Utilizing a cycle simulation to examine the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) for a spark-ignition engine: including the second law of thermodynamics
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The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system has been widely used to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission, improve fuel economy and suppress knock by using the characteristics of charge dilution. However, previous studies have shown that as the EGR rate at a given engine operating condition increases, the combustion instability increases. The combustion instability increases cyclic variations resulting in the deterioration of engine performance and increasing hydrocarbon emissions. Therefore, the optimum EGR rate should be carefully determined in order to obtain the better engine performance and emissions. A thermodynamic cycle simulation of the four-stroke spark-ignition engine was used to determine the effects of EGR on engine performance, emission characteristics and second law parameters, considering combustion instability issues as EGR level increases. A parameter, called 'Fuel Fraction Burned,' was introduced as a function of the EGR percentage and used in the simulation to incorporate the combustion instability effects. A comprehensive parametric investigation was conducted to examine the effects of variations in EGR, load and speed for a 5.7 liter spark-ignition automotive engine. Variations in the thermal efficiencies, brake specific NOx emissions, average combustion temperature, mean exhaust temperature, maximum temperature and relative heat transfer as functions of exhaust gas recycle were determined for both cooled and adiabatic EGR configurations. Also effects of variations in the load and speed on thermal efficiencies, relative heat transfers and destruction of availability due to combustion were determined for 0% EGR and 20% EGR cases with both cooled and adiabatic configurations. For both EGR configurations, thermal efficiencies first increase, reach a maximum at about 16% EGR and then decrease as the EGR level increases. Thermal efficiencies are slightly higher for cooled EGR configuration than that for adiabatic configuration. Concentration of nitric oxide emissions decreases from about 2950 ppm to 200 ppm as EGR level increases from 0% to 20% for cooled EGR configuration. The cooled EGR configuration results in lower nitric oxide emissions relative to the adiabatic EGR configuration. Also second law parameters show the expected trends as functions of EGR. Brake thermal efficiency is higher for the 20% EGR case than that for the no EGR case over the range of load (0 to WOT) and speed (600 rpm to 6000 rpm). Predictions made from the simulation were compared with some of the available experimental results. Predicted thermal efficiencies showed a similar trend when compared to the available experimental data. Also, percentage of unused fuel availability increases as the EGR level increases, and it can be seen as one of the effects of deteriorating combustion quality as the EGR level increases.
Shyani, Rajeshkumar Ghanshyambhai (2008). Utilizing a cycle simulation to examine the use of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) for a spark-ignition engine: including the second law of thermodynamics. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from