Internal Combustion Engines

Transient Behavior of Glow Plugs in Direct-Injection Natural Gas Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
Stewart Xu Cheng

Process Simulations Ltd., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

James S. Wallace

Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering,  University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

J. Eng. Gas Turbines Power 134(9), 092802 (Jul 18, 2012) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006692 History: Received October 20, 2011; Revised November 13, 2011; Published July 17, 2012; Online July 18, 2012

Glow plugs are a possible ignition source for direct injected natural gas engines. This ignition assistance application is much different than the cold start assist function for which most glow plugs have been designed. In the cold start application, the glow plug is simply heating the air in the cylinder. In the cycle-by-cycle ignition assist application, the glow plug needs to achieve high surface temperatures at specific times in the engine cycle to provide a localized source of ignition. Whereas a simple lumped heat capacitance model is a satisfactory representation of the glow plug for the air heating situation, a much more complex situation exists for hot surface ignition. Simple measurements and theoretical analysis show that the thickness of the heat penetration layer is small within the time scale of the ignition preparation period (1–2 ms). The experiments and analysis were used to develop a discretized representation of the glow plug domain. A simplified heat transfer model, incorporating both convection and radiation losses, was developed for the discretized representation to compute heat transfer to and from the surrounding gas. A scheme for coupling the glow plug model to the surrounding gas computational domain in the KIVA-3V engine simulation code was also developed. The glow plug model successfully simulates the natural gas ignition process for a direct-injection natural gas engine. As well, it can provide detailed information on the local glow plug surface temperature distribution, which can aid in the design of more reliable glow plugs.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Structure of the sheathed type glow plug [15]

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Figure 2

Arrangement for glow plug transient experiments

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Figure 3

Transient response during power-up, power-off

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Figure 4

Temperature delay from glow plug surface to core

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Figure 5

Glow plug transient response to finite duration cooling

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Figure 6

Glow plug heater tube cross-section for lumped capacitance model

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Figure 7

Heater tube wall section heat transfers

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Figure 8

Calculated response of lumped capacitance glow plug model to power-on, power-off

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Figure 9

Illustration of transient temperature penetration

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Figure 10

Penetration thickness δ versus time

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Figure 11

KIVA-3V grid structure around glow plug

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Figure 12

Illustration of the glow plug discretization model

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Figure 13

Illustration of one heat transfer channel and its initial internal temperature profile



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