Princeton Optronics replaces spark plugs with VCSELs
At the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects-Energy (ARPA-E) innovation summit last week, Princeton Optronics presented a prototype gasoline engine that replaced spark plugs with lasers.
Designed for next generation high efficiency, low exhaust emission combustion engines, the laser ignition uses high temperature VCSEL pumps and VCSEL pumped solid state lasers developed. Such lasers would work at temperatures of 200degC and higher.
Laser ignition is expected to improve the efficiency of the engines significantly. In addition, the tailpipe emissions will decrease as a result of more complete combustion resulting in better air quality. Laser ignition will also allow other fuels such as natural gas and biogas to be adapted as fuels for automobiles, stationary power generation and other types of engines more readily.
The company thinks laser ignition solution will be attractive for to the aerospace, automotive and natural gas standby power generation engines, potentially opening up a multi-million dollar market.
The ARPA-E Summit's technology showcase provided a first-hand look at the latest innovations from 250 ARPA-E-funded high-potential, high-impact energy technologies as well as technologies from a select number of other innovative organisations