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Technical Paper

Development of a Natural Gas Engine with Diesel Engine-like Efficiency Using Computational Fluid Dynamics

2019-04-02
2019-01-0225
Present day natural gas engines have a significant efficiency disadvantage but benefit with low carbon-dioxide emissions and cheap three-way catalysis aftertreatment. The aim of this work is to improve the efficiency of a natural gas engine on par with a diesel engine. A Cummins-Westport ISX12-G (diesel) engine is used for the study. A baseline model is validated in three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The challenge of this project is adapting the diesel engine for the natural gas fuel, so that the increased squish area of the diesel engine piston can be used to accomplish faster natural gas burn rates. A further increase efficiency is achieved by switching to D-EGR technology. D-EGR is a concept where one or more cylinders are run with excess fueling and its exhaust stream, containing H2 and CO, is cooled and fed into the intake stream. With D-EGR although there is an in-cylinder presence of a reactive H2-CO reformate, there is also higher levels of dilution.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Drive Cycle Fuel Economy Prediction Using Single Cylinder Engine Data

2019-04-02
2019-01-0628
The confluence of fuel economy improvement requirements and increased use of ethanol as a gasoline blend component has led to various studies into the efficiency and performance benefits to be had when using high octane number, high ethanol content fuels in modern engines. As part of a comprehensive study of the autoignition of fuels in both the CFR octane rating engine and a modern, direct injection, turbocharged spark ignited engine, a series of fuel blends were prepared with market relevant ranges of octane numbers and ethanol blends levels. The paper reports on the first part of this study where fuel flow measurements were done on a single cylinder research engine, utilizing a GM LHU combustion system, and then used to predict drive cycle fuel economy. For a range of engine speeds and manifold air pressures, spark timing was adjusted to achieve either the maximum brake torque (MBT) or a matched 50 % mass fraction burnt location.
Technical Paper

Fuel Reforming and Catalyst Deactivation Investigated in Real Exhaust Environment

2019-04-02
2019-01-0315
Increased in-cylinder hydrogen levels have been shown to improve burn durations, combustion stability, HC emissions and knock resistance which can directly translate into enhanced engine efficiency. External fuel reformation can also be used to increase the hydrogen yield. During the High-Efficiency, Dilute Gasoline Engine (HEDGE) consortium at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), the potential of increased hydrogen production in a dedicated-exhaust gas recirculation (D-EGR) engine was evaluated exploiting the water gas shift (WGS) and steam reformation (SR) reactions. It was found that neither approach could produce sustained hydrogen enrichment in a real exhaust environment, even while utilizing a lean-rich switching regeneration strategy. Platinum group metal (PGM) and Ni WGS catalysts were tested with a focus on hydrogen production and catalyst durability.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of Dedicated EGR on a 12 L Natural Gas Engine

2019-04-02
2019-01-1143
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) converted a Cummins ISX 12 G in-line six-cylinder engine to a Dedicated EGRTM (D-EGRTM) configuration. D-EGR is an efficient way to produce reformate and increase the EGR rate. Two of the six cylinders were utilized as the dedicated cylinders. This supplied a nominal EGR rate of 33% compared to the baseline engine utilizing 15-20% EGR. PFI injectors were added to dedicated cylinders to supply the extra fuel required for reformation. The engine was tested with a high energy dual coil offset (DCO®) ignition system. The stock engine was tested at over 70 points to map the performance, 13 of these points were at RMC SET points. The D-EGR converted engine was tested at the RMC SET points for comparison to the baseline. The initial results from the D-EGR conversion show a 4% relative BTE improvement compared to the baseline due to the increased EGR rate at 1270 rpm, 16 bar BMEP.
Technical Paper

Utilizing Multiple Combustion Modes to Increase Efficiency and Achieve Full Load Dual-Fuel Operation in a Heavy-Duty Engine

2019-04-02
2019-01-1157
Reactivity Controlled Compression Ignition (RCCI) natural gas/diesel dual-fuel combustion has been shown to achieve high thermal efficiency with low NOX and PM emissions, but has traditionally been limited to low to medium loads. High BMEP operation typically requires high substitution rates (i.e., >90% NG), which can lead to high cylinder pressure, pressure rise rates, knock, and combustion loss. In previous studies, compression ratio was decreased to achieve higher load operation, but thermal efficiency was sacrificed. For this study, a multi-cylinder heavy-duty engine that has been modified for dual-fuel operation (diesel direct-injection and natural gas (NG) fumigated into the intake stream) was used to explore RCCI and other dual-fuel combustion modes at high compression ratio, while maintaining stock lug curve capability (i.e., extending dual-fuel operation to high loads where conventional diesel combustion traditionally had to be used).
Technical Paper

