Development of the Heavy-Duty Methanol Engine
Methanol has a poor self-ignition property and thus requires some kind of ignition assist system. Our evaluation of two such systems, a spark-assisted type and a glow-assisted type, indicated that these systems had room for improvement in terms of combustion stability and thermal efficiency in the low-load range. Combustion improvements in the low-load range were therefore carried out by increasing the compression ratio, adopting an injection nozzle with multiple holes and providing an ignition chamber. This has resulted in the successful development of a glow-assisted methanol engine with full-load performance equivalent or superior to a base diesel engine and with lower NOx emission. For practical application of this engine, further improvements in durability and reliability are to be made.