Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by H. Brents Ring, III

(Dr. Pandeli Durbetaki, advisor)

"Electromagnetic Effects on Spark Ignition"


One method of igniting a combustible mixture is by use of an electrical discharge, called spark ignition. This ignition mode finds its most common application in the spark-ignition internal-combustion engine and has been studied extensively, both numerically and experimentally. Recently, efforts have been made to describe the combustion process numerically using detailed modeling. In these analyses, one area that has been greatly simplified is the electromagnetic effects. These effects come into play because of the ionized gases and the strong electric field (10^5-10^7 V/m) between the spark gap. In addition, the flow of current between the spark gap creates a magnetic field, which the ionized gas moves perpendicular to as the spark kernel spreads into the combustion chamber. This research seeks to develop a theoretical model to describe such a process. Appropriate species mass equations are written for each species appearing in the gas mixture, as well as mass, momentum, and energy equations for the entire fluid. These equations are to be solved numerically to determine the properties of the flow field in order to understand the physics of the process. Many researchers have investigated this phenomena, and it has been shown that the flow and ignition of the gas are affected by the characteristics of the electrical discharge. Therefore, in addition to mechanics and chemical kinetics, the model takes into account the effects of electromagnetics.