Special Charge Igniters Patents (Class 123/143B)
  • Patent number: 6131542
    Abstract: An high efficiency low energy ignitor and associated electrical systems for creating larger plasma ignition kernels to ignite a gaseous mixture of air fuel in a combustion engine is described. The apparatus has at least two spaced apart electrodes having a discharge gap between them. When a sufficiently high first potential is applied between the electrodes a plasma is formed from the air fuel. The volume of this plasma is increased by the application of a second voltage that creates a current through the plasma. The location where the current travels through the plasma is swept outward along with the plasma, due to the interaction of Lorentz and thermal expansion forces. This leads to a larger volume of plasma being created and thereby increases the efficiency of the burn cycle of the combustion engine. Also described are dimensioning characteristics related to the electrodes and the space between them that achieve optimal plasma formation and expulsion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2000
    Assignee: Knite, Inc.
    Inventors: Szymon Suckewer, Enoch J. Durbin
  • Patent number: 6053140
    Abstract: In an internal combustion engine with externally supplied ignition, the compressed air-fuel mixture is ignited, at least partially, with the use of at least one laser beam, which is introduced into a combustion chamber via at least one optical waveguide and is focused onto an ignition location. In order to achieve a simple and compact design, the optical waveguide is positioned in a sealing element bounding the combustion chamber, wherein the sealing element is located in a cutting plane through the combustion chamber and preferably is constituted by a cylinder head gasket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2000
    Assignee: AVL List GmbH
    Inventors: Gerhard Feichtinger, Horst Tschetsch
  • Patent number: 5992354
    Abstract: The invention provides a scheme for combusting a hydrocarbon fuel to generate and extract enhanced translational energy. In the scheme, hydrocarbon fuel is nanopartitioned into nanometric fuel regions each having a diameter less than about 1000 angstroms; and either before or after the nanopartitioning, the fuel is introduced into a combustion chamber. In the combustion chamber, a shock wave excitation of at least about 50,000 psi and with an excitation rise time of less than about 100 nanoseconds is applied to the fuel. A fuel partitioned into such nanometric quantum confinement regions enables a quantum mechanical condition in which translational energy modes of the fuel are amplified, whereby the average energy of the translational energy mode levels is higher than it would be for a macro-sized, unpartitioned fuel. Combustion of such a nanopartitioned fuel provides enhanced translational energy extraction by way of, e.g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 1996
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1999
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Brian S. Ahern, Harry R. Clark, Jr., Keith H. Johnson
  • Patent number: 5983871
    Abstract: The invention relates to an ignition system for an internal combustion engine (ICE) that provides fast transfer from a laminar combustion in an ignition kernel to a self-sustaining turbulent flame propagation, thus leading to a reduction in the total time of combustion. The effect is achieved by transiently attacking the ignition kernel with a high-frequency (HF) electromagnetic radiation pulse, which is quasiperiodically modulated with 10-1000 kHz frequency in the initial period of combustion (50-500 .mu.s) following the ignition. Radiation is absorbed by electrons existing only inside the ignition kernel during the initial stage of its development. Due to thermal inertia, the medium perceives the oscillations on the frequency of modulation, whereby the surface of the kernel is developed and is split into separate fractions. This causes transfer from laminar to turbulent bulk combustion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1999
    Inventors: Eugene Gordon, Alexander Shteinberg, Yuri Moskvin, Vladislav Zelenov
  • Patent number: 5876195
    Abstract: A method for enhancing fuel ignition performance by preheating the fuel with laser light at a wavelength that is absorbable by the fuel prior to ignition with a second laser is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 2, 1999
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: James W. Early
  • Patent number: 5813379
    Abstract: A jet igniter, for piston internal combustion engines, is described wherein the fuel and air for the igniter jet are forced into the engine combustion chamber, past an electric spark, by displacer pistons, driven in turn by pressure in the engine combustion chamber. The jet duration can be readily matched to the duration of the burning time interval for the principal gaseous engine fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 29, 1998
    Inventor: Joseph Carl Firey
  • Patent number: 5806483
    Abstract: A combustion method for an internal combustion engine which prevents the occurrence of engine knock and improves fuel consumption and economy, by spray injecting part of the fuel used in one cycle into a combustion chamber, performing preliminary combustion of a diluted air-fuel mixture below combustible limits at a temperature lower than the self-igniting temperature of the fuel, then injecting the remaining fuel into the combustion chamber, and performing main combustion by flame propagation using spark plugs as ignition sources. Accordingly, the combustion method for an internal combustion engine of the present invention can attain stable combustion even at high air-fuel ratios and makes high compression ratios possible.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 15, 1998
