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Research Papers: Fuel Combustion

Experimental Investigation of a Heavy-Duty Compression-Ignition Engine Retrofitted to Natural Gas Spark-Ignition Operation

[+] Author and Article Information
Jinlong Liu

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions (CAFEE),
West Virginia University,
Morgantown, WV 26506-6106
e-mail: jlliu@mix.wvu.edu

Hemanth Kumar Bommisetty

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions (CAFEE),
West Virginia University,
Morgantown, WV 26506-6106
e-mail: hebommisetty@mix.wvu.edu

Cosmin Emil Dumitrescu

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Center for Alternative Fuels Engines and Emissions (CAFEE) and Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization (CIGRU),
West Virginia University,
Morgantown, WV 26506-6106
e-mail: cedumitrescu@mail.wvu.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Internal Combustion Engine Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received May 2, 2019; final manuscript received May 7, 2019; published online May 28, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(11), 112207 (May 28, 2019) (12 pages) Paper No: JERT-19-1263; doi: 10.1115/1.4043749 History: Received May 02, 2019; Accepted May 07, 2019

Heavy-duty compression-ignition (CI) engines converted to natural gas (NG) operation can reduce the dependence on petroleum-based fuels and curtail greenhouse gas emissions. Such an engine was converted to premixed NG spark-ignition (SI) operation through the addition of a gas injector in the intake manifold and of a spark plug in place of the diesel injector. Engine performance and combustion characteristics were investigated at several lean-burn operating conditions that changed fuel composition, spark timing, equivalence ratio, and engine speed. While the engine operation was stable, the reentrant bowl-in-piston (a characteristic of a CI engine) influenced the combustion event such as producing a significant late combustion, particularly for advanced spark timing. This was due to an important fraction of the fuel burning late in the squish region, which affected the end of combustion, the combustion duration, and the cycle-to-cycle variation. However, the lower cycle-to-cycle variation, stable combustion event, and the lack of knocking suggest a successful conversion of conventional diesel engines to NG SI operation using the approach described here.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup: (a), (b) engine test cell, (c) top engine view, and (d) engine schematic

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Fig. 2

(a) In-cylinder pressure and (b) apparent heat release rate, for CH4 (solid line) and natural gas (dashed line), respectively (baseline conditions)

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Fig. 3

Effect of spark timing on (a) in-cylinder pressure, (b) apparent heat release rate, and (c) mass fraction burned, for CH4

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Fig. 4

Effect of spark timing on (a) peak pressure and its location and (b) IMEP and thermal efficiency

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Fig. 5

Effect of spark timing on (a) CA10 and CA50 and (b) CA90 and combustion duration

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Fig. 6

Effect of spark timing on the apparent heat release rate of individual engine cycles

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Fig. 7

Effect of spark timing on (a) COVIMEP and COVDOC and (b) COVPmax and STDPmax

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Fig. 8

Effect of equivalence ratio on (a) in-cylinder pressure and (b) apparent heat release rate

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Fig. 9

Effect of equivalence ratio on (a) peak pressure and its locations and (b) IMEP and thermal efficiency

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Fig. 10

Effect of equivalence ratio on (a) CA10 and CA50 and (b) CA90 and combustion duration (DOC)

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Fig. 11

Effect of equivalence ratio on (a) COVIMEP and COVDOC and (b) COVPmax and STDPmax

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Fig. 12

Effect of engine speed on (a) in-cylinder pressure and (b) apparent heat release rate

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Fig. 13

Effect of engine speed on (a) peak pressure and its location and (b) IMEP and thermal efficiency

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Fig. 14

Effect of engine speed on (a) CA10 and CA50 and (b) CA90 and combustion duration

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Fig. 15

Effect of engine speed on (a) COVIMEP and COVDOC and (b) COVPmax and STDPmax

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Fig. 16

(a) Raw and filtered in-cylinder pressure trace and (b) rate of heat release calculated from raw and filtered pressure trace

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