The early flame kernel initiation and development are essential to a successful combustion process, especially under lean burn/EGR diluted conditions. Multiple ignition sites strategy has shown promise to secure the flame kernel initiation under extreme engine operating conditions. Two factors are considered to contribute to the enhanced ignition capability, i.e. the higher ignition energy and the multiple initial flame kernels. However, the mechanism why the multiple ignition sites help combustion is less understood. In this work, the impacts of the ignition energy distribution strategy on the flame inception process are investigated in a constant volume combustion chamber. A multi-coil ignition system, along with a sparkplug with three high-voltage electrodes, is used to adjust the discharge energy from 10 mJ to 240 mJ, as well as the energy deposition strategies. Experimental results have shown that the distributed energy strategy with sufficient discharge energy can establish a bigger initial flame kernel, leading to faster flame growth rates, as compared to the concentrated energy strategy.

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