An Investigation into the Effect of Fuel Injection System Improvements on the Injection and Combustion of DiMethyl Ether in a Diesel Cycle Engine
For nearly twenty years, DiMethyl Ether has been known to be an outstanding fuel for combustion in diesel cycle engines. Not only does it have a high Cetane number, it burns absolutely soot free and produces lower NOx exhaust emissions than the equivalent diesel. However, the physical properties of DME such as its low viscosity, lubricity and bulk modulus have negative effects for the fuel injection system, which have both limited the achievable injection pressures to about 500 bar and DME's introduction into the market. To overcome some of these effects, a common rail fuel injection system was adapted to operate with DME and produce injection pressures of up to 1000 bar. To understand the effect of the high injection pressure, tests were carried out using 2D optically accessed nozzles. This allowed the impact of the high vapour pressure of DME on the onset of cavitation in the nozzle hole to be assessed and improve the flow characteristics.