A demonstration system has been developed intending to meet the California Energy Commission’s primary goal of improving California’s electric energy cost/value by providing a low-cost, high-efficiency distributed power generation system that operates on landfill gas as fuel. The project team led by Makel Engineering, Inc. includes UC Berkeley, CSU Chico and the Butte County Public Works Department. The team has developed a reliable, multi-cylinder Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) engine by converting a Caterpillar 3116, 6.6 liter diesel engine to operate in HCCI mode. This engine utilizes a simple and robust thermal control system. Typically, HCCI engines are based on standard diesel engine designs with reduced complexity and cost based on the well known principles of engine dynamics. Coupled to an induction generator, this HCCI genset allows for simplified power grid connection. Testing with this HCCI genset allowed for the development of a control system to maintain optimal the inlet temperature and equivalence ratio. A brake thermal efficiency of 35.0% was achieved while producing less than 10.0 ppm of NOx and 30 kW of electrical power. Less than 5.0 ppm of NOx was recorded with a slightly lower brake thermal efficiency. Tests were conducted with both natural gas and simulated landfill gas as a fuel source. This demonstration system has shown that landfill gas fueled Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition engine technology is a viable technology for distributed power generation.

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