Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Claudia Fajardo-Hansford

Second Advisor

Dr. William W. Liou

Third Advisor

Dr. Christopher Cho


Diesel, cold, start, simulation, GT Power

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Ensuring consistent, reliable diesel engine startups in cold temperatures is of utmost importance in a number of applications. Under extreme temperatures, the use of glow plugs is complemented by intake manifold heaters. In these, the energy released from combustion increases the intake air temperature before the air enters the main combustion chamber. Since the process also alters the stoichiometry of the fuel-air mixture at the intake ports, the preheater operation must be optimized in order to guarantee successful and reliable in-cylinder combustion during engine startups. This paper describes the development of an intake manifold model incorporating an air pre-heater for application in a diesel engine. The model, created using a commercial one-dimensional simulation tool, was validated against experimental data and subsequently used to quantify the concentration of combustion product species at the intake runners, as well as intake charge dilution. Results showed that the effective equivalence ratio might increase up to 2.6 after the first 25 seconds of cranking, with 12.5% reduction of the O2 concentration in the intake charge. These results led to the construction of a parametric study used to optimize heater operation. This study demonstrated that careful control of the pre-heater fuel delivery could yield favorable intake charge temperatures while reducing the total fuel usage and disruption of air-fuel stoichiometry.