Natural gas is widely used in sequentially port fuel injection engine to meet stringent emission regulation. Lean burn operation is one of the ways to improve spark-ignition engine fuel economy. The instability in the combustion process of the lean burn engine is one of the major challenges for engine research. In this study, the performance and combustion characteristics of a lean burn sequential injection compressed natural gas (CNG) engine were investigated numerically using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling over a wide range of air/fuel equivalence ratio. A detailed chemical kinetic mechanism was used for natural gas combustion along with laminar flame speed model to capture lean burn operating condition within the combustion chamber. Combustion pressure, indicated mean effective pressure (IMEP), and heat release were analyzed for performance analysis, whereas flame development angle (CA 10), combustion duration, thermal efficiency were taken for combustion analysis. The results show that on increasing air/fuel equivalence ratio at a given spark timing, IMEP decreases as the lean burn mixture produces less amount of gross power output due to insufficient available energy. Moreover, lower burning velocity characteristic of natural gas extends the combustion duration, where a substantial amount of total energy released after top dead center. It is also seen that optimum spark timing (MBT) for maximum IMEP advances with an increase in air/fuel equivalence ratio due to late ignition timing under lean burn condition. CFD model successfully captures the effect of dilution to illustrate the considerations to design future combustion engine for spark ignited natural gas engine.

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