The flame propagation rate resulting from a combustion event in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine is controlled by modulation of the heat transfer from the combustion flame to the combustion chamber walls. In one embodiment, heat transfer from the combustion flame to the combustion chamber walls is mechanically modulated by a movable member that is inserted into, or withdrawn from, the combustion chamber thereby changing the shape of the combustion chamber and the combustion chamber wall surface area. In another embodiment, heat transfer from the combustion flame to the combustion chamber walls is modulated by cooling the surface of a portion of the combustion chamber wall that is in close proximity to the area of the combustion chamber where flame speed control is desired.
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
The U.S. Government has a paid up license in this invention in the right in certain circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of Contract No. DE-AT26-98FT40398, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.