    Assignee: Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yukuaki Mitarai, Takashi Mizusawa, Shigeo Hagino
  • Patent number: 5756924
    Abstract: Two or more laser light pulses with certain differing temporal lengths and peak pulse powers can be employed sequentially to regulate the rate and duration of laser energy delivery to fuel mixtures, thereby improving fuel ignition performance over a wide range of fuel parameters such as fuel/oxidizer ratios, fuel droplet size, number density and velocity within a fuel aerosol, and initial fuel temperatures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1998
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: James W. Early
  • Patent number: 5704321
    Abstract: A plasma injector for an internal combustion engine, in one embodiment, includes two spaced apart and parallel donut shaped disk electrodes, between which a horizontally outward moving plasma is formed via a high voltage applied across the electrodes. The present invention is characterized by its efficient use of input electrical energy via electronic circuitry for driving the plasma injector. An ignition source provides an ignition plasma kernel which is several orders of magnitude larger than that produced by conventional spark plugs.Use of very lean combustible mixtures, in which the dilution of the mixture is achieved by use of exhaust gas recirculation, is made possible by the present ignition system. Considerable improvement in engine efficiency, and a major reduction in NO.sub.x exhaust gas pollutants are obtained via the present ignition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 6, 1998
    Assignee: The Trustees of Princeton University
    Inventors: Szymon Suckewer, Enoch J. Durbin
  • Patent number: 5678518
    Abstract: Proposed is an auxiliary starter, particularly for a diesel engine, having an auxiliary starting device (16) which is disposed in a combustion chamber or in an intake pipe and brings an injection stream of a fuel introduced into the combustion chamber or the intake pipe into an ignitable state. The auxiliary starting device (16) is an oxygen pump cell (18) which operates on the basis of an oxygen-ion-conducting solid electrolyte, and with which oxygen is pumped into at least the edge zone of the injection stream (15).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: October 21, 1997
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Wolfgang Grothe, Werner Gruenwald
  • Patent number: 5649507
    Abstract: A corona source suitable for use in vehicle ignition systems uses a conductive coil that receives an RF input at one end and has a corona discharge site at the other end, with a reference electrode capacitively coupled to the coil. The pitch and the length of the coil are selected to produce a corona discharge in response to an RF input signal at a predetermined frequency and voltage, through quarter wavelength resonation. Either the new resonant coil or other corona discharge devices can be used to remediate fluid-borne wastes by initiating and sustaining RF corona discharges within the fluid. The pulses used to initiate the corona discharge preferably have alternating positive and negative components, with high initial voltages on the positive components to initiate the discharge, followed by lower positive voltage levels to sustain the discharge. Unipolar pulses, preferably with progressively decreasing voltage levels, can also be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 31, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 22, 1997
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company
    Inventors: Daniel J. Gregoire, Robin J. Harvey, Franklin Dolezal
  • Patent number: 5619959
    Abstract: A variable length arc magnetic spark plug includes a shell, a pair of electrodes that define a variable length air gap or diverging air gap therebetween, and at least one magnet that produces a magnetic field in the air gap separating the electrodes. The magnitude of an ignition signal supplied to the electrodes directly affects the force acting on the arc to move or position the arc relative to the magnetic field produced by the magnets in accordance with well known field principles. In the preferred embodiment, a pair of magnets produces a magnetic field in the diverging air gap. Less current is required to produce a larger or longer arc with the inclusion of the magnets in the vicinity of the air gap wherein the electrical arc is generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1996
    Date of Patent: April 15, 1997
    Assignee: Cummins Engine Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Luigi P. Tozzi
  • Patent number: 5600293
    Abstract: An integrated magnetic exploding foil initiator fire set includes a DC-DC converter with a first transformer, a triggering mechanism with a second transformer, and an integrated magnetic structure for the respective transformers. Inductive interference is minimized in the respective transformers by the construction and placement of the transformer windings. The use of planar magnetic core material and flexprint or printed circuit technologies for the windings reduces the cost and weight of the structure and provides a compact construction. Thus, the triggering mechanism provides higher energy and voltage output and eliminate the need for expensive spark-gap switches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 4, 1997
