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Thermally Stratified Compression Ignition: A new advanced low temperature combustion mode with load flexibility

Lawler, Benjamin, Splitter, Derek, Szybist, James, Kaul, Brian
Applied energy 2017 v.189 pp. 122-132
combustion, cooling, heat, temperature
A new advanced combustion mode is introduced, called Thermally Stratified Compression Ignition (TSCI), which uses direct water injection to control both the average temperature and the temperature distribution prior to ignition, thereby providing cycle-to-cycle control over the start and rate of heat release in Low Temperature Combustion (LTC). Experiments were conducted to fundamentally understand the effects of water injection on heat release in LTC. The results show that water injection retards the start of combustion due to the latent heat of vaporization of the injected water. Furthermore, for start of water injection timings between 20 and 70 degrees before top dead center, combustion is significantly elongated compared to without water injection. The 10–90% burn duration with 6.6 and 9.0mg of water per cycle was 77% and 146% longer than without water injection, respectively. Direct water injection reduces the heat release rate by local evaporative cooling that results in a forced thermal stratification.Finally, the load limits with and without water injection were determined experimentally. Without water injection, the load range was 2.3–3.6bar gross IMEP. By using water injection to control heat release, the load range in TSCI was 2.3–8.4bar gross IMEP, which is a range expansion of over 350%. These results demonstrate that direct water injection can provide significant improvements to both controllability and the range of operability of LTC, thereby resolving the major challenges associated with HCCI.