Following deliberation over one of the most comprehensive and diverse shortlists ever, the winners of the Professional MotorSport World Expo Awards 2016 have been revealed. In particular, Mahle’s Turbulent Jet Ignition technology has been awarded Powertrain Innovation of the Year.
This system has been a vital component in the hybridized, turbocharged era of Formula 1. Allowing for a homogeneous ultra-lean combustion cycle in modern competition engines, the system replaces the standard spark plug in SI engines with a jet ignition chamber assembly that improves overall efficiency and performance.
Inside the jet igniter assembly is a small ignition chamber with a direct injector that provides a small amount of auxiliary fuel (<5% of the total system fuel) and a spark plug to ignite that charge. The ignition chamber is connected to the main chamber by a number of orifices that allow jets of partially combusted products to ignite the main charge. The smaller orifice size causes turbulence in the hot gas jets, which then penetrate deeper into the main combustion chamber and cause an evenly distributed ignition effect. The system's combustion is much quicker than with standard spark ignition, enabling the engine to operate at optimum spark timing as the knock limit is considerably extended.
As juror Gerard Quinn pointed out, “The evolving race technology could ultimately be used in road cars, creating a greater technology relevance for OEMs.” Fellow judge Andrew Noakes agreed, adding “Mahle’s TJI has contributed to the increase in thermal efficiency seen in Formula 1 over the past few years. The system has great potential for further applications inside and outside of motorsport.”
Mahle was closely followed by the Renault e.Dams Season 2 powertrain that claimed the 2015/6 FIA Formula E title, with Bosch Motorsport’s highly flexible MS7.4 ECU being praised by our engineer and driver judges alike for its unparalleled flexibility and programmability among ECUs.
November 9, 2016