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army
    Inventor: Donald Hunter
  • Patent number: 5568801
    Abstract: An ignition system for igniting fuel within an engine, comprising at least one ignition plug disposed in the engine, wherein the ignition plug has a pair of electrodes. A high voltage generator is connected to the ignition plug for applying a gated high voltage high frequency AC signal across the pair of electrodes so as to initiate ionization of the air/fuel mixture and create an infant plasma channel between the pair of electrodes. A plasma arc current generator is connected to the ignition plug for generating a predetermined magnitude of alternating current for a predetermined period of time so as to sustain the plasma channel and ignite the fuel, and a controller is provided for selectively enabling and disabling the high voltage generator and the plasma arc current generator at predetermined times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1996
    Assignee: Ortech Corporation
    Inventors: John Paterson, Robert Kaldenbach, John Unsworth
  • Patent number: 5555862
    Abstract: A variable length arc magnetic spark plug includes a shell, a pair of electrodes that define a variable length air gap or diverging air gap therebetween, and at least one magnet that produces a magnetic field in the air gap separating the electrodes. The magnitude of an ignition signal supplied to the electrodes directly affects the force acting on the arc to move or position the arc relative to the magnetic field produced by the magnets in accordance with well known field principles. In the preferred embodiment, a pair of magnets produces a magnetic field in the diverging air gap. Less current is required to produce a larger or longer arc with the inclusion of the magnets in the vicinity of the air gap wherein the electrical arc is generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: Cummins Engine Company, Inc.
    Inventor: Luigi P. Tozzi
  • Patent number: 5513605
    Abstract: The railplug is a plasma ignitor capable of injecting a high energy plasma jet into a combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine or continuous combustion system. An improved railplug is provided which has dual coaxial chambers (either internal or external to the center electrode) that provide for forced convective cooling of the electrodes using the normal pressure changes occurring in an internal combustion engine. This convective cooling reduces the temperature of the hot spot associated with the plasma initiation point, particularly in coaxial railplug configurations, and extends the useful life of the railplug. The convective cooling technique may also be employed in a railplug having parallel dual rails using dual, coaxial chambers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 7, 1996
    Assignee: Board of Regents, The University of Texas System
    Inventor: William F. Weldon
  • Patent number: 5377633
    Abstract: A high pressure fuel injector has a railplug ignitor assembly disposed on its nozzle. The injected fuel travels down the bore of the railplug. The railplug delivers a plasma that travels down the bore of the railplug in timed relation to the injected fuel to ignite the fuel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1993
    Date of Patent: January 3, 1995
    Assignee: Siemens Automotive L.P.
    Inventor: Russell J. Wakeman
  • Patent number: 5371436
    Abstract: An ignitor (118) comprises a body portion (120) connected with an electrical supply cable (122) and an electrode portion (124) removably mounted within the body portion (120). The body portion (120) includes a capacitor defined by an outer, electrically conductive shell (126) of the body portion, and an inner, tubular capacitor plate (134). The inner, tubular capacitor plate (134) is held within the body portion (120) by means of a connector assembly (132) which is held in place by a dielectric potting compound (136).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 6, 1994
    Assignee: Hensley Plasma Plug Partnership
    Inventors: James E. Griswold, Ronald P. Corio, Ronald C. Pate
  • Patent number: 5361737
    Abstract: An apparatus for providing an ignition source for internal combustion engines comprises a radio frequency oscillator, an amplifier and a coaxial cavity resonator. The coaxial cavity resonator is adaptable for communication with a combustion chamber of the internal combustion engine. An associated method is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 8, 1994
    Assignee: West Virginia University
    Inventors: James E. Smith, Robert M. Craven, Kurt L. VanVoorhies, Thomas J. Bonazza
  • Patent number: 5328665
    Abstract: In an apparatus and method for controlling a combustion process, the output of an optical parametric oscillator/laser (OPOL) is directed into the combustion chambers of an internal-combustion engine to initiate combustion of an air/fuel mixture. A control unit controls the output of the OPOL to emit a wavelength of radiation within a region of absorption of the molecules of the air/fuel mixture in order to induce those molecules into a state of excitation to ignite the mixture. The exact wavelength of the OPOL is selected based on the type of fuel and the compression ratio of the engine. A cylinder-firing-control (CFC) unit is responsive to signals transmitted by the control unit to direct the output of the OPOL to selected cylinders of the engine. And a sensor is mounted on the engine for transmitting signals to the control unit indicative of the rotational position of the engine, and the control unit controls the firing of the OPOL based on these signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: LaSen, Inc
