1998-08-11

Turbocharged Hydrogen Fueled Vehicle Using Constant Volume Injection (CVI) 981922

A University of California, Riverside (UCR) 1992 Ford Ranger truck was converted to operate on hydrogen which is produced from water electrolysis at the UCR College of Engineering-Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT) Solar Hydrogen Research Facility (SHRF).The Ford Ranger's 2.3L engine was modified to operate as a lean-burn, hydrogen fuel internal combustion (IC) engine, using a Constant Volume Injection (CVI) system with closed-loop control and exhaust oxygen feedback. The vehicle had excellent starting, idle, and shut-down operation; a range in excess of 161km (100 miles); and initially operated with virtually no preignition problems typical of hydrogen fuel engines. At speeds above 64 km/ h (40 mph), the vehicle exhibited performance characteristics similar to comparable gasoline-powered vehicles, although further improvements are needed at lower speeds. Tailpipe emissions for carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrocarbons were found to be negligible and attributed to oil seeping by the piston rings. The emission rate for oxides of nitrogen (NOx), as measured by the Federal Test Procedure (FTP-77), was 0.37 grams per mile. Evaluation of the vehicle by both on-road and chassis dynamometer testing shows that appropriate adjustment of the fuel injection system is critical to the overall performance, driveability, and NOx emission rates. Operation of the engine at an equivalence ratio (actual air/fuel ratio divided by the stoichiometric air/fuel ratio) phi below 0.5 is critical for low NOx emission, but this may result in less than optimal driveability given the vehicle's weight and engine displacement.

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