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Development of a lowenergy nanosecond pulsed ignition system enabling highefficiency dilute gasoline combustion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0013824
Agency Tracking Number: 224822
Amount: $999,447.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 17e
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001490
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-07-31
Small Business Information
1751 Torrance Boulevard
Torrance, CA 90501
United States
DUNS: 018885811
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Singleton
 (310) 212-3033
Business Contact
 Daniel Singleton
Title: Dr.
Phone: (310) 212-3033
Research Institution

The Department of Energy’s mission includes reducing America’s petroleum consumption to provide
greater freedom of mobility, energy security, lower costs and reduced impact on the environment. There
are more than 22,000 deaths/year attributed to NOx and particulates1. The worst offender of the in the
U.S. is highway vehicles, which produce 11.6 billion lbs. of NOx, 400 million lbs. of particulates, and
cost around $400 billion in fuel each year2. Diluteburn engines are an attractive solution to developing
more energy efficient and environmentally friendly passenger vehicles; however, ignition instability
associated with dilute mixtures prevents widespread application3. A U.S. made, lowenergy nonthermal
plasma ignition system demonstrated in Phase I to enable diluteburn engines will have a major impact and could result in a reduction in NOx emissions over 50% and fuel savings up to $80 billion/year in the U.S., while impacting more than 10,000 lives and reducing CO2 emissions. The system also has the potential to extend spark plug lifetime, which is critical when evaluating advanced ignition techniques and is the focus of this Phase II grant. A novel lowenergy nanosecond pulsed ignition system was advanced from TRL5 to TRL6 during the Phase I grant, and was shown to reliably ignite dilute mixtures. The system developed in Phase II will provide a solution to two critical problems for both heavyduty natural gas and gasoline engine manufacturers (e.g. Ford, Caterpillar, etc.), improving both fuel economy and extending spark plug lifetime, which will accelerate the adoption timeline of a product that would enable a significant leap in the performance of next generation of fuel efficient vehicles. The system demonstrated in Phase I will be developed to deliver increased voltage and repetition rates to increase diluteburn stability, and a control system based on a feedback loop will be developed to avoid spark breakdown. This will be the first time that a control system has been developed for a nanosecond pulsed ignition system to avoid spark breakdown and minimize energy delivered to the spark plug while optimizing combustion performance, and it is expected to reduce spark plug service intervals by more than a factor of two compared to highenergy thermal ignition systems. This is especially critical for applications such as stationary power generation where taking an engine out of service to change spark plugs every 16 weeks costs over $10K/hour. During Phase II, existing relationships with engine research facilities and engine manufacturers will provide additional financial support, expertise and experience to develop and optimize the ignition system to meet market needs. The preproduction prototype developed during Phase II will be licensed to ignition system Tier 1 suppliers in Phase III for manufacture and use in spark ignition engines. Keywords: Vehicles, Energy Efficient, Environmentally Friendly, LeanBurn Engine, Ignition, Nonthermal Plasma, Nanosecond Pulsed Power, Dilute Combustion, Transient Plasma, Plasma Assisted Combustion

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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