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Appl. Sci. 2018, 8(9), 1533; https://doi.org/10.3390/app8091533

A Novel Way to Enhance the Spark Plasma-Assisted Ignition for an Aero-Engine Under Low Pressure

1
Science and Technology on Plasma Dynamics Laboratory, Air Force Engineering University, Xi’an 710038, China
2
Institute of Aero-engine, School of Mechanical Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 August 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 20 August 2018 / Published: 1 September 2018
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Abstract

Finding a new ignition strategy for ignition enhancement in a lean-burn combustor has always been the biggest challenge for high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It is of great importance for the development of high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft to improve the secondary ignition ability of the aero-engine at high altitude where the ignition capability of the aero-engine igniter rapidly declines. An innovative ignition mode is therefore urgently needed. A novel plasma-assisted ignition method based on a multichannel discharge jet-enhanced spark (MDJS) was proposed in this study. Compared to the conventional spark igniter (SI), the arc discharge energy of the MDJS was increased by 13.6% at 0.12 bar and by 14.7% at 0.26 bar. Furthermore, the spark plasma penetration depth of the MDJS was increased by 49% and 103% at 0.12 bar and 0.26 bar, respectively. The CH* radicals showed that the MDJS obtained a larger initial spark kernel and reached a higher spark plasma penetration depth, which helped accelerate the burning velocity. Ignition tests in a model swirl combustor showed that the lean ignition limit was extended 24% from 0.034 to 0.026 at 25 m/s with 20 °C kerosene and 17% from 0.075 to 0.062 at 12 m/s with −30 °C kerosene maximally. The MDJS was a unique plasma-assisted ignition method, activated by the custom ignition power supply instead of a special power supply with an extra gas source. The objective of this study was to provide a novel multichannel discharge jet-enhanced spark ignition strategy which would help to increase the arc discharge energy, the spark plasma penetration depth and the activated area without changing the power supply system and to improve the safety and performance of aero-engines. View Full-Text
Keywords: multichannel discharge jet-enhanced spark; plasma-assisted ignition; spark kernel; lean ignition limit multichannel discharge jet-enhanced spark; plasma-assisted ignition; spark kernel; lean ignition limit
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Huang, S.; Zhang, Z.; Song, H.; Wu, Y.; Li, Y. A Novel Way to Enhance the Spark Plasma-Assisted Ignition for an Aero-Engine Under Low Pressure. Appl. Sci. 2018, 8, 1533.

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