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Investigation of Correlations Between COV of Ion Integral and COV of IMEP in a Port-Injected Natural-Gas Engine

Correlations between the coefficient of variations (COV) of ion current integrals and COV of indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP) are investigated. The investigations are made to see if there is a possibility to use ion sense technique for closed loop combustion control to maximize Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) level with remaining combustion stability. The engine studied in this thesis is a stoichiometric natural gas engine with a three way catalyst working with different EGR levels. One way to increase the efficiency in a stoichiometric natural gas engine is to maximize the EGR level [3]. With a higher EGR level it is possible to open the throttle even further with a result of lower pumping losses. Also temperature losses to chamber walls will be smaller with high EGR levels. A closed loop system controlling the EGR valve against COV of IMEP around 5 % is used for this engine. For COV of flame peak integral in range from 0 to 15-20% of COV of IMEP a linear correlation was found for lambda less than 1.3. For COV of two peaks integral a linear correlation was found for the entire measured range. This correlation may not be used for a robust EGR control system due to a small increase of COV of ion integral and due to a high variance in COV of ion integral. Correlations are discussed for different ion integrals with different air/fuels ratios and EGR levels. A control strategy is also presented.

Johan Molin


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