This paper describes a means of achieving cycle-by-cycle combustion monitoring of reciprocating engines without the use of cylinder pressure sensors. This approach is intended primarily for engines that are not equipped with indicator passages (that would facilitate the installation of cylinder pressure sensors) but are (or can be) equipped with fittings for individual cylinder exhaust thermocouples. The monitoring system uses rugged exhaust temperature probes and advanced signal processing and analysis to detect cycle-by-cycle variations in exhaust temperatures and correlates these with conventional combustion analysis parameters. The system is particularly useful for detecting the deteriorations in combustion stability that precede misfiring as well as individual misfire events if they occur. Engine test results are presented showing the correlation between the exhaust temperature signal and parameters based upon cylinder pressure measurements. The ability to detect low level combustion instability and isolated, individual misfires has been demonstrated on a 95 liter V12 industrial natural gas engine. It as also been shown that successful acquisition of high fidelity exhaust temperature signals for the combustion analysis can be achieved in the presence of the high levels of electromagnetic interference typical of a power generation facility.

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