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Title: Large discharge-volume, silent discharge spark plug

A large discharge-volume spark plug for providing self-limiting microdischarges. The apparatus includes a generally spark plug-shaped arrangement of a pair of electrodes, where either of the two coaxial electrodes is substantially shielded by a dielectric barrier from a direct discharge from the other electrode, the unshielded electrode and the dielectric barrier forming an annular volume in which self-terminating microdischarges occur when alternating high voltage is applied to the center electrode. The large area over which the discharges occur, and the large number of possible discharges within the period of an engine cycle, make the present silent discharge plasma spark plug suitable for use as an ignition source for engines. In the situation, where a single discharge is effective in causing ignition of the combustible gases, a conventional single-polarity, single-pulse, spark plug voltage supply may be used.
Inventors:
 [1]
  1. (Los Alamos, NM)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
870172
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) LANL
Patent Number(s):
US 5469013
Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
discharge-volume; silent; discharge; spark; plug; providing; self-limiting; microdischarges; apparatus; plug-shaped; arrangement; pair; electrodes; coaxial; substantially; shielded; dielectric; barrier; direct; electrode; unshielded; forming; annular; volume; self-terminating; occur; alternating; voltage; applied; center; discharges; period; engine; cycle; plasma; suitable; ignition; source; engines; situation; single; effective; causing; combustible; gases; conventional; single-polarity; single-pulse; supply; combustible gases; dielectric barrier; spark plug; voltage supply; combustible gas; discharge plasma; center electrode; silent discharge; conventional single; coaxial electrode; /313/