INFLPR in Laser Focus World


Laser ignition quantitatively improves performance of gasoline engines

Only by quantitatively improving performance (and cost) compared to electric spark plugs (ESPs) will laser ignition (LI) of gasoline engines be considered for adoption by major automobile manufacturers. Researchers from the National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics and Renault Technologie Roumanie (both in Ilfov, Romania), and from University Politehnica of Bucharest (Bucharest, Romania) have achieved such advances in their design and quantifiable demonstration of an LI system using fiber-coupled, compact neodymium- and chromium-yttrium-aluminum- garnet (Nd:YAG/Cr4+:YAG) laser spark plugs.

Compared to ESP ignition, LI has several advantages: 1) LI is delivered through an optical window on the engine cylinder wall, removing the ESP protruding electrode and allowing the flame to develop freely without quenching; 2) any internal part of the cylinder can be accessed and the fuel can be ignited at various spatial locations; and 3) multiple laser beams can be used to insure redundancy of ignition and potentially higher ignition efficiency through burst-mode operation.

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