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With the depletion of petroleum resources around the world, a need to have cleaner and fuel efficient automotive technologies and alternative fuel sources has become prominent. Hybrid electric vehicles and sustainable energy sources have gained a high momentum in fulfilling this requirement. To satisfy both needs ammonia, which has been used for a long period of time as a sustainable and carbon free transport fuel can be combined with hybrid electric vehicles.
Ammonia when blended with gasoline can be used as an alternate fuel to power existing internal combustion engines. Such blends similar to ethanol-gasoline fuel blends would provide a carbon free, environmental friendly and sustainable energy source for transportation. However experimental dynamometer results show that fuel characteristics of ammonia rich fuel blends varies from baseline gasoline fuel. Engine running with ammonia rich fuel produces higher power output and a torque with different fuel consumption levels.
In this research an engine dynamometer was used to measure the engine characteristics of General Motors Ecotec 2.4L gasoline engine. Engine was tested for baseline ethanol free gasoline, gasoline with 20% ethanol and gasoline with 20% ethanol + 12.9% ammonia tertiary fuels. Power, torque and fuel consumption was measured. Model based system design technique, which is now widely used in automotive industry, was used for modeling for simulation.
A series electric hybrid vehicle model was built using Matlab/Simulink for simulation. A control strategy was developed to control the electrical and mechanical component of the car and also to run the engine at the best possible optimum operating condition to achieve higher fuel efficiency. Simulations were run for the three fuels in Simulink model using the engine data derived from dynamometer tests. Four federally regulated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drive cycles were used in the simulation. Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) mile per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPGge) method was used to compare results. Simulation results for vehicle performances and fuel consumptions results were then compared for three fuels tested.