Improving the emissions standards of diesel engines is an increasing priority. Glow plugs play a key part in minimizing the environmental impact of diesel emissions, alongside ensuring engine reliability and performance. To start combustion within a diesel engine, air is compressed in a chamber to raise the temperature and pressure, fuel is then added to this air to start the combustion cycle, providing power to the engine.
If the temperature of the air is too low, then some of the fuel that is supplied may not be burnt. Unburnt fuel then turns into carbon and is released via the exhaust, causing environmental damage. To minimize the amount of unburnt fuel, glow plugs provide extra heat to the air and ensure that the combustion chambers reach the required temperature for a clean combustion cycle.
The engine management system (EMS) can also trigger glow plugs to provide heat to the diesel particulate filter (DPF) which burns toxic soot particles before they leave the exhaust in a process called diesel particulate filter (DPF) regeneration. This burns the soot particles, meaning it won’t have an adverse effect on the environment.