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This paper investigates the performance characteristics of rapeseed methyl ester, EN 14214 biodiesel, when used for electrical generation in compression ignition engines. The work was inspired by the need to replace fossil diesel fuel with a sustainable low carbon alternative while maintaining generator performance, power quality, and compliance with ISO 8528-5. A 50-kVA Perkins diesel engine generator was used to assess the impact of biodiesel with particular regard to gen-set fuel consumption, load acceptance, and associated standards. Tests were performed on the diesel gen-set for islanded and grid-connected modes of operation, hence both steady-state and transient performance were fully explored. Performance comparisons were made with conventional fossil diesel fuel, revealing minimal technical barriers for electrical generation from this sustainable, carbon benign fuel. Recommendations for improved transient performance are proposed and validated through tests.
Date of Publication: Jan. 2011