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Adaptation of MW Level Natural Gas Lean Burn Engine for Producer Gas Operation - A Grid Connected Power Plant


Dasappa, S., Subbukrishna, D.N., Bose, B., Tauri, H.


Paper Paper


Availability of producer gas engines at MW being limited necessitates to adapt engine from natural gas operation. The present work focus on the development of necessary kit for adapting a 12 cylinder lean burn turbo­charged natural gas engine rated at 900 kWe (Waukesha make VHP5904LTD) to operate on producer and set up an appropriate capacity biomass gasification system for grid linked power generation in Thailand. The overall plant configuration had fuel processing, drying, reactor, cooling and cleaning system, water treatment, engine generator and power evacuation. The overall project is designed for evacuation of 1.5 MWe power to the state grid and had 2 gasification system with the above configuration and 3 engines. Two gasification system each designed for about 1100 kg/hr of woody biomass was connected to the engine using a producer gas carburetor for the necessary Air to fuel ratio control. In the use of PG to fuel IC engines, it has been recognized that the engine response will differ as compared to the response with conventional fueled operation due to the differences in the thermo­physical properties of PG. On fuelling a conventional engine with PG, power de­rating can be expected due to the lower calorific value (LCV), lower adiabatic flame temperature (AFT) and the lower than unity product to reactant more ratio. Further the A/F ratio for producer gas is about 1/10th that of natural gas and requires a different carburetor for engine operation. The research involved in developing a carburetor for varying load conditions. The patented carburetor is based on area ratio control, consisting of a zero pressure regulator and a separate gas and air line along with a mixing zone. The 95 litre engine at 1000 rpm has an electrical efficiency of 33.5 % with a heat input of 2.62 MW. Each engine had two carburetors designed for producer gas flow each capable of handling about 1200 m3/hr in order to provide similar engine heat input at a lower conversion efficiency. Cold flow studies simulating the engine carburetion system results showed that the A/F was maintained in the range of 1.3±0.1 over the entire flow range. Initially, the gasification system was tested using woody biomass and the gas composition was found to be CO 15 ± 1.5 % H2 22±2% CH4 2.2 ± 0.5 CO2 11.25± 1.4 % and rest N2, with the calorific value in the range of 5.0 MJ/kg. After initial trials on the engine to fine tune the control system and adjust various engine operating parameter a peak load of 800 kWe was achieved, while a stable operating conditions was found to be at 750 kWe which is nearly 85 % of the natural gas rating. The specific fuel consumption was found to be 0.9 kg of biomass per kWh.


biomass, power generation, producer gas, gas engine, gasifier, carburetion


Biomass Conversion Technologies for Heating, Cooling and Electricity


Gasification for power, CHP and polygeneration


22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition




554 - 557



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