Validation And Performance Analysis Of A Directed Energy Ignition System On Large Natural Gas-Fueled Reciprocating Engines
In an operating environment driven by efficiency and environmental compliance, the optimization of engine performance and/or the exhaust emissions profiles on large natural gas engines remains a continuing priority. Rationalizing these two sometimes mutually-exclusive goals, while at the same time assuring the necessary fiscal responsibility in the process has become a major focus of research and development. Both combustion control system providers and organizations engaged in the transmission of natural gas or in associated power generation across the globe are pursuing these objectives. The recent development and introduction of the directed energy ignition technology offers the opportunity to effectively extend the combustion stability envelope on many engines. This technology can be implemented at a level of investment not previously available to gas engine designers and operators. In doing so, operators facing exhaust emission regulation can be assured of reliable combustion of difficult to ignite air/fuel mixtures. Similarly, engine startability and performance across the load range can be optimized for those applications focused upon reliability and fuel-related operating costs. In both cases these goals were accompanied by a design priority to deliver a modest cost of ownership and minimal new training and operating requirements. This paper quantifies and qualifies the performance of the directed energy ignition technology in meeting these design goals. It is inclusive of validation data obtained primarily from instrumented laboratory applications and addresses the range of engine performance and emissions-specific metrics. This review also discusses system design goals driven by known customer requirements for operating simplicity and manageable user training needs.