Methods of Improving Combustion Efficiency in a High-Efficiency, Lean Burn Dual-Fuel Heavy-Duty Engine

2019-01-15
2019-01-0032
Combustion losses are one of the largest areas on inefficiency in natural gas/diesel dual-fuel engines, especially when compared to the traditional diesel engines on which they are based. These losses can vary from 1-2% at high load, to more than 6% of the total fuel energy at part load conditions. For diesel/natural gas dual-fuel engines, the three main sources of combustion losses are: bulk losses (increasing air-fuel ratio, AFR, to the premixed fuel’s lean flammability limit), crevice losses (premixed fuel trapped near valve pockets and top ring lands unable to oxidize), and blow-through losses (fumigated fuel/air intake charge passes through the cylinder and out the exhaust valve during valve overlap). In order to improve overall engine efficiency and decrease greenhouse gas emissions, these losses must be minimized.
Technical Paper

Achieving Fast Catalyst Light-Off from a Heavy-Duty Stoichiometric Natural Gas Engine Capable of 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOX Emissions

2018-04-03
2018-01-1136
Recently conducted work has been funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to explore the feasibility of achieving 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOX emissions for heavy-duty on-road engines. In addition to NOX emissions, greenhouse gas (GHG), CO2 and methane emissions regulations from heavy-duty engines are also becoming more stringent. To achieve low cold-start NOX and methane emissions, the exhaust aftertreatment must be brought up to temperature quickly while keeping proper air-fuel ratio control; however, a balance between catalyst light-off and fuel penalty must be addressed to meet future CO2 emissions regulations. This paper details the work executed to improve catalyst light-off for a natural gas engine with a close-coupled and an underfloor three-way-catalyst while meeting an FTP NOX emission target of 0.02 g/bhp-hr and minimizing any fuel penalty.
Technical Paper

Solid Particle Number and Ash Emissions from Heavy-Duty Natural Gas and Diesel w/SCRF Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-0362
Solid and metallic ash particle number (PN) and particulate matter (PM) mass emission measurements were performed on a heavy-duty (HD) on-highway diesel engine and a compressed natural gas (CNG) engine. Measurements were conducted under transient engine operation that included the FTP, WHTC and RMC. Both engines were calibrated to meet CARB ultra low NOX emission target of 0.02 g/hp-hr, a 90% reduction from current emissions limit. The HD diesel engine final exhaust configuration included a number of aftertreatement sub-systems in addition to a selective catalytic reduction filter (SCRF). The stoichiometric CNG engine final configuration included a closed coupled Three Way Catalyst (ccTWC) and an under floor TWC (ufTWC). The aftertreatment systems for both engines were aged for a full useful life (FUL) of 435,000 miles, prior to emissions testing. PM mass emissions from both engines were comparable and well below the US EPA emissions standard.
Technical Paper

Real Fuel Effects on Low Speed Pre-Ignition

2018-04-03
2018-01-1456
To better understand real fuel effects on LSPI, a matrix was developed to vary certain chemical and physical properties of gasoline. The primary focus of the study was the impact of paraffinic, olefinic, and aromatic components upon LSPI. Secondary goals of this testing were to study the impact of ethanol content and fuel volatility as defined by the T90 temperature. The LSPI rate increased with ethanol content but was insensitive to olefin content. Additionally, increased aromatic content uniformly led to increased LSPI rates. For all blends, lower T90 temperatures resulted in decreased LSPI activity. The correlation between fuel octane (as RON or MON) suggests that octane itself does not play a role; however, the sensitivity of the fuel (RON-MON) does have some correlation with LSPI. Finally, the results of this analysis show that there is no correlation between the laminar flame speed of a fuel and the LSPI rate.
Technical Paper

Estimation of Intake Oxygen Mass Fraction for Transient Control of EGR Engines

2018-04-03
2018-01-0868
Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology provides significant benefits such as better cycle efficiency, knock tolerance and lower NOx/PM emissions. However, EGR dilution also poses challenges in terms of combustion stability, power density and control. Conventional control schemes for EGR engines rely on a differential pressure sensor combined with an orifice flow model to estimate EGR flow rate. While EGR rate is an important quantity, intake O2 mass fraction may be a better indication of EGR, capturing quantity as well as “quality” of EGR. SwRI has successfully used intake O2 mass fraction as a controlled state to manage several types of EGR engines - dual loop EGR diesel engines, low pressure loop /dedicated EGR (D-EGR) gasoline engines as well as dual fuel engines. Several suppliers are currently developing intake O2 sensors but they typically suffer from limited accuracy, response time and reliability. Also, addition of a new sensor implies increased production costs.
Journal Article

