Kim, Joohan; Scarcelli, Riccardo; Som, Sibendu; Shah, Ashish; Biruduganti, Munidhar; Longman, Douglas
Natural gas is considered an attractive alternative fossil fuel as it produces 25% less carbon dioxide and emits fewer amounts of toxic pollutants compared to gasoline and diesel. A pre-chamber type ignition device in a natural gas engine is capable of extending the lean operating limit, and hence improving thermal efficiency, by providing spatially distributed ignition with multiple turbulent flame-jets and accelerating the combustion rate. However, the process of ignition in the main chamber triggered by turbulent jets emanating from a pre-chamber is very sensitive to the pre-chamber geometry and fueling strategy, and any effort to optimize these parameters requires fundamental understanding of the underlying physical and thermodynamic phenomena, which can be studied by a multi-dimensional numerical simulation approach. In this study, three turbulent combustion models widely adopted in the multi-dimensional engine modeling community were preliminary evaluated to simulate the combustion process in a natural gas engine with a pre-chamber spark-ignition system. One multi-zone well-stirred reactor model, and two flamelet-based combustion models, G-equation and Extended Coherent Flamelet Model, were employed for this assessment. Under a fuel-lean condition, the three combustion models were used to match experimental data and analyze the differences in terms of in-cylinder pressure and heat release rate.