    Inventor: Allen R. Geiger
  • Patent number: 5272415
    Abstract: An ignitor (10) for initiation combustion of fuel in an internal combustion engine includes a body portion (12) and a removable electrode portion (14) to permit replacement or repair of the electrodes, so that current is delivered to one of the electrodes (72) along a path through each of the capacitive elements. The body portion includes a pair of capacitive elements defined by longitudinally spaced, radially extending, annular capacitor plates (60, 62, 64, 66) which surround the central electrode (26, 72). The body portion includes an outer, cylindrical shell (16) which is insulated from the capacitive elements by layers (40, 42) of high dielectric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Assignee: Hensley Plasma Plug Partnership
    Inventors: James E. Griswold, Ronald P. Corio, Ronald C. Pate
  • Patent number: 5256036
    Abstract: There is disclosed an apparatus and method for pumping a flowable medium. The pump forces a volume of medium out a pumping chamber by driving an induced plasma arc the length of the pumping chamber from inlet to outlet. An electric potential generated across the medium within the pumping chamber creates the plasma arc near the inlet of the chamber. An induced magnetic field then causes the plasma arc to travel from inlet to outlet thereby forcing the medium ahead of the plasma arc out of the chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventor: James J. Cole
  • Patent number: 5237969
    Abstract: An ignition system (20) for an internal combustion engine (10) includes a spark plug assembly (21) having an optical passage (45) therethrough that allows an ultraviolet light beam (62) from a source (24) to enter the combustion chamber (8) and be directed to a gap (60) between two electrodes (36) and (38) that have a voltage differential applied therebetween to commence ignition in the combustion chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 24, 1993
    Inventor: Lev Sakin
  • Patent number: 5211142
    Abstract: A plasma ignitor system capable of injecting a high energy plasma jet into a combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine or continuous combustion system. The plasma ignitor features a high energy current pulse source and a geometrically configured coaxial, dual-rail or three-rail ignitor system for deeper and more accurate injection of plasma into a combustion chamber of either large or small dimension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1993
    Assignee: Board of Regents, The University of Texas System
    Inventors: Ronald D. Matthews, Steven P. Nichols, William F. Weldon, Mark M. Koeroghlian, Richard W. Faidley
  • Patent number: 5156114
    Abstract: An aqueous fuel for an internal combustion engine is provided. The fuel comprises water from about 20 percent to about 80 percent by volume of the total volume of said fuel, and a carbonaceous fuel selected from the class consisting of ethanol, methanol, gasoline, kerosene fuel, diesel fuel, carbon-containing gaseous or liquid fuel, or mixtures thereof. A method for combusting an aqueous fuel in an internal combustion engine is provided. The method produces approximately as much power as the same volume of gasoline. The method comprises introducing air and aqueous fuel into a fuel introduction system for the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1992
    Inventor: Rudolf W. Gunnerman
  • Patent number: 5136994
    Abstract: The present invention is a catalytic ignition engine (10) having a catalytic hot plug (14) mounted therein for 24 alcohol fuel. The hot plug (28) comprises a base material (32) coated at least partially with a catalyst (34), preferably platinum, and mounted on the top of the piston (18). The hot plug (11) is heated by combustion and is mounted on a support member (30) designed to reduce heat transfer from the hot plug (11) to piston (18). Consequently, the hot plug (11) remains at a temperature sufficiently high to cause ignition of alcohol fuel when the fuel is sprayed into the cylinder bore (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1992
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventor: Nigel F. Gale
  • Patent number: 5113806
    Abstract: An improved combustion igniter for internal combustion engines is disclosed, comprising a conventional spark plug improved through the addition of (a) an upwardly facing generally vertical wire element secured to the negative cathode of the spark plug and spaced apart from the positive electrode anode of the spark plug, (b) a catalyst material proximate the vertical wire element and either secured to the spark plug body or applied to the cylinder head; and (c) an injected steam source for facilitating catalytic breakdown of vapors in the combination chamber. Preferably the wire element comprises wire of pure platinum approximately 0.018" in diameter and 1/8" in length, and the catalyst is either (1) a nickel coating disposed on the cylinder head, (2) nickel wire with platinum segments disposed thereon secured to the park plug body, or (3) sheet nickel formed in a coil and disposed in the cylinder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1992
    Inventor: George H. Rodart
  • Patent number: 5076223
