Recent tests performed at Enerpulse, Inc. demonstrate that its newly released product, the Pulstar pulse plug, improved fuel economy on 2005 and 2007 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles by 6% - 8%, or approximately 3 miles per gallon. The 2005 Prius, for example, showed a 6.72% reduction in fuel consumption on the US06 cycle.
An acceleration test (from 40 to 80 miles per hour) showed an improvement of 5% compared to the factory-installed spark plugs.
|Drawing of the pulse plug. Click to enlarge.|
Unlike a spark plug, a pulse plugs uses a capacitor to boost the energy to the spark. In a traditional spark plug, the voltage builds in the spark gap until a spark can be formed. During this ionization phase, the incoming voltage heats up ignition components, including the spark plug. When the ignition voltage overcomes the resistance in the spark gap, the spark discharges with about 50 watts of power.
By contrast, the pulse plug uses a capacitor to store the energy until spark formation, at which time the pulse circuit discharges the accumulated power, approximately 10 times the conventional plug. The resulting more robust spark improves engine combustion yielding better fuel economy and engine performance.
Enerpulse developed the Enerpulse Performance Evaluation Procedure (E-PEP) to compare pulse plugs to spark plugs in a controlled test that measures horsepower, torque, acceleration and fuel economy. The fuel economy portion of the test utilizes the EPA US06 driving cycle in combination with a real time fuel flow monitoring system. The test vehicle is first run with the factory recommended spark plug and then again with the pulse plug. Numbers reported are in percentage improvement of pulse plugs to spark plugs. Test details on a series of vehicles are available on the Enerpulse website.