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 Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?

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Norledge
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PostSubject: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:51 am

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Car engines could soon be fired by lasers instead of spark plugs, researchers say.

A team at the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics will report on 1 May that they have designed lasers that could ignite the fuel/air mixture in combustion engines.

The approach would increase efficiency of engines, and reduce their pollution, by igniting more of the mixture.

The team is in discussions with a spark plug manufacturer.

The idea of replacing spark plugs - a technology that has changed little since their invention 150 years ago - with lasers is not a new one.

Spark plugs only ignite the fuel mixture near the spark gap, reducing the combustion efficiency, and the metal that makes them up is slowly eroded as they age.

But only with the advent of smaller lasers has the idea of laser-based combustion become a practical one.

Ceramic powders
A team from Romania and Japan has now demonstrated a system that can focus two or three laser beams into an engine's cylinders at variable depths.

That increases the completeness of combustion and neatly avoids the issue of degradation with time.

However, it requires that lasers of high pulse energies are used; just as with spark plugs, a great deal of energy is needed to cause ignition of the fuel.

"In the past, lasers that could meet those requirements were limited to basic research because they were big, inefficient, and unstable," said Takunori Taira of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences in Okazaki, Japan.

"Nor could they be located away from the engine, because their powerful beams would destroy any optical fibres that delivered light to the cylinders."

The team has been developing a new approach to the problem: lasers made of ceramic powders that are pressed into spark-plug sized cylinders.

These ceramic devices are lasers in their own right, gathering energy from compact, lower-power lasers that are sent in via optical fibre and releasing it in pulses just 800 trillionths of a second long.

Unlike the delicate crystals typically used in high-power lasers, the ceramics are more robust and can better handle the heat within combustion engines.

The team is in discussions to commercialise the technology with Denso, a major automobile component manufacturer



So how long till they do aftermarket conversions!?

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Chris_429
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:58 am

I've got a frikken car with frikken laser beams in it? Coooool


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Stevie
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:16 am

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Sam
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:23 am

Norledge wrote:
So how long till they do aftermarket conversions!?

Noooo The question is how long until I unscrew one leaving it plugged in and switch the engine on and laser peoples heads off Very Happy
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maniac
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:25 am

Sam wrote:
Norledge wrote:
So how long till they do aftermarket conversions!?

Noooo The question is how long until I unscrew one leaving it plugged in and switch the engine on and laser peoples heads off Very Happy


You've got some imagination there. tough that would be the shizzle! Laughing
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Adam86
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:28 pm

Nice, laser beam display out the bonnet Very Happy

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Rear clip of an mr2 turbo would have being ideal its taken off in one piece. Remove the body work and your left with an engine/gearbox in the subframe with driveshafts & hubs etc all held together
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Whiting
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:37 pm

I'm guessing these aren't going to be cheap..
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cyb3r
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PostSubject: Re: Lasers to replace Spark Plugs?   Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:12 am

is any new car technology?
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