The need for higher mileage, reduced emissions and greater reliability has led to the development of the electronic ignition systems. These systems generate a much stronger spark which is needed to ignite leaner fuel mixtures. Breaker point systems needed a resister to reduce the operating voltage of the primary circuit in order to prolong the life of the points. The primary circuit of the electronic ignition systems operates on full battery voltage which helps to develop a stronger spark. Spark plug gaps have widened due to the ability of the increased voltage to jump the larger gap. Cleaner combustion and fewer deposits have led to longer spark plug life.

Essentially, all electronic ignition systems operate in the following manner: With the ignition switch turned on, primary (battery) current flows from the battery through the ignition switch to the coil primary windings. Primary current is turned on and off by the action of the armature as it revolves past the pickup coil or sensor. As each tooth of the armature nears the pickup coil, it creates a voltage that signals the electronic module to turn off the coil primary current. A timing circuit in the module will turn the current on again after the coil field has collapsed. When the current is off, however, the magnetic field built up in the coil is allowed to collapse, which causes a high voltage in the secondary windings of the coil. It is now operating on the secondary ignition circuit, which is the same as in a conventional ignition system.




In an automobile engine, in case of Internal Combustion (IC) engines, combustion of air and fuel takes place inside the engine cylinder and the products of combustion expand to produce reciprocating motion of the piston. This reciprocating motion of the piston is in turn converted into rotary motion of the crank shaft through connecting rod and crank.

This rotary motion of the crank shaft is in turn used to drive the generators for generating power.

We also know that there are 4-cycles of operations viz., suction; compression; power generation and exhaust.

These operations are performed either during the 2-strokes of piston or during 4-strokes of the piston and accordingly they are called as 2-stroke cycle engines and 4-stroke cycle engines.

In case of petrol engines during suction operation, charge of air and petrol fuel will be taken in. During compression this charge is compressed by the upward moving piston. And just before the end of compression, the charge of air and petrol fuel will be ignited by means of the spark produced by means of for spark plug. And the ignition system does the function of producing the spark in case of spark ignition engines.

Spark plug used with petrol engines mainly consists of a central electrode and metal tongue. Central electrode is covered by means of porcelain insulating material. Through the metal screw the spark plug is fitted in the cylinder head plug. When the high tension voltage of the order of 30000 volts is applied across the spark electrodes, current jumps from one electrode to another producing a spark.

Whereas in case of diesel (Compression Ignition—CI) engines only air is taken in during suction operation and in compressed during compression operation and just before the end of compression, when diesel fuel is injected it gets ignited due to heat of compression of air.

In an internal combustion engine, combustion is a continuous cycle and occurs thousands times in a minute so an effective and accurate source of ignition is required. The idea of spark ignition came from a toy electric pistol that used electric spark to ignite a mixture of hydrogen and air to shoot a cork.

The electronic ignition system is the type of ignition system that uses electronic circuits, usually by transistors controlled by sensors to generate electric pulses which in turn generate the better spark that can even burn the lean mixture and provide better economy and lower emission. The main aim of this work is to build such an electronic ignition system.