The balancing of the electric grid has become more challenging due to the expansion of fluctuating renewable energy sources for electric power generation. The importance of power plants driven by internal combustion engines will increase since they can react flexibly and quickly to changes in the energy demand. With regard to the emission of pollutants and CO2, gas fueled engines are favored for gensets. However, it is more challenging to meet the dynamic load requirements with a gas engine than with a conventional diesel engine because the load acceptance of the gas engine is limited by the occurrence of knocking combustion.

Dual fuel engines are a good compromise between these two engine concepts; they can use gaseous fuel during steady state engine operation and increase the diesel share during transient modes to improve the dynamic behavior. The high number of degrees of freedom of dual fuel combustion concepts requires advanced operating strategies.

The aim of this paper is to investigate and evaluate strategies to improve the transient behavior of a 20-cylinder large bore diesel-gas engine (displacement 6.24 dm3 per cylinder) for a genset application. In the investigations, the latest turbocharging technology is applied in combination with a turbine waste gate. A wide range diesel injector that covers the whole diesel injection range of approximately 1 % to 100 % diesel fraction1 of the rated power fuel mass provides the basis for the most flexible diesel injection. A 1D simulation tool was used to model and optimize the genset in transient operation. The combustion process was simulated with Vibe heat release rate models. The optimized transient engine operating strategies were validated on a highly dynamic single cylinder research engine test bed.

The paper provides a comparison of different strategies that use these technologies to improve the dynamic behavior of the genset in island mode operation during a 50 % load step. Key to meeting the challenging requirements is an optimized diesel injection strategy or even a switch from gas operation mode to diesel operation mode during the load step. Based on the results of simulation and engine testing, potential ways to minimize engine speed drop and recovery time after the load demand increase are evaluated.

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