Date of Graduation
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
More demanding efficiency and emissions standards for internal combustion (IC) engines require novel combustion strategies, alternative fuels, and improved after-treatment systems. However, their development depends on improved understanding of in-cylinder processes. For example, the lower efficiency of conventional spark-ignited (SI) natural-gas (NG) engines reduces their utilization in the transportation sector. Single-cylinder optical-access research engines allow the use of non-intrusive visualization techniques that study in-cylinder flow, fuel-oxidizer mixing, and combustion and emissions phenomena under conditions representative of production engines. These visualization techniques can provide qualitative and quantitative answers to fundamental combustion-phenomena questions such as the effects of engine design, operating conditions, fuel composition, fuel delivery strategy, and ignition techniques.;The thesis is divided in two main parts. The first part focuses on the setup of a single-cylinder research engine with optical access including the design of its control system and the acquisition of in-cylinder pressure data and high-speed combustion images. The second part focuses on measurements of the turbulent flame speed using the high-speed combustion images. Crank-angle-resolved images of methane combustion were taken with a high-speed CMOS camera at a rate of 15,000 Hz. The optical engine was operated in a skip-firing mode (one fired cycle followed by 5 motored cycles) at 900 RPM and a load of 5.93 bar IMEP. The images show that flow turbulence and flame stretch resulted in flame velocities several order of magnitude higher compared to the laminar flame velocity. In addition, both in-cylinder pressure and optical data were used to determine the cycle-to cycle variability of the combustion phenomena.
Padmanaban, Vishnu, "Investigation of Combustion Phenomena in a Single-Cylinder Spark-Ignited Natural Gas Engine with Optical Access" (2016). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 6367.