Methanol Fuel Testing on Port Fuel Injected Internal-Only EGR, HPL-EGR and D-EGR® Engine Configurations

2017-10-08
2017-01-2285
The primary focus of this investigation was to determine the hydrogen reformation, efficiency and knock mitigation benefits of methanol-fueled Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) operation, when compared to other EGR types. A 2.0 L turbocharged port fuel injected engine was operated with internal EGR, high-pressure loop (HPL) EGR and D-EGR configurations. The internal, HPL-EGR, and D-EGR configurations were operated on neat methanol to demonstrate the relative benefit of D-EGR over other EGR types. The D-EGR configuration was also tested on high octane gasoline to highlight the differences to methanol. An additional sub-task of the work was to investigate the combustion response of these configurations. Methanol did not increase its H2 yield for a given D-EGR cylinder equivalence ratio, even though the H:C ratio of methanol is over twice typical gasoline.
Technical Paper

Impact of the Direct Injection of Liquid Propane on the Efficiency of a Light-Duty, Spark-Ignited Engine

2017-03-28
2017-01-0865
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is commonly known as autogas when used as a fuel for internal combustion engines. In North America, autogas primarily consists of propane, but can contain small amounts of butane, methane and propylene. Autogas is not a new fuel for internal combustion engines, but as engine technology evolves, the properties of autogas can be utilized to improve engine and vehicle efficiency. With support from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) performed testing to quantify efficiency differences with liquid autogas direct injection in a modern downsized and boosted direct-injected engine using the production gasoline fuel injection hardware. Engine dynamometer testing demonstrated that autogas produced similar performance characteristics to gasoline at part load, but could be used to improve brake thermal efficiency at loads above 9 bar Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP).
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emissions Characteristics of Partially Premixed Dual-Fuel Combustion by Co-Direct Injection of NG and Diesel Fuel (DI2) - Part 2

2017-03-28
2017-01-0766
The CO2 advantage coupled with the low NOX and PM potential of natural gas (NG) makes it well-suited for meeting future greenhouse gas (GHG) and NOX regulations for on-road medium and heavy-duty engines. However, because NG is mostly methane, reduced combustion efficiency associated with traditional NG fueling strategies can result in significant levels of methane emissions which offset the CO2 advantage due to reduced efficiency and the high global warming potential of methane. To address this issue, the unique co-direct injection capability of the Westport HPDI fuel system was leveraged to obtain a partially-premixed fuel charge by injecting NG during the compression stroke followed by diesel injection for ignition timing control. This combustion strategy, referred to as DI2, was found to improve thermal and combustion efficiencies over fumigated dual-fuel combustion modes.
Technical Paper

Achieving 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOx Emissions from a Heavy-Duty Stoichiometric Natural Gas Engine Equipped with Three-Way Catalyst

2017-03-28
2017-01-0957
It is projected that even when the entire on-road fleet of heavy-duty vehicles operating in California is compliant with 2010 emission standards of 0.20 g/bhp-hr, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) requirements for ambient ozone will not be met. It is expected that further reductions in NOX emissions from the heavy-duty fleet will be required to achieve compliance with the ambient ozone requirement. To study the feasibility of further reductions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) funded a research program to demonstrate the potential to reach 0.02 g/bhp-hr NOX emissions. This paper details the work executed to achieve this goal on the heavy-duty Federal Test Procedure (FTP) with a heavy-duty natural gas engine equipped with a three-way catalyst. A Cummins ISX-12G natural gas engine was modified and coupled with an advanced catalyst system.
Technical Paper

Alternative Fuel Testing on a Port Fuel Injected LPL EGR and D-EGR® Engine

2016-10-17
2016-01-2170
A turbocharged 2.0 L PFI engine was modified to operate in a low-pressure loop and Dedicated EGR (D-EGR®) engine configuration. Both engine architectures were operated with a low and high octane gasoline as well as three ethanol blends. The core of this study focused on examining combustion differences at part and high loads between the selected fuels and also the different engine configurations. Specifically, the impact of the fuels on combustion stability, burn rates, knock mitigation, required ignition energy, and efficiency were evaluated. The results showed that the knock resistance generally followed the octane rating of the fuel. At part loads, the burn rates, combustion stability, and EGR tolerance was marginally improved with the high ethanol blends. When combustion was not knock or stability limited, the efficiency differences between the fuels were negligible. The D-EGR engine was much less sensitive to fuel changes in terms of burn rates than the LPL EGR setup.
Technical Paper

