Effects of multiple spark ignition on engine knock under different compression ratio and fuel octane number conditions

Hao Shi, Qinglong Tang, Kalim Uddeen, Bengt Johansson, James W. G. Turner, Gaetano Magnotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Engine knock has long been one of the major obstacles for improving thermal efficiency of spark-ignition (SI) engines. An in-depth understanding of the engine knock mechanism and characteristics is vital for controlling knocking combustion. Experimental investigation of knock events is challenging given their stochastic nature. We employ a single-cylinder research engine equipped with a specialized metal liner with four circumferentially mounted spark plugs to generate multiple ignition sites, and achieve more controlled knock events. Six pressure transducers are mounted to collect the pressure signals from different locations of the cylinder. A series of spark strategies (e.g., spark number, location and timing) are applied to investigate the knock characteristics of different spark ignition strategies. The effects of compression ratio and fuel octane number are also explored. The experimental results show that the knock intensity first increases as the number of active sparks goes from one to three and decreases significantly with four spark ignition, and even below the double spark ignition in some cases. This is due to the trade-off between the mass fraction and temperature of end-gas: nearly 90% of the fuel energy is consumed at knock onset in the four spark ignition cases, and only a small proportion of energy is consumed by auto-ignition, thus limiting the knock intensity. Compared with the single spark case, multiple spark ignition generates higher power output and lower cycle-to-cycle variations. The knock suppressing effect of the four spark ignition strategy is enhanced by higher fuel octane number and lower compression ratio. This study provides a possible way to generate controllable knock and gives insights into the different knock mechanisms under multiple spark ignition conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122471
StatePublished - Nov 20 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-11-22
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): URF/1/3710-01-01
Acknowledgements: This work was funded by competitive research funding (URF/1/3710-01-01) from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology


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