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Better efficiency and greater reliability are the unquenchable thirst of the modern
world. As a part of quenching this, Triple Spark Technology can be integrated in IC
engines, thereby replacing Single and Twin Spark Technologies. This paper deals with
highlighting the enhancements that can be made in IC engines to increase its efficiency,
by increasing the number of Spark Plugs. Conventional engines employed Single Spark
plug. In order to increase the power output and reduce the amount of un burnt wastes, the
number of spark plugs was increased to two, thereby helping in efficient burning of the
air- fuel mixture from two directions rather than one. This new technology was named as
“Twin Spark Ignition System”. But to increase the efficiency to another extent, a new
well-improved system was introduced and termed as “Triple Spark Technology”,
involving the use of three spark plugs in the same Engine. Further details are explained
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An ignition system is a system employed for igniting an air-fuel mixture in IC
Engines. Ignition systems are popular in the field of internal combustion engines such as
those used in petrol engines used to power the majority of motor vehicles
There are three types of ignition system, they are,
1. Battery ignition system.
2. Magneto ignition system.
3. Electronic ignition system.
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The first electric spark ignition system was Alessandro Volta's toy electric pistol
in the 1780s.

“Today all petrol engines employ an electric spark for ignition”.

The basic principles of the electric spark ignition system have not changed in
nearly a century, but the method by which the spark is created and distributed has greatly
improved with advances in technology.

A typical spark plug is shown in the fig2

There are three basic types of automotive ignition systems: distributor-based,

distributor-less, and coil-on-plug (COP). Early ignition systems used fully mechanical
distributors to deliver the spark at the right time. Next came more reliable distributors
equipped with solid-state switches and ignition control modules. These were known as
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distributor-based ignition systems. Then, even more reliable fully electronic ignition
systems without distributors were created. These are known as distributor-less ignition
systems. Finally, the most reliable electronic ignition systems to date were created. These
modern systems are known as coil-on-plug (COP). Coil-on-plug fully electronic ignition
systems are computer controlled. In addition to improving the accuracy of spark timing,
the COP ignition systems use redesigned ignition coils capable of creating higher
voltages and a hotter spark which improve the way the engine performs.

Have you ever wondered what happens when you put your key in your vehicle's
ignition, turn the key, and your engine starts and continues running? Today, I'm going to
tell you. For the ignition system to operate properly, it must be capable of doing two jobs
at the same time. The first job is to increase the voltage from the 12.4 volts provided by
the battery to the more than 20,000 volts necessary to ignite the compressed air and fuel
mixture in the combustion chamber. The second job of the ignition system is to ensure the
voltage is delivered to the correct cylinder at exactly the right time. In order to do this, a
mixture of air and fuel is first compressed by a piston in the combustion chamber. This
mixture must then be ignited. This task is performed by the engine's ignition system that
includes components such as the battery, ignition key, ignition coil, triggering switch,
spark plugs, and engine control module (ECM). The ECM controls the ignition system
and distributes the electrical power to each individual cylinder. The ignition system must
provide sufficient spark at the right cylinder at the precise time and do it frequently. The
slightest error in timing will cause engine performance issues. Automotive ignition
systems have to generate a spark strong enough to jump across a spark plug gap. In order
to do this, ignition systems use an ignition coil. The ignition coil acts as an electrical
power transformer.

The ignition coil transforms the battery's low voltage into the thousands of volts
needed to create an electric spark in the spark plugs to ignite the air and fuel mixture. In
order for the necessary spark to occur, the voltage to the spark plug must average between
20,000 and 50,000 volts. The ignition coil is made with two windings of copper wire
wrapped around an iron core. These are known as the primary winding and the secondary
winding. The goal of the ignition coil is to create an electromagnet by running battery
voltage through the primary winding. When the vehicle's ignition system triggering
switch turns off the power to the ignition coil, the magnetic field collapses. As it does, the
secondary winding captures the collapsing magnetic field from the primary winding and
delivers this voltage to the spark plug, thus starting your vehicle's engine.
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Worn spark plugs and faulty ignition components will decrease the performance
of your engine and can create a wide range of engine running problems including
misfiring, lack of power, poor fuel economy, difficult starting, and possibly a check
engine light. These problems can damage other critical vehicle components.