    Abstract: A plasma ignitor system capable of injection a narrowly focused high energy plasma jet into a combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine or continuous combustion system. The plasma ignitor features a high energy current pulse source and a geometrically configured coaxial or dual-rail ignitor system for deeper and more accurate injection of plasma into a combustion chamber of either large or small dimension.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1991
    Assignee: Board of Regents, The University of Texas System
    Inventors: Brian L. Harden, Ronald D. Matthews, Steven P. Nichols, William F. Weldon
  • Patent number: 5063890
    Abstract: A 2-cycle internal combustion engine, which operates with a gas fuel such as a liquefied gas, has a glow plug which is capable of igniting the air-fuel mixture introduced into the combustion chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 12, 1991
    Assignee: Kioritz Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshiaki Hironaka
  • Patent number: 5053913
    Abstract: An exciter circuit for a gas turbine engine ignition system. A high voltage supply continuously charges a storage capacitor. A plurality of silicon controlled rectifiers (SCRs) are connected in series between the storage capacitor and a high voltage conditioning circuit. A multi-section protective network is connected in parallel with the series connected SCRs. Individual network sections are connected across separate ones of the SCRs. The SCRs are normally non-conducting and are periodically triggered to discharge the storage capacitor into the conditioning circuit. An igniter plug is connected to the output of the conditioning circuit. The protective network divides the voltage of the storage capacitor equally across the SCRs when the latter are non-conductive thereby reducing the voltage stress to which each of the SCRs is subjected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1989
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1991
    Assignee: Unison Industries Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Roy Lozito, Steve Kempinski, Michael A. Crough, Bruce E. Dolmovich
  • Patent number: 5027764
    Abstract: A method of and an apparatus for igniting a gas/fuel mixture in at least one combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine, said combustion chamber being supplied with fuel and gas, are suggested in which an expanding pulse-shaped pressure wave of high energy density is generated in said combustion chamber, which pressure wave triggers a self-ignition of said mixture in the combustion chamber due to a local temperature increase.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 2, 1991
    Inventor: Michael Reimann
  • Patent number: 4972811
    Abstract: An ignition system comprising one of a glow plug, spark plug and glow attachment having metal or ceramic surfaces which are exposed to a fuel/air mixtuer, and are at least partially covered with a coating comprising at least one complex metal oxide obtained as a result of a reaction of a basic oxide selected from a group comprising oxides of Si, Y, La and Ce and mixed oxides of the above-mentioned oxides with Al.sub.2 O.sub.3, with at least one further oxide selected from a group comprising oxides of alkali and alkali earth metals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 27, 1990
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Detlef Baresel, Gerhard Huth, Anton Kling
  • Patent number: 4969432
    Abstract: A torch ignitor for a lean burn internal combustion engine is disclosed in which a small quantity of gaseous fuel is activated by exposure to an electrical arc and injected into the main fuel air charge in the combustion chamber. The arc is established by causing a current to flow to a pair of electrodes which are separated by the application of the torch fuel under pressure to generate the arc. The arc is caused to migrate about the space between the electrodes by the impingement of the fuel flowing through the space.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 1988
    Date of Patent: November 13, 1990
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: David H. Scharnweber, Lyle O. Hoppie, Donald R. Haefner
  • Patent number: 4947640
    Abstract: A photon ignition system for igniting the air/fuel spray within a combustion chamber of a gas turbine engine is comprised of a photon source 20, a photon transmission means 22 and a focussing means 24. The source 20 has an output wavelength characteristic suitable for being absorbed by the hydrocarbon fuel droplets within the fuel spray. In accordance with one embodiment of the invention the source 20 comprises an ultraviolet flashlamp having spectral characteristics which are selected to be strongly absorbed by hydrocarbon fuel. In another embodiment of the invention the source 20 comprises a laser, such an excimer laser, having an output pulse with wavelengths within the strong absorption range of hydrocarbon fuel. The photon output of the source 20 is focussed within an optimum region of the fuel spray for igniting one or more droplets therein due to the absorption and subsequent heating of the droplets of the focussed photon output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: University of Tennessee Research Corporation
    Inventors: Jimmy D. Few, James W. L. Lewis
  • Patent number: 4909228
