Wherein A Measured Electric Quantity Indicates Spark Plug Condition Patents (Class 324/399)
  • Patent number: 10626807
    Abstract: To provide a controller and a control method for an internal combustion engine capable of suppressing causing erroneous determination of combustion state even if noise component is superimposed on the ion current. In combustion state determination processing which determines combustion state of each combustion based on ion current, a controller for an internal combustion engine calculates a minimum value of ion current during a processing period, and prohibits determination of combustion state at a time point when the minimum value of ion current is below a preliminarily set determination prohibition threshold value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Yuhei Matsushima, Takahiko Inada
  • Patent number: 10483723
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a power amplification device capable of being powered by a single input voltage and comprising a switching module comprising a first discharge electrode and a second discharge electrode. The power amplification device comprises a triggering module configured to convert the input voltage into a first supply voltage and a second supply voltage, detect an activation event, generate an activation signal from the first supply voltage when an activation event has been detected, generate a pulse command from the second supply voltage when an activation signal has been generated, and transmit the generated pulse control to the triggering means of the switching module so that it triggers the formation of an electric arc between the first discharge electrode and the second discharge electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: ENE29 S.A.R.L.
    Inventors: Michaël Delchambre, Romain Pecquois, Nicolas Innocenti, David Genez
  • Patent number: 10459048
    Abstract: A magnetic resonance imaging apparatus according to an embodiment includes a gradient coil configured to generate a gradient magnetic field in an image taking space. The gradient coil includes: a first coil member formed by using a first metal that is non-magnetic; and a second coil member connected to the first coil member and formed by using a second metal that is different from the first metal and is non-magnetic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2019
    Assignee: Canon Medical Systems Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuya Kobayashi, Masatoshi Yamashita, Yoshitomo Sakakura, Hiromitsu Takamori
  • Patent number: 10156221
    Abstract: A method for checking electrodes of a spark gap of an ignition system for a combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine with an externally provided ignition includes generating a spark at the spark gap in an operating state without ignition of an ignitable mixture in the combustion chamber; ascertaining a parameter or characteristic function representing the spark current, the spark voltage, and/or the spark duration; comparing the parameter or the characteristic function to a reference; adapting an energy for a voltage buildup for a further spark generation for the mixture ignition and/or for maintaining an ignition spark for the mixture ignition, in particular for a future ignition process, as a function of a difference between the parameter or the characteristic function and the reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
    Inventors: Tim Skowronek, Thomas Pawlak, Wolfgang Sinz
  • Patent number: 10054101
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for determining a type of spark plug fouling. In one example, a method may include differentiating spark plug fouling due to soot accumulation from spark plug fouling due to fuel additive accumulation based on a current on a control wire of the spark plug following application of a dwell command. Further, exhaust oxygen sensor degradation and/or exhaust catalyst degradation may be determined based on switching frequencies of one or more exhaust oxygen sensors and the type of spark plug fouling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2018
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Chris Paul Glugla, Garlan J. Huberts, Nelson William Morrow, Qiuping Qu
  • Patent number: 9938918
    Abstract: A method for evaluating abnormal combustion events of an internal combustion engine of a motor vehicle by regression calculation of a physical reference variable, in which method a recognition variable of the abnormal combustion event is calculated from a measured sensor signal. In a method with which abnormal combustion processes of the internal combustion engine can be reliably recognized and classified at all operating points, a stepwise system is used for regression calculation of the recognition variable, in which system at least one reference variable that corresponds to a measured reference variable of the sensor signal is calculated from the sensor signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH
    Inventors: Elvira Perless, Robert Sloboda, Matthias Biehl, Stefan Kempf
  • Patent number: 9915337
    Abstract: A usage measuring device measures usage of a gear transmission. The usage measuring device is provided with an oscillation cycle measuring unit and a comparing unit. The oscillation cycle measuring unit measures an oscillation cycle of a state signal indicating at least one of a rotational state of an input unit side and a rotational state of an output unit side of the gear transmission. The comparing unit compares a first oscillation cycle measured during an initial operating period of the gear transmission, and a second oscillation cycle measured after the gear transmission has operated for a predetermined time. The oscillation cycle measuring unit measures the first oscillation cycle and the second oscillation cycle of the state signal after the gear transmission has stopped driving.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignees: FANUC CORPORATION, NABTESCO CORPORATION