In order to keeps your vehicle running smoothly and safely, regular maintenance
of your ignition system is essential. A visual inspection of your vehicle's ignition system
components should be performed at least annually. All of the components of your ignition
system should be inspected regularly and replaced when they begin to show signs of wear
or failure. Also, be sure to inspect and replace your spark plugs at the interval
recommended by your vehicle's manufacture

The simplest form of sparkplug is designed by making use of the magnets, either
by fixing the magnet around the coil using the energy supplied by the engine. In Early
Ignition systems, Contact breaker played a vital role. Early magneto ignition system had a
single coil, with the contact breaker inside the combustion chamber


In 1902, Bosch was the one who fueled the concept of Ignition systems by
introducing a double-coil magneto, with a fixed sparking plug but the contact breaker
outside the cylinder. However, Modern cars do not employ magnetos, because they
generate electricity on their own. They produced some trouble while starting, in order to
overcome this, in 1908, Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company, used non-
rechargeable dry cells in Ford Model T. Later Single Spark Plug grew wealthier with
accumulated technologies such as ignition system powered by Battery and coil,
introduced in the year of 1910 by Charles kettering. In Electronic ignition system contact
breaker is replaced by timer, operated by the electrically generated pulse.
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Alfa Romeo was the one who achieved a milestone in the field of ignition systems
by introducing the concept of “Twin Spark Technology” in the year of 1914, in the Grand
Prix car. Later during the 1960’s this technology was used in their race car as this
technology gives higher output with the same level of input. Later Alfa Romeo used this
technology in road to achieve good performance and to control the emission rate,
generally single cylinder engine, in early period powered with single spark plug, is placed
in the one end of the combustion chamber.

When the spark is ignited in cylinders powered by single spark, having the fresh
charge (air-fuel mixture) flames spreads as inflating balloon slowly which results in the
slow combustion hence the flame cannot reach all circumference of cylinder, which
results in incomplete combustion and higher emission rate.
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Layout of twin sparks ignition system

When we move to the engine with higher power, scale of incomplete combustion
and emission rate increases. To overcome this Digital twin spark technology came into
play. It takes control over the combustion by the aid of a microprocessor and two spark
plugs placed at the head of the cylinder at an angle of 900 from the valve axis. By
introducing 2 sparks in the combustion chamber, the air-fuel mixture gets ignited in such
a way that a reduction in flame travel rate of about 40% occurs. This in turn increases the
efficiency of the engine.

DTS Engine
The fuel mixture that enters the cylinder during the suction stroke is compressed
in the compression stroke. Then one of the spark plugs ignites the mixture and
combustion occurs. Simultaneously the other plug also ignites and it covers the areas that
are not covered by the flame of the first spark plug and rapid ignition takes place. Even
though this technology seems to be efficient and authorized by all the bike manufacturers,
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they do not employ this in their models, as the concept of single spark plug with
differential sparking cycles seems to be challenging with a faster rate of combustion.

It is very interesting to know about complete combustion in automobile

engineering, because in actual practice, perfect combustion is not at all possible due to
various losses in the combustion chamber as well as design of the internal combustion
engine. Moreover the process of burning of the fuel is also not instantaneous. However an
alternate solution to it is by making the combustion of fuel as fast as possible. This can be
done by using two spark plugs which spark alternatively at a certain time interval so as
increase the diameter of the flame & burn the fuel instantaneously. This system is called
DTSI (Digital Twin Spark Ignition system). In this system, due to twin sparks,
combustion will be complete. This paper represents the working of digital twin spark
ignition system, how twin sparks are produced at 20,000 Volts, their timings, efficiency,
advantages & disadvantages, diameter of the flame, how complete combustion is possible
& how to decrease smoke & exhausts from the exhaust pipe of the bike using Twin Spark

How Does It Work?

Digital Twin Spark ignition engine has two Spark plugs located at opposite ends
of the combustion chamber and hence fast and efficient combustion is obtained. The
benefits of this efficient combustion process can be felt in terms of better fuel efficiency
and lower emissions. The ignition system on the Twin spark is a digital system with static
spark advance and no moving parts subject to wear. It is mapped by the integrated digital
electronic control box which also handles fuel injection and valve timing. It features two
plugs per cylinder. This innovative solution, also entailing a special configuration of the
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hemispherical combustion chambers and piston heads, ensures a fast, wide flame front
when the air-fuel mixture is ignited, and therefore less ignition advance, enabling,
moreover, relatively lean mixtures to be used. This technology provides a combination of
the light weight and twice the power offered by two-stroke engines with a significant
power boost, i.e. a considerable "power-to weight ratio" compared to quite a few four-
stroke engines. Moreover, such a system can adjust idling speed & even cuts off fuel feed
when the accelerator pedal is released, and meters the enrichment of the air-fuel mixture
for cold starting and accelerating purposes; if necessary, it also prevents the upper rev
limit from being exceeded. At low revs, the over boost is mostly used when overtaking,
and this is why it cuts out automatically. At higher speeds the over boost will enhance full
power delivery and will stay on as long as the driver exercises maximum pressure on the



