Controlled Autoignition of Hydrogen in a Direct-injection Optical Engine


Research into novel internal combustion engines requires consideration of the diversity in future fuels in an attempt to reduce drastically CO2 emissions from vehicles and promote energy sustainability. Hydrogen has been proposed as a possible fuel for future internal combustion engines and can be produced from renewable sources. Hydrogen’s wide flammability range allows higher engine efficiency than conventional fuels with both reduced toxic emissions and no CO2 gases. Most previous work on hydrogen engines has focused on spark-ignition operation. The current paper presents results from an optical study of controlled autoignition (or homogeneous charge compression ignition) of hydrogen in an engine of latest spark-ignition pentroof combustion chamber geometry with direct injection of hydrogen (100 bar). This was achieved by a combination of inlet air preheating in the range 200–400 C and residual gas recirculated internally by negative valve overlap. Hydrogen fuelling was set to various values of equivalence ratio, typically in the range / = 0.40–0.63. Crank-angle resolved flame chemiluminescence images were acquired for a series of consecutive cycles at 1000 RPM in order to calculate in-cylinder rates of flame expansion and motion. Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) of OH was also applied to record more detailed features of the autoignition pattern. Single and double (i.e. ‘split’ per cycle) hydrogen injection strategies were employed in order to identify the effect of mixture preparation on autoignition’s timing and spatial development. An attempt was also made to review relevant in-cylinder phenomena from the limited literature on hydrogen-fuelled spark-ignition optical engines and make comparisons were appropriate.

Funding source: The authors would like to thank the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for financial support (Grant EP/C520211/1) The EPSRC instrument pool is also gratefully acknowledged for the ICCD camera.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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