The focus in research year 05 was on the optimization of optical coupling and minimization of laser energy especially in connection with very lean combustion and with high exhaust gas recirculation rates for low NOx emissions. The direct comparison of laser ignition with conventional spark ignitions, without any measures implemented in favor of laser ignition (high compression ratio, high turbulence ratio), consistently shows advantages in the case of laser ignition. With extension of the Lambda window, in the case of a spark ignition engine with a 2.4 1 piston displacement it is possible to shift the engine 0.3 units in the direction of “lean combustion” (possible reduction of NOx level less than 30% of the state of the art); EGR compatibility is increased by about 15% to a recirculation rate of about 40%. With regard to EGR compatibility, in coordination with SWRI (HEDGE Program) similar tests on determination of potential were carried out as well. In this case too no essential measures were implemented in favor of the exploitation of the potential of laser ignition; however, a minor increase of the compression ratio already allows recognition of the theoretically possible and expected potentials. Regarding stoichiometric conditions, from the viewpoint of the researchers working jointly on the project it is possible to reduce the energy to less than 1 mJ. Conversely, in the event of the utilization of lean-burn combustion, appreciably more energy must be provided. Additionally, measures regarding combustion control in the area of the extended lean-burn limit must also be carried out. Only then is it possible to ensure optimal values for burning durations and the variation coefficient. Initial results in this regard will also be presented.

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