    Inventors: Souichi Arita, Masahiro Matsubayashi
  • Patent number: 9897064
    Abstract: An ignition coil for an internal combustion engine is provided which is equipped with a high-voltage connector terminal and a high-voltage output terminal. The high-voltage connector terminal is connected to a secondary coil. The high-voltage output terminal is to be joined to a spark plug. The high-voltage connector terminal has a tip portion with a rounded surface which elastically establishes an electrical contact with the surface of the high-voltage output terminal. The rounded surface serves to minimize the wear of the high-voltage connector terminal and the high-voltage output terminal which arises from rubbing therebetween during assembling or operation of the ignition coil, thus avoiding the adhesion of foreign objects to the contact surfaces and ensuring the stability of electric communication between the high-voltage connector terminal and the high-voltage output terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masataka Deguchi
  • Patent number: 9777697
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for determining a type of spark plug fouling. In one example, a method may include differentiating spark plug fouling due to soot accumulation from spark plug fouling due to fuel additive accumulation based on a current on a control wire of the spark plug following application of a dwell command. Further, exhaust oxygen sensor degradation and/or exhaust catalyst degradation may be determined based on switching frequencies of one or more exhaust oxygen sensors and the type of spark plug fouling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 3, 2017
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Chris Paul Glugla, Garlan J. Huberts, Nelson William Morrow, Qiuping Qu
  • Patent number: 9429542
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure relate to substance detection technology, and to signal extraction circuits and methods for ion mobility tubes, and ion mobility detectors, which can solve the problem with the conventional technologies that it is difficult to design and manufacture the leadout circuit for the pulsed voltage on the Faraday plates. A signal extraction circuit for an ion mobility tube includes an DC-blocking module configured to remove a DC voltage contained in a voltage extracted, by a signal leadin terminal, from the Faraday plate, and to output, by a signal leadout terminal, a pulsed voltage contained in the voltage extracted from the Faraday plate. An ion mobility detector includes the signal extraction circuit for an ion mobility tube according to the present invention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignees: Nuctech Company Limited, Tsinghua University
    Inventors: Qingjun Zhang, Zhiqiang Chen, Yuanjing Li, Ziran Zhao, Yinong Liu, Shiping Cao, Xiang Zou, Xianghua Li, Jianping Chang, Shuqiang Dong, Yan Zheng
  • Patent number: 9270088
    Abstract: A method for inspecting a spark plug that includes a tubular insulator having an axial hole, a center electrode inserted into the axial hole at a front end side thereof, a tubular metallic shell disposed around the insulator, an annular space defined by an outer circumferential surface of the insulator, and an inner circumferential surface of the metallic shell and opened frontward. The method includes steps of: inspecting insulation performance of the insulator based on whether dielectric breakdown is caused in the insulator when a voltage is applied to the center electrode; photographing an area including at least the center electrode, the insulator, and the annular space from a front end side in the direction of the axis when the voltage is applied to the center electrode; and determining whether the dielectric breakdown has occurred based on the photographed image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Jiro Kyuno
  • Patent number: 9255563
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for operating an ignition device for an internal combustion engine, said device having an ignition coil designed as a transformer, an igniter plug connected to the ignition coil secondary winding, a controllable switching element connected in series to the ignition coil primary winding and a control unit connected to the ignition coil primary winding and the control input of the switching element, wherein the control unit provides a supply voltage for the ignition coil and a control signal for the switching element depending upon the flows through the ignition coil primary and secondary winding and the voltage between the connection point of the ignition coil primary winding to the switching element and the negative terminal of the supply voltage, to provide an adjustable alternating current for the igniter plug, to provide a targeted supply of power distributed over the ignition time interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2016
    Assignee: CONTINENTAL AUTOMOTIVE GMBH
    Inventors: Sven-Michael Eisen, Stephan Bolz, Harald Schmauβ, Achim Reuther, Martin Götzenberger
  • Publication number: 20140111213
    Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for testing a spark plug after the spark plug is assembled in an internal combustion engine. The apparatus includes a high voltage test probe to mechanically probe the spark plug. The high voltage test probe includes a non-electrically conductive part, an electrically conductive ring substantially shielded by the non-electrically conductive part, and a high voltage contactor for electrically connecting to a terminal end of the spark plug. The apparatus also includes a high voltage control box having a high voltage source and an electrical ground, and including at least one of an insulator crack detection circuit and a spark plug firing circuit. The method includes using the apparatus to test assembled spark plugs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2012
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Applicants: Bauer Associates, Inc., d/b/a Bauer Controls, GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Thomas M. Cunningham, Harold M. Ryan
  • Patent number: 8643385
    Abstract: Method for the simulation of defects in the case of spark testers, in which breakdowns are recognized and displayed by a detector and added by means of a defect counter, wherein the high voltage is applied to a stationary standard spark gap and pulsed test voltages of predetermined level, duration and frequency are generated by the high voltage generator of the spark tester in short regular intervals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Sikora AG
    Inventor: Harald Sikora
  • Patent number: 8461844
    Abstract: A self charging ion current sensing circuit is provided. The self charging ion current sensing circuit is coupled to spark generation circuitry, and utilizes the spark plug electrodes as the ion current sensing electrodes. The self charging is achieved by utilizing the spark current during an ignition event to charge an ion bias capacitor. After the ignition event, the charge voltage build up on the ion bias capacitor is used to provide an ion current across the spark plug gap. The ion current is passed through an offset stage that translates the ion current sense voltage to a voltage that can be buffered and amplified from a single power source available in automotive and vehicular applications. The output of the circuit provides tri-state information, including spark current, null current, and linear representation of ion sense current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Woodward, Inc.
    Inventor: David C. Petruska
  • Publication number: 20130099792
    Abstract: A spark plug, including an insulator embedding a first metallic electrode axially extending therethrough from a high voltage outer end terminal to the center of the inner end of the insulator from which it protrudes; a metallic ground electrode isolated from the first electrode and having an extended inner termination facing toward the first electrode extending from the insulator tip for defining therebetween a spark gap, a resistive element connected to the ground electrode such that upon mounting the spark plug in an internal combustion engine, the ground electrode electrically connects to the engine body through the resistive element; and to a second outer termination of the ground electrode, adapted to constitute an accessible sensing terminal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2012
    Publication date: April 25, 2013
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics S.r.I.
    Inventor: STMicroelectronics S.r.I.
  • Patent number: 8260695
    Abstract: The disclosed technology comprises a device and a method for accurately determining the amount of electrical energy utilized in a circuit with a quarter-cycle transformer and transducers operating off quarter-cycle power. The method allows for a primary power meter associated with an entity which provides a power source to remain in operation, without modification, and for a second power meter to be utilized which accurately measures consumption of quarter-cycle power usage. An adjustment to an invoice can then be made, based on the difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Inventor: Steven Rosenberg
  • Patent number: 7863903
    Abstract: A combustion state detection apparatus for an internal combustion engine, includes convexity detection means (30) for detecting that domain within the detection interval in which the change shape of the ionic current is upwardly convex, on the basis of the ionic current data extracted by data extraction means (20), and preignition decision means (40) including comparison setting means for setting a comparison value with which the upwardly convex domain is compared, and functioning to decide the occurrence of the preignition or the premonitory phenomenon thereof when the upwardly convex domain lies at a timing earlier than the comparison value, wherein the convexity detection means (30) includes leak current judgment means for judging the appearance of a leak current across electrodes, and it enables the detection of the upwardly convex domain when the appearance of the leak current has been judged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Koda, Takahiko Inada, Kimihiko Tanaya
  • Publication number: 20100186715
    Abstract: The ion current detector includes: an ion bias circuit for supplying a bias voltage to an electrode of the ignition plug so as to cause the ignition plug to generate a spark discharge; and an ion current detection circuit for detecting an ion current generated in a combustion chamber by the spark discharge and for amplifying the detected ion current to output an ion current detection signal. The ion current detection circuit amplifies the ion current at an ion current amplification factor switched between a time when an ignition signal is supplied and a time when the ignition signal is not supplied. Specifically, when the ignition signal is supplied, the ion current amplification factor is set to a low value (approximately 50). When the ignition signal is not supplied, the ion current amplification factor is set to a high value (250 or more).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2009
