Catalytic Glow Plugs

PCI is developing catalytic glow plug technology to expand the capabilities of engines using heavy fuels, such as diesel or JP-8. These fuels are less volatile during transport and relatively easier to refine from petroleum than their traditional counterparts (e.g. aviation gasoline), but heavy fueled engines have historically been plagued by reliability issues. PCI's catalytic glow plug technology helps solve reliability problems thus providing a safer and less expensive solution for heavy fuel applications that require achieving optimized ignition.

With the support of United States Air Force in the form of a Phase II SBIR Contract, PCI is continually optimizing its catalytic glow plug design to offer manufacturers a reliable method of achieving:

  • more rapid starting
  • better operability
  • lower required compression ratios
  • improved igniter life
  • reduced energy requirement
  • overall reduction in system size and weight

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PCI’s catalytic glow plugs have been proven to improve the cold start capability of diesel engines by lowering the required temperature for ignition and reducing the cranking time before engine start. PCI's catalytic glow plugs have also been demonstrated to support ignition in low compression ratio engines at lower input powers than conventional glow plugs. More specifically, this breakthrough technology is ideally suited for rotary engine applications such as in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) where weight, size, and operability are primary concerns. PCI has also integrated its resistively-heated catalytic surface technology into fuel injection systems to produce catalytic injectors and torches for a variety of applications including gas turbines. Likewise, catalytic glow plugs can be especially useful for high compression engines burning natural gas and other alternative low cetane fuels.

Compression engine manufacturers looking to improve ignition performance should contact us to discuss how an ignition assistance system using catalytic glow plugs can help them.

Contact PCI to learn more about how our solutions may be adapted for your needs