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Optimising Fuel Efficiency of DG Set

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  • #31078

    Puneet
    Participant

    Hi,
    How can we optimize the fuel efficiency of a caterpillar diesel genset(500kVA; 450V; 1500RPM)?
     
     

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    #81693

    Manee
    Participant

    Use Robust Design method
    Manee

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    #81764

    Michael Schlueter
    Participant

    Hi Puneet,
    By involving me ;-)   ?
    There are two tools I would use in your case:

    Taguchi’s Parameter Design,

    TRIZ
    By parameter design you can make your diesel genset robust against various conditions of use. You will design several genset variants, subject them to (really bad) usage conditions, reflecting its wide range of user-applications (customer view); finally you will evaluate the performance of each genset variant with respect to its ideal performance. Poor genset. – I followed a similar Taguchi case study from Delphi, who optimized a Diesel engine this way. Ingersoll Rand presented a few optimizations on their products, too. Ford reported injection optimization on a different motor by parameter design.
    Probably your design will show a limitation, a trade-off, too. Either you know it today or the Taguchi experiments might tell you so. Then you need to modify your existing design so that it gets rid of a conflicting requirement; in other words: you may need making an invention on-demand. TRIZ is the tool to use in this case. – Renault’s recent soot reduction on Diesel engines was obtained by TRIZ, as far as I know. At least I know 5 engineers from Renault who apply TRIZ in car design.
    Both tools have one result in common: they will bring your product closer to its ideal state, quickly. Which means:

    less fuel consumption
    lower product cost
    higher reliability in the ‘hand of its user’.
     
    Michael Schlueter
    (A western member of the Quality Engineering Society, Tokyo)

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    #81770

    Chip Hewette
    Participant

    One must understand the factors of interest first.  There are many many fundamental factors for internal combustion efficiency.  There is a theoretical maximum efficiency as well.
    There are also simple maintenance issues that affect fuel economy.  Sometimes bringing an engine back to its specified original condition will help economy.
    It is often a waste of DOE energy to attack a complex system without understanding the basics and verifying condition.
    Whatever you do, don’t try any special spark plugs. ;)

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    #81774

    John J. Flaig
    Participant

    Chip,I agree with your observations but I’m curious
    about your last comment on spark plugs. Over
    the years many high performance engines have
    used special and multiple spark plugs to
    improve engine performance (i.e., Ferrari, Benz,
    etc.). Can you explain why you think the
    engineers should not explore this option?Regards,
    John

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    #81775

    Mikel
    Member

    John,
     
    Last time I checked Diesels don’t use spark plugs. Duh

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    #81779

    Wally
    Member

    give him a break Stan, at least he dropped his PhD, so it must have reduced the embarrassment by about 52.365%.

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    #81780

    Michael Schlueter
    Participant

    Good subjects. Some more aspects.
    I agree, Parameter Design (Robust Design) works best when you have sound understanding as input. This can be theory, knowledge, past experience, checks, observations, care, sometimes even a good guess.
    How to learn quickly about complex systems? Within days?
    Failed experiments or unexpected results have always been a great source of learning for me. Did we really understand the system? Was our model, our imagination ok? Why seem other factors to be more important? Was our measurement characteristic appropriate? Did it reflect the basic energy transformation my system performs? And so on. – Where have we been blind? – Sometimes an early fail of a well designed experiment reveals the incapable, fragile design in all its shame. Which gives the opportunity to save (wo)man-years.
    (Which also means: a successful experiment reveals the good design in all its beauty.)
    There are many ways to learn about the system to improve.
    Theoretical limits are: theoretical limits. On one hand they do represent the most realistic ideal state we may ever be able to approach. So it is good to evaluate how close we have come. On the other hand even these limits depend on conditions of (or assumptions about) a given system. Change the system, modify the conditions and the limits will change, too. Engineering. – As a physicist it is amazing to witness that even ‘eternal’ scientific findings have to be modified from time to time ;-)
    One of the observations from TRIZ is that most impossible solutions in fact were possible and in accordance with the laws of nature. In most cases our imagination and perception were the limiting factors. Just recall the discussion that human beings will never be able to travel faster than a horse can do – and survive the trip. Perception.
    Unresolved conflicts within a given system effectively retard system evolution for years, decades, sometimes centuries. Inventors were able to spot and to resolve conflicts. Which means: changing the system so that it becomes more capable – until it reaches a new limit.
    A prominent example may be the invention of the transmission in bicycles. It resolved a conflict: the old system had this big front wheel. On one hand the drivers leg had to be long (for a high sped); on the other hand the leg had to be short (safety, convenience etc.). Long AND short legs were required. Or big AND small wheels. Trade-off was made at the nominal length of legs. – The transmission provided both: long AND short leg; big AND small wheel. More precisely: the effects of the long leg and of the short leg are both provided in a separated way. Conflict resolution is always obtained by separating conflicting requirements.
    Finally, let’s stretch our imagination. What is the theoretical limit of the genset? In other words: what is the most ideal genset?
    A real genset provides both, good and bad properties. An improved genset will provide more good and less bad properties. (So far the history of the genset. Now its future evolution.) A much better genset will provide many good and almost no bad properties. The perfect genset will provide only good and nothing bad. One day.
    So the ideal genset is a specific absent genset:

    it is not there, so it can’t provide bad properties
    but all it’s good properties are available.
    How to do that?
    We can use this concept of the Ideal Machine as a beakon to break our phsychological inertia effectively. What is good and what is bad in the genset? Why can’t it be made smaller (which trade-off says ‘hi, it’s me’) ? Why does it cost so much ? Why can’t it take over other functions from the motor system? Why can’t other parts of the motor take over the genset function? Etc.
    Coming back to the bicycle example the transmission is one step towards the ideal wheel in a bicycle. It is almost not there (it is much smaller today), so it can’t harm so much, but we have all its usefull properties of the old system (like speed) and even new good properties (like family of bicycles: children, adult, mountain bikes).
    There are many ways to learn about the system to improve.
    Let’s spend some energy.
    Michael Schlueter

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    #81792

    John J. Flaig
    Participant

    Yes, Stan I know Diesel engines don’t have
    spark plugs but I figured they must ignite the
    fuel-air mixture somehow and perhaps
    whatever approach it being used could be
    improved.You tell me — is the current ignition approach
    optimal since I’m a statistician and not a
    mechanical engineer?John

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    #81915

    Mikel
    Member

    Yes

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    #81916

    Chip Hewette
    Participant

    As usual, it depends.  Diesel efficiency and emissions are affected by the fuel injection system.  Direct and indirect injection systems exist.
    Diesels are ignited by extraordinary compression of a ‘perfect’ gas, the temperature of which is raised to the point where atomized fuel ignites.

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