure engine torque and pressure quantitatively. The experimental results demonstrated the superior characteristics of engine performance using these new ignition systems. The experimental tests of the microwave-enhanced spark ignition for two small scale engines Fuji BF-34EI 34 cc engine showed that the microwave-assisted ignition system was able to broaden the engine lean operational limits by more than 20. Moreover, a significant increase of the maximum engine pressure was observed. The nanosecond-pulsed device was tested in collaboration with researchers at the AFRL in a pulse detonation engine at Wright-Paterson AFB. It was also found that the lean limit could be extended by the non-equilibrium plasma ignition system as compared to the conventional spark ignitor. Furthermore, the ignition time, which limits engine performance, could be reduced by up to 25.
- Combustion and Ignition