    Publication date: July 29, 2010
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Futoshi AIDA, Kimihiko Tanaya
  • Patent number: 7746079
    Abstract: An ion current detecting apparatus includes a capacitor C that is charged as a spark plug 3 discharges, a Zener diode ZD that limits a maximum voltage of the capacitor C while charging, a detection resistor R2 through which a discharge current of the capacitor C flows, and a comparator circuit 5 that compares a current value of the detection resistor R2 with a predetermined value. A charge quantity Q of the capacitor C at discharge start is set so that, as a consequence of a discharging operation of the capacitor C, discharge duration required until the current value of the detection resistor R2 falls below the predetermined value becomes longer than time duration in which the ion current generated by fuel combustion in the engine combustion chamber lasts. The ion current detecting apparatus automatically detects degradation in an insulation resistance in the spark plug, ensuring normal operation in engine control.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2010
    Assignee: Diamond Electric MFG. Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Fukumura, Mitsuhiro Izumi, Shinobu Sugisaki, Tsutomu Kusuhara
  • Publication number: 20100089361
    Abstract: An internal-combustion-engine combustion condition detection apparatus is provided with an ignition means that makes an ignition plug ignite a fuel; an ignition control means that controls the operation of the ignition means; an ion-current detection means that detects an ion current generated; an ion current detection range setting means that sets an ion-current detection range; a preignition detection means that detects preignition within a detection range to be set; a leakage current detection range setting means that sets a leakage-current detection range; and a leakage current determination means that determines whether or not a smolder exists, based on a current detected, within a detection range to be set, by the ion-current detection means. The ignition control means includes a non-combustion-stroke ignition control means; the leakage-current detection range set by the leakage current detection range setting means is set within the non-combustion stroke.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2009
    Publication date: April 15, 2010
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takahiko INADA, Kimihiko TANAYA
  • Patent number: 7617040
    Abstract: An ignition apparatus which allows for an accurate diagnosis of a spark plug in an internal combustion engine provided with plural spark plugs for each cylinder is provided for an internal combustion engine. The ignition apparatus is for an internal combustion engine provided with plural spark plugs for each cylinder, and includes an input port which receives fail signals S3 and S4 generated corresponding to each of the plural spark plugs for diagnosis of the spark plugs. An input timing of the fail signal to the input port is made different for each of the plural fail signals. Ignition timings S1, S2 of the plural spark plugs are set to different times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Shigeki Miyashita
  • Patent number: 7528607
    Abstract: A method and system for measuring the amount of energy released by a spark ignition system. This energy can be quantified spectroscopically by measuring the emission of cyanogen radicals in the presence of a ignition event and a known A/F ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Southwest Research Institute
    Inventor: Terrence F. Alger, II
  • Patent number: 7400965
    Abstract: A process is provided for ignition control in a cylinder of an internal combustion engine, using an ignition coil which has a connected primary winding and a secondary winding which is connected to a spark plug, and an ignition control unit which is used to control circuit logic connecting the primary winding by means of a line. According to the process, at the beginning of a working cycle, a switching signal is transmitted from the ignition control unit to the circuit logic, marking the beginning of the working cycle, and the temporal length of the signal is used as a reference length (idle time) for other digital information transmitted to the circuit logic by the ignition control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Erich Kagleder
  • Patent number: 7375531
    Abstract: A system for detecting spark in an igniter for a gas turbine engine. An igniter generates a plasma, or spark, somewhat similar to an automotive spark plug. In the invention, an inductive pick-up is positioned adjacent the igniter, to detect current pulses in the igniter, to thereby infer the presence of spark. A detection system detects the spark, and informs the pilot of the aircraft of the detected spark. Thus, if the pilot encounters a problem in starting the engine, the pilot can rapidly determine whether the igniter is involved in the problem.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert Louis Ponziani, Roy Dale Earwood
  • Patent number: 7347195
