This study investigates the use of a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) ceramic glow-plug to assist ignition of jet fuel blends with cetane numbers of 30 and 35, below the minimum cetane number of 40 for #2 diesel. Experiments were carried out on a single-cylinder compression-ignition engine operating at 1200 RPM for single and dual-injection (pilot + main) timing sweeps. The COTS glow-plug, termed the ignition assistant, was operated at varying input power levels between 0 and 70 W (stock maximum power input is 30 W) at each SOI. Results demonstrate that the use of an ignition assistant at the higher input powers (50 and 70 W) enables operation over a wider range of SOI timings where more advanced times are limited by high pressure-rise rates and more retarded times are limited by rapidly increasing coefficient of variation of gross indicated mean effective pressure. Use of the ignition assistant enables stable combustion at later injection timings increasing the operable range of SOI timings. For the CN 30 fuel, at earlier injection timings, pressure traces and heat release analysis demonstrated the advancement of start of combustion and combustion phasing with the ignition assistant on. At retarded injection timings where combustion would not otherwise occur completely for the CN 30 fuel, operating the ignition assistant at the higher powers enabled combustion phasing to be advanced and combustion to be stabilized at conditions where, with the ignition assistant off, misfire (flameout) would occur. Furthermore, the ignition assistant enabled combustion phasing to follow an approximately linear response with respect to SOI timing over a wider range of SOI times.

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