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Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Extending Substitution Limits of a Diesel–Natural Gas Dual Fuel Engine

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert H. Mitchell

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523
e-mail: rhmitchell194@yahoo.com

Daniel B. Olsen

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523

1Corresponding author.

2Present address: Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238.

Contributed by the Internal Combustion Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 19, 2017; final manuscript received November 9, 2017; published online December 22, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Stephen A. Ciatti.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(5), 052202 (Dec 22, 2017) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1449; doi: 10.1115/1.4038625 History: Received August 19, 2017; Revised November 09, 2017

New drilling techniques have increased availability and decreased costs of oil and gas. The decreased costs have caused an increase in drilling activity. The well sites have a large power demand that is typically met by diesel engines for the drilling derrick, fracking pumps, and electrical power. Dual fuel retrofit kits are being increasingly used at well sites to reduce operating costs and the amount of fuel trucked in to the site. Natural gas (NG) is cheaper compared to diesel and can be delivered to the site by the pipeline limiting the disturbance to surrounding communities due to diesel truck loads. The purpose of this work is to examine the performance of a typical dual fuel retrofit kit commissioned for field operation on a 6.8 L tier II diesel engine. After the baseline commissioning, the mechanisms limiting further substitution were clearly identified as engine knock similar to end gas auto-ignition in spark-ignited engines and governor instability. Two methods are examined for their ability to increase substitution limits by adjusting the start of injection timing (SOI) and the intake air manifold temperature. Retarding the SOI is able to delay the onset of knock at high loads and therefore increase the substitution level by around 4% at full load. At high loads, lowering the air manifold temperature is able to increase the substitution levels by around 10%. Preheating the intake air was able to increase low load substitution levels by 10% as well.

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References

EIA, 2017, “ Petroleum and Other Liquids,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC, accessed June 1, 2017, http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/
EIA, 2017, “ Natural Gas,” U.S. Energy Information Administration, Washington, DC, accessed June 1, 2017, http://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_pri_sum_dcu_nus_m.htm
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Cost ratio of diesel to natural gas based on data from Refs. [1] and [2]

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the experimental setup

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Fig. 3

Diesel flow rates for diesel only and dual fuel operation and the associated substitution for the baseline commissioning

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Fig. 4

BSFC for diesel only and dual fuel operation

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Fig. 5

(a) Pressure trace and heat release rate at 100% load, (b) theoretical heat release components for NG and diesel are presented based on the superposition of the diesel heat release of the diesel and natural gas components adding to the dual fuel HRR, (c) pressure and heat release rate at 50% load, and (d) pressure and heat release rate at 25% load

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Fig. 6

(a) Brake specific oxides of nitrogen (BSNOx) emissions for dual fuel and diesel-only operation, (b) BSCO emissions for dual fuel and diesel-only operation, (c) BSTHC emissions and HC emissions as a percentage of HC from natural gas unconverted, and (d) overall equivalence ratio and natural gas equivalence ratio for the baseline commissioning

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Fig. 7

Pressure traces for various levels of knock at 100% load

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Fig. 8

Power output and speed history as substitution was increased at 25% load

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Fig. 9

Pressure traces at 75% load while knocking at with retarding injection timing and knock-free

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Fig. 10

Emissions at 50% load while adjusting the SOI timing

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Fig. 11

Emissions at 25% load while adjusting the SOI timing

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Fig. 12

Substitution levels achieved at 100% load with various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 13

Pressure traces at 100% load with various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 14

Heat release rate at 100% load with various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 15

Emissions at 100% load with various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 16

Substitution levels achieved at 25% load with various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 17

Emission levels at 25% load at various air manifold temperatures

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Fig. 18

Substitution levels across the load range for different operating conditions

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Fig. 19

ISO weighted emissions for different operating conditions

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