    Abstract: Ignition apparatus for providing plasma ignition for an engine, which ignition apparatus comprises a switching circuit, a wave form generator for generating an a.c. wave form output, a power amplifier circuit for amplifying the output from the wave form generator, a d.c. to d.c. inverter, and a transformer having primary and secondary windings, the primary winding being connected to the power amplifier circuit for receiving the output from the power amplifier circuit, and the secondary winding being connected to the d.c. to d.c. inverter, and the wave form generator and the d.c. to d.c. inverter being connected in parallel so that during operation of the ignition apparatus high voltage a.c. from the wave form generator carries and sustains d.c. which is from the d.c. to d.c. inverter and which is required for the plasma.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1988
    Date of Patent: March 20, 1990
    Assignee: Novatech Energy Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Basil E. Wainwright
  • Patent number: 4852529
    Abstract: An ignition system for internal combustion engines which minimizes or eliminates problems associated with conventional spark ignition arrangements, the ignition system comprises a laser energy generator (9) which is arranged to supply laser energy continuously at an energy level less than that needed to initiate combustion with the energy level being spiked in timed sequence and delivered to the combustion chambers (35) of the engine, the system further including optic means (39) for focussing the pulsed laser energy at predetermined points within the combustion chambers whereby the focussed laser energy is sufficient to ignite any combustible charge within the combustion chambers, the pulsed laser energy being deliverd through a purging chamber (12) to the respective combustion chambers with a purging gas being continuously supplied to the purging chamber (12) to prevent combustion gases flowing towards the laser optic means (39).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1989
    Assignee: Bennett Automotive Technology Pty. Ltd.
    Inventor: Robert W. Vowles
  • Patent number: 4841925
    Abstract: An ignition system for hydrocarbon fuels based in part on the principle of "flame discharge ignition" of coupling ignition energy to the initial flame front plasma either as a "pulsing flame discharge ignition" or an "enhanced conventional discharge ignition". Electrical, geometrical, spark, and hydrocarbon flame front plasma discharge properties are taken into account and adjusted or tailored to create a flame discharge ignition process capable of igniting very lean mixtures. The system is further improved by modifying the fuel's flame front plasma properties by increasing the ratio of the carbon to hydrogen (C/H) content of the fuel and/or by using additives to further increase the flame front plasma density without reducing the plasma recombination coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1987
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1989
    Assignee: Combustion Electromagnetics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael A. V. Ward
  • Patent number: 4841944
    Abstract: According to the present invention there is provided an ignition system having a direct current source, a primary voltage stabilizing power source for the generation of a stabilized voltage from the direct current source, a high-tension transformer which receives the voltage from the primary voltage stabilizing power source and applies a high voltage developed on its secondary side to a discharge load, and a switching element for controlling the primary current in the transformer. At least two of those components are integrally connected, or means for detecting an abnormal condition of the direct current source is disposed within the case containing the primary voltage stabilizing power source, whereby connection or insulation between components can be done easily and there are attained simplification of the assembling work, reduction of noise and improvement of maintainability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 27, 1989
    Inventors: Tsutomu Maeda, Kiyoshi Matsui, Takayuki Kanno, Kunihiro Sato
  • Patent number: 4766861
    Abstract: An ignition device for an air-compressing internal combustion engine which, in addition to reducing electrode erosion, requires low energy consumption. The ignition device includes a high-voltage spark plug (2) to which a casing (6) is connected, a rod (8) inserted coaxially into the casing (6) and an incandescent helix (11) wound around the rod (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 1987
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz AG
    Inventor: Gerhard Finsterwalder
  • Patent number: 4766855
    Abstract: A plasma jet ignitor apparatus for generating plasma from a plasma medium and for discharging the plasma as a jet into the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine. The apparatus has a plug which has electrodes from which an arc is generated. The arc causes the plasma medium which is supplied to the plasma generation cavity to become plasma. The plasma generation cavity is cooperatively arranged with magnetic field generation means, electrode discharging means and plasma medium supply means. The cavity has an inlet opening adjacent the plasma generation location at the bottom of the cavity and an outlet orifice at the top of the cavity. The plasma is ejected as a plasma jet, with a ring vortex structure, from the cavity and through the orifice. The magnetic field generation means is disposed as a magnetic field coil acting on the arc. The magnetic field is created by the discharge of a capacitor at the time of the formation of the plasma in the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 30, 1988
    Assignee: Cummins Engine Co., Inc.
