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Advanced ignition technology for ultra lean,ultra high pressure internal combustion engines

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0011944
Agency Tracking Number: 212933
Amount: $149,567.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 07e
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001046
Solicitation Year: 2014
Award Year: 2014
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2014-06-09
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-03-08
Small Business Information
18 West Piper Ave
Ewing, NJ 08628-1307
United States
DUNS: 086508335
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Arthur Suckewer
 (609) 406-7888
Business Contact
 Arthur Suckewer
Title: Mr.
Phone: (609) 406-7888
Research Institution

There is a need to further develop the internal combustion engine to increase its efficiency and reduce emissions. In this RFP, DoE has correctly concluded that presently utilized ignition technology is a limiting factor in further improvements. DoE has specified certain performance targets which it believes will enable the development of the next generation of internal combustion engines. Knite agrees with DoE’s position and believes its technology can be developed to meet and exceed the DoE performance specifications. Knite’s electromagnetically propelled plasma technology has demonstrated the ability to reliably extend the lean ignition limit to an air/fuel ratio > 20 while maintaining smooth engine operation (COV of IMEP < 3%) and dramatically increasing an engine’s tolerance of Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) either with or without a lean fuel mixture; however these results were achieved at 50 Bar or below. Most testing of Knite’s technology was at or below 50 Bar. The subtopic’s requirement of reliable ignition at 100 Bar provides an interesting technological challenge because standard approaches for spark ignition encounter limitations/issues from very high system voltage requirements and very intense discharge arcs caused by the high pressure. Though operation at 100 Bar was not initially contemplated, Knite believes that its electromagnetically propelled plasma technology can be developed to operate reliably at pressures through 100 Bar. In Phase 1 of the SBIR, Knite’s approach will be to initially analyze KSI’s characteristics at higher pressures to understand trends as operation approaches 100 Bar and use a combination of solutions including changing material properties within the igniter (sparkplug) to reduce peak voltage requirements and alterations to the circuit to enable controlling the discharge to mitigate the effects of plasma over- intensity in order to achieve reliable and robust ignition capability through 100 Bar. In Phase 2, Knite will verify the performance benefits through 100 Bar and focus on igniter durability at 100 Bar. Phase 3 will focus on productization and manufacturability. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Knite believes that developing electromagnetically propelled thermal plasma based ignition technology that can meet the DoE requirements but is otherwise physically and functionally familiar to industry, can be manufactured by the existing manufacturing infrastructure and can be a drop-in replacement of existing ignition systems is critical to its adoption by industry and, thereby actually realizing real world benefits from internal combustion engines with extensive lean and low emission operations. Enhanced ignition capability is the most cost effective enabler of cleaner and more efficient engines of all types. The 100 Bar capability will be especially beneficial in enabling engine designers to increase engine efficiency including taking full advantage of the properties of natural gas.

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

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