Research Papers: Internal Combustion Engines

Modifications to Improve Fuel Consumption in the Remanufacture of Spark-Ignition Engines for Electric Generators

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew Neill Swain

Analytical Technologies, Inc.,
14005 Southwest 140th Street,
Miami, FL 33186
e-mail: mswain@ATI-miami.com

Oliver Patrick Jordan

General Motors,
850 North Glenwood Avenue,
Mail Code 483-710-270,
Pontiac, MI 48340
e-mail: oliver.Jordan@GM.com

Travis Jamal Mackey

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles,
37570 Dale Drive Apartment 103,
Westland, MI 48185
e-mail: travisjmackey@gmail.com

Patrick Shannon Seemann

7825 SW Ellipse Way,
Stuart, FL 34997
e-mail: PatrickS@RenntechMercedes.com

Hasitha Samarajeewa

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of Miami,
Coral Gables, FL 33124
e-mail: hasithasam@gmail.com

Michael Robert Swain

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of Miami,
P.O. Box 248294,
Coral Gables, FL 33124
e-mail: mswain@miami.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the IC Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING FOR GAS TURBINES AND POWER. Manuscript received February 2, 2016; final manuscript received March 8, 2016; published online July 27, 2016. Editor: David Wisler.

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 138(12), 122803 (Jul 27, 2016) (11 pages) Paper No: GTP-16-1052; doi: 10.1115/1.4033953 History: Received February 02, 2016; Revised March 08, 2016

This paper describes the development of a water-cooled, lean burn, gaseous fueled engine designed for distributed power installations. Electric generators have become popular because they provide a portable supply of electrical power at consumer demand. They are used in critical need areas such as hospitals and airports, and have found their way into homes frequented with power outages or homes in remote locations. Gensets are available in a wide variety of sizes ranging from 1 kilowatt (kW) to thousands of kilowatts. In the midrange, the power sources are typically spark-ignition, automotive type internal combustion engines. Since engines designed for automotive use are subject to different emission regulations, and are optimized for operation at revolutions per minute (RPM) and brake mean effective pressures (BMEPs) above that of electric generator engines, modifications can be made to optimize them for gensets. This work describes modifications which can be made during remanufacturing an automotive engine to optimize it for use as a generator engine. While the work recognizes the potential for cost savings from the use of remanufactured automotive engines over that of using new automotive engines and the majority of the design constraints were adopted to reduce engine cost, the main focus of the work is quantifying the increase in fuel efficiency that can be achieved while meeting the required EPA emission requirements. This paper describes the seven combustion chamber designs that were developed and tested during this work. Friction reduction was obtained in both valve train and journal bearing design. The engine optimized for fuel efficiency produced a maximum brake thermal efficiency (BTE) of 37.5% with λ = 1.63. This yielded an EPA test cycle average brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) of 325 g/kW hr. Modification of the spark advance and low load equivalence ratio to meet EPA Phase III emission standards resulted in an EPA test cycle average BSFC of 330 g/kW hr. When the engine used in this research was tested in its unmodified, automotive configuration under the EPA compliant test cycle, its EPA test cycle average BSFC was 443.4 g/kW hr. This is a 34% increase in fuel consumption compared to the modified engine.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
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Fig. 1

Combustion chamber for engine 0 production automobile engine

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Fig. 2

Standard propane single venturi gaseous mixer

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Fig. 3

BTE versus torque and BMEP for engine 0

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Fig. 4

Piston for all four modified engines

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Fig. 5

Combustion chamber IA in LS engine 1

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Fig. 6

Combustion chamber IVA in HS engine 2

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Fig. 7

Combustion chamber VD in SHS engine 3 and EC SHS engine 4

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Fig. 8

BTE versus torque and BMEP for engine 0 and LS engine 1

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Fig. 9

BTE versus torque and BMEP for engine 0, LS engine 1, and HS engine 2

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Fig. 10

Intake and exhaust cam lift versus crank angle

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Fig. 11

Modified hydraulic rocker arm

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Fig. 13

BTE versus torque and BMEP for engine 0, LS engine 1, HS engine 2, and SHS engine 3

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Fig. 14

Effect of varying spark advance and air fuel ratio on NOx

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Fig. 15

Effect of varying spark advance and air fuel ratio on HxCy

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Fig. 16

Effect of varying spark advance and air fuel ratio on HxCy + NOx

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Fig. 17

BTE versus torque and BMEP for all five engines

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Fig. 18

Flow bench installation

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Fig. 19

A 15 mm thick exhaust plate for exhaust samples and temperatures

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Fig. 20

Fuel injection manifold installation




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