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CFD-Guided Evaluation of Spark-Assisted Gasoline Compression Ignition for Cold Idle Operation


Zhao, Le ; Zhang, Yu; Pei, Yuanjiang; Zhang, Anqi; Ameen, Muhsin


A closed-cycle, three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis campaign was conducted to evaluate the performance of using spark plugs to assist gasoline compression ignition (GCI) combustion during cold idle operations. A conventional spark plug using single-sided J-strap design was put at a location on the cylinder head to facilitate spray-guided spark assistance. Ignition was modeled with an L-type energy distribution to depict the breakdown and the arc-to-glow phases during the energy discharge process. Several key design parameters were investigated, including injector clocking, number of nozzle holes, spray inclusion angle, number of fuel injections, fuel split ratio, and fuel injection timings. The study emphasized the region around the spark gap, focusing on flame kernel formation and development and local equivalence ratio distribution. Flame kernel development and the ignition process were found to correlate strongly with the fuel stratification and the flow velocity near the spark gap. The analysis results showed that the flame kernel development followed the direction of the local flow field. In addition, the local fuel stratification notably influenced early-stage flame kernel development due to varying injection spray patterns and the fuel injection strategies. Among these design parameters, the number of nozzle holes and fuel injection timing had the most significant effects on the engine combustion performance.