High demands are placed on large gas engines in the areas of performance, fuel consumption and emissions. In order to meet all these demands, it is necessary to operate the engine in its optimal range. At high engine loads the optimal operation range becomes narrower as the engine comes closer to the knocking or to the misfire limit. The ambient conditions are of increasing importance in this range of operation. Variations in humidity influence the engine’s burn rate characteristics. An increase in humidity reduces the burn rate and increases the combustion duration. This increase in combustion duration has the same effect as retarding the time of ignition. Thus the thermal efficiency is reduced. Additionally, the engine is more likely to misfire as humidity increases. The cylinder temperature affects the engine fuel efficiency, knocking, exhaust gas temperature and particularly NOx emission. An increase in manifold air temperature results in higher NOx emission, heat transfer and knocking tendency. To avoid knocking, the time of ignition must be retarded resulting in lower engine efficiency. In this paper the effects of changes in humidity and temperature of the intake air on engine performance were examined in a lean burn pre-chamber natural gas engine. Tests on a single cylinder research engine were carried out. Effects on knocking and misfire limit, NOx emissions and fuel consumption were investigated depending on engine load. The interpretation of the results was supported by an extended analysis of losses.

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