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