Conventional fossil fuels for combustion systems, such as gasoline and diesel, have a number of problems related to energy security and emissions. Alternative fuels, such as methane, hydrogen, and mixtures of these two gases, are being promoted as clean energy substitutes for primary fossil fuels. Natural gas (which consists mainly of methane) is one of the most promising of these fuels, providing lower cost, cleaner emissions and is direct applicable to existing combustion systems. However, the use of natural gas as fuel can adversely affect engine performance. Therefore, hydrogen is sometimes used as an additive, as its higher burning rate often leads to enhanced combustion. In this study, cycle simulation was used to numerically investigate the performance and emission characteristics of an engine employed primarily to power a generator, and fueled with methane and methane - hydrogen blends. Dominant parameters such as excess air ratio, spark timing, and volume percent of hydrogen content, were investigated as independent variables. The fundamental effect of hydrogen on methane combustion was investigated for a fixed excess air ratio of 1.2 and a spark timing of 14CA(Crank Angle) BTDC (Before Top Dead Center), with an accompanying reduction in ignition delay. By varying the excess air ratio, hydrogen was demonstrated to play an important role in extending the lean operating limit. The DOE (Design of Experiment) method was applied to study MBT (Maximum Brake Torque) spark timing for various excess air ratios and hydrogen contents. When MBT spark timing was employed, maximum brake torque could be achieved under leaner burning conditions by increasing the hydrogen content.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology