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Experimental Plan

Upon completion of the commissioning process a number of experiments will be conducted to look into three primary categories:

  • Thermo-Fluids
  • Combustion
  • Emissions
  • Reliability and Maintainability

Petrol-diesel and four biodiesel fuels will be used during the experiments in lots of 100 gallons each. This should provide approximately 50 hours of total run time. Each of these fuels will be tested at four load settings: 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of design. 


The thermo-fluids experiments will analyze the efficiency of the engine using the different biodiesel fuels to analyze total engine efficiency, how much energy is delivered by the coolant and the exhaust. In addition to the engine analysis, the heat exchange equipment will be analyzed on a first and second law basis as well as the dispatch of this equipment and how the independent demand of two systems, steam driven absorption chiller and ventilation system regeneration, affects the dispatch of these systems. 


In addition to the heat recovery experiments, pressure - time analyses will be conducted on each cylinder. This will allow us to analyze how well each fuel is combusting and what the differences them.


The emissions testing will be primarily conducted by the team from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Carnegie Mellon's Center for Atmosphere Particulate Studies.

The measured emissions will include: Oxygen, NOx, CO2, CO, HC, and particulate matter (on filter paper and a 0.0 - 1.0 micron NDIR)

A major component of the emissions testing is to determine whether NOx emissions differ between biodiesel fuel types as it is commonly assumed that the use of biodiesel fuel always increases NOx emissions. Each fuel will be fully characterized prior to use. 

The primary purpose of the particulate matter analysis is to characterize the organic compounds found in the particulates.

Reliability and Maintainability

The engine's mechanical performance will be assessed by monitoring a number of components. A maintenance program will be developed with John Deere to inspect the fuel system, lubricants, injectors, and other components in the combustion process. With this data in hand, a maintenance program will be developed and engines may be tailored for use with biodiesel fuels as currently the only changes to the engine are for the sake of material compatibility.