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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In the realm of engines, I always thought of combustion as an exothermic reaction that could only be ignited by a source of heat. The heat of compression in the case of a diesel and obviously a spark in a Spark Ignition engine. I recently had the pleasure of viewing a personal presentation and demonstration of a new ignition system that, if I understood correctly, ignited air/fuel with free radicals produced through the creation of cold plasma instead of a spark. Among other claimed benefits, the one that caught my attention was the claim of a considerable faster charge burn rate.

I don't quite 100% understand "free radicals" and their role in combustion. Anyone have some insight on this? Shan?
 

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #4
The first guy in the video below is the gentleman that presented the system and technology to me. Dan Singleton Ph.D, President/CEO of TPS, Transient Plasma Systems. Obviously the presentation is slanted toward the larger market of fuel savings and reduced emissions. However, there may be something there for the performance market too. Still trying to figure it out.

 

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steelcomp was here
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GN7 just rolled over.
Missin you Bob. :)hand
 

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Old Tech. Power a small diesel or Nat gas motor to spin a high torque electric motor. Works great for mining operations. Haul trucks and shovels are big. Lots of room for switches and the diesel motor and the very heavy electric motor. And the batteries. I would hook up one of the guys in the vid with my hot sister-in-law if he could get her off my boat and make a faster one. But I don't think they like girls as we know them.
 

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And before I get flamed.....A power source AKA motor/generator makes X amount of voltage/amps. Which spins a DC motor which will spin uncontrollably without a RAMP monitor that will twist AR plate steel in knots if not controlled.
 

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #8
Old Tech. Power a small diesel or Nat gas motor to spin a high torque electric motor. Works great for mining operations. Haul trucks and shovels are big. Lots of room for switches and the diesel motor and the very heavy electric motor. And the batteries. I would hook up one of the guys in the vid with my hot sister-in-law if he could get her off my boat and make a faster one. But I don't think they like girls as we know them.
Other than the non engine related applications, he did mention the markets he was currently active and has sales in were power generation, diesel, and natural gas . However, they're not small engines. Engines that are three stories tall is what was presented. There was a focus in the presentation of the systems ability to ignite extremely lean mixtures. Not really any interest to us though.

He also mentioned that several other companies were pursuing development of similar technologies. Reportedly, Federal Mogul is working on a system that is AC. His deal is different and apparently offers benefits over an AC system. I don't know enough to really speak to it.

Again what caught my attention is it's reported increase in the rate at which combustion occurs. Something about more Free Radicals than spark ignition. I'd like to better understand that. A decrease in required ignition advance would be a fantastic benefit to the performance market. Don't understand it enough to buy into it or not.
 

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Yes hydrogen, with some purge, will be the future. But conductors are under attack. Hydrogen is easily mined (atmosphere) but conductors are not. Nichol/Cadmium is a sweet heart now but soon all batteries will be vilified. Petrochem will persevere. Todays batteries, water and sulfuric acid (electrolyte) are cheap and are produced from by products. Cadmium used to be a health hazard until heavy metals came back into popularity for our light weight cordless impacts. Progress is what it is, those gay guys get to get married, but OPEC has a shit load of oil in reserve. Open headers and fuck the fish cops , this summer I am doing some traveling!
 

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GN7 just rolled over.
Missin you Bob. :)hand
Yep Scott me too... But, at least Bob couldn't claim these systems are of the fighter aircraft era...Like mags...:wink2:

And, I don't think this newer technology will be all that much better when it comes to the milliseconds we have to fire the charges in performance engines.. It all happens so fast, piston speed plays such a role, not to mention "quench" areas and flame travel...

Ray
 

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #15
Yep Scott me too... But, at least Bob couldn't claim these systems are of the fighter aircraft era...Like mags...:wink2:

And, I don't think this newer technology will be all that much better when it comes to the milliseconds we have to fire the charges in performance engines.. It all happens so fast, piston speed plays such a role, not to mention "quench" areas and flame travel...

Ray
There's a good video on YouTube that covers all the losses in an engine, titled "NASCAR Engines 101". It says that a 355 cid 9000 rpm NASCAR engine loses 85 horsepower worth of thermal energy through ignition advance. An ignited charge and piston essentially working against each other until it noses over TDC. If there was a way to use less ignition advance and still produce the same cylinder pressure at the same time, some of that 85 horsepower worth of thermal energy would be converted into usable power at the crank.

I was told it can fire several times in the same amount of time it takes a single spark to occur. Each time it fires it creates multiple flares vs. a single spark. And it's claimed to create additional Free Radicals beyond what a spark creates. All this combined is supposed to increase combustion speed. While I don't completely understand the technology or all the terms used, it seems there might be something here to convert some thermal losses into gains.
 

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #16

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #18
Morning,
What industry is the guy trying to improve with this?
My impression is that, previously the size of the required controller was large enough to make industrial applications the only viable market. However, they have recently been able to condense everything down into a unit comparable to an MSD or ECU in size and are in the beginning stages of testing in the automotive market.
 

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Or Seth, either one
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Still trying to figure it out. Found this interesting, from physics.stackexchange.com

The radicals mentionned by Alexander (when saying "plasmas are at such high energies...") are chemical species, created by the plasma (example: O atoms in an air - N2:02 - plasma, chops of organic compounds with very big reaction constants in air:hydrocarbon mixtures etc), which are very short lived (very short lifetime, because they react very fast with other species that can be found in the mixture under study), and normaly "could not exist in big relative concentrations" in the mixture without the action of the plasma, or of very high temperatures. These radicals, which need plasma to exist massively in the mixture at room temperature, react very fast, and with very low activation barriers. The activation barrier is for example what prevents coal to burn at room temperature: you have to heat it first, even locally with the flame of a match, so that reagents can consume their kinetic energy to start the reaction process, and the reaction chain that will lead to sustained combustion. With plasmas you no longer need an activation energy, or temperature: thus, while combustion starts after hundreds of microseconds and sometimes milliseconds in the case of successful car engine spark ignition, with a proper high voltage nanosecond discharge you can decrease this delay by one or two orders of magnitude, just because the activation factor is not only heat (like, mostly, in sparks), but the dissemination of radicals at a relatively high concentration, high enough to start the combustion at a much lower temperature, sometimes room temperature - or less.

The other application of plasmas, Plasma assisted combustion, shows up especially in unproper mixtures: lean or over-rich mixtures of gas and air, for example. Without plasma, gas can burn with air within some margin of their relative concentration: say 40-60% (don't remember the correct numbers). With the aid of a small, low-energy plasma you can extend this to much more, like 20-70, again because of all the radicals you create. You can stabilize the flame in the burner, although it would have vanished otherwise.

So, this to say, that indeed, in addition to any nuclear consideration, plasmas do "ignite" reactive mixtures in which they would be created, and not only with the heat produced by spark plugs!
 
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