Fukumi, Y., Imamura, O., Akihama, K., Takahashi, E. et al., "Laser Breakdown-Assisted Long-Distance Discharge Ignition," SAE Technical Paper 2015-01-1897, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1897.
We developed a novel ignition method called laser breakdown-assisted long-distance discharge ignition (LBALDI) that combines laser breakdown with a discharge to realize lean combustion. The creation of laser breakdown plasma between electrodes for discharge enables discharges over longer distances than those of conventional sparkplug as inferred from laser-triggered lightning or laser-triggered gas switches. This method should help realize volumetric ignition through the creation of a long-distance discharge. Experiments on the fundamental discharge and ignition of methane/air mixtures were conducted. The optimum incident time of the laser prior to the application of a high voltage was found to reduce the sparkover voltage and markedly reduce the voltage required by LBALDI under pressurized air conditions. In the ignition experiment, LBALDI showed the fastest heat release rate at the lean flammable limit. This paper discusses the advantages of LBALDI over the other high-energy ignition system.