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Author Topic: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.  (Read 9154 times)

carlb23

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Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« on: August 30, 2008, 08:08:53 PM »
I have added the ability to run natural gas in combination with Diesel in my 6/1 listerord.
The gas is fed via a standard type gas valve/regulator that can be found on many non vented radiant hanging space heaters(this does not have a probe or pilot). I drilled and taped a 1/8”npt hole in the bottom of the air inlet elbow to inject the gas. I made no modifications to the governor and adjust the natural gas via a needle valve right after the gas valve/regulator.  I ran several control tests to gauge the amount of natural gas to diesel at two different loads.  In each test I started with 6oz of diesel and timed how long it took the engine to burn that 6oz.  I made an adjustment to the amount of natural gas for each of the two different loads I tried.  I may add the ability for the engine to change the amount of natural gas using the governor in the future but my first tests proved that there is little to be gained unless the load varies greatly.  You will notice some differences in the load and frequency but this is due to the fact that I made not governor adjustments during the entire test. 


I based my cost on diesel at 4.25 per gallon and natural gas delivered at 1.45 per 100 cubic feet.

Watts    Volts     Amps        Hrz        Time run              RPM            amount of natural gas                   Cost             Hour   / KW
                                                                                                                                             Oil  / gas
                                                                                                                                                 hour
                                                                  TEST ONE
1512      216          7          54      13 min  18 sec          560/570                      0                            .90 /  0          .90    .60
1742      242         7.2        60      39 min 10 sec           610/620         .28 cubic feet per min               .30 / .24        .54    .31
   
                                           TEST TWO
2325      204       11.4        52        9 min 30 sec           550/560                      0                         1.22 /  0         1.22      .52
2825      250       11.3        60       40min  28 sec          610/620          .5 cubic feet per min             .29 / .43         .72       .25
 
I hope I got all of my math right.  I did shoot several stills as well as a video while I will post to youtube in the near future.  Please pick apart my methods and results if you think they are flawed.

Carl

SteveU.

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2008, 02:37:34 AM »
Great work Carl!

Is your 6/1 IDI or DI?

Your increased running times would indicate an appr. 75% fuel substitution, IMO.

How are you electrically loading for these test runs?

Unless load induced the increase in power as indicated by the increased RPM/Volts is surprising. Very pleasantly surprising. Since these engines are documented as 35-40% thermally efficient on diesel any increase means you must be getting a better/longer pressure curve. There is always more to the story than just simply the BTU's per weight of fuel.

How did it sound?

How did the exhaust smell change?

To know more I think you are going to have to monitor exhaust temp changes. Gasious fuels are known to have long,slow burn times therefore overheating and burning exhaust valves.
 And maybe even figure out how to determine if the heat load on the cooling system has decreased.

My questions are  only for my personal knowledge. Is't good to see actual data not just talk. Thanks for the post.
SteveU.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 03:45:07 AM by SteveU. »
Use it up. Wear it out. Make Do, or Do Without.
 Electrodyne 12vdc. AC MeccAlte 8.5kw
John Deere 950 w/Yammar 3cyl IDI; Peterson 21" sawmill w/20hp Kohler v-twin; four Stilh chainsaws,  Stilh weedeaters; various Kohler, Onan, Honda, Briggs, Tecumseh singles.

cschuerm

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2008, 03:42:41 PM »
Thanks for the post Carl!  Good to see some actual documented results rather than the normal speculation.
I may soon have a virtually free source of gas, so will be looking forward with great interest to your ongoing testing and results.  Please do make sure to post when you have the pix/video available.
I'm moving to a location with no electricity available, and am planning a hybrid system of solar, wind, and Roid power. 

