Development Of A Single Cylinder SI Engine For 100% Biogas Operation
Kapadia, Bhavin Kanaiyalal
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This work concerns a systematic study of IC engine operation with 100% biogas as fuel (as opposed to the dual-fuel mode) with particular emphasis on operational issues and the quest for high efficiency strategies. As a first step, a commercially available 1.2 kW genset engine is modified for biogas operation. The conventional premixing of air and biogas is compared with a new manifold injection strategy. The effect of biogas composition on engine performance is also studied. Results from the genset engine study indicate a very low overall efficiency of the system. This is mainly due to the very low compression ratio (4.5) of the engine. To gain further insight into factors that contribute to this low efficiency, thermodynamic engine simulations are conducted. Reasonable agreement with experiments is obtained after incorporating estimated combustion durations. Subsequently, the model is used as a tool to predict effect of different parameters such as compression ratio, spark timing and combustion durations on engine performance and efficiency. Simulations show that significant improvement in performance can be obtained at high compression ratios. As a step towards developing a more efficient system and based on insight obtained from simulations, a high compression ratio (9.2) engine is selected. This engine is coupled to a 3 kW alternator and operated on 100% biogas. Both strategies, i.e., premixing and manifold injection are implemented. The results show very high overall (chemical to electrical) efficiencies with a maximum value of 22% at 1.4 kW with the manifold injection strategy. The new manifold injection strategy proposed here is found to be clearly superior to the conventional premixing method. The main reasons are the higher volumetric efficiency (25% higher than that for the premixing mode of supply) and overall lean operation of the engine across the entire load range. Predictions show excellent agreement with measurements, enabling the model to be used as a tool for further study. Simulations suggest that a higher compression ratio (up to 13) and appropriate spark advance can lead to higher engine power output and efficiency.
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