Transient Control of a Dedicated EGR Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0616
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has successfully demonstrated the cooled EGR concept via the High Efficiency Dilute Gasoline Engine (HEDGE) consortium. Dilution of intake charge provides three significant benefits - (1) Better Cycle Efficiency (2) Knock Resistance and (3) Lower NOx/PM Emissions. But EGR dilution also poses challenges in terms of combustion stability, condensation and power density. The Dedicated EGR (D-EGR) concept brings back some of the stability lost due to EGR dilution by introducing reformates such as CO and H2 into the intake charge. Control of air, EGR, fuel, and ignition remains a challenge to realizing the aforementioned benefits without sacrificing performance and drivability. This paper addresses the DEGR solution from a controls standpoint. SwRI has been developing a unified framework for controlling a generic combustion engine (gasoline, diesel, dual-fuel natural gas etc.).
Technical Paper

Dual Fuel Combustion Study Using 3D CFD Tool

2016-04-05
2016-01-0595
The current boom in natural gas from shale formations in the United States has reduced the price of natural gas to less than the price of petroleum fuels. Thus it is attractive to convert high horsepower diesel engines that use large quantities of fuel to dual fuel operation where a portion of the diesel fuel is replaced by natural gas. The substitution is limited by emissions of unburned natural gas and severe combustion phenomena such as auto-ignition or knock of the mixture and high rates of pressure rise during the ignition and early phase combustion of the diesel and natural gas-air mixture. In this work, the combustion process for dual fuel combustion was investigated using 3D CFD. The combustion process was modeled using detailed chemistry and a simulation domain sensitivity study was conducted to investigate the combustion to CFD geometry assumptions. A baseline model capturing the onset of knock was validated against experimental data from a heavy-duty dual-fuel engine.
Technical Paper

Efficiency and Emissions Characteristics of Partially Premixed Dual-Fuel Combustion by Co-Direct Injection of NG and Diesel Fuel (DI2)

2016-04-05
2016-01-0779
For the US market, an abundant supply of natural gas (NG) coupled with recent green-house gas (GHG) regulations have spurred renewed interest in dual-fuel combustion regimes. This paper explores the potential of co-direct injection to improve the efficiency and reduce the methane emissions versus equivalent fumigated dual-fuel combustion systems. Using the Westport HPDI engine as the experimental test platform, the paper reports the results obtained using both diffusion controlled (HPDI) combustion strategy as well as a partially-premixed combustion strategy (DI2). The DI2 combustion strategy shows good promise, as it has been found to improve the engine efficiency by over two brake thermal efficiency (BTE) points (% fuel energy) compared to the diffusion controlled combustion strategy (HPDI) while at the same time reducing the engine-out methane emissions by 75% compared to an equivalent fumigated dual-fuel combustion system.
Technical Paper

Comparison of Hydrocarbon Measurement with FTIR and FID in a Dual Fuel Locomotive Engine

2016-04-05
2016-01-0978
Exhaust emissions of non-methane hydrocarbon (NMHC) and methane were measured from a Tier 3 dual-fuel demonstration locomotive running diesel-natural gas blend. Measurements were performed with the typical flame ionization detector (FID) method in accordance with EPA CFR Title 40 Part 1065 and with an alternative Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy method. Measurements were performed with and without oxidation catalyst exhaust aftertreatment. FTIR may have potential for improved accuracy over the FID when NMHC is dominated by light hydrocarbons. In the dual fuel tests, the FTIR measurement was 1-4% higher than the FID measurement of. NMHC results between the two methods differed considerably, in some cases reporting concentrations as much as four times those of the FID. However, in comparing these data it is important to note that the FTIR method has several advantages over the FID method, so the differences do not necessarily represent error in the FTIR.
Journal Article

The Interaction between Fuel Anti-Knock Index and Reformation Ratio in an Engine Equipped with Dedicated EGR

2016-04-05
2016-01-0712
Experiments were performed on a small displacement (< 2 L), high compression ratio, 4 cylinder, port injected gasoline engine equipped with Dedicated EGR® (D-EGR®) technology using fuels with varying anti-knock properties. Gasolines with anti-knock indices of 84, 89 and 93 anti-knock index (AKI) were tested. The engine was operated at a constant nominal EGR rate of ∼25% while varying the reformation ratio in the dedicated cylinder from a ϕD-EGR = 1.0 - 1.4. Testing was conducted at selected engine speeds and constant torque while operating at knock limited spark advance on the three fuels. The change in combustion phasing as a function of the level of overfuelling in the dedicated cylinder was documented for all three fuels to determine the tradeoff between the reformation ratio required to achieve a certain knock resistance and the fuel octane rating.
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