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Georgia Genset Test

 

          On April 7, 2009 I arrived in Atlanta, Georgia to do some testing of Hydrogen Boost on a Caterpillar Turbo-Diesel 280 kVa Genset powered by a Model 3300 Caterpillar turbo-Diesel engine with mechanical fuel injection.  

 

To insure a constant load we hired the Caterpillar distributor to send out their maintenance tech equipped to perform an annual load maintenance procedure.  A bank of electrical resistance heaters provided the electrical load for the test and we tested at 100 kilovolts and 200 kilovolts.  For fuel flow determination we rigged up a plastic five gallon fuel container at the main tank, routing both the fuel supply line and the fuel return line into the container and filling it to overflowing.  Then we prepared some one gallon containers full of fuel ready to pour into the makeshift tank as the engine used the fuel.  We timed the amount of time it took the engine to use up one gallon of fuel as we replaced that fuel with fuel from our one gallon containers, keeping the tank at or near overflowing and insuring that when we emptied the one gallon containers the tank was totally full to overflowing. 

 

Below are the descriptions of the test runs, equipment installed, hydrogen gas production rates (indicated as amps drawn by the hydrogen generator) and the run times per gallon for each test segment.  The recorded data is as follows:

 

100 KW Baseline no XCEL PLUS, no Hydrogen  7:00             Improvement

200 KW Baseline no XCEL PLUS, no Hydrogen  4:05

 

100 KW w/ XCEL PLUS and 37 amps Hydrogen 7:31

100 KW w/ XCEL PLUS and 28 amps Hydrogen 7:34    Ave. 7:28.33 = +6.75%

100 KW w/ XCEL PLUS and 15 amps Hydrogen 7:20

 

200 KW w/ XCEL PLUS no Hydrogen                4:00

                                                                   4:08   

                                                                   4:02    Ave.   4:04  = +3.4%

                                                                   4:06

200 KW w/ XCEL PLUS and 40 amps Hydrogen 4:19

                                                                   4:20   

                                                                   4:03    Ave.   4:12.75 = +3.6%

                                                                   4:09

100 KW w/ XCEL PLUS no Hydrogen      7:11

                                                          7:17

                                                          7:12    Ave. 7:14.25 =  +3.4%

                                                          7:17

100 KW w/ XCEL PLUS and 35 amps Hydrogen 7:43

                                      38                          7:28    Ave. 7:31.25 = + 7.4%

                                      39                          7:24

                                      40                          7:30

 

The percent figures on the right are the calculated increase in run time with the XCEL PLUS engine treatment and/or Hydrogen added.  The underlined % figures are the increase in run time with both XCEL PLUS and Hydrogen added based on the first baseline figure at the top of the data chart.

          After testing was completed we noticed that the plastic gas can container that we used as our makeshift fuel tank looked different that it did before.  The sides of the container were bulged out slightly because of the weight of the fuel and the heat of the returning diesel fuel softening the plastic composition of the container.  We took the fuel in the container and poured it into one of the identical but cool containers we carried the fuel in.  We have 9 ounces of fuel left over after that container was full.  So the tests run hydrogen assist were actually shortened because the one gallon of fuel we added during the test was falling into an enlarged container.  What this means is that our improvement was actually more that we calculated.  If we know that the 100 KW test ran for at least 7 minutes per gallon or 420 seconds for 128 ounces of fuel, then our 9 ounces of fuel left over would account for about 30 seconds more of run time.  So our improvements could have been double or triple what we have calculated above.

 

Conclusions:  The 100 KW tests showed the most improvement averaging about 7%.  The 200 KW tests shows somewhat less improvement averaging about 3.5% and this may indicate that at the higher power production setting more hydrogen may have been needed to get the optimum increased run time.  If we had more gas production I would expect that our increase run time could have achieved the typical 5% that we expect with this type of engine and application.  Since most gensets are designed to run continuously at about one half their peak output capability, then the normal operation of this genset would likely achieve the typical 5% or more improvement that we expect with this application. 

          If we calculate the savings of fuel for one year of continuous use with Hydrogen Boost installed on this genset operating at 100 KW, we would take 525,600 minutes in one year at an average of about 4 minutes per gallon, gioving us 131,400 gallons of typical use.  7% of that would be 9198 gallons.  At today’s price of diesel fuel of around $250 per gallon we would expect a savings of $22,995 per year in fuel.  If we add the benefits of fewer oil changes and cleaner emissions, we truly see the benefits of installing a $3000 Hydrogen Boost system on this application.  Expected payback period would be under two months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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