Summary: Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) coolers are commonly used in diesel engines to reduce the temperature of recirculated exhaust gases in order to reduce NOx emissions. The presence of a cool surface in the hot exhaust causes particulate soot deposition as well as hydrocarbon and water condensation. Fouling experienced through deposition of particulate matter and hydrocarbons results in degraded cooler effectiveness and increased pressure drop. In this study, a visualization test setup is designed and constructed so that the effect of water condensation on the deposit formation and growth at various coolant temperatures can be studied. A water-cooled surrogate rectangular channel is employed to represent the EGR cooler. One side of the channel is made of glass for visualization purposes. A medium duty diesel engine is used to generate the exhaust stream. An automated system controls all critical parameters including gas inlet temperature and pressure, coolant temperature, and the exhaust flow rate to correlate laminar, transition, and turbulent flow regimes in the channel. A digital microscope is also utilized to record the deposit formation and water-deposit interaction process. This study leads us towards hypothesis for prevention or mitigation of the deposit formation in EGR coolers.
Impact: Improved durability and function of heat exchangers in fouling conditions can lead to fuel economy improvement and emission reduction.
Conference: Presented at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2012 World Congress & Exhibition, April 16th, 2012. DOI: 10.4271/2012-01-0364.
Submitted by John Hoard, Associate Research Scientist, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering. firstname.lastname@example.org