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Phase II SBIR for 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: 0000219374
Amount: $999,792.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 07e
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001258
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-07-27
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-07-26
Small Business Information
18 West Piper Avenue
Ewing, NJ 08628-1390
United States
DUNS: 865083350
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Artur Suckewer
 (609) 406-7888
Business Contact
 Artur Suckewer
Title: Dr.
Phone: (609) 406-7888
Research Institution

There is a need to further develop the internal combustion engine to increase its efficiency and reduce emissions. The 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 DoEs position and believes its technology can be developed to meet and exceed the DoE performance specifications. Knites electromagnetically propelled plasma base ignition technology has demonstrated the ability to reliably meet the desired requirements however these results were achieved at 50 Bar (~725 psi) or below. By modulating the current intensity once it has established an ionized region, Knites team has been able to stabilize KSIs plasma over a broad range of pressures (US patent #7,467,612). As a result, although actual benefits are very engine design specific, generally KSI can demonstrate the performance gains desired in Topic 7e except the 100 bar (~1450 psi) requirement. The subtopics requirement of reliable ignition at 100 Bar provided 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. 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. In the SBIR Phase 1, Knites approach was to initially analyze KSIs characteristics at higher pressures to understand trends as operation exceeds 50 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 output to optimize the discharge for high pressure to mitigate any adverse effects in order to achieve reliable and robust ignition capability through 100 Bar. In the Phase 1 SBIR, Knite established reliable operation at 100 bar (N2 equivalent) and gained an understanding the tradeoffs necessary to achieve this goal. Knite determined that very high pressure operation of KSI is primarily achieved with tighter tolerances and additional materials processing within the igniter (sparkplug) a minor cost penalty in production with no anticipated performance penalty to as compared to the prior KSI design. In Phase 2, Knite intends to confirm KSIs performance benefits with the changes implemented in Phase 1 by preparing a test system and testing at an industry respected test facility to verify the benefits established in Phase 1 and establishing operating specifications for an engineering prototype. Knite with then design and build an engineering prototype (TRL-6) and confirm the performance benefits of the engineering prototype at the same industry respected test facility. Phase 2 will result in understanding of how KSI compares to other advanced ignition systems in both performance and product practicality. A successful result will be a TRL-6 prototype with demonstrated performance benefit, meeting industrys goals and a clear product development path.

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

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