Reciprocating Engine Laboratory
NETL's reciprocating engine laboratory focuses on research to
enable high efficiency, cleaner burning engines for America 's future. Some
of the laboratory's activities are development of laser spark ignition systems,
hydrogen engine operation, partial oxidation engine operation, and diesel engine
particulate studies. Researchers in NETL's Office of Science and Engineering
Research investigate end-use applications for hydrogen fuel in reciprocating
engines, as well as gas turbines and fuel cell technologies in support of DOE's
goal to develop strategies for reduced carbon emissions. The use of hydrogen
in reciprocating engines also offers the potential for substantial reductions
in NO x emissions and provides a platform for power generation from future
coal-derived hydrogen fuels.
The reciprocating engine laboratory is configured to support
spark-ignited, diesel, or HCCI combustion engine operations. Fueling capabilities
include natural gas, hydrogen, diesel fuel, and ethanol. The primary engine
platform is a two-valve, four-cycle engine with a bore and stroke of 130 mm
(5.1 in) and 150 mm (6 in), respectively, and a swept volume of 1.997
liters (122.4 cu in). Variable compression ratio is achievable via custom piston
sets. With a nominal compression ratio of 13:1, the maximum power output is
55 kW (74 hp) at 36.7 rev/sec (2200 rpm). Startup and engine load are controlled
by a 420-volt, 100 hp (75 kW), DC dynamometer. Turbocharger conditions
are simulated with a filtered, dried, preheated, and pressurized site air source
and a backpressure control valve in the exhaust.
A gas analysis system was designed and fabricated at the NETL
facility to measure the concentration of gaseous components in the diluted,
or raw, exhaust gas stream for diesel or other reciprocating engines. Capabilities
include total hydrocarbons (THC), SO 2 , NO x , CO 2, O 2 and CO measurements.
All gas analyzers are operated in accordance with Federal emission regulations
and calibrated with six point calibration curves generated using least squares
Particulate sampling is accomplished with a NETL-designed mini-dilution
tunnel. Particulate samples are gathered on either 70mm or 90mm fiberglass
Teflon coated filters for subsequent analysis. Particle size and mass distributions
are obtained using a Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer (SMPS) or Micro Orifice
Uniform Deposition Impactor (MOUDI) respectively.
High-speed combustion data are recorded at an overall throughput
rate of up to 1 MHz. The engine may also be configured for visual access for
fuel spray and/or combustion analysis. High speed video as well as spectroscopic
analysis is available.
NETL is interested in developing R&D efforts that advance
alternative fuels and engine technology with industry, academia, and other
government agencies through a variety of arrangements including Cooperative
Research and Development Agreements (CRADA).
For more information contact Michael