The General Electric Coal-Fueled Diesel Engine Program (1982–1993): A Technical Review

[+] Author and Article Information
J. A. Caton

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

B. D. Hsu

General Electric—Transportation Systems, Erie, PA 16531

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 116(4), 749-757 (Oct 01, 1994) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2906882 History: Received January 28, 1994; Online April 24, 2008


In the early 1980s, General Electric—Transportation Systems (GE-TS), a manufacturer of locomotive diesel engines, announced plans to develop a coal-fueled locomotive due to the availability and low cost of coal. In 1985 and 1988, the General Electric Company (GE) was awarded major contracts from the Department of Energy, Morgantown Energy Technology Center, to continue the research and development of a coal-fueled diesel engine. This paper is a review of the technical accomplishments and discoveries of the GE coal-fueled diesel engine research and development program during the years 1982–1993. The results of an economic assessment completed by GE-TS indicated the merits for the development of a coal fueled diesel engine for locomotive applications and therefore, GE-TS embarked on an ambitious program to develop and commercialize a coal-fueled diesel engine. Among the major accomplishments of this program were the development of specialized fuel injection equipment for coal–water slurries, diamond compact inserts for the nozzle tips for wear resistance, and an integrated emissions control system. Over 500 hours of engine operation was accumulated using coal fuel during the duration of this program. A major milestone was attained when, during November and December 1991, a coal-fueled diesel engine powered a locomotive on the General Electric test track.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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