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Cycle-to-cycle variations in spark-ignition engines Kapil, Anil


Pressure data measurements have been made in a single-cylinder, spark-ignition engine over 100 consecutive cycles. The engine was operated on natural gas at a wide range of engine speed and equivalence ratios. The effects of spark electrode geometry, combustion chamber geometry, spark gap and throttling have also been examined. From these pressure measurements standard deviations in burning times in mass-fraction-burned values were determined. Because of the existing evidence that the origin of cyclic variations is in the early combustion period, the standard deviations of cyclic variation in time required for a small (almost zero) mass-fraction-burned is estimated by extrapolation. These extrapolated values of standard deviation are compared with the implication of a hypothesis that cyclic variations in combustion in spark-ignition engines originate in the small-scale structure of turbulence (after ignition). The nature of turbulence structure during combustion is deduced from existing knowledge of mixture motion within the combustion chamber of the engine. This research determines the turbulent parameters, such as turbulence intensity, turbulent length scales and laminar burning velocity. The standard deviation in burning times in the early stages of combustion is estimated, within experimental uncertainty, by the parameter ⋋/4uℓ where ⋋ is the Taylor microscale and uℓ is the laminar burning velocity of the unburned mixture. This parameter is the consequence of the Tennekes model of small-scale structure of turbulence and Chomiak's explanation of the high flame propagation rate in regions of concentrated vorticity and the assumption that theignition behaves as though it were from a point source. The general conclusion reached is that the standard deviation in the burning time for small mass-fraction-burned is associated with the early stages of burning-predictable from the knowledge of the Taylor microscale and the laminar burning velocity.

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