Numerical investigation on low calorific syngas combustion in the opposed-piston engine
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Publication date: 2017-05-01
Combustion Engines 2017,169(2), 53–63
The aim of this study was to investigate a possibility of using gaseous fuels of a low calorific value as a fuel for internal combustion engines. Such fuels can come from organic matter decomposition (biogas), oil production (flare gas) or gasification of materials containing carbon (syngas). The utilization of syngas in the barrel type Opposed-Piston (OP) engine arrangement is of particular interest for the authors. A robust design, high mechanical efficiency and relatively easy incorporation of Variable Compression Ratio (VCR) makes the OP engine an ideal candidate for running on a low calorific fuel of various compostion. Furthermore, the possibility of online compression ratio adjustment allows for engine the operation in Controlled Auto-Ignition (CAI) mode for high efficiency and low emission. In order to investigate engine operation on low calorific gaseous fuel authors performed 3D CFD numerical simulations of scavenging and combustion processes in the 2-stroke barrel type Opposed-Piston engine with use of the AVL Fire solver. Firstly, engine operation on natural gas with ignition from diesel pilot was analysed as a reference. Then, combustion of syngas in two different modes was investigated – with ignition from diesel pilot and with Controlled Auto-Ignition. Final engine operating points were specified and corresponding emissions were calculated and compared. Results suggest that engine operation on syngas might be limited due to misfire of diesel pilot or excessive heat releas which might lead to knock. A solution proposed by authors for syngas is CAI combustion which can be controlled with application of VCR and with adjustment of air excess ratio. Based on preformed simulations it was shown that low calorific syngas can be used as a fuel for power generation in the Opposed-Piston engine which is currently under development at Warsaw University of Technology.