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Technical Paper

Effect of Fuel Composition on the Operation of a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

With the implementation of a closed loop fuel control system, operation of lean-burn natural gas engines can be optimized in terms of reducing emissions while maximizing efficiency. Such a system would compensate for variations in fuel composition, but also would correct for variations in volumetric efficiency due to immediate engine history and long-term engine component wear. Present day engine controllers perform well when they are operated with the same gas composition for which they were calibrated, but because fuel composition varies geographically as well as seasonally, some method of compensation is required. A closed loop control system on a medium-duty lean-burn engine will enhance performance by maintaining the desired air-fuel ratio to eliminate any unwanted rich or lean excursions (relative to the desired air-fuel ratio) that produce excess engine-out emissions. Such a system can also guard against internal engine damage due to overheating and/or engine knock.
Technical Paper

A Controller for a Spark Ignition Engine with Bi-Fuel Capability

A bi-fuel engine with the ability to run optimally on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline is being developed. Such bi-fuel automotive engines are necessary to bridge the gap between gasoline and natural gas as an alternative fuel while natural gas fueling stations are not yet common enough to make a dedicated natural gas vehicle practical. As an example of modern progressive engine design, a Saturn 1.9 liter 4-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) engine has been selected as a base powerplant for this development. Many previous natural gas conversions have made compromises in engine control strategies, including mapped open-loop methods, or resorting to translating the signals to or from the original controller. The engine control system described here, however, employs adaptive closed-loop control, optimizing fuel delivery and spark timing for both fuels.