An Overview of ARES Research
With an intention to improve the performance of reciprocating engines used for distributed generation US-Dept. of Energy has launched ARES program. Under this program, the performance targets for these natural gas-fuelled stationary engines are ≻ 50% efficiency and NOx emissions ≺ 0.1 g/bhp-hr by 2013. This paper presents two technologies developed under this program. Lean-burn operation is very popular with engine manufacturers as it offers simultaneous low-NOx emissions and high engine efficiencies, while not requiring the use of any aftertreatment devices. Though engines operating on lean-burn operation are capable of better performance, they are currently limited by the inability to sustain reliable ignition under lean conditions. Addressing such an issue, research has evaluated the use of laser ignition as an alternative to the conventional Capacitance Discharge Ignition (CDI).