Spark Ignited Direct Injection Natural Gas Combustion in a Heavy Duty Single Cylinder Test Engine - Start of Injection and Spark Timing Effects
The increased availability of natural gas (NG) in the United States (US), and its relatively low cost compared to diesel fuel has heightened interest in the conversion of medium duty (MD) and heavy duty (HD) engines to NG fueled combustion systems. The aim is to realize fuel cost savings and reduce harmful emissions, while maintaining durability. This is a potential path to help the US reduce dependence on crude oil. Traditionally, port-fuel injection (PFI) or premixed NG spark-ignited (SI) combustion systems have been used for MD and HD engines with widespread use in the US and Europe; however, this technology exhibits poor cycle efficiency and is load limited due to knock phenomenon. Direct Injection of NG during the compression stroke promises to deliver improved thermal efficiency by avoiding excessive premixing and extending the lean limits which helps to extend the knock limit.