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Evaluating the Cooling Performance of a Compressed Natural Gas Medium Commercial Vehicle with Water-Cooled Engine Systems—An Approach beyond Regulatory Standards

Journal Article
02-15-03-0011
ISSN: 1946-391X, e-ISSN: 1946-3928
Published November 03, 2021 by SAE International in United States
Evaluating the Cooling Performance of a Compressed Natural Gas Medium Commercial Vehicle with Water-Cooled Engine Systems—An Approach beyond Regulatory Standards
Citation: Gupta, M., Yadav, D., and Singh, P., "Evaluating the Cooling Performance of a Compressed Natural Gas Medium Commercial Vehicle with Water-Cooled Engine Systems—An Approach beyond Regulatory Standards," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 15(3):2022, https://doi.org/10.4271/02-15-03-0011.
Language: English

Abstract:

The purpose of the article is to evaluate the cooling performance efficiency of a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) medium commercial vehicle with a viscous fan, fresh air cleaner, and choked air cleaner in comparison with limits prescribed in the Indian Standard (IS) 14557. Due to the increase in CNG availability, a shift is observed in the market demand for CNG vehicles. The earlier CNG vehicle duty cycle was limited to plain roads and some limited cities, but now vehicles are being used for a short trip to nearby hilly routes thereby shifting the application of the use of a CNG vehicle. CNG vehicles can now be operated in hilly areas where power and torque demand is maximum and operates at lower vehicle speeds and in lower gears. The subjected vehicles are designed for haulage applications to operate with conventional fixed fans, which are permanently engaged, and smaller radiators. The subjected vehicle was previously designed as per the requirements of the existing road application with a fixed fan and small radiator. Vehicle configuration was modified to the viscous fan and bigger radiator available as off-the-shelf components from the component suppliers. Viscous fans operate only when the coolant temperature goes beyond certain limits for better cooling performance of the engine, lower cabin noise, and higher fuel efficiencies.
The main objective of this article is to compare the thermal behavior in different vehicle configurations by data acquisition and thereby establish the fact that subjected CNG vehicles can be used in difficult terrains due to broad CNG availability with maximum performance. The results obtained during the experiment with a smaller fixed fan and bigger viscous fan are at an ambient temperature above 35°C and, for a time, more than 5 minutes as specified in IS 14557. Base data is collected with the existing configuration of a vehicle with a small fixed fan and small radiator. Afterward vehicle configuration is changed to the viscous fan and bigger radiator and tested at conditions worse than as specified in the test standard, i.e., ambient temperature more than 35°C and, for a time, more than 5 minutes to ensure driveability in all terrains. Then the experiment is conducted at maximum power condition with fresh air cleaner and choked air cleaner. Another experiment is conducted to check the worst-case running in maximum torque condition with fresh air cleaner and choked air cleaner. After establishing the results in the first and second experiments, another two experiments were conducted to check the actual performance of the vehicle in plains and hilly route simulation as well.