    Inventor: Luigi Tozzi
  • Patent number: 4760820
    Abstract: A plasma jet ignitor apparatus for generating plasma from a plasma medium such as hydrogen and for discharging the plasma as a jet into the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine. The apparatus has a plug which has an electrode from which a high energy spark is generated. The spark causes hydrogen which is introduced into the plasma generation cavity by a fuel line to become plasma. The plasma generation cavity is defined by magnetic field generation means. The cavity has an inlet opening adjacent the plasma generation location and an outlet orifice. The plasma is ejected as a plasma jet from the cavity from the orifice. The magnetic field generation means is disposed as a magnetic field coil wound about the cavity. The magnetic field is charged by the discharge of a capacitor at the time of the formation of the plasma in the cavity. The magnetic field accelerates the plasma out of the cavity through the orifice so that the plasma exits as a high velocity jet and achieves effective penetration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 1986
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1988
    Inventor: Luigi Tozzi
  • Patent number: 4726336
    Abstract: An arrangement and method is disclosed for enabling hypergolic combustion of a fuel mixture in the combustion chamber of a combustion device such as an internal combustion engine by irradiation of the fuel and/or of the fuel-air mixture with a beam of ultraviolet radiation to produce disassociation of a relatively high proportion of the fuel molecules to enable hypergolic combustion. Various arrangements are disclosed for accomplishing UV irradiation of the fuel in the context of an internal combustion piston engine, and a mercury vapor lamp or a laser are alternatively employed as a UV beam generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Lyle O. Hoppie, Richard Chute, David H. Scharnweber, Kenneth P. Waichunas
  • Patent number: 4672928
    Abstract: The invention teaches an ignition device for internal combustion engines, comprising at least one spark gap with two ignition electrodes for generating ignition sparks between them, whereby neither of the two ignition electrodes is connected to the ground potential of the internal combustion engines; an ignition current source which is coupled to the ignition electrodes, insulated from ground, to generate the sparks, and forming an ignition circuit therewith; a voltage source, which has one pole at ground, while its other pole is connected to the ignition circuit, so that the ignition circuit is at the same potential as the voltage source and a separate plasma circuit is formed which comprises the voltage source, at least one of the two electrodes, a plasma composed of hot combustion gases between the ignition electrodes and ground, in a series circuit; and means in the plasma circuit which deliver an output pulse corresponding to the strength and time pattern of the current in the plasma circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 16, 1987
    Assignee: Pierburg GmbH & Co KG
    Inventor: Gunter Hartig
  • Patent number: 4561406
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine combustion chamber suitable for electromagnetic stimulation of combustion which has been improved by the addition of combustion chamber periphery extensions (wings) filled with dielectric material. The wing dimensions and filler dielectric material are chosen to allow for specification of the chamber EM resonant frequency, preferably at a frequency in the UHF range (where low cost DC operated devices can be used) and at an industrial allocated frequency. The wing chamber EM resonant modes are further designed to place relatively high electrical currents at the wing tips (which are totally closed surfaces), and low EM currents at the piston-cylinder gaps, thus eliminating the need for EM chokes. The EM feature of the chamber is further improved by shaping the piston face and/or cylinder head face in conjunction with the wing design to further lower the EM operating frequency and improve frequency stability with respect to piston motion about TDC.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 1984
    Date of Patent: December 31, 1985
    Assignee: Combustion Electromagnetics, Inc.
