Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

A Numerical Simulation of Analysis of Backfiring Phenomena in a Hydrogen-Fueled Spark Ignition Engine

[+] Author and Article Information
K. A. Subramanian

Engines and Unconventional Fuels Laboratory,
Centre for Energy Studies,
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi,
Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India
e-mail: subra@ces.iitd.ac.in

B. L. Salvi

Engines and Unconventional Fuels Laboratory,
Centre for Energy Studies,
Indian Institute of Technology Delhi,
Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India
e-mail: salvibl@yahoo.in

Contributed by the IC Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received February 11, 2016; final manuscript received February 25, 2016; published online April 26, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(10), 102811 (Apr 26, 2016) (10 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1067; doi: 10.1115/1.4033182 History: Received February 11, 2016; Revised February 25, 2016

Hydrogen utilization in spark ignition (SI) engines could reduce urban pollution including particulate matter as well as greenhouse gas emission. However, backfiring, which is an undesirable combustion process of intake charge in hydrogen-fueled SI engine with manifold-based injection, is one of the major technical issues in view of safety of engine operation. Backfiring occurs generally during suction stroke as the hydrogen–air charge interacts with residual gas, resulting in flame growth and propagation toward upstream of engine's intake manifold, resulting in stalling of engine operation and high risk of safety. This work is aimed at analysis of backfiring in a hydrogen-fueled SI engine. The results indicate that backfiring is mainly function of residual gas temperature, start of hydrogen injection timing, and equivalence ratio. Any hot-spot present in the cylinder would act as ignition source resulting in more chances of backfiring. In addition to this, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis was carried out in order to assess flow characteristics of hydrogen and air during suction stroke in intake manifold. Furthermore, numerical analysis of intake charge velocity, flame speed (deflagration), and flame propagation (backfiring) toward upstream of intake manifold was also carried out. Some notable points of backfiring control strategy including exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and retarded (late) hydrogen injection timing are emerged from this study for minimizing chance of backfiring. This study results are useful for development of dedicated SI engine for hydrogen fuel in the aspects of elimination of backfiring.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Hydrogen-fueled SI engine: (a) backfiring phenomenon in the intake manifold and (b) pressure raised during backfire in intake manifold at WOT [6]

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Fig. 2

Valve timing diagram with backfiring period

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Fig. 3

(a) Photographic view of engine cylinder with manifolds and (b) intake manifold geometry with meshing

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Fig. 4

A typical intake manifold geometry for numerical analysis

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Fig. 5

Variation in intake manifold pressure with respect to crank angle

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Fig. 6

Indicative diagram of backfiring zone during gas exchange process

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Fig. 7

Instantaneous in-cylinder mass and valves lifting profile with respect to crank angle during gas exchange process

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Fig. 8

In-cylinder mixture temperature with respect to crank angle during suction stroke

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Fig. 9

Explosion limits of a stoichiometric H2–O2 mixture (modified source figure from Ref. [25])

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Fig. 10

Hydrogen–air charge flow field and hot-spot temperature gradient profile in intake manifold: (a) 5 deg CA bTDC, (b) 10 deg CA aTDC, (c) 20 deg CA aTDC, and (d) 25 deg CA aTDC

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Fig. 11

(a) Early stage of backfiring and (b) backfiring propagation in the intake manifold containing hydrogen–air charge

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Fig. 12

Propagation of backfiring with different velocity of reactant

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Fig. 13

Laminar burning velocity with respect to equivalence ratio

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Fig. 14

Laminar burning velocity and inlet charge velocity with respect to crank angle

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Fig. 15

The Rankine–Hugoniot curve for q = q1 with origin at A(P1, v1)

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Fig. 16

Effect of EGR on laminar burning velocity with respect to equivalence ratio

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Fig. 17

Variation in start of gas injection with respect to brake torque and engine speed for backfire-free operation



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