Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) converted a 2012 Buick Regal GS to use an engine with Dedicated EGR™ (D-EGR™). D-EGR is an engine concept that uses fuel reforming and high levels of recirculated exhaust gas (EGR) to achieve very high levels of thermal efficiency . To accomplish reformation of the gasoline in a cost-effective, energy efficient manner, a dedicated cylinder is used for both the production of EGR and reformate. By operating the engine in this manner, many of the sources of losses from traditional reforming technology are eliminated and the engine can take full advantage of the benefits of reformate. The engine in the vehicle was modified to add the following components: the dedicated EGR loop, an additional injector for delivering extra fuel for reformation, a modified boost system that included a supercharger, high energy dual coil offset (DCO) ignition and other actuators used to enable the control of D-EGR combustion. In addition, the compression ratio of the engine was increased to 11.7:1 to take advantage of the improved knock resistance from reformate and EGR. The engine conversion and the development of the control system for the engine are the subject of this paper.
The conversion to D-EGR configuration resulted in an improvement in engine efficiency of at least 10% across the performance map, with some operating conditions seeing substantially higher improvements. For example, the brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC) at 2000 rpm 2 bar BMEP improved from 385 g/kW-h in the series production state to 330 g/kW-h and the lowest BSFC for the engine was 212 g/kWh compared to 236 g/kW-h for the series engine. The addition of 2-stage boosting also allowed the engine to meet its torque targets of at least 17 bar BMEP from 1500-5500 rpm while maintaining good transient response and low engine-out emissions.