Advanced Engine Combustion

Researchers from the Combustion Research Facility display a prototype ducted fuel injection module.

Sandia’s engine combustion research program is sponsored by the Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office, as well as several industry partners. The work is conducted in close cooperation with the U.S. automotive and heavy-duty engine industries, energy companies, other national laboratories, and academia.

At Sandia’s Combustion Research Facility (CRF), staff and visiting researchers have greatly expanded fundamental knowledge of combustion processes by pioneering research into new science and applied concepts. With a focus on difficult real-world challenges and a mandate to share results openly, the CRF has been instrumental in helping the automotive and trucking industries improve the efficiency and emissions of their products.

CRF researchers use advanced, laser-based diagnostics in conjunction with experimental hardware that simulates or closely mimics realistic engine conditions. Research hardware includes several optically accessible, single-cylinder engines with production or prototypical engine heads and an optically accessible combustion vessel capable of simulating an extremely wide range of potential engine conditions. Optical access in the engines is provided by quartz piston heads, quartz cylinder liners, windowed spacers, and/or periscopes in exhaust valves. CRF engine researchers are also developing sensitive, high-energy, laser-based diagnostics for measuring real-time particulate matter in engine exhaust streams. As part of our engine combustion research, Sandia leads the Engine Combustion Network, an open forum for international collaboration among experimental and computational researchers in engine combustion. Sandia also leads the Spray Combustion Consortium, an industry-funded activity aiming to improve engine combustion system design and optimization tools.

Paul Miles

(925) 294-1512