Thanks,
Chris

SHIPCHIEF

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2008, 06:58:58 PM »
Chris;
If you are getting natural gas for free, then consider a spark ignited engine with a natural gas carb.
Lister made lots of gas engines, and the CS listers are a dirivative of one. I have considered getting a GM-90 DI engine, and converting it to run on Propane/natural gas, by lowering the compression ratio with head gasket shim plates. Remove the injection pump and operate the points from the IP cam, Rig up a spark plug arrangement where the injector was.
Run the governor to the throttle.
Simple in concept......probably a lot of fun work. ;)
Scott E
Ashwamegh 25/2 & ST12
Lister SR2 10Kw 'Long Edurance' genset on a 10 gallon sump/skid,
Onan 6.5NH in an old Jeager Compressor trailer and a few CCK's

carlb23

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2008, 02:32:08 PM »
sorry for the way the information was displayed.  It look fine when i did it in Microsoft word and when i cut and pasted it into the forum.  I will have to reformat the data so that it can be read easily and make more sense.

In answer to some of the questions.  I am running a 6/1 idi metro,   I do not get natural gas for free it cost 1.45 per 100 cubic feet. The engine sounded fine until i started to add too much gas and the rack closed too far and the engine started to misfire from lack of diesel.  I am using two 1500 watt electric heaters which i let run for a while before i started the test, they ran until the test ended. The engine was never stopped from the beginning of the test until the end.  I checked the volts amps and hertz though out the testing via the digital display on the generator.  For test one both heaters were on their 750 watt setting and the second test on their 1500 watt setting.  I did not take any exhaust temps and the water temp maxed at 200F with a 195 degree stat.  The return water never exceeded 130F.  It is being cooled by a large aluminum radiator from car.  Exhaust smell had much less diesel smell and you could get a slight wiff of natural gas.  This test was pretty down and dirty but I think i did gain some data for future testing.  Exhaust we completely clean on the low power test with only a slight amount of blue haze on the larger load test.


Carl

carlb23

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2008, 02:57:28 PM »
i hope this time the data is easier to read, I reformatted it.

I based my cost on diesel at 4.25 per gallon and natural gas delivered at 1.45 per 100 cubic feet.

Watts    Volts     Amps    Hrz                 Time run             RPM            amount of natural gas                    Cost               Cost
                                                                                                                                                 Oil  / gas     Hour  /  KW
                                                                                                                                                    hour
                                                                  TEST ONE
1512      216          7          54      13 min  18 sec          560/570                      0                                  .90 /  0         .90    .60
1742      242         7.2        60      39 min  10 sec          610/620         .28 cubic feet per min                    .30 / .24        .54    .31
   
                                           TEST TWO
2325      204       11.4        52        9 min 30 sec           550/560                      0                               1.22 /  0        1.22      .52
2825      250       11.3        60       40min  28 sec          610/620          .5 cubic feet per min                   .29 / .43         .72     .25
 
   

carl

carlb23

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2008, 03:00:22 PM »
it seems no matter what i do the data won't post correctly.   I looks good in preview but when it posts it goes to hell

carl

SHIPCHIEF

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2008, 07:18:42 PM »
That's OK Carl;
We can see your hard earned data.
It's pretty good, and pretty consistant.
Now, some form of control and safety would make it usable, and long term testing could follow.
Scott E
Ashwamegh 25/2 & ST12
Lister SR2 10Kw 'Long Edurance' genset on a 10 gallon sump/skid,
Onan 6.5NH in an old Jeager Compressor trailer and a few CCK's

SteveU.

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2008, 09:36:50 PM »
Carl your information presentation is good enough, don't sweat it. Use your efforts on more interesting things like: to gas flow govern or not, and how; injector timing and compression ratio--stay the same with known good diesel characterisics, or change to optimize for the gas fuel? Ect.
I personally wouldn't want to lose the diesel/dual fuel capability.

Thanks for the very good answers.
The smell and sounds along with your power increase certainly says you,ve discovered your fueling maximum. All of your available O2 in being utilized. Thats as good of burn as you you can get when the primary goal is cost of operation.
 
What you have now will startup, run well and produce power. I agree that running it, observe, fix/repair/then modify will be your best return on effort from here.

