Enerpulse explains mechanism by which pulsed energy ignition plugs enhance fuel economy
23 July 2014
Enerpulse Technologies said that it has further identified the underlying mechanism by which its its pulsed energy ignition technology improves fuel economy, reduces emission and delivers higher torque in spark ignited (SI) internal combustion (IC) engines. (Earlier post.) Nano-Plasma Assisted Combustion (n-PAC is the process by which the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber is made highly reactive by an energy-dense plasma field prior to spark creation; this results in more precise combustion ignition (PCI) and a faster propagating flame front.
Linking the 5,000,000 watt nano-pulse delivered by Enerpulse’s n-PAC ignition device to the underlying of plasma physics in the combustion process is a breakthrough in understanding how our technology works and its underlying science. Unlike conventional spark plugs that only ionize fuel in the spark gap, n-PAC’s high-energy electrical discharge, which includes ionic wind and photon energy, projects well into the cylinder, ionizing a significantly larger amount of the total fuel charge.—Wes Helgeson, senior research engineer
Enerpulse says that its n-PAC technology is the first practical and cost-effective method of capturing the well-known benefits of plasma to create consistent, faster and more efficient combustion in SIIC engines, even with lean air-fuel ratios.
Its integrated parallel capacitor circuit stores energy during the ignition ionization phase and, in a nano-second pulse, automatically discharges 1,000 times the power of conventional spark plugs just prior to the spark event. n-PAC technology is currently packaged inside the physical envelope of a conventional spark plug, making adoption easy for current and future SIIC engine applications.
In a paper to be presented at the 2014 SAE Powertrain, Fuels & Lubricants meeting in October this year, a team from Enerpulse, Texas A&M and AVL suggest that pulsed energy ignition technology may improve the limits of advanced ignition timing and leaned mixture for low-load catalyst warming. The study showed that the pulsed energy ignition technology can increase exhaust heat flux for similar combustion stability criterion (less than 15% IMEP-COV) with marginal penalty in fuel consumption and nitrogen oxides emissions, and noticeable decrease in unburned hydrocarbon emissions when compared to conventional spark plug technology.
Enerpulse provides its products to the automotive/powersports aftermarket and NatGas stationary engine service market under the brand name Pulstar. It also provides products to engine converters for vehicular NatGas fueled SIIC engines (NG, CNG, LNG, LPG, and Bio-Gas) and is working directly with several automotive OEMs in pursuit of gasoline engine platform adoption.
Enerpulse also recently announced an agreement with MAE Corporation to assist the company in securing business with automakers and Tier 1 automotive suppliers in Japan. MAE Corporation is represented by its president Toshi Goto who will serve as a business development partner and introduce n-PAC technology to senior Japanese automotive executives.
The company has sold more than one million Pulstar spark plugs into the automotive and power sports aftermarket.
Timothy J. Jacobs, Louis Camilli and Matthias Neubauer (2014) “Improvements in Catalyst Warming Time through the use of Pulsed Energy Spark Plug,” SAE 2014-01-2626
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