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Technical Paper

Diagnostics for Combustion Metrics in Natural Gas Fuelled Reciprocating Engines

Two diagnostics were developed that are particularly suitable for use with natural gas-fuelled reciprocating engines that are used for power generation applications. The first diagnostic relates flame chemiluminescence to thermodynamic metrics relevant to engine combustion - Heat Release Rate (HRR) and in-cylinder bulk gas temperature. Studies were conducted in a single-cylinder natural gas-fired reciprocating engine that could simulate turbocharged conditions with Exhaust Gas Recirculation. Crank-angle-resolved spectra (266 to 795 nm) of flame luminosity were measured for various operational conditions by varying the ignition timing for MBT conditions and by holding the speed at 1800 rpm and Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) at 12 bar. The effect of dilution on CO₂* chemiluminescence intensities was studied, by varying the global equivalence ratio (0.6 - 1.0) and by varying the Exhaust Gas Recirculation rate.
Technical Paper

An Overview of ARES Research

With an intention to improve the performance of reciprocating engines used for distributed generation US-Dept. of Energy has launched ARES program. Under this program, the performance targets for these natural gas-fuelled stationary engines are ≻ 50% efficiency and NOx emissions ≺ 0.1 g/bhp-hr by 2013. This paper presents two technologies developed under this program. Lean-burn operation is very popular with engine manufacturers as it offers simultaneous low-NOx emissions and high engine efficiencies, while not requiring the use of any aftertreatment devices. Though engines operating on lean-burn operation are capable of better performance, they are currently limited by the inability to sustain reliable ignition under lean conditions. Addressing such an issue, research has evaluated the use of laser ignition as an alternative to the conventional Capacitance Discharge Ignition (CDI).
Technical Paper

Investigation of Injection Parameters in a Hydrogen DI Engine Using an Endoscopic Access to the Combustion Chamber

In order to achieve the targets for hydrogen engines set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - a brake thermal efficiency of 45% and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions below 0.07 g/mi - while maintaining the same power density as comparable gasoline engines, researchers need to investigate advanced mixture formation and combustion strategies for hydrogen internal combustion engines. Hydrogen direct injection is a very promising approach to meeting DOE targets; however, there are several challenges to be overcome in order to establish this technology as a viable pathway toward a sustainable hydrogen infrastructure. This paper describes the use of endoscopic imaging as a diagnostic tool that allows further insight into the processes that occur during hydrogen combustion. It also addresses recent progress in the development of advanced direct-injected hydrogen internal combustion engine concepts.
Technical Paper

Ignition Characteristics of Methane-air Mixtures at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures

Lean operation of natural gas fired reciprocating engines has been the preferred mode of operation as it allows low NOx emissions and simultaneous high overall efficiencies. In such engines, the operation point is often close to where the ignition boundary and the knock limiting boundary cross-over. While knocking is, to a large extent, limited by engine design, ignition of lean-mixtures is limited by the mode of ignition. Since significant benefits can be achieved by extending the lean-ignition limits, many groups have been researching alternate ways to achieve ignition reliably. One of the methods, laser ignition, appears promising as it achieves ignition at high pressures and under lean conditions relatively easily. However, most of the current knowledge about laser ignition is based on measurements performed at room temperature. In this paper, ignition studies on methane-air mixtures under in-cylinder conditions are presented.