Combustion and flame propagation characteristics of the liquid phase LPG injection (LPLI) engine were investigated in a single-cylinder optical engine. Lean-burn operation is needed to reduce thermal stress of exhaust manifold and engine knock in a heavy-duty LPG engine. An LPLI system has advantages on lean operation. Optimized engine design parameters such as swirl, injection timing and piston geometry can improve lean-burn performance with LPLI system.
In this study, the effects of piston geometry along with injection timing and swirl ratio on flame propagation characteristics were investigated. A series of bottom-view flame images were taken from direct visualization using a UV intensified high-speed CCD camera. Concepts of flame area speed, in addition to flame propagation patterns and thermodynamic heat release analysis, was introduced to analyze the flame propagation characteristics. The results show the correlation between the flame propagation characteristics, which is related to engine performance of lean region, and engine design parameters such as swirl ratio, piston geometry and injection timing. Stronger swirl resulted in faster flame propagation under open valve injection. The flame speed was significantly affected by injection timing under open valve injection conditions; supposedly due to the charge stratification. Piston geometry affected flame propagation through squish effects.