Development and mathematical analysis of a modular CNG valve : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Engineering, Mechatronics, at Massey University

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Massey University
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With the rising cost of oil and uncertainty of supply, there has never been a greater opportunity to offer an alternative fuel into the automotive market than at this present time. Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) are popular alternatives, producing less green house gasses after the combustion process that add to the raising global warming concern. With high performance fuel injected state of the art engines used in the majority of the late model vehicles, the problem when running on CNG or LPG is poor control of the air/fuel ratio throughout the engine's speed and load range using the conventional zero pressure regulator and mixer combination gas conversion equipment used previously for carburetted engines. This problem is completely eliminated with gas injection system. The Harrison CNG Electronic Gas injection System control valve is a linear proportional valve. Testing on the valve has found that the response is linear under all operating conditions; however the valve exhibits occasional instances of hysteresis. Due to this unfortunate characteristic further analysis is required, in the form of a mathematical analysis, to determine the exact causes of this problem. Another point of concern is the complexity of the valve, due to the many moving parts, this results in high production costs and increased reliability concerns. This masters project will include the mathematical analysis of the current Harrison CNG Electronic Gas injection system, further testing and refinement. The objective is to produce a modular system that can be retrofitted to any make of vehicle. Research will be directed in the development of mathematical equations to analyse valve operation for improvement of operation, to increase performance the valve will be redesigned to reduce complexity and ready it for production. The valve will be tested on a variety of vehicles from a 2 litre sedan to a 5.8 litre diesel engine that has been converted to operate on CNG, to prove the versatility of the valve and its ability to tailor the engine torque curve to that required for the vehicles unique operating requirements.
Compressed natural gas, Internal combustion engines -- Valves