The natural gas transmission industry integrates turbochargers into the engine system to strategically increase airflow for the purpose of decreasing pollutant emissions, such as Nitrogen Oxide (NOX). Regulations are expected to be tightened in the coming years, forcing transmission companies to look past turbochargers for compliance. The solution to further decreasing emissions lies not in further retrofit, but focusing on the physics of the current system. The flow rate physics of the intake and exhaust manifolds impede equal distribution of air from the turbocharger to each cylinder. Imbalance in airflow creates a discontinuity in the trapped equivalence ratio from cylinder to cylinder. The trapped equivalence ratio is directly proportional to NOX production and a function of the fuel flow rate, airflow rate, and, in two-stroke cycle engines, the scavenging efficiency. Only when these three characteristics are balanced cylinder to cylinder will the combustion and the NOX production in each cylinder be equal. The engine NOX production will be disproportionately high if even one cylinder operates less lean relative to the other cylinders. Balancing the NOX production between cylinders can lower the overall NOX production of the engine. This paper reports on an investigation into the transient, compressible flow physics that impact the trapped equivalence ratio. A comprehensive, variable geometry, multi-cylinder Turbocharger-Reciprocating Engine Computer Simulation (T-RECS) has been developed to illustrate the effect of airflow imbalance on an engine. A new model, the Charge Air Integrated Manifold Engine Numerical Simulation (CAIMENS), is a manifold flow model coupled with the T-RECS engine processor that uses an integrated set of fundamental principles to determine the crank angle-resolved pressure, temperature, burned and unburned mass fractions, and gas exchange rates for the cylinder. CAIMENS has the ability to show the transient impact of one cylinder firing on each successive cylinder. The pulsation model also describes the impact of manifold pressure drop on in-cylinder peak pressure and the pressure wave introduced to the intake manifold by uncovering the intake ports. CAIMENS provides the information necessary to quantify the impact of airflow imbalance, and allows for the visualization of the engine system before and after airflow correction. The model shows that not only does the manifold pressure drop have a significant impact on the in-cylinder peak pressure, but it also has an impact on the pressure wave introduced to the intake manifold as the ports are opened. Also, each cylinder has a considerable impact on the airflow into each successive cylinder.

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