    Inventor: Michael A. V. Ward
  • Patent number: 4556020
    Abstract: Method and means are disclosed for stimulating combustion especially of lean mixtures in internal combustion engines. For example, an ultraviolet lamp mounted in the combustion chamber of an engine directs radiation of wavelength exceeding 190 nm on the advancing flame front. The radiation largely passes through the cool unburned mixture and is absorbed in disassociating oxygen molecules in the flame front thereby stimulating combustion of the flame and allowing the burning of exceptionally lean air-fuel mixtures. Numerous features and alternative embodiments are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 1981
    Date of Patent: December 3, 1985
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Hickling
  • Patent number: 4546740
    Abstract: An improved ignition system is provided for an internal combustion engine having a combustion chamber and a conventional carburetor system, a conventional fuel injection system or a conventional gas mixing system, for feeding an ambient combustible fuel-air mixture to the combustion chamber. In this system, a high speed injector is fed with a gaseous fuel between a spark gap provided by a spark electrode. The spark electrode projects a predetermined distance into the combustion chamber so that the axis of the injector nozzle passes through the spark gap. A puff in the form of a short, abrupt blast of the gaseous fuel is expelled across the spark to produce a well-defined turbulent plume of the injected gaseous fuel. The time and duration of the electric spark and the fast-acting valve actuator controls the length of time it takes to open the fast-acting valve and the length of time the fast-acting valve remains open.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1985
    Assignee: University of Victoria
    Inventors: Reginald M. Clements, John D. Ridley, Philip L. Pitt
  • Patent number: 4523552
    Abstract: An ignition device for use with internal combustion engines is adapted for conducting a light beam into the combustion chamber of the engine to ignite a fuel-air mixture. The ignition device includes a light emission apparatus opened to the combustion chamber to emit a light beam into the chamber, and a particle supply apparatus disposed in opposed relation with the light emission apparatus for supplying into the combustion chamber particles of a high light absorption index separately from the fuel-air mixture. The particles from the particle supply apparatus are emitted along the optical axis of the light beam into the combustion chamber and are heated at a position suitable for ignition of the fuel-air mixture within the combustion chamber to serve as an ignition source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 1983
    Date of Patent: June 18, 1985
    Assignees: Nippondenso Co., Ltd., Nippon Soken, Inc.
    Inventors: Shinichi Mukainakano, Tadashi Hattori, Minoru Nishida, Toru Mizuno, Tukasa Goto
  • Patent number: 4510915
    Abstract: An N cylinder internal combustion engine plasma ignition system comprises a DC-DC converter for boosting low DC voltage to high DC voltage. Each of N ignition energy charging circuits includes a first capacitor connected between the DC-DC converter and ground via first and second diodes. The capacitor is charged by the DC-DC converter. Each of N reverse blocked thyristors connected to a junction of the first diode and first capacitor selectively grounds an electrode of the corresponding first capacitor to discharge ignition energy stored in the first capacitor. For each cylinder a transformer connected between the first capacitor and a spark plug boosts and feeds the discharged energy to the plug. One end of the transformer primary winding is grounded via a second capacitor to generate a damped oscillation when the corresponding thyristor grounds the first capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: April 16, 1985
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Company, Limited
    Inventors: Yasuki Ishikawa, Hiroshi Endo, Masazumi Sone, Iwao Imai
  • Patent number: 4493297
    Abstract: An ignition device of the plasma jet type is disclosed. The device has a cylindrical cavity formed in insulating material with an electrode at one end. The other end of the cylindrical cavity is closed by a metal plate with a small orifice in the center which plate serves as a second electrode. An arc jumping between the first electrode and the orifice plate causes the formation of a highly-ionized plasma in the cavity which is ejected through the orifice into the engine cylinder area to ignite the main fuel mixture.Two improvements are disclosed to enhance the operation of the device and the length of the plasma plume. One improvement is a metal hydride ring which is inserted in the cavity next to the first electrode. During operation, the high temperature in the cavity and the highly excited nature of the plasma breaks down the metal hydride, liberating hydrogen which acts as an additional fuel to help plasma formation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 1982
    Date of Patent: January 15, 1985
    Assignee: Geo-Centers, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael E. McIlwain, Jonathan F. Grant, Zsolt Golenko, Alan D. Wittstein
  • Patent number: RE35237
    Abstract: An aqueous fuel for an internal combustion engine is provided. The fuel comprises water from about 20 percent to about 80 percent by volume of the total volume of said fuel, and a carbonaceous fuel selected from the class consisting of ethanol, methanol, gasoline, kerosene fuel, diesel fuel, carbon-containing gaseous or liquid fuel, or mixtures thereof. A method for combusting an aqueous fuel in an internal combustion engine is provided. The method produces approximately as much power as the same volume of gasoline. The method comprises introducing air and aqueous fuel into a fuel introduction system for the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 14, 1996
    Inventor: Rudolf W. Gunnerman