The most recent advancement in the field of Ignition system is the Triple Spark
Technology, which sets a new benchmark in terms of performance, Efficiency, etc. for
the new Pulsar models. Bajaj has been pioneering in the field of Ignition Systems with the
DTS-I technology launched in 2003. The new Pulsar series takes use of Triple Spark
Technology with a SOHC 4-valve Triple Spark Engine controlled by an advanced
Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for a greater performance, which is supported by a six
speed gear box and a liquid cooling.
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The Pulsar 200NS chassis comprises a pressed steel perimeter frame and a rectangular
tube section swing arm delivering over three times the lateral stiffness of a P220 frame,
which delivers outstanding handling at higher speeds and cornering stability. The pent
roof combustion chamber in the engine houses 3 spark plugs. Out of the 3 spark plugs,
the center one is the primary plug. The other secondary plugs are mounted opposite to
each other. The primary plug produces the spark during the combustion stroke, after
which the secondary plugs ignites the mixture, resulting in better efficiency. The timings
are controlled by the ECU depending on the throttle position, load, etc. These plugs are
more efficient on low rev riding conditions.
To make use of 3 spark plugs, the pulsar engine houses a pent roof combustion chamber
which in turn allows housing 3 spark plugs in the engine chamber. Out of the three plugs,
the primary plug is the center one and is mounted in an angle and enters the chamber at
the top-center. The other two secondary plugs are mounted below, each opposite each
other and one of them being vertically underneath the primary plug. The secondary plugs
fires a bit after the primary one has fired and the timings are controlled by the ECU
depending on various parameters like throttle position, engine revs, load on engine and
many other stuffs. According to Bajaj, these plugs gain a advantage in low-rev riding
condition where it extracts the best economy.
At the heart of the new Pulsar is its cutting-edge engine which sets new benchmarks in
performance, emission and incidentally also fuel efficiency. The DTS-i (Digital Twin
Spark-ignition) technology launched in 2003 marked a unique first in the history of
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Indian Motoring. The new Pulsar takes this technology altogether to another level with a
SOHC 4-valve Triple Spark engine controlled by an advanced Electronic Control Unit
An absolutely unmatched performance. To support this exhilarating heart-pumping
performance the bike comes with liquid cooling and a six speed gear box


• Less vibrations and noise.
• Long life of the engine parts such as piston rings and valve stem.
• Decrease in the specific fuel consumption.
• No overheating.
• Increase the Thermal Efficiency of the Engine & even bear high loads on it.
• Better starting of engine even in winter season & cold climatic conditions .
• Because of twin Sparks the diameter of the flame increases rapidly that would
result in instantaneous burning of fuels

• There is high NOx emission
• If one spark plug get damaged then we have to replace both
• The cost is relatively more
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 It uses in automotive engines.

 In India Bajaj has patented for Dts-I technology. At present platina , XCD125,
135, discover150, pulsar135, 150, 180, 200, 220 etc. are using the dts-I
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It can be concluded that by applying these technologies in the present day automobiles,
we can design better power bikes with greater fuel efficiency. This technology also plays
a vital role in the minimization of fuel consumption and harmful emission levels. The use
of these technologies results in better fuel efficiency, Lower fuel delivery, improved cold
start, quick warm up and excellent response to sudden response. We can hope for better
technologies, thereby achieving better results.
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[1] Dr. Kirpal Singh, Automobile Engineering, Vol. 2, Standard Publishers Distributors,

[2] IOSR-Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering(IOSRJMCE) e-ISSN:2278-1684,


[3] John b. Heywood, Internal Combustion Engine Fundamentals, Mc-Graw-Hill Book

Co., New Delhi, 2001.

[4] Norihiko Nakamura, Toyokazum Baika and Yoshiaki Shibata, “Multipoint spark
ignition for lean combustion”.

[5] M.L.Mathur, R.P.Sharma(2006) Internal Combustion Engines, Dhanpat Rai

Publications (P) Ltd.