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Old 04-28-2011, 03:44 AM
 
29,156 posts, read 51,379,708 times
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Japanese researchers are suggesting at a science meeting that laser spark plugs might increase the fuel efficiency of your future car.

"During the last years, extensive research has been performed on laser-induced ignition of air-fuel mixtures in internal combustion engines," begins a study to be presented at an upcoming laser optics meeting in Baltimore, by Takunori Taira of Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

Laser ignition may replace spark plugs - Science Fair: Science and Space News - USATODAY.com
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:23 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,936 posts, read 65,386,926 times
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I'm not looking forward to that. While the precise delivery of a measured beam should make the engine more efficient, I'd be seriously worried about the reliability and the cost. As the owner of a laser engraver/cutter I have had to replace the tube that generates the beam twice in 6 years, at the cost of $2,000 each time. That's for a 45 watt CO2 laser. The 250 watt yag mentioned in the article would be more expensive. The good old spark plug is cheap and reliable with no moving parts and lasts 100k miles, plus anyone can change them.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:28 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 10,789,170 times
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Umm, yeah... I don't see this working very well. It may work in a highly controlled environment with lab grade gas (not gasoline) and ideal air supply, but apply this in a real world engine and I seeing it fall flat on its face. LASERs are optical systems... send a bad batch of gas through there and they're done, contaminated air and they're done, oil blowby and they're done... so on and so forth.

All that being said while they will be able to imrove efficiency through timing the difference will be negligible to conventional plug systems. Considering that with the added expense of a having LASER ignition system as opposed to a conventional... enough said. Oh Japan...


Give me the old fashioned anode, cathode and little bit of plasma in between.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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Considering the coil packs on my Lincoln... I am not sure I'd be willing to triple the cost an already expensive repair.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,029 posts, read 25,694,430 times
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wonder what happens if the laser stays on say for a few days till it kills the battery. wonder if it will get hot enough to burn a hole clear through the cheap cast pistons on some base model sub-compact cars.

to be honest i have not idea how laser system could work in a safe mannor but can see auto compnaies jumping on it since a system like that would be dealer dependant to fix for sure.

no weeekend shade tree mechanic could work on a that sucker without some fancy $10-20K diagnostic tool
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Eastern Missouri
3,046 posts, read 5,721,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTOlover View Post
wonder what happens if the laser stays on say for a few days till it kills the battery. wonder if it will get hot enough to burn a hole clear through the cheap cast pistons on some base model sub-compact cars.

to be honest i have not idea how laser system could work in a safe mannor but can see auto compnaies jumping on it since a system like that would be dealer dependant to fix for sure.

no weeekend shade tree mechanic could work on a that sucker without some fancy $10-20K diagnostic tool

Oh, it's not just a dealer to fix thing. The fun part will be teaching mechanics how to work on it while radar specialist will have an expanded job opportunity
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Where nothing ever grows. No rain or rivers flow, Texas
1,085 posts, read 1,415,374 times
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well it could be a lightning plasma type laser
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