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a method of controlling the spark current in a spark plug (8), comprising a voltage source (1; 14), an ignition system (2) connected to the voltage source, and a spark plug (8) connected to the ignition system, which ignition system (2) comprises an ignition coil (3) and at least one regulating unit (5, 6) as well as a control unit (4), enabling control of the intensity and/or duration of the spark current, said ignition coil (3) comprising a secondary side (6, 31) arranged to be controlled in order to control the duration of the spark in Arc Discharge Mode. The invention also relates to an ignition device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Mecel Aktiebolag
    Inventor: Bo Biljenga
  • Patent number: 7348782
    Abstract: When a spark discharge is produced, a first current flows in one direction. From a rise of an ignition signal to energize an ignition coil to a fall of the ignition signal to deenergize the ignition coil, in order that a second current flowing in the opposite direction can be detected, the voltage into which the second current has been converted is compared with a first threshold voltage for smolder detection. After the fall of the ignition signal to the rise of the ignition signal, the voltage into which the second current has been converted is compared with a second threshold voltage for misfire detection. The first threshold is set larger than the second threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2008
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventor: Koji Ando
  • Patent number: 7242195
    Abstract: A system for detecting spark in an igniter for a gas turbine engine. An igniter generates a plasma, or spark, somewhat similar to an automotive spark plug. In the invention, an inductive pick-up is positioned adjacent the igniter, to detect current pulses in the igniter, to thereby infer the presence of spark. The pick-up can take the form of a coil embedded in a mounting bracket which is used to fasten the igniter to the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2007
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Ponziani, Roy Earwood
  • Patent number: 7129705
    Abstract: A device for testing the functioning in an internal combustion engine of spark plugs which are recessed within the cylinder head. Connection to the recessed spark plugs can be accomplished by an elongated device shaped to fit within and extend beyond the spark plug recess, preferably with a secure frictional fit within that recess and preferably designed with portions of different diameters so that, by inverting, the unit can be used with cylinder head recesses with a wide range of internal diameters. The device may, if desired, carry a shield member adapted when the device is in use to cover the exposed top of the recess, thereby to prevent foreign material from entering the recess while ignition system testing is carried out. The device may be readily combined with other devices to constitute a kit of virtually unrestricted testing capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2006
    Assignee: M. Eagles Warehouse, Inc.
    Inventor: Mario Bernardo Accumanno
  • Patent number: 7124019
    Abstract: A system and method for diagnosing ignition system performance of an internal combustion engine. The method operates an engine control unit to produce a sequence of spark ignition current pulses through primary windings of a plurality of ignition coils. The current pulses produce voltage pulses across electrodes of the spark plugs. The voltage pulses produce flyback voltages across the primary windings. Output pulses are produced in response to the flyback voltages having time durations related to the time durations of the sparks produced by the spark plugs. Digital signal are produced in response to each one of the output pulses representative of the spark time duration of a corresponding one of the sparks. A comparison of the digital signals determines whether the spark time duration of one of the spark plugs is substantially different from the spark time durations of the other ones of the plurality of spark plugs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2006
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Kirk R. Goodell, James D. McCoy
  • Patent number: 7015698
    Abstract: An igniter for a gas turbine engine. An igniter generates a plasma, or spark, somewhat similar to an automotive spark plug. In the invention, an inductive pick-up is used to detect current which produces the spark, the thereby infer the presence of spark. Further, the sensor is located directly adjacent the igniter, in a hot environment, often exceeding 400 F.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2006
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Robert L. Ponziani, Roy Earwood
  • Patent number: 6998846
    Abstract: The present feature of the invention is generally directed to a subsystem of an ignition diagnostics and feedback control system using ionization current feedback. It utilizes the ionization signal from an ionization detection circuit to monitor ignition parameters, such as primary charge timing, primary charge duration, ignition/spark timing, and ignition/spark duration for future “smart” ignition system control. In addition, the ionization signal is also used to detect spark plug carbon fouling, as well as plug insulator overheating. These parameters can be monitored for every cylinder of the engine for each engine cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2006
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chao F. Daniels, Guoming G. Zhu, Bruce Wang, Kenneth L. Gould
  • Patent number: 6969995
