You are on page 1of 15

Semin ar report

April 28



Submitted by ARUN DAS O JOS ANTO C S6 Mech-A

First and foremost point which we should be aware about this topic is : What is the difference between Ignition and Combustion?? Ignition is a prerequisite for combustion. This takes place close to the end of the compression stroke. The high temperature plasma kernel created by the spark, develops into a self sustaining and propagating flame front. The function of ignition system is to initiate this flame propagation process. Ignition should occur in a time interval sufficiently short to ensure that only required and negligible amount of energy is supplied or lost. There is a minimum voltage called critical voltage below which no spark can occur between the electrodes. Additionally the manner in which voltage is raised to critical value and configuration and condition of electrodes are important in respect of energy required. Depending upon how the primary energy is available ignition system can be classified into two: 1. battery ignition system 2. magneto ignition system


Essential components of the system are: Battery its used to provide electrical energy for ignition and is charged by a dynamo driven by the engine. Usually 6 two volt batteries are connected in series to obtain 12volt. Ignition switch its used to turn the ignition system on or off. Ballast resistor- its used to hold the primary current to a safe value Ignition coil- it converts 12volt to 45000volt by electromagnetic induction

Contact breaker- it is a mechanical device for making and breaking the primary circuit of the ignition coil Capacitor- for charging and discharging in the primary circuit. Distributor- distributes the ignition surges to the individual spark plugs in the correct sequence and at the correct time. Spark plug- to create the initiating spark

When the ignition switch is closed a current flows through the primary circuit containing a primary coil wound around an iron core. When the cam driven contact breaker opens the breaker point , the current which has been flowing through now flows into the condenser. The rapid collapse of magnetic field due to

the fall in primary current induces primary voltage. As the condenser charges to a voltage much higher than battery voltage it discharges reversing the current and magnetic field. The rapid collapse and reversal of the magnetic field in the core induces a high voltage in the secondary, which is fed to the spark plug.


Battery supplies power to entire system Coil transforms volts Ignition Switch turns engine on or off Switching device triggers ignition coil Spark Plug and wires distribute spark

Consists of low voltage wiring and components Uses conventional type automotive primary wires Controls when ignition will take place. (When coil fires)

Distributes current to individual cylinders to jump spark plug gap Must have thicker, heavier insulation on wires Typical voltage to jump gap - 10K Volts


Coil stores energy in the magnetic field and delivers it at appropriate time in the form of ignition pulsethrough the hightension cables to the respective spark plugsthe purpose of the ignition coil is to stepup the 6 or 12 volts of battery to high consists of two coils ,primary and secondary coils.

The secondary colis consists of 21000 turns of 38-40 gauge enammeld copper wire sufficent to withstand the high voltage.the primary winding contains 200-300 windings of 20 gauge wire.

Two metal plates seperated by an insulating material are placed face to face. The insulation is often only air, but in most cases it consists of high quality insulating material suitable for particular technical requirements , material which because of space limitations must be as thin as possible neverthless capable of withstanding electrostatic stresses without suffering damage.


The function of the distributor is to distribute the ignition surges to the individual spark plugs in the correct sequence an at the correct instants of time. Depending on weather a particular

engine has 4,6 or 8 cylinders, there are 4,6 or 8 ignition pulses generated for every rotation of the distributor shaft.the use of the distributor represents a considerable simplification in a battery ignition system because in most cases we want to use only a single ignition circuit. There are two types of distributors, the brush type and the gap type. In the former carbon brush carried by the rotor arm slides over metallic segments embedded in the distributor cap of the molded insulating material, thus establishing electrical connection betweenthe secondary winding of the coil and spark plug. While in the latter the elecrtrode of the rotor arm pass close to, but does not actually contact thesegments in the distributor cap, there by reducing the wear and tear.

A spark plug is an electrical device that fits into the cylinder head of some internal combustion engines and ignites compressed fuels such as aerosol, gasoline, ethanol, and liquefied petroleum gas by means of an electric spark. Spark plugs have an insulated central electrode which is connected by a heavily insulated wire to an ignition coil or magneto circuit on the outside, forming, with a grounded terminal on the base of the plug, a spark gap inside the cylinder. (see diagram right) Reciprocating internal combustion engines can be divided into spark-ignition engines, which require spark plugs to initiate combustion, and compression-ignition engines (diesel engines), which compress the air and then inject diesel fuel into the heated compressed air mixture where it autoignites. Spark plugs may also be used in other applications such as furnaces where a combustible mixture should be ignited. In this case, they are sometimes referred to as flame igniters.

