Sharks, no... Engines! with frikin' laser's on their heads! - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

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Old 04-21-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default Sharks, no... Engines! with frikin' laser's on their heads!

Lasers To Replace Sparkplugs In Engines?

Researchers from Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences are working with DENSO and another "large spark-plug company", *cough* NGK? *cough*

R&D type stuff, but cool to know its happening. Enables super lean burn, improved flame front propagation, etc.

Check it out.


Laser sparks revolution in internal combustion engines

"At this year’s Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2011), to be held in Baltimore May 1 – 6, researchers from Japan will describe the first multibeam laser system small enough to screw into an engine’s cylinder head."
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:12 PM   #2
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I was just thinking a few days ago about how its amazing that the whole idea of spark generation hasn't changed much on engines since the beginning. . .
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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can they make these lasers for $3 a pop?
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:39 PM   #4
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That is way cool!
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
can they make these lasers for $3 a pop?
Don't need to. No more plug wires, just a signal/power wire pair. No coils, either. So, if the system is as expensive as 4 COPs (say $150), it's break even. I'm betting that we'd buy them if they were $300 for the set, due to better efficiencies and leaner mixture. Wonder if the Megasquirt can control them?

And, think of the other cool **** you could make with them. Imagine a potato canon with laser ignition!
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
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and then you get carbon buildup on your optics.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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I didn't even think about the lack of needing coils as well.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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I would suspect that a laser powerful enough to ignite a fuel/air mixture would be able to burn through the carbon buildup? I'm not up to snuff on laser power, but it would probably be >1 watt? The fact that it wouldn't be operating continuously would make it cheaper I suspect?
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:16 PM   #9
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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And the system malfunctions, stays on, and burns a hole through your piston.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x808drifter View Post
And the system malfunctions, stays on, and burns a hole through your piston.
My experience with lasers is limited, but my uneducated guess suggests:

A laser powerful enough to ignite an air/fuel mixture, yet inexpensive enough to be used in consumer automobiles, will likely destroy itself in such a malfunction. This self destruction of the laser will probably occur much too quickly to have any effect on a piston.
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:38 PM   #12
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How fricken' hard is it to get gas to ignite?
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Old 04-21-2011, 11:43 PM   #13
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Ever read some of the warning labels at the gas station? Just strap 4 cell phones to the cylinder head and you'll be good.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Ever read some of the warning labels at the gas station? Just strap 4 cell phones to the cylinder head and you'll be good.
Most boring Myth Busters episode ever.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:35 AM   #15
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I like the idea of lasers in my engine. Something else to brag about to the ladies.
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Old 04-22-2011, 12:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Most boring Myth Busters episode ever.
One of the better Adam quotes, though.

"How hard can it be to blow up a room full of gasoline?"

Quite hard, as it turns out.
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