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Technical Paper

Experimental and Simulated Results Detailing the Sensitivity of Natural Gas HCCI Engines to Fuel Composition

Natural gas quality, in terms of the volume fraction of higher hydrocarbons, strongly affects the auto-ignition characteristics of the air-fuel mixture, the engine performance and its controllability. The influence of natural gas composition on engine operation has been investigated both experimentally and through chemical kinetic based cycle simulation. A range of two component gas mixtures has been tested with methane as the base fuel. The equivalence ratio (0.3), the compression ratio (19.8), and the engine speed (1000 rpm) were held constant in order to isolate the impact of fuel autoignition chemistry. For each fuel mixture, the start of combustion was phased near top dead center (TDC) and then the inlet mixture temperature was reduced. These experimental results have been utilized as a source of data for the validation of a chemical kinetic based full-cycle simulation.
Technical Paper

Compression Ratio Influence on Maximum Load of a Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engine

This paper discusses the compression ratio influence on maximum load of a Natural Gas HCCI engine. A modified Volvo TD100 truck engine is controlled in a closed-loop fashion by enriching the Natural Gas mixture with Hydrogen. The first section of the paper illustrates and discusses the potential of using hydrogen enrichment of natural gas to control combustion timing. Cylinder pressure is used as the feedback and the 50 percent burn angle is the controlled parameter. Full-cycle simulation is compared to some of the experimental data and then used to enhance some of the experimental observations dealing with ignition timing, thermal boundary conditions, emissions and how they affect engine stability and performance. High load issues common to HCCI are discussed in light of the inherent performance and emissions tradeoff and the disappearance of feasible operating space at high engine loads.
Technical Paper

System Efficiency Issues for Natural Gas Fueled HCCI Engines in Heavy-Duty Stationary Applications

Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) has been proposed for natural gas engines in heavy duty stationary power generation applications. A number of researchers have demonstrated, through simulation and experiment, the feasibility of obtaining high gross indicated thermal efficiencies and very low NOx emissions at reasonable load levels. With a goal of eventual commercialization of these engines, this paper sets forth some of the primary challenges in obtaining high brake thermal efficiency from production feasible engines. Experimental results, in conjunction with simulation and analysis, are used to compare HCCI operation with traditional lean burn spark ignition performance. Current HCCI technology is characterized by low power density, very dilute mixtures, and low combustion efficiency. The quantitative adverse effect of each of these traits is demonstrated with respect to the brake thermal efficiency that can be expected in real world applications.