This paper is a contribution to the development of an original technique for measuring the in-cylinder equivalence air–fuel ratio. The main objective was to construct an instrument able to furnish instantaneous values of hydrocarbon concentration for many consecutive cycles at a definite location, especially at the spark plug location. The probe is based on a hot-wire-like apparatus, but involves catalytic oxidation on the wire surface in order to be sensitive to the hydrocarbon concentration. In this paper, we present the different steps needed to develop and validate the probe. The first step focuses on the geometric configuration to simplify as much as possible the mass transfer phenomena on the wire. The second step is a parametric study to evaluate the sensitivity, confidence and lifetime of the wire. By physical analysis, we propose a relationship between the electrical signal and the air–fuel equivalence ratio of the sampled gases. The third step is the application of the probe to in-cylinder motored engine measurements, which confirms the ability of the technique to characterise, quantitatively, the homogeneity of the air–fuel mixture, especially during the compression stroke. This work points out that the global sensitivity is estimated at 4 V per unit of equivalence air–fuel ratio and the response time is estimated at about 400 μs. The equivalence air–fuel ratio range is from pure air to 1.2. Experiments show that it is necessary to calibrate the system before use because of the existence of multiple catalysis states. The probe presents advantages associated with its simplicity, its low cost and its direct engine application without any modifications.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2002
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