Sometimes diesel engines cannot be started under low temperature conditions. The main reason is the obstruction of the fuel filter as a consequence of gasoil becoming solid paraffin as the temperature lowers. This paper describes a device based on thermoelectricity and eutectic compound that attached to the outside of the filter can melt paraffin quickly. While the engine is running and the fuel is warm, heat is stored in the eutectic compound. Then, when the user is about to start the engine at low temperature conditions, thermoelectric modules are used to transfer stored heat from the eutectic compound into the fuel, dissolving paraffin thus unblocking the filter. Thermodynamic simulations based on 3D finite element models show that just two minutes after connecting the device, the filter is ready to allow engine start-up. These results are obtained for standard gasoil, which solidifies at -5ºC, and starting the simulations at extreme initial conditions where the filter interior is considered a solid block of paraffin at -20ºC.
Keywords: Thermoelectricity, Peltier Effect, Cold Engine Start-up, Diesel
Proceedings of the 7th European Workshop on Thermoelectrics, Poster #2, Oct 2002, Pamplona.
Published: October 2002.