Optical and Infrared In-Situ Measurements of EGR Cooler Fouling
The use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) in internal combustion engines has significant impacts on combustion and emissions. EGR can be used to reduce in-cylinder NOx production, reduce emitted particulate matter, and enable advanced forms of combustion. To maximize the benefits of EGR, the exhaust gases are often cooled with on-engine liquid to gas heat exchangers. A common problem with this approach is the build-up of a fouling layer inside the heat exchanger due to thermophoresis and condensation, reducing the effectiveness of the heat exchanger in lowering gas temperatures. Literature has shown the effectiveness to initially drop rapidly and then approach steady state after a variable amount of time. The asymptotic behavior of the effectiveness has not been well explained. A range of theories have been proposed including fouling layer removal, changing fouling layer properties, and cessation of thermophoresis.