The Corona technology is being developed as a possible replacement to the spark plugs that we find for most ignition technologies of the cars around today. This technology has the capability of improving gas mileage by up to 10%. Instead of using a single spark, the technology of spark plugs, the ACIS corona uses multiple plasma jets.
The idea for this technology has been around since 1969, when GM had a patent on it. In recent years, the corona has made major strides and the possibility of it appearing in the next generation of cars continues to become more and more practical. The new ignition technology is made up of two parts. The first part is very similar to the spark plug; it is made up of top pieces. The top half is the inductor and the bottom half is where the plasma is fired. The second part is the controller that converts the action of turning the key into a signal to start the technology.
When the corona is turned on, it produces an electrical field that excites the air and fuel mix. This gets the gas to extend into the combustion chamber and it ignites the charge. The whole process takes a few nanoseconds, which is a considerable difference from the spark plug process, which required about 70 nanoseconds.
When combined with other technologies that are related to the corona, the technology has the potential to improve fuel economy by up to 30%.
This new approach to ignition is not expected to hit the market for another 5 years, but it is currently being tested in many cars all over Europe.
Technologies like this will be key for companies to reach the CAFE standards set for 2025 at 54.5mpg. If minor changes like this and the aluminum body for example continue to arise, companies won’t have to consider alternative sources of energy as strongly as they are now.