An investigation of the effectiveness of ignition sparks

Peters, Melville F Summerville, Wayne L
naca-report-359
1931


The effectiveness of ignition sparks was determined by measuring the volume (or mass) of hydrogen and of oxygen which combines at low pressures. The sparks were generated by a magneto and an ignition spark coil. It was found that with constant energy the amount of reaction increases as the capacitance component of the spark increases. The use of a series spark gap may decrease or increase the amount of reaction, the effect depending upon the amount and distribution of capacitance in the circuit. So far as the work has progressed, it has been found that sparks reported by other investigations as being most efficient for igniting lean mixtures cause the largest amount of reaction. Differences between the amount of reaction with a magneto spark and an ignition spark coil were noted. The method appears to offer a means of determining the most efficient spark generator for internal-combustion engines as well as determining a relation between the character of spark, energy, and effectiveness in igniting inflammable mixtures.

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