    Abstract: The invention relates to a measuring device with a sensor (4) for monitoring the ignition voltage of an associated cylinder of an internal combustion engine, said sensor (4) being arranged along the ignition conductor (12), between the spark plug and the ignition coil. The sensor (4) is a bar-shaped probe which is arranged parallel to the axis of the ignition conductor (12), at a flashover-proof distance. The invention further relates to a measuring arrangement comprising such measuring devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Inventor: Florian Virchow
  • Patent number: 6954074
    Abstract: A circuit for measuring ionization current in a combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine including an ignition coil, having a primary winding and a secondary winding, and an ignition plug. The ignition plug ignites an air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber and produces an ignition current in response to ignition voltage from the ignition coil. A capacitor, charged by the ignition coil, provides a bias voltage producing an ionization current after ignition of the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. A current mirror circuit produces an isolated current signal proportional to the ionization current. In the present invention, the ignition current and the ionization current flow in the same direction through the secondary winding of the ignition coil. The charged capacitor operates as a power source and, thus, the ignition current flows from the charged capacitor through the current mirror circuit and the ignition coil to the ignition plug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2005
    Assignee: Visteon Global Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Guoming G. Zhu, Bruce Wang, Kenneth L. Gould
  • Patent number: 6943554
    Abstract: An ionic current detection apparatus for an internal combustion engine does not generate a false ionic current, and hence it does not generate a false knock component signal either, thereby avoiding an incorrect combustion determination or an incorrect knock determination. The apparatus detects an ionic current generated in spark plugs connected with secondary sides of a plurality of ignition coils, respectively, each of which generates a high ignition voltage immediately after firing of a corresponding combustion chamber. The ignition coils are arranged in such a manner that at least the directions of adjacent ignition coils do not coincide with one another. In addition, the ignition coils are fixed by a fixture, which has arrangement positions for the ignition coils predetermined according to the mounting directions thereof, in such a manner that the directions of adjacent ignition coils do not coincide with one another, the ignition coils being installed on the engine through the fixture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masakazu Dohi, Yoshiyuki Sera, Yasuhiro Takahashi
  • Patent number: 6937024
    Abstract: Disclosed is a multiple test system for use in vehicles for inspecting the operation of an ignition system. A high voltage waveform is applied to an ignition plug and detected by a Hall sensor. The multiple test system compares the detected voltage waveform with a reference value, and calculates maximum, minimum and mean values of the voltage waveform. Ignition energy is inspected by a user for determining if a component needs to be replaced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignees: Busan Techno-Park and Sung Hoon Kim
    Inventor: Sung Hoon Kim
  • Patent number: 6880540
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide an ignition coil which has a structure to make it possible to connect the ignition coil to a spark plug directly and in which an installation space need not be changed largely when the ignition coil is mounted in a cylinder head, and an internal combustion engine ignition system having the ignition coil. In the present invention, a protection metal pipe (31) of an ignition coil (9) is formed so that a rear end side portion of a spark plug (11) in the rear of a rear end surface (23b) of a collar portion (23) in a metal shell (19) can be received in the inside of the protection metal pipe (31) from a front end (31b). The ignition coil (9) has a structure in which the ignition coil (9) is directly connected to the spark plug (11). The protection metal pipe (31) of the ignition coil (9) is formed to serve also as a plughole pipe, so that the outer diameter of the protection metal pipe (31) can be enlarged up to the outer diameter of a conventional plughole pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2005
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tomohiro Fuma, Hiroshi Inagaki, Takahiro Suzuki
  • Patent number: 6874464
    Abstract: A system and method for operating a combustion engine including a combustion chamber operable in at least a first operating mode and second operating mode. An engine control unit (ECU) performs conductivity sensing within the combustion chamber and interprets the results. Specifically, the ECU determines the current between a pair of spark plug electrodes placed within a combustion chamber of a combustion engine prior to, or after, combustion. The ECU determines whether the current between the pair of electrodes is indicative of spark plug fouling. If spark plug fouling is determined, the ECU can modify the mode of operation to correct the spark plug fouling and clean the deposits on the spark plug while the engine is in operation and without operation intervention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.
