01-08-2010 11:11 PM
By methane I assume you mean some form of bio-fuel like landfill or digester gas?
Affect to engine will largely be based on how clean you get your fuel, mainly siloxanes and H2S. Also deposits from a higher ash oil sometimes used in biofuels applciations may cause increased cylinder deposits.
Also organics and free liquids can cause issues.
You'll likely see reduced spark plug and transformer life due to higher energy requirements to burn the fuel, also affected by deposit levels. As deposit levels increase you will NOx emissions increase from higher compression, also detonation margins decrease and engine alarms and shutdowns increase.
Raptor valve can be affected by fuel deposits, aftercooler core can see corrosion and plugging, again depends on how much crud comes in with the gas. Turbo's tend to see hot wheel deposits, and can cause imbalance if they break off under load and cause a turbo failure.
Cylinder deposits on valve heads and faces can also break off while running and cause valve guttering.
The 3500 C and E gas engines are highly turbocharged and designed to run at low fuel consumption and emission rates, makes them more sensitive to irregularities with fuel and combustion.
Hope that helps.
02-22-2010 03:57 PM
The actual answer to the question raised.., is there is no problem at all. This all depends on your history with engines using low energy fuels. Earlier, it is mentioned about plugs etc. No problem with any component, just that your expectations have to be tweaked to meet with reality. Ask more, you'll get more. We currently have 10 20C's, and we have no issues with any components on the engine. In fact from my first LCC, it has come way down from that. This is a global Caddilac, hard not to make money of these.
04-05-2010 11:36 AM
I just read all comments and replies regarding Caterpillar G3520C natural gas generator sets. I believe Cat G3520C is not third class. Currently I have been doing business in Caterpillar power generation located at Pakistan, Which has been suffering from peak energy crisis for more than two years. My valued clients are based on numerous G3520C and G3516C generator sets which are designed on methane fuel @ 50Hz.
In Pakistan there is about more than 2000 natural gas generators are running on continuos application. Along Caterpillar there is a wide range is going on like Waukesha, GE Jenbacher, Guascor and Cummins too. But Caterpillar G3500C series is most demanding just because of its outstanding qualities i.e. low lube oil and fuel consumption which every one has to suffer in running natural gas generator sets.
The cost per unit and low maintenance generators are only Caterpillar G3516C and G3520C models in Pakistan. If we make comments one spark plugs they are unique from all spark plugs i.e pre-chamber type which is very useful allowing to burn completely and instantly the air fuel mixture to enter in 5 unique orifices of spark plug. The major difference in earlier and C series Caterpillar natural gas engines is pre-chamber spark plug use rather than J type.
Turbochargers are designed by ABB which are reliable to produce smooth boost pressure. G3520C has one one big turbocharger like GE Jenbacher J320 and both brands are designed on V20 and 50Hz.
The only improvement in my experience Caterpillar has needed to enhance the life of Throttle in fuel system which usually gets trouble after 1.5 years or above 12,000 service hours. I have replaced two throttle group of G3520C engines in natural gas generator application having Caterpillar part number 204-9415 along harness too. This throttle is designed and manufactured by Woodward.
The spark plugs interval is 3000 hours part number 284-8313 / 199-9012. It must be improved or enhanced by new technology like GE Jenbacher platinum based spark plugs.
Thanks for reading.
06-11-2010 01:08 AM
G3520C is the best Generator set, keep preventive maintenance on time all parts are reliable, ignition transformer life is no long, J gap spark plug is improving the performance of Gen set.
07-26-2010 01:00 PM
What has been the average up time experienced for the G3520C across 8760 annual hours where the unit is being fueled by LFG, biogas, or upgraded biomethane (pipeline quality ~ 97 %)??