A catalytic glow plug was developed for low surface temperature operation which shows the capability of achieving equivalent effectiveness as a similar-geometry non-catalytic plug operating at a higher temperature. The plug was tested in a diesel-fueled version of the John Deere Technologies International Stratified Charge Rotary Engine (SCRE), wherein a glow plug can be used as the continuous ignition source for the pilot injector. The catalytic plug operated the engine using an indicated surface temperature as much as 275°C colder than the non-catalytic baseline plug.
The catalytic glow plug, by operating effectively at a lower temperature than a conventional glow plug, offers the potential for greatly improved durability. Interesting applications include the SCRE engine, other low compression diesel engines, alternative fuel diesel engines, gas turbine engines, and diesel engine cold starting.