The sensors are already often designed-in and permanently installed into the individual cylinders of a large engine during manufacturing. They provide the combustion pressures and thus the most important information to continually monitor power plants or marine propulsion systems during engine operation. There are different approaches here to increasing efficiency and profitability, while reducing emissions and wear-and-tear:
- Cylinder balancing: combustion variations in different cylinders are compared and tuned to significantly reduce deviations.
- Increase of maximum pressure: conventional, uncontrolled engines are designed so that safe combustion is assured under all operating conditions. Therefore, safety margins regarding the engine’s optimum operating point have to be taken into account.
- Beyond this, cylinder pressure sensors allow large engines to be used with highly fluctuating gas qualities (process gases, bio and landfill gas), which nowadays are difficult or impossible to use and therefore, serve as enabling technology.
Even with a slight improvement in efficiency of say 0.5% to 2.5%, it’s possible to save enormous quantities of fuel. In addition to the huge economic benefits through reduced fuel costs, there is also a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.