Controls and Measurements of KU Engine Test Cells for Biodiesel, SynGas, and Assisted Biodiesel Combustion
Cecrle, Eric Daniel
University of Kansas
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This thesis is comprised of three unique data acquisition and controls (CDAQ) projects. Each of these projects differs from each other; however, they all include the concept of testing renewable or future fuel sources. The projects were the following: University of Kansas's Feedstock-to-Tailpipe Initiative's Synthesis Gas Reforming rig, Feedstock-to-Tailpipe Initiative's Biodiesel Single Cylinder Test Stand, and a unique Reformate Assisted Biodiesel Combustion architecture. The main responsibility of the author was to implement, develop and test CDAQ systems for the projects. For the Synthesis Gas Reforming rig, this thesis includes a report that summarizes the analysis and solution of building a controls and data acquisition system for this setup. It describes the purpose of the sensors selected along with their placement throughout the system. Moreover, it includes an explanation of the planned data collection system, along with two models describing the reforming process useful for system control. For the Biodiesel Single Cylinder Test Stand, the responsibility was to implement the CDAQ system for data collection. This project comprised a variety of different sensors that are being used collect the combustion characteristics of different biodiesel formulations. This project is currently being used by other graduates in order to complete their projects for subsequent publication. For the Reformate Assisted Biodiesel Combustion architecture, the author developed a reformate injection system to test different hydrogen and carbon monoxide mixtures as combustion augmentation. Hydrogen combustion has certain limiting factors, such as pre-ignition in spark ignition engines and inability to work as a singular fuel in compression ignition engines. To offset these issues, a dual-fuel methodology is utilized by injecting a hydrogen/carbon monoxide mixture into the intake stream of a diesel engine operating on biodiesel. While carbon monoxide does degrade some of the desirable properties of hydrogen, it acts partially like a diluent in order to prevent pre-ignition from occurring. The result of this mixture addition allows the engine to maintain power while reducing biodiesel fuel consumption with a minimal NOx emissions increase.
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