Robust Spark and Plasma Ignition Systems for Gas Turbine Main Combustors and Augmentors

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Knite Inc.
501 Forrestal Rd, Suite 119, Princeton, NJ, 08540
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Karl Zaininger
Managing Director
(609) 258-9550
Business Contact:
Art Suckewer
(609) 258-9550
Research Institution:
The DoD has identified a series of potential problems created by the capability limits of present ignition technology. These limits are most pronounced at high altitude where low pressure and vitiated air with low oxygen produce an ignition limited condition. Kinetic Spark Ignition is a transformational ignition technology. KSI has demonstrated, on advanced piston engines through 3rd party testing, fuel efficiency gains of 5% - 30%, greenhouse gas reduction (including CO2) of 5% - 30%, reduction of harmful pollutants such as smog forming NOx of up to 80%. Recent testing success on non-piston applications suggests KSI has significant potential to address the increased need of turbine and augmentor applications. Knite proposes to adjust its computational models and optimize KSI for the desired parameters, with bench test verification in Phase I, then gather actual combustion data with varying plasma parameters in order to support the creation of an accurate CFD model and KSI based ignition product in Phase II. Based on the scope of work and with the expressed industry support, meeting or exceeding TRL-5 for a readily producible/practical ignition product in Phase II of the project is likely. BENEFIT: The anticipated benefits from the KSI ignition system in piston engines applications include improved fuel efficiency gains of 5% - 30%, reduction in greenhouse gases (including CO2) of 5% - 30%, and a reduction in harmful pollutants such as smog forming NOx of up to 80%. These benefits have been confirmed through 3rd party testing on piston type engines. The turbine engines product lines from this research and development work should be applicable to other DoD turbine applications and if the need is present can be engine qualified for retrofit in product lines. Additionally, an improved ignition source has significant commercial market potential due to KSI potential increased ignition capability, turbine relight capability may be improved. For industrial turbine applications, KSI may improve lean burn,in natural gas and multi fuel operations.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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