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Technical Paper

Ultra Low Emissions and High Efficiency from an On-Highway Natural Gas Engine

Results from work focusing on the development of an ultra low emissions, high efficiency, natural gas-fueled heavy- duty engine are discussed in this paper. The engine under development was based on a John Deere 8.1L engine; this engine was significantly modified from its production configuration during the course of an engine optimization program funded by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Previous steady-state testing indicated that the modified engine would provide simultaneous reductions in nonmethane hydrocarbon emissions and fuel consumption while maintaining equivalent or lower NOx levels. Federal Test Procedure transient tests confirmed these expectations. Very low NOx emissions, averaging 1.0 g/bhp-hr over hot-start cycles, were attained; at these conditions, reductions in engine-out nonmethane hydro-carbons emissions (NMHC) were approximately 30 percent, and fuel consumption over the cycle was also reduced relative to the baseline.
Technical Paper

Lean Limit and Performance Improvements for a Heavy-Duty Natural Gas Engine

Development of a heavy-duty natural gas engine to improve its lean operating characteristics is detailed in this paper. Testing to determine the lean misfire limit is described, as well as investigations into the cause of lean misfire in this engine. Details of engine modifications to improve the lean misfire limit are also included. The development process resulted in a significant improvement in the lean performance of the engine (i.e., an extended lean misfire limit, better combustion stability, and lower hydrocarbon emissions).
Technical Paper

Humidity Effects and Compensation in a Lean Burn Natural Gas Engine

The effect of humidity on the lean misfire limit and emissions from a lean burn, natural gas engine is described in this paper, along with a description of a practical humidity compensation method for incorporation into an electronic control system. Experiments to determine the effects of humidity on the lean limit and emissions are described. Humidity increases were shown to decrease the rate of combustion, reduce NOx emissions, and increase the levels of unburned hydrocarbon (HC) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Data and calculations are also presented which demonstrate that increases in humidity will cause enleanment in a typical closed loop control system utilizing a universal exhaust gas oxygen (UEGO) sensor. A prototype system for humidity sensing and subsequent compensation based on these findings was implemented, and the system was found, through additional testing, to compensate for humidity very effectively.
Technical Paper

Characteristics of a Small Engine Equipped with an Electromagnetic Valve Actuation System

An electromagnetic valve actuation (EVA) system was developed and applied to a Kohler Command Series engine. Engine development and testing was conducted for the purpose of evaluating the performance of the EVA-equipped engine, running on natural gas, in an engine-test laboratory environment. As part of this effort, a personal computer-based engine control system, which managed the fueling, ignition, throttling, and intake/exhaust valve control functions, was developed. The evaluation included an investigation into increasing engine power output and full load efficiency, as well as increased part load efficiency. Techniques including optimized valve events as a function of operating condition, and throttleless operation using early and late intake valve closing are presented. Engine simulation results are compared with actual engine data and presented in this paper.