Essen, M., Gersen, S., Dijk, G., Mundt, T. et al., "The Effect of Humidity on the Knock Behavior in a Medium BMEP Lean-Burn High-Speed Gas Engine," SAE Int. J. Fuels Lubr. 9(3):695-702, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-9075.
The effects of air humidity on the knock characteristics of fuels are investigated in a lean-burn, high-speed medium BMEP engine fueled with a CH4 + 4.7 mole% C3H8 gas mixture. Experiments are carried out with humidity ratios ranging from 4.3 to 11 g H2O/kg dry air. The measured pressure profiles at non-knocking conditions are compared with calculated pressure profiles using a model that predicts the time-dependent in-cylinder conditions (P, T) in the test engine (“combustion phasing”). This model was extended to include the effects of humidity. The results show that the extended model accurately computes the in-cylinder pressure history when varying the water fraction in air.Increasing the water vapor content in air decreases the peak pressure and temperature significantly, which increases the measured Knock Limited Spark Timing (KLST); at 4.3 g H2O/kg dry air the KLST is 19 °CA BTDC while at 11 g H2O/kg dry air the KLST is 21 °CA BTDC for the same fuel. Excellent agreement is observed between the calculated knock resistance (using the Propane Knock Index, PKI) and the measured knock resistance (KLST) for the range in water content in air studied in this work. Since the effect of water on autoignition delay time is negligible, the observed increase in knock resistance of the fuel-air mixture is due a decrease in pressure and temperature of the end gas with increasing water content in as a result of changes in the mass burning rate, and thermophysical properties of the fuel-air mixture.