TPS Efficiency System Proves Successful in Multi-Cylinder, Natural Gas Operation


Transient Plasma Systems Inc. (TPS), which develops nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition systems to improve fuel efficiency, says it has achieved a new milestone in engine testing.

The new TPS test marks the first multi-cylinder demonstration of the company’s nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology in a mass-manufactured, on-road natural gas engine. Specifically, TPS tested its Transient Plasma Ignition System in a multi-cylinder operation on a Cummins Westport ISX12N natural gas engine.

“The successful multi-cylinder testing of nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology gets us one step closer to widespread market demand and adoption. We are very grateful to the California Energy Commission (CEC) for providing the grant, to Cummins Westport for providing the engine and engine support, and to SoCalGas for providing additional funding for this effort,” says Dan Singleton, co-founder and CEO of TPS, which is a spin-off of the University of Southern California.

The tests were conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The testing demonstrated stable operation of the Transient Plasma Ignition System under on-road conditions, including improved brake thermal efficiency, reduced emissions and extension of exhaust gas recirculation dilution tolerance.

“This is a major milestone in the development of our nanosecond pulsed plasma ignition technology,” comments Jason Sanders, co-founder and chief scientist at TPS. “Our ignition technology reduces fuel consumption in combustion engines by a significant amount, and it can do so with an easy-to-implement solution that requires no engine redesigns.”

The low-energy/high-power ignition system increases efficiency in a variety of combustion engine designs, including gasoline-powered, hybrid and natural gas-powered vehicles. The system works alongside existing engine designs and efficiency techniques, such as exhaust gas recirculation, gasoline direct injection, turbocharging and e-boost.

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