With current DoD goals of switching to a common logistics fuel, there is a significant drive to develop technologies that allow small, high power density engines such as used in unmanned aerial, marine, and ground vehicles, typically fueled by volatile fuels such as gasoline, to operate on heavy fuels such as JP-8. In this paper, the potential of advanced catalytic glow plugs as an enabling component for the use of heavy fuels both as a retrofit to existing engines as well as new engine designs is demonstrated. Compared to standard spark igniters and non-catalytic glow plugs, the use of catalytic glow plugs will provide benefits of lower required compression ratio, improved igniter life, reduced electrical energy requirements, and overall reduction in system weight and size. The advanced catalytic glow plug was demonstrated to have a significant increase in surface temperature (180+ °C) with impingement of a fuel spray. Engine testing demonstrated that the use of catalyst allowed stable engine operation at reduced power requirements. This technology would allow high power density engines to use heavy fuels, while potentially reducing electric power supply and engine complexity and weight, both of which would allow greater range and/or payload capacity.
- Internal Combustion Engine Division
Advanced Technology Igniter for High Power Density Engines
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Etemad, S, & Baird, BD. "Advanced Technology Igniter for High Power Density Engines." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 Internal Combustion Engine Division Fall Technical Conference. Volume 2: Fuels; Numerical Simulation; Engine Design, Lubrication, and Applications. Dearborn, Michigan, USA. October 13–16, 2013. V002T07A010. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/ICEF2013-19182
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