Master's Thesis Defense - Kile Stinson

June 16, 2017 - 2:30 PM
Motorsports Research Conference Room 108
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, 704-687-8253

Investigation of the effects of high sulfur content on the operational characteristics of a Tier 4 Interim ULS diesel engine

Who:  Kile Stinson
When:  Friday, June 16, 2017
Where:  Motorsports Research Conference Room, MSR 108
Time:  2:30 PM|
:  Dr. Mesbah Uddin

This thesis focuses on how high sulfur content of diesel fuel impacts the operation of a Tier 4 Interim diesel engine that was designed to run on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). This was explored because U.S. nuclear powerplants have these engines as their second backup in response to the nuclear powerplant meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Each of the 99 U.S. nuclear powerplants have up to 50,000 gallons of high sulfur diesel in emergency tanks that these engines would ran on if the need arose. The 4.5L 99 HP test engine was ran at 30%, 90% and 60% load, with sulfur concentrations of ULSD, 50 PPM, and 100 PPM. The 30% load tests showed as sulfur content was increased, the exhaust system temperatures were also increased, with a maximum difference of 50˚C. The 90% load test showed the same trend but with only a maximum difference of 20˚C. The 90% load condition also showed as sulfur concentration was increased, the engine coolant temperature also increased with a total temperature difference of 9˚C. The 60% load condition differed in exhaust system temperatures when compared to the other load tests, in that the 100 PPM sulfur fuel had the lowest exhaust system temperatures instead of the highest. The 50 PPM tests had the highest temperatures, and the ULSD had the median temperatures. The DPF differential pressure soot loading parameter showed the maximum soot loading rate was about the same for all three sulfur concentrations and loads at 0.03 g/L-hr. The time-based soot loading rate was 0.06 g/L-hr, meaning that this parameter would trigger a regeneration first. The engine’s power output was constant throughout the range of fuels and loads tested, except for the 100 PPM fuel at 60% load, where a few runs showed the power output 10 HP lower than normal. The cause of this was not completely determined and subject to future investigations at higher sulfur concentrations. This research concludes that the impact of up to 100 PPM fuel sulfur concentration was minimal on the test engine’s operational characteristics. Specifically, the engine would not be put into regeneration by any parameter that was influenced by sulfur concentration before another parameter, not influenced by sulfur concentration, triggered it.