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Transient Plasma Systems successfully completes multi-cylinder engine testing with nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology

Transient Plasma Systems Inc. (TPS), which develops nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition systems to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, has achieved a new milestone in its internal combustion engine testing with its first multi-cylinder demonstration of the company’s nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology in a mass-manufactured, on-road natural-gas engine.


TPS tested its Transient Plasma Ignition System in multi-cylinder operation on a Cummins Westport ISX12N natural-gas engine.

The tests were conducted at the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, under a grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC) with support from SoCalGas and Cummins Westport.

This is a major milestone in the development of our nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology. Our ignition technology reduces fuel consumption in combustion engines by a significant amount, and it can do so with an easy-to-implement solution that requires no engine redesigns.

—Jason Sanders, co-founder and chief scientist at Transient Plasma Systems

The testing demonstrated stable operation of the Transient Plasma Ignition System under on-road conditions, including improved brake thermal efficiency, reduced CO and NOx emissions, and extension of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) dilution tolerance.

For engine and auto manufacturers, the TPS Transient Plasma Ignition System is a cost-effective and validated new tool for high-dilute combustion strategies, reduced NOx emissions, and efficient engine modes in challenging situations.

The TPS ignition approach is based on nanosecond pulses—fundamentally different from other plasma ignition systems. The Transient Plasma Ignition System produces a nanosecond pulse high in peak power (>5MW) and low in energy (<100 mJ). The low energy provides better efficiency and plug life, compared to high energy systems.

With the plasma ignition, electrons collide with the air-fuel mixture, producing chemically reactive species that catalyze the combustion process. This enhances ignition and stabilizes lean-burn combustion. The spatial distribution of plasma in the Transient Plasma Ignition System enables a single streamer discharge to impact a large volume.


The low-energy/high-power ignition system increases efficiency in a variety of combustion engine designs, including gasoline-powered, hybrid, and natural-gas-powered vehicles.

Unlike competing systems that involve costly engine redesigns and displacement of current engine architecture, the TPS Transient Plasma Ignition System works alongside existing engine designs and efficiency techniques such as exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), gasoline direct injection (GDI), turbocharging and e-boost, significantly enhancing performance with a simple solution.



This has so many applications and is a major improvement in ICE engines.

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