Optimizing power cylinder lubrication on a large bore natural gas engine

Luedeman, Matthew R., author
Olsen, Daniel, advisor
Kirkpatrick, Allan T., committee member
De Miranda, Michael A., committee member
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More than 6000 integral compressors, located along America's natural gas pipelines, pump natural gas across the United States. These compressors are powered by 2-stroke, large bore natural gas burning engines. Lowering the operating costs, reducing the emissions, and ensuring that these engines remain compliant with future emission regulations are the drivers for this study. Substantial research has focused on optimizing efficiency and reducing the fuel derived emissions on this class of engine. However, significantly less research has focused on the effect and reduction of lubricating oil derived emissions. This study evaluates the impact of power cylinder lubricating oil on overall engine emissions with an emphasis on reducing oxidation catalyst poisoning. A traditional power cylinder lubricator was analyzed; power cylinder lubricating oil was found to significantly impact exhaust emissions. Lubricating oil was identified as the primary contributor of particulate matter production in a large bore natural gas engine. The particulate matter was determined to be primarily organic carbon, and most likely direct oil carryover of small oil droplets. The particulate matter production equated to 25% of the injected oil at a nominal power cylinder lubrication rate. In addition, power cylinder friction is considered the primary contributor to friction loss in the internal combustion engine. This study investigates the potential for optimizing power cylinder lubrication by controlling power cylinder injection to occur at the optimal time in the piston cycle. By injecting oil directly into the ring pack, it is believed that emissions, catalyst poisoning, friction, and wear can all be reduced. This report outlines the design and theory of two electronically controlled lubrication systems. Experimental results and evaluation of one of the systems is included.
2013 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.
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