Comparison between direct and indirect (prechamber) spark ignition in the case of a cogeneration natural gas engine, part II : engine operating parameters and turbocharger characteristics.
In a first paper (part I), prechamber ignition in cogeneration natural gas engines has been shown to significantly intensify and accelerate the combustion process, offering a further potential to reduce the exhaust gas emissions while keeping efficiency at a high level. This second part discusses the influence of the engine operating parameters (spark timing and load) and the turbocharger characteristics with the objective of evaluating the potential to reduce the exhaust gas emissions, particularity the CO emissions, below the Swiss limits (NOx and CO emissions: 250 and 650 mg/m3N, 5% O2, respectively), without exhaust gas after treatment. The advantage of using an unscavenged prechamber is conditioned by a significant delay of the spark timing in order to generate substantial gas jets. This results in a large decrease in peak cylinder pressure and in an important reduction of NOx, CO and THC emissions. Minimum emissions are achieved at a spark timing of about 8°CABTDC . In comparison with the direct ignition, the prechamber ignition yields approximately 40% and 55% less CO and THC emissions, respectively. However, this also leads to about 2%-point lower fuel conversion efficiency. The optimisation of the turbocharger results in a recovery of about 1%-point in fuel conversion efficiency, but a consequent change in the exhaust manifold gas dynamics attenuates the reduction in THC emissions. At the rated power output (150kW), the prechamber ignition operation fulfils the Swiss requirements for exhaust gas emissions and still achieves a fuel conversion efficiency higher than 36.5%.