    Inventor: David T. Montgomery
  • Patent number: 6850071
    Abstract: The method and apparatus of the present invention are useful for the monitoring of the electrical signals within an internal combustion spark plug circuit and the killing of a spark plug within that circuit. The invention essentially consists of connecting a transformer to the high voltage side of the spark plug circuit. Through the use of impedance and inductance, the present invention can either produce a low voltage replica of the waveform of the high voltage electrical signal which is directed to a spark plug or can effectively prohibit that spark plug from firing by short circuiting the low voltage side of the transformer of the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Automotive Test Solutions, Inc.
    Inventors: Neal R. Pederson, Bernie C. Thompson, James M. Potter
  • Patent number: 6850069
    Abstract: A coil-on plug testing apparatus for detecting a weak field output by a shielded coil-on plug ignition and generating an output signal representing an ignition signal includes a capacitive sensor attachable to a coil-on-plug device for detecting an electric field generated by the shielded coil-on plug device during a firing event and generating and outputting a voltage in response thereto. A signal processing circuit electrically coupled to the capacitive sensor is configured to generate an output signal in response to variations in the voltage output by the capacitive sensor in response to a detected electric field. The signal processing circuit comprises an amplifier configured to amplify an output voltage of the capacitive sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Snap-On Incorporated
    Inventors: Kenneth A. McQueeney, Robert R. Bryant
  • Patent number: 6813932
    Abstract: A misfire detecting device for an internal combustion engine including an ion current detecting means for detecting ion currents generated between electrodes of spark plugs; an ion current judging means for judging whether or not the ion current exists at each ignition cycle based on the ion current signal; a misfire judging means judging when no ion current is judged to exist based on an ion current judgment signal; an ignition coil; an ignition coil signal judging means for judging whether or not the ignition coil signal generated in synchronism with an ignition timing exists; and a failure judging means for judging whether or not an failure of the ion current detecting means occurs based on a result from the ignition coil signal judging means when the ion current signal is not detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koji Nishimoto, Takanori Fujimoto
  • Patent number: 6789409
    Abstract: A knock detection apparatus for an internal combustion engine is provided which accurately distinguishes knock from noise even when noise having a frequency component identical to a knock frequency component is superposed on an ion current signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Kimihiko Tanaya
  • Patent number: 6741080
    Abstract: In an ignition coil assembly of an ion sensing ignition system having an ignition coil output, a buffered ion-sense current source circuit is provided and includes a current sensing circuit, the current sensing circuit being disposed so as to be communicated with the ignition coil output and an active current source circuit, the active current source circuit being disposed so as to be communicated with the current sensing circuit and a current measuring device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Philip Ralph Peterson, Philip Allen Karau, Scott B. Kesler
  • Patent number: 6734677
    Abstract: A combustion condition detecting device detects combustion ions between opposing electrodes in a combustion chamber by ion current flowing between the electrodes in response to a.c. current voltage applied between the electrodes. A low pass filter for eliminating current components having high order frequencies of the a.c. voltage is disposed in a primary side of the transformer so that a waveform of the a.c. voltage approximates a sine wave. Thus, detection accuracy of the combustion ions is prevented from being affected by variation of capacitive current included in the current flowing between the electrodes, wherein the variation of the capacitive current is caused by distortion of the waveform of the a.c. voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2004
    Assignee: Denso Corporation
    Inventors: Makoto Toriyama, Tohru Yoshinaga, Hiroshi Yorita
  • Publication number: 20030197511
