This paper discusses the characteristics of EGR dilute GDI engines in terms of combustion stability. A combined approach consisting of RANS numerical simulations integrated with experimental engine testing is used to analyze the effect of the ignition source on flame propagation under dilute operating conditions.

A programmable spark-based ignition system is compared to a production spark system in terms of cyclic variability and ultimately indicated efficiency. 3D-CFD simulations are carried out for multiple cycles with the goal of establishing correlations between the characteristics of the ignition system and flame propagation as well as cycle-to-cycle variations. Numerical results are compared to engine data in terms of in-cylinder pressure traces.

The results show that an improved control over the energy released to the fluid surrounding the spark domain during the ignition process has beneficial effects on combustion stability. This allows extending the dilution tolerance for fuel/air mixtures. Although affected by cyclic variability, numerical results show good qualitative agreement with experimental data. The result is a simple but promising approach for relatively quick assessment of stability improvements from advanced and alternative ignition strategies.

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