skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: LOW-ENGINE-FRICTION TECHNOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NATURAL-GAS RECIPROCATING ENGINES

Abstract

This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston/ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and emissions. A detailed set of piston/ring dynamic and friction models have been developed and applied that illustrated the fundamental relationships between design parameters and friction losses. Various low-friction strategies and concepts have been explored, and engine experiments will validate these concepts. An iterative process of experimentation, simulation and analysis, will be followed with the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. As planned, MIT has developed guidelines for an initial set of low-friction piston-ring-pack designs. Current recommendations focus on subtle top-piston-ring and oil-control-ring characteristics. A full-scale Waukesha F18 engine has been installed at Colorado State University and testing of the baseline configuration is in progress. Components for the first design iteration are being procured. Subsequent work includes examining the friction and engine performance data and extending the analyses to other areas to evaluate opportunities for further friction improvement and the impact on oil consumption/emission and wear, towards demonstrating an optimized reduced-friction engine system.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
(US)
OSTI Identifier:
822221
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-02NT41339
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 28 Aug 2003
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; COLORADO; CONFIGURATION; DESIGN; EFFICIENCY; ENGINES; FRICTION; NATURAL GAS; PERFORMANCE; RECOMMENDATIONS; SIMULATION; TESTING

Citation Formats

Victor W. Wong, Tian Tian, and Grant Smedley. LOW-ENGINE-FRICTION TECHNOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NATURAL-GAS RECIPROCATING ENGINES. United States: N. p., 2003. Web. doi:10.2172/822221.
Victor W. Wong, Tian Tian, & Grant Smedley. LOW-ENGINE-FRICTION TECHNOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NATURAL-GAS RECIPROCATING ENGINES. United States. doi:10.2172/822221.
Victor W. Wong, Tian Tian, and Grant Smedley. Thu . "LOW-ENGINE-FRICTION TECHNOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NATURAL-GAS RECIPROCATING ENGINES". United States. doi:10.2172/822221. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/822221.
@article{osti_822221,
title = {LOW-ENGINE-FRICTION TECHNOLOGY FOR ADVANCED NATURAL-GAS RECIPROCATING ENGINES},
author = {Victor W. Wong and Tian Tian and Grant Smedley},
abstractNote = {This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston/ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and emissions. A detailed set of piston/ring dynamic and friction models have been developed and applied that illustrated the fundamental relationships between design parameters and friction losses. Various low-friction strategies and concepts have been explored, and engine experiments will validate these concepts. An iterative process of experimentation, simulation and analysis, will be followed with the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. As planned, MIT has developed guidelines for an initial set of low-friction piston-ring-pack designs. Current recommendations focus on subtle top-piston-ring and oil-control-ring characteristics. A full-scale Waukesha F18 engine has been installed at Colorado State University and testing of the baseline configuration is in progress. Components for the first design iteration are being procured. Subsequent work includes examining the friction and engine performance data and extending the analyses to other areas to evaluate opportunities for further friction improvement and the impact on oil consumption/emission and wear, towards demonstrating an optimized reduced-friction engine system.},
doi = {10.2172/822221},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Aug 28 00:00:00 EDT 2003},
month = {Thu Aug 28 00:00:00 EDT 2003}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston and piston ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and wear. An iterative process of simulation, experimentation and analysis is being followed towards achieving the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. To date, a detailed set of piston and piston-ring dynamic and friction models have been developed and applied that illustrate the fundamental relationships between design parameters and friction losses. Low friction ring designs have already been recommended in a previous phase, withmore » full-scale engine validation partially completed. Current accomplishments include the addition of several additional power cylinder design areas to the overall system analysis. These include analyses of lubricant and cylinder surface finish and a parametric study of piston design. The Waukesha engine was found to be already well optimized in the areas of lubricant, surface skewness and honing cross-hatch angle, where friction reductions of 12% for lubricant, and 5% for surface characteristics, are projected. For the piston, a friction reduction of up to 50% may be possible by controlling waviness alone, while additional friction reductions are expected when other parameters are optimized. A total power cylinder friction reduction of 30-50% is expected, translating to an engine efficiency increase of two percentage points from its current baseline towards the goal of 50% efficiency. Key elements of the continuing work include further analysis and optimization of the engine piston design, in-engine testing of recommended lubricant and surface designs, design iteration and optimization of previously recommended technologies, and full-engine testing of a complete, optimized, low-friction power cylinder system.« less
