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Technical Paper

Knock Prediction in Reciprocating Gas-Engines Using Detailed Chemical Kinetics

Two and three-dimensional test cases were simulated using a detailed kinetic mechanism for di-methyl ether to represent methane combustion. A piston-bowl assembly for the compression and expansion strokes with combustion has been simulated at 1500 RPM. A fine grid was used for the 2-D simulations and a rather coarse grid was used for the 3-D calculations together with a k-ε subgrid-scale turbulence model and a partially stirred reactor model with three time scales. Ignition was simulated artificially by increasing the temperature at one point inside the cylinder. The results of these simulations were compared with experimental results. The simulation involved an engine with a homogeneous charge of methane as fuel. Results indicate that pressure fluctuations were captured some time after the ignition started, which indicates knock conditions.
Technical Paper

Fuel Composition Effects in a CI Engine Converted to SI Natural Gas Operation

Low-carbon fuels such as natural gas (NG) have the potential to lower the demand of petroleum-based fuels, reduce engine-out emissions, and increase IC engine thermal efficiency. One of the most rapid and efficient use of NG in the transportation sector would be as a direct replacement of the diesel fuel in compression ignition (CI) engines without any major engine modifications to the combustion chamber such as new pistons and/or engine head. An issue is the large variation in NG composition with the location and age of the gas well across U.S., which would affect engine operation, as well as the technology integration with emissions after treatment systems. This study used a conventional CI engine modified for spark ignition (SI) NG operation to investigate the effects of methane and a C1-C4 alkane blend on main combustion parameters like in-cylinder pressure, apparent heat release rate, IMEP, etc.
Technical Paper

Direct Numerical Simulation of Methane Turbulent Premixed Oxy-Fuel Combustion

A 3-D DNS (Three-Dimensional Direct Numerical Simulation) study with detailed chemical kinetic mechanism of methane has been performed to investigate the characteristics of turbulent premixed oxy-fuel combustion in the condition relevant to Spark Ignition (SI) engines. First, 1-D (one-dimensional) laminar freely propagating premixed flame is examined to show a consistent combustion temperature for different dilution cases, such that 73% H2O and 66% CO2 dilution ratios are adopted in the following 3-D DNS cases. Four 3-D DNS cases with various turbulence intensities are conducted. It is found that dilution agents can reduce the overall flame temperature but with an enhancement of density weighted flame speed. CO2 dilution case shows the lowest flame speed both in turbulent and laminar cases.
Technical Paper

An Emission and Performance Comparison of the Natural Gas Cummins Westport Inc. C-Gas Plus Versus Diesel in Heavy-Duty Trucks

Cummins Westport Inc. (CWI) released for production the latest version of its C8.3G natural gas engine, the C Gas Plus, in July 2001. This engine has increased ratings for horsepower and torque, a full-authority engine controller, wide tolerance to natural gas fuel (the minimum methane number is 65), and improved diagnostics capability. The C Gas Plus also meets the California Air Resources Board optional low-NOx (2.0 g/bhp-h) emission standard for automotive and urban buses. Two pre-production C Gas Plus engines were operated in a Viking Freight fleet for 12 months as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Fuels Utilization Program. In-use exhaust emissions, fuel economy, and fuel cost were collected and compared with similar 1997 Cummins C8.3 diesel tractors. CWI and the West Virginia University developed an ad-hoc test cycle to simulate the Viking Freight fleet duty cycle from in-service data collected with data loggers.
Technical Paper

Gaseous Fuels Variation Effects on Combustion and Emissions of a Small Direct Injection Natural Gas Engine

Our research focused on the assessment of fuel variation effects on performance of a 34 cc two-stroke, natural gas combustion engine designed for use as the prime mover in either slider-crank or novel linear generator applications. Nearly two-thirds of US homes have either natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas available at low pressures. We tested the engine with three different natural gas blends, pure methane, and pure propane. In order to reduce fuel compression power, we modified the engine to use low-pressure direct injection (LPDI) of gaseous fuels. We examined regulated gaseous emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and combustion trends over a range of delivered air fuel ratios. Start of Injection (SOI) occurred at either 180 or 190 CA BTDC and efficiency improved by reducing fuel slip. However, for natural gas blends, the predominant emissions were methane - a potent greenhouse gas.