Melaika, M. and Dahlander, P., "Experimental Investigation of Methane Direct Injection with Stratified Charge Combustion in Optical SI Single Cylinder Engine," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0797, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0797.
This paper assesses methane low pressure direct injection with stratified charge in a SI engine to highlight its potential and downsides. Experiments were carried out in a spark ignited single cylinder optical engine with stratified, homogeneous lean and stoichiometric operational mode, with focus on stratified mode. A dual coil ignition system was used in stratified mode in order to achieve sufficient combustion stability. The fuel injection pressure for the methane was 18 bar. Results show that stratified combustion with methane spark ignited direct injection is possible at 18 bar fuel pressure and that the indicated specific fuel consumption in stratified mode was 28% lower compared to the stoichiometric mode. Combustion and emission spectrums during the combustion process were captured with two high-speed video cameras. Combustion images, cylinder pressure data and heat release analysis showed that there are fairly high cycle-to-cycle variations in the combustion. Both blue pre-mixed flame and soot luminescence occurred in the combustion. The occurrence of soot luminescence was also supported by the emission spectrum. Soot formation sources were found to be localized randomly in the bulk flame but not on the piston nor in the vicinity of the spark plug. These findings illustrate the difficulty of achieving proper mixing between air and methane resulting in fairly high cycle-to-cycle variations in the combustion and fuel rich areas which create a source of soot.