  • This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston/ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and emissions. An iterative process of simulation, experimentation and analysis, are being followed towards achieving the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. To date, a detailed set of piston/ring dynamic and friction models have been developed and applied that illustrated the fundamental relationships between design parameters and friction losses. Various low-friction strategies and ring-design concepts have been explored, and engine experiments have been done on a full-scalemore » Waukesha VGF F18 in-line 6 cylinder power generation engine rated at 370 kW at 1800 rpm. Current accomplishments include designing and testing ring-packs using a subtle top-compression-ring profile (skewed barrel design), lowering the tension of the oil-control ring, employing a negative twist to the scraper ring to control oil consumption. Initial test data indicate that piston ring-pack friction was reduced by 35% by lowering the oil-control ring tension alone, which corresponds to a 1.5% improvement in fuel efficiency. Although small in magnitude, this improvement represents a first step towards anticipated aggregate improvements from other strategies. Other ring-pack design strategies to lower friction have been identified, including reduced axial distance between the top two rings, tilted top-ring groove. Some of these configurations have been tested and some await further evaluation. Colorado State University performed the tests and Waukesha Engine Dresser, Inc. provided technical support. Key elements of the continuing work include optimizing the engine piston design, application of surface and material developments in conjunction with improved lubricant properties, system modeling and analysis, and continued technology demonstration in an actual full-sized reciprocating natural-gas engine.« less
  • This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston and piston ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and wear. An iterative process of simulation, experimentation and analysis is being followed towards achieving the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. To date, a detailed set of piston and piston-ring dynamic and friction models have been developed and applied that illustrate the fundamental relationships among mechanical, surface/material and lubricant design parameters and friction losses. Demonstration of low-friction ring-pack designs in the Waukesha VGFmore » 18GL engine confirmed total engine FEMP (friction mean effective pressure) reduction of 7-10% from the baseline configuration without significantly increasing oil consumption or blow-by flow. This represents a substantial (30-40%) reduction of the ringpack friction alone. The measured FMEP reductions were in good agreement with the model predictions. Further improvements via piston, lubricant, and surface designs offer additional opportunities. Tests of low-friction lubricants are in progress and preliminary results are very promising. The combined analysis of lubricant and surface design indicates that low-viscosity lubricants can be very effective in reducing friction, subject to component wear for extremely thin oils, which can be mitigated with further lubricant formulation and/or engineered surfaces. Hence a combined approach of lubricant design and appropriate wear reduction offers improved potential for minimum engine friction loss. Piston friction studies indicate that a flatter piston with a more flexible skirt, together with optimizing the waviness and film thickness on the piston skirt offer significant friction reduction. Combined with low-friction ring-pack, material and lubricant parameters, a total power cylinder friction reduction of 30-50% is expected, translating to an engine efficiency increase of two percentage points from its current baseline towards the goal of 50% ARES engine efficiency. The design strategies developed in this study have promising potential for application in all modern reciprocating engines as they represent simple, low-cost methods to extract significant fuel savings. The current program has possible spinoffs and applications in other industries as well, including transportation, CHP, and diesel power generation. The progress made in this program has wide engine efficiency implications, and potential deployment of low-friction engine components or lubricants in the near term is possible as current investigations continue.« less
  • This program aims at improving the efficiency of advanced natural-gas reciprocating engines (ANGRE) by reducing piston and piston ring assembly friction without major adverse effects on engine performance, such as increased oil consumption and wear. An iterative process of simulation, experimentation and analysis has been followed towards achieving the goal of demonstrating a complete optimized low-friction engine system. In this program, a detailed set of piston and piston-ring dynamic and friction models have been adapted and applied that illustrate the fundamental relationships among mechanical, surface/material and lubricant design parameters and friction losses. Demonstration of low-friction ring-pack designs in the Waukeshamore » VGF 18GL engine confirmed ring-pack friction reduction of 30-40%, which translates to total engine FEMP (friction mean effective pressure) reduction of 7-10% from the baseline configuration without significantly increasing oil consumption or blow-by flow. The study on surface textures, including roughness characteristics, cross hatch patterns, dimples and grooves have shown that even relatively small-scale changes can have a large effect on ring/liner friction, in some cases reducing FMEP by as much as 30% from a smooth surface case. The measured FMEP reductions were in good agreement with the model predictions. The combined analysis of lubricant and surface design indicates that low-viscosity lubricants can be very effective in reducing friction, subject to component wear for extremely thin oils, which can be mitigated with further lubricant formulation and/or engineered surfaces. Hence a combined approach of lubricant design and appropriate wear reduction offers improved potential for minimum engine friction loss. Testing of low-friction lubricants showed that total engine FMEP reduced by up to {approx}16.5% from the commercial reference oil without significantly increasing oil consumption or blow-by flow. Piston friction studies indicate that a flatter piston with a more flexible skirt, together with optimizing the waviness and film thickness on the piston skirt offer significant friction reduction. Combined with low-friction ring-pack, material and lubricant parameters, a total power cylinder friction reduction of 30-50% is expected, translating to an engine efficiency increase of two percentage points from its current baseline towards the goal of 50% ARES engine efficiency. The design strategies developed in this study have promising potential for application in all modern reciprocating engines as they represent simple, low-cost methods to extract significant fuel savings. The current program has possible spinoffs and applications in other industries as well, including transportation, CHP, and diesel power generation. The progress made in this program has wide engine efficiency implications, and potential deployment of low-friction engine components or lubricants in the near term is quite possible.« less
  • No abstract prepared.