- on Power Supplies
- Published in issue 7/2003 on page 0
12-V Glow Plug Converter
Most small internal-combustion engines commonly used in the model-building world use glow plugs for starting. Unfortunately, glow plugs have an operating voltage of 1.5 V, while fuel pumps, starter motors, chargers and the like generally run on 12 V. This means that a separate battery is always needed to power the glow plug. The standard solution is to use an additional 2-V lead storage battery, with a power diode in series to reduce the voltage by approximately 0.5 V. However, this has the annoying consequence that more than 30 percent of the energy is dissipated in the diode. Naturally, this is far from being efficient.