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Evaluation of a Piezoelectric Resonant Spark Ignition System
Published May 14, 1992 by Societe des Ingenieurs de l'Automobile in France
The procedure for manufacturing a high-voltage generator device based on a piezoelectric disk adequately electroded and polarized, is described. The device is intended as an alternative to the spark generation system of Otto engines.
The voltage gain is attained by means of a combination of direct and inverse piezoelectric effects. The electrical excitation is caused by an external oscillating circuit with feedback, which makes the system independent of the temperature variations inherent to an automotive application.
The ignition system produces very short-time sparks, with a high energetic level, which lead to an advantageous combustion process in spark ignition engines. The obtained prototypes corroborate the possibility of substituting the coil based ignition system by a simpler piezoelectric device with the following advantages: a) lower cost, b) miniaturization, c) higher energy levels and lower discharge time, d) multi-spark feasibility, and e) higher efficiency in the spark energy transfer into the critical mixture volume or kernel.