The further thermal efficiency improvement of marine natural gas engine is constrained by a knocking phenomenon that commonly occurs in gas-fueled spark-ignited engines. It plays an important role to investigate how the knocking occurs and how to predict it based on the engine simulation model. In this paper, a two-zone model is developed to provide the prediction of knocking performance and NO emission, which is verified by engine test bed data from a transformed marine natural gas spark ignition (SI) engine. Cylindrical division theory is used to describe the shape of the two zones to decrease the computational cost, as well as a basic mechanism for NO concentration calculation. In order to solve the volume balance, three boundary parameters are introduced to determine the initial condition and mass flow between the two zones. Furthermore, boundary parameters’ variation and knocking factor (compression ratio and advanced ignition angle) will be discussed under different working conditions. Result shows that the two-zone model has sufficient accuracy in predicting engine performance, NO emission and knocking performance. Both the increasing compression ratio and advanced ignition angle have a promoting effect on knocking probability, knocking timing and knocking intensity. The knocking phenomenon can be avoided in the targeted natural gas SI engine by constraining the compression ratio smaller than 14 and advanced ignition angle later than 30° before top dead center (BTDC).
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