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

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 VGF 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, whichmore » 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
Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
890706
DOE Contract Number:
FC26-02NT41339
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; CONFIGURATION; DESIGN; EFFICIENCY; ENGINES; FRICTION; LUBRICANTS; NATURAL GAS; PERFORMANCE; PISTONS; POWER GENERATION; SIMULATION; THICKNESS