Starting compression ignition engines under cold conditions is extremely challenging, due to insufficient fuel vaporization, heavy wall impingement, and low ignitability of the fuel. For gasoline compression ignition (GCI) combustion strategies, which offer the potential for an enhanced NOx-PM tradeoff with diesel-like fuel efficiency, robust ignition and combustion in very cold conditions pose a significant challenge due to the low reactivity of gasoline fuels. Based on the previous understanding of the spray, ignition and combustion processes for a GCI engine under cold conditions, this study focuses on investigating the cold combustion performance of a heavy-duty GCI engine with glow plug ignition assist. Glow plugs, commonly used for low temperature cold starts in diesel engines, are used to pre-heat a segment of the mixture to improve its ignitability. Here, CFD studies are carried out to explore the influence of a spray-guided glow plug on the spray and combustion behavior of a GCI engine under cold operating conditions. In a prior study, the underlying CFD model has been validated using experimental data from a six-cylinder, 15 L heavy-duty diesel engine operating with a compression ratio (CR) of 17.3 at a 600 rpm cold idle condition with RON92 E0 gasoline. The energy intensity required by the glow plug to deliver stable combustion isparametrically studied. The size and location of the glow plug are also parametrically varied to evaluate their effects on the combustion process. The influence of the glow plug on the in-cylinder mixture distribution and the ensuing combustion process is also investigated. In particular, the localized fuel spray distribution and mixture formation near the glow plug are examined. The results reveal that the glow plug enhances GCI combustion under cold idle conditions and that the spray-guided glow plug improves fuel vaporization, leading to a rich mixture near the glow plug and an enhancement of the combustion efficiency. In addition, the effectiveness of the glow plug at a low ambient temperature of 0°C and a 200 rpm cold start condition is evaluated. These simulations suggest that the glow plug can improve the cold start performance of a GCI engine.

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