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Electronic ignition system is developed to reduce emissions, increase mileage and improve reliability. Electronic ignition system produce stronger spark which is required to burn the lean mixture in the combustion chamber. Electronic ignition systems differ from conventional ignition systems in the distributor components.
Components of Electronic Ignition System and its working
Components of Electronic Ignition
System and its working
Electronic ignition system is developed to reduce emissions, increase
mileage and improve reliability. Electronic ignition system produce
stronger spark which is required to burn the lean mixture in the
combustion chamber. Electronic ignition systems differ from
conventional ignition systems in the distributor components.
A battery is a electrochemical device for producing and storing
electricity. It supplies the necessary energy for the ignition system.
Battery consists of electrodes namely anode (+ve terminal), and
cathode (-ve terminal) and an electrolyte solution. Electrons flow
from cathode to anode in the battery which results in potential
• Ignition switch
The ignition switch enables the operator to turn the ignition system on or
off in starting or stopping the engine. In any automobile the ignition switch
has 4 types of operations they are
> OFF – OFF position turns off electrical system of the automobile
> ACCESSORY – This position turns on power to the entire automobile
except the ignition system
> ON – ON position turns on the entire electrical system including the
> START – This position energizes the starter solenoid circuit to crank the
engine. This position is spring loaded to return to the ON position when is
• Ignition control module
Ignition control module is an electronic switch that turns the ignition
coil's primary current either ON or OFF. Control unit performs the
same operation as that of contact points in conventional type of
ignition system. It is a network of transistors, capacitors and other
electronic parts contained in a plastic case. Control module can be
located on the side of the distributor or inside distributor under the
dash board. Control module manages the dwell period on its own.
• Ignition coil
Ignition coil produces high voltage required to make current pass in
the gap at spark plugs. Ignition is pulse type transformer capable of
producing a short fire of high voltage for beginning combustion. It is
composed of two sets of windings namely primary winding (outer
winding) and secondary winding (inner winding). Secondary
winding are wound in opposite direction of primary winding and the
ends are attached to primary windings and high voltage terminals.
• Ignition distributor
Distributor controls the ON/OFF cycles of current flow from the
primary windings of coil. It makes spark to occur at each spark plug
and distributes high voltage to the spark plug. Depending on the
load, distributor changes the spark timing. In some electronic ignition
systems it also houses ignition coil and switching unit.
• Spark plug
Spark plug is made of porcelain insulator which consists of insulated
electrode supported by a metal shell with grounded electrode. They
use ignition coil high voltage to ignite the fuel mixture. Spark plug
has a simple purpose of supplying a fixed gap along which a high
voltage passes through this gap.
When the engine is running, the trigger inside the distributor rotates.
As the tooth of trigger wheel passes the pick-up coil, a magnetic field
is developed around the pick-up coil. This phenomenon results in the
voltage output change in the coil. Then electrical surge is sent to the
control unit when trigger wheel pass the pickup coil. The control unit
increases electrical surge into cycles of ON/OFF for ignition coil. If
the control unit is ON, current passes through primary windings of
ignition coil and develops a magnetic field. When the trigger wheel
and pickup coil turn OFF the control unit and the magnetic field
inside the ignition coil collapses and fires the spark plug.
Electronic ignition system improves fire rate in the system and
increases the efficiency of automobile. Nowadays, almost all
automobiles are equipped with electronic ignition system.
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