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High Fidelity Simulation of Laser-induced High-Energy Spark Ignition

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
38 a
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Tech-X Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave, Suite A Boulder, CO -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: High Fidelity Simulation of Laser-induced High-Energy Spark Ignition
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-11ER90017
Award Amount: $149,835.00


There has been ongoing work in US and Europe to develop commercial laser ignition systems for natural gas and gasoline engines. Most of the effort has been directed towards demonstrating the benefit of laser ignition in static combustion chamber or single cylinder engines. To develop a reliable commercial laser ignition system, the laser ignition needs to be optimized for required laser beam quality, laser energy for initial gas breakdown and subsequent ignition, the laser spark position within a combustible fuel-air mixture and the fluid dynamics of the ambient gas, such as turbulence, flow velocity that can affect the laser spark evolution and ignition kernel. Experimentally determining these parameters for a wide variety of engines and engine conditions are difficult and very expensive without the assistance of computational tools. The parallel simulation framework Nautilus will be used to simulate gas breakdown by a laser system. The simulations will include complicated gas chemistries and plasma physics. The results will be validated via comparison against experimental data. Phase I project will provide useful insights to develop and design the laser-induced spark ignition systems. At the end of Phase II, we will have developed state-of-the-art software capable of designing laser-induced ignition spark systems that will be an essential part of efficient and low emission combustion engines. Phase I tasks will resolve the key technical questions and set the stage for Phase II work. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: The proposed work will significantly enhance the Nautilus software, which is already a successful commercial product. The added capabilities and new expertise will be directly relevant to important commercial applications like ignition of all types of internal combustion engines, plasma medicine and ozone generation as well as the fusion reactor industry. The work will help to reduce risk and lower costs for Development of laser-induced ignition systems, which will an essential part of fuel efficient, less emission engines

Principal Investigator:

Yongjun Choi

Business Contact:

Laurence D. Nelson
Small Business Information at Submission:

Tech-x Corporation
5621 Arapahoe Ave Boulder, CO 80303-1379

EIN/Tax ID: 841256533
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No