    Abstract: A misfire detection apparatus of an internal combustion engine. The misfire detection apparatus includes an angle sensor for detecting rotation angle of the internal combustion engine, an ECU for performing fuel injection and ignition control based on rotation information of the angle sensor, an ignition coil for generating a high voltage for ignition based on a drive signal from the ECU, and an spark plug, as the high voltage for ignition of the ignition coil is applied, for generating an ignition spark and igniting an air fuel mixture. The misfire detection apparatus applies a bias voltage to the spark plug, detects an ion current, makes a misfire determination based on the ion current detection, and makes a failure determination based on time change of rotation information of the internal combustion engine when misfires occur successively in a specific cylinder of the internal combustion engine.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 18, 2002
    Publication date: October 23, 2003
    Applicant: MITSUBISHI DENKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Takahashi, Koichi Okamura
  • Patent number: 6614230
    Abstract: A method and a device are described for evaluating a signal from an ionic current sensor of an internal combustion engine. Based on a signal from the ion current sensor, at least one quantity characterizing the combustion in the internal combustion engine is determined. At least one quantity characterizing a combustion start and/or a combustion quality is determined by conditioning the signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2003
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Franz Raichle, Joachim Berger, Rainer Strohmaier, Wolfgang Fischer
  • Patent number: 6600322
    Abstract: Methods, apparatus, and systems for distinguishing between compression and exhaust strokes of a four-cycle engine is provided. A first ionization time of a spark plug for a known cylinder is measured on a first engine stoke. A second ionization time of the spark plug is measured on a second engine stroke. The second ionization time is compared to the first ionization time. It is determined that the engine stroke with the greater ionization time is a compression stroke.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 29, 2003
    Assignee: Murphy Power Ignition
    Inventor: Stephen H. Nussbaum
  • Publication number: 20030112009
    Abstract: A portable spark tester for a gas cooking appliance includes a housing having a non-conductive base assembly, and a plurality of electrical conductive cables each having a first end adapted to be attached to an ignition wire for a respective gas burner of the appliance, and a second end which is secured within the housing at a position spaced from a central electrode. This spaced relationship defines a spark gap across which an electrical charge can jump. In use, the spark tester provides a technician with the ability to correctly identify certain non-functioning components of a spark ignition system of the gas appliance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 13, 2001
    Publication date: June 19, 2003
    Applicant: Maytag Corporation
    Inventors: Prabhat Kumar Tekriwal, Jimmy D. Burger, James Baynham
  • Patent number: 6559647
    Abstract: The present invention related generally to a method for determining spark plug malfunction and more particularly to a method for determining spark plug malfunction in an internal combustion engine in which at least two spark plugs are disposed in each cylinder. In a dual plug configuration, a spark plug malfunction is detected by disabling one of the spark plugs during a test period in a particular cylinder. A misfire provides an indication of malfunction of the other spark plug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2003
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: David Karl Bidner, Lynn Edward Davison, William Najib Mansur
  • Patent number: 6512375
    Abstract: A method of detecting spark plug fouling in an internal combustion engine is provided. The method comprises calculating an integration value of discharge current flowing between electrodes of a spark plug during a period of a spark discharge and judging if the calculated discharge current integration value is smaller than an integration value criterion. The integration value criterion is set at such a value that can discriminate between normal discharge and interior jumping (i.e., jumping due to short circuit caused by fouling). When the calculated discharge current integration value is smaller than the integration value criterion, it is judged that the spark plug has been fouled. By this, it becomes possible to detect a spark plug fouling before the electrodes of the spark plug are short-circuited and disabled to generate spark discharge, i.e., before the spark plug is fouled to such an extent as to cause a misfire. An ignition system for detecting spark plug fouling is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 28, 2003
    Assignee: NGK Spark Plug.Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tatsunori Yamada, Yasushi Sakakura