Browse Publications Technical Papers 2007-24-0130

Construction and use of a dual-fuel split-engine commercial vehicle for demonstrating fuel effects on performance 2007-24-0130

Evaluating performance differences between fuels in vehicles on the road suffers from two problems. Measurements can be made in pairs of vehicles driven in parallel. Each vehicle is subjected to identical conditions but the vehicles and drivers may not be perfectly matched. Alternatively, tests can be conducted consecutively in a single vehicle. Variation between different drivers and engine builds is eliminated, but weather and road conditions may differ between runs.
To address these problems, Shell have constructed a “dual-fuel truck” in which the fuel injection system of a V6 diesel engine has been divided into two halves, supplied from two fuel tanks. The whole engine can operate from either fuel tank, switching between them in a matter of minutes. Alternatively, each half of the engine can be supplied with a different fuel. In this way, two fuels can be compared in a single vehicle - in the same engine build, with the same driver, under identical driving conditions.
The vehicle is based on a Euro-3 Mercedes Actros MB1844: a top-selling European truck, fitted with a 320 kW (435 PS) 12-litre V6 diesel engine and 16-speed manual transmission. The vehicle is equipped with an on-board data acquisition system, incorporating in-cylinder pressure sensors, gas analyzer, and a GPS system, allowing measurements of engine performance to be made whilst driving on the road.
This paper describes the selection, conversion and characterization of the dual-fuel truck together with the results of an on-road injector nozzle fouling test, illustrating its use.


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