The plug is connected to the high voltage generated by an ignition coil or magneto. As the electrons flow from the coil, a voltage difference develops between the central electrode and side electrode. No current can flow because the fuel and air in the gap is an insulator, but as the voltage rises further, it begins to change the structure of the gases between the electrodes. Once the voltage exceeds the dielectric strength of the gases, the gases become ionized. The ionized gas becomes a conductor and allows electrons to flow across the gap. Spark plugs usually require voltage of 12,00025,000 volts or more to 'fire' properly, although it can go up to 45,000 volts. They supply higher current during the discharge process resulting in a hotter and longerduration spark. As the current of electrons surges across the gap, it raises the temperature of the spark channel to 60,000 K. The intense heat in the spark channel causes the ionized gas to expand very quickly, like a small explosion. This is the "click" heard when observing a spark, similar to lightning and thunder. The heat and pressure force the gases to react with each other, and at the end of the spark event there should be a small ball of fire in the spark gap as the gases burn on their own. The size of this fireball or kernel depends on the exact composition of the mixture between the electrodes and the level of combustion chamber turbulence at the time of the spark. A small kernel will

make the engine run as though the ignition timing was retarded, and a large one as though the timing was advanced. DWELL (CAM ANGLE)

The ballast resistor is provided in series with the primary winding to regulate the primary currents. The object of this is to prevent injury to the spark coil by overheating if the engine should be operated for a long time at low speed, or should be stalled with the breaker in closed position.


The purpose of the contact breaker is to interrupt the current flowing in the primary circuit of the ignition coil. When this occurs, the collapsing current induces a high voltage in the secondary winding of the coil, which has a lot more windings. This causes a very high voltage to appear at the coil output for a short period - enough to arc across the electrodes of a spark plug.The contact breaker is operated by an enginedriven cam, and the position of the contact breaker is set so that they open (and hence generate a spark) at the exactly correct moment needed to ignite the fuel at the top of the piston's compression stroke. The contact breaker is usually mounted on a plate that is able to rotate relative to the camshaft operating it. The plate is rotated by a centrifugal mechanism, thus advancing the ignition timing (making the spark occur earlier) at higher revolutions. This gives the fuel time to burn so that the resulting gases reach their maximum pressure at the same time as the piston reaches the top of the cylinder. The plate's position can also be moved a small distance using a small manifold vacuum-operated servomechanism, providing advanced timing when the engine is required to speed up on demand. This helps to prevent preignition (or pinging).


The simplest form of spark ignition is that using a magnet with its own electric generator to provide the necessary energy for the system. The engine spins a magnet inside a coil, or, in the earlier designs, a coil inside a fixed magnet, and also operates a contact breaker, interrupting the current and causing the voltage to be increased sufficiently to jump a small gap. The spark plugs are connected directly from the magneto output. Magneto can be rotating armature type, rotating magnetic type and polar inductor type.

The output of a magneto depends on the speed of the engine, and therefore starting can be problematic. Some magnetos include an impulse system, which spins the magnet quickly at the proper moment, making easier starting at slow cranking speeds. .

Magnetos are not used in modern cars, but because they generate their own electricity they are often found on piston-engine aircraft engines and small engines such as those found in mopeds, lawnmowers, snow blowers, chainsaws, etc. where a battery-based electrical system is not present for any combination of necessity, weight, cost, and reliability reasons. Firing order for a multi cylinder engine is important in the point of view of balancing. Deciding factors for an optimum firing order are engine vibrations, engine cooling and development of back pressure. Possible firing orders of a four cylinder engine are: 1-3-42 or 1-2-4-3 Since there is a time lag between occurrence of spark and the burning of the mixture the spark must take place before the piston reaches the top dead centre on its compression stroke. Important parameters affecting the engine timing are engine speed, mixture strength, part load operation and type of fuel.

Comparison between Battery Ignition System and Magneto Ignition System:

BIS 1. Battery is necessary 2. More maintenance 3. i from battery electricity 4. Low speed operation problems 5. Eff. (1/speed) 6. More space req. required 7. In light commercial vehicles two wheelers MIS No battery No maintenance Magneto High speed Eff. speed Less space In racing cars and