Anda di halaman 1dari 2

MAGNETO IGNITION SYSTEM

2011 A magneto is an electrical generator that uses permanent magnets to produce alternating current. Magnetos adapted to produce pulses of high voltage are used in the ignition systems of some gasolinepowered internal combustion engines to provide power to the spark plugs. The magneto is now confined mainly to engines where there is no available electrical supply, for example in lawnmowers and chainsaws. It is also universally used in aviation piston engines even though an electrical supply is usually available. This is because a magneto ignition system is more reliable than a battery-coil system.

Operation
In the type known as a shuttle magneto, the engine rotates a coil of wire between the poles of a magnet. In the inductor magneto, the magnet is rotated and the coil remains stationary. On each revolution, a cam opens the contact breaker one or more times, interrupting the current, which causes the electromagnetic field in the primary coil to collapse. As the field collapses there is a voltage induced across the primary coil. As the points open, point spacing is such that the voltage across the primary coil would arc across the points. A capacitor is placed across the points which absorb the energy stored in the primary coil. The capacitor and the coil together form a resonant circuit which allows the energy to oscillate from the capacitor to the coil and back again. Due to the inevitable losses in the system, this oscillation decays fairly rapidly. A second coil, with many more turns than the primary, is wound on the same iron core to form an electrical transformer. The ratio of turns in the secondary winding to the number of turns in the primary winding is called the turns ratio. Voltage across the primary coil results in a proportional voltage being induced across the secondary winding of the coil. The turns ratio between the primary and secondary coil is selected so that the voltage across the secondary reaches a very high value, enough to arc across the gap of the spark plug. In a modern installation, the magneto only has a single low tension winding which is connected to an external ignition coil which not only has a low tension winding, but also a secondary winding of many thousands of turns to deliver the high voltage required for the spark plug(s). Such a system is known as an "energy transfer" ignition system. Initially this was done because it was easier to provide good insulation for the secondary winding of an external coil than it was in a coil buried in the construction of the magneto (early magnetos had the coil assembly externally to the rotating parts to make them easier to insulate - at the expense of efficiency).

a)
Because it requires no battery or other source of energy, the magneto is a compact and reliable self-contained ignition system, which is why it remains in use in many general aviation applications.
1

PREPARED BY C. MUTUA

MAGNETO IGNITION SYSTEM


2011

Magneto-equipped engines are typically dual-plugged; each cylinder has two spark plugs, with each plug having a separate magneto system. Dual plugs provide better engine performance and also redundancy if a magneto fails. Two sparks provide two flame fronts within the cylinder. The two flame fronts decrease the time needed for the fuel charge to burn, and therefore burn most of the fuel at a lower temperature and pressure. As the pressure within a cylinder increases, the temperature rises and the fuel mixture far from the original flame front can ignite by itself, producing an unsynchronized flame front elsewhere in the cylinder. This leads to a rapid rise in cylinder pressure that produces engine knock. As the size of the combustion chamber determines the time to burn the fuel charge, this was especially important for the large bore size of most engines

b)
Some aviation as well as some older luxury cars have dual-plugged systems with one set of plugs fired by a magneto, and the other set wired to a coil, dynamo, and battery circuit. This was done to improve engine efficiency without sacrificing reliability. Magnetos were once considered a more reliable ignition source, but have the disadvantage of having fixed timing. This means that the timing must be a compromise setting, which is neither the best for low RPM nor the best for high RPM. On the other hand, battery ignition systems have almost always had a timing advance system which can set the timing to the best setting for the speed the engine is turning, improving power output and fuel efficiency. As the reliability of battery ignition systems improved, the magneto fell out of favor for automotive use.

PREPARED BY C. MUTUA