The Status of Experimental Investigations on the use of LPG for generator sets in Colombia

Paper #:
  • 2016-01-0880

  • 2016-04-05
Romero, C., Acosta, R., and Lopez, J., "The Status of Experimental Investigations on the use of LPG for generator sets in Colombia," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0880, 2016,
It is the aim of the present paper to communicate some preliminary results of the research in progress related to the introduction of LPG as a supplementing fuel for the Colombian power grid supply.Most of the power units operating in Colombian oil wells are running on Diesel fuel and natural gas. Other fuels like LPG, heavy and dual fuel have received attention in recent years, due partially to the necessity to relieve the national overall petroleum dependency problem, and also because of the availability of a sizable amount of LPG derived from natural gas purification.In an effort to assess the use of LPG as a fuel alternative to Diesel and natural gas in oil wells, a field study has been carried out. The study focused on the overall performance parameters related to engine operation such as power output, engine efficiency, exhaust emissions, load change response, and noise levels, while running with liquefied petroleum gas obtained in Cusiana, characterized by the presence of butane, pentane, and heptane at concentrations of up to 40%. Seven generator sets spanning the power range from 100 to 1300 kW, coupled to a resistive load bank and instrumented for low speed data and emissions, were tested following a designed experimental procedure that combines starting, steady state, and transient loads. Five of the units tested are originally designed to run on natural gas, while the other two, Diesel based, have been converted to dual-fueled (Diesel/LPG). Neither modifications, nor regulations were made to the base engines, except for those required by the LPG fuel system.The course of selected performance parameters in the tested engines fuelled with LPG and Diesel/LPG blends is described in this document. The analysis of test results and particularly the overall dynamic behavior of the engine under steady-state and transient operation have been made. Although with the use of LPG a slight reduction in engine performance as compared with the base fuel (either CNG or Diesel) is observed, both in steady state and transient conditions, values of output power, speed fluctuation, emissions, noise levels, and exhaust gas temperatures remained under acceptable levels.
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