I also agree with Scott E. that now is the time to focus on safety. You've now left the realitivly safe world of diesel (spills, grass kills, tracking into SWMBO space) and entered the exciting world of gasious/vaporized fuels that WILL go Whoosh! FLASH! BOOM! when the conditions stackup just right. Of course auto fuel shut down. Then, ignition sources. Much more expensive. Appolo 13. The Boeing 747 off the East US coast. Ever seen a wrench dropped on concrete in the dark? Or known a kid who didn't sneak off into a dark corner? Candles, matches.
But #1: ALWAYS, ventilate, ventilate, ventilate.  Sorry. I,ve seen and smelled the burns. Life altering.

Anyhow your sucsessful IDI conversion cheers me on that I will be able to make my own eventually work too.

 Many thanks
SteveU.

 
Use it up. Wear it out. Make Do, or Do Without.
 Electrodyne 12vdc. AC MeccAlte 8.5kw
John Deere 950 w/Yammar 3cyl IDI; Peterson 21" sawmill w/20hp Kohler v-twin; four Stilh chainsaws,  Stilh weedeaters; various Kohler, Onan, Honda, Briggs, Tecumseh singles.

clytle374

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2008, 05:46:56 AM »
Very nice project and info.  A few thoughts/questions.

If the load decreases no zero will the engine still run OK?  Or are you tuning it for a set load only?

If the engine dies, like due to a fuel problem, do you plan on a auto shut off for the gas?


carlb23

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2008, 12:14:37 PM »
Very nice project and info.  A few thoughts/questions.

If the load decreases no zero will the engine still run OK?  Or are you tuning it for a set load only?

If the engine dies, like due to a fuel problem, do you plan on a auto shut off for the gas?



When using it (this is for backup only) I need a around 2kw. With the gas mixture set the engine will run with no load but it getting to the point where there is very little diesel being injected.  As soon as the load is greater than 750 watts the engine runs fine and since the stock Governor is still in place if the load increases it will add diesel as needed.  At this time I have it set to optimize gas usage at around a 1750 watt load, anything above that it starts to inject more diesel.

The Gas valve/solenoid is powered by the generator so if for any reason the generator stops making power the gas valve is automatically closed.  The gas valve is rated for use with natural gas in fact if is from a radiant natural gas heater.

Carl     

clytle374

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2008, 11:15:48 PM »
Nice work

Jim Mc

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 01:28:15 AM »
Yes, it is nice work.  Thanks for reporting it here. 


...The Gas valve/solenoid is powered by the generator so if for any reason the generator stops making power the gas valve is automatically closed.  The gas valve is rated for use with natural gas in fact if is from a radiant natural gas heater.

 

Seems like a pretty sound idea.  I'd only add that since a gas valve from a radiant heater may not have been designed for the environment around an engine, it might be safest to put the valve on a solid (non-vibrating) mount off the engine itself...

carlb23

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2008, 12:11:05 PM »
Jim,

The gas valve is mounted rigidly inline to 1/2" black iron pipe supported both in front and behind the valve.  A 1/4" hose about 3' long goes from the Valve to the engine.  The valve sees no vibration at all and there is also a manual gas shutoff before the regulator/solenoid valve. The engine is in my garage which is always  clean and well ventilated since I keep my restored 69 Camaro and Infinity coupe live in there.  I leave the garage doors open whenever the engine is running so there is always plenty of fresh air.

I did shoot a short video of the setup without the engine running so I could briefly describe what I did.  I will try to post it to youtube when I get home.

Carl   

BruceM

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Re: Lister running Diesel/natural gas.
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2008, 03:05:45 PM »
Nice work, Carl, and thanks for sharing your test results. It was very helpful for my future plans to run on primarily propane.

 I did a crude test on my Metro 6/1 IDI and also found that it could tolerate a significant percentage of propane without complaining. (Rack to idle setting or less at full or half load, manual gas metering into the intake manifold.)  So this seems to be consistent with the IDI 'roids.

I hope someone will find a nice gas metering valve that can be hooked up to the governor arm!  I'd like to minimize diesel consumption.

Best Wishes,
Bruce