Darrell Gwynn: NHRA TopFuel-Driver: Mike Dunn
|Nology Engineering is rewriting the book on ignition systems and judging
by the success of their products, they know what they are talking about.
At the 1992 Slick 50 Nationals, in Houston, one of their products was installed
on the Jack Clark owned Top-Fuel dragster when driver Mike Dunn ran the sport's
then fastest speed of 297.12 mph. Since then, the list of people using Nology's
ignition products has grown to be as impressive as the success that these
same people are having using the Nology products.
"Big Daddy" Don Garlits, for example, was there right from the beginning
and has been rewarded with several runs close to 300 mph, (298 mph and 299
Joe Amato has had two of the quickest runs ever at 4.751 sec. and 4.757 sec.,
and at the 1993 Winter Nationals in Pomona, Cory Mac completed an unbelievable
three runs back-to-back at 300.60 mph, 301.50 mph and 302.21 mph. Jack Clark's
Taco Bell Dragster at 304 mph, as well as Kenny Bernstein in the Budweiser
car at 306 mph, are the newest additions to the impressive results that are
proof positive that at Nology Engineering, they know what they are talking
What's the secret to their success? The secret lies in their
unconventional approach to designing ignition systems. Every other ignition
system manufacturer is boasting about how long the spark duration of their
system is. They'll tell you that their system has the longest spark duration,
usually around 1 to 3 milliseconds, (thousandths of a second). When looking
over the sales brochure for one of Nology's ignition systems, you also find
a claim for spark duration, the shortest spark duration in the business. What do they know at Nology that
other manufacturers don't?
Anyone who had physics in college knows the formula for power. In this case
we're referring to ignition spark power. Power equals work divided by time
(P=W/t). Thus, to get more power, you need to do the same amount of work
in less time. Sounds simple enough! Manufacturers of conventional ignition
systems though, want you to believe that it is possible to increase the power
of ignition systems by lengthening the spark duration. This is not true!
Lengthening the spark duration actually reduces spark power, as we already
know P=W/t (Power=Energy/Time).
|Let's look at the process of igniting the mixture in the combustion chamber.
The coil is charged up until the voltage at the spark plug electrodes reaches
the ionization point. When the ionization point is reached the electrical
energy jumps the spark plug gap, creating a spark. If the spark is powerful
enough, the fuel mixture in the combustion chamber is ignited. The faster
the process of igniting the fuel, the faster the flame front growth and the
more powerful the igniting spark, the more complete the combustion. With
this in mind, one has to wonder what a long spark duration is good for?
A good analogy would be if we were to burn 1,000 gallons of gasoline over
a period of 47 days, or blow it up, all at once, in a gigantic explosion
lasting only 1 second, (P=W/t). The energy released is the same, but the latter
is much more powerful.
By obeying the laws of physics and applying them to their ignition systems,
Nology is able to build ignition systems with truly impressive performance
data. Their claims are backed by the success that their systems are having
on the racing circuits. We also find, when running an engine at 7500 rpm
or more, there is no time for a long spark duration. First, the engine
manufacturer recommends a precise ignition timing, but the spark has a long
duration? That doesn't sound right. You don't want the spark to ignite the
fuel mixture sometime during it's duration, but at a precise moment, namely
the recommended ignition timing. Secondly, if the spark is powerful enough
to begin with you don't need a long duration, only a big enough spark lasting
a few nanoseconds.
||Furthermore, the spark of a conventional ignition system with a duration
of 3 milliseconds at 7500 rpm will take 135 degrees of crankshaft rotation
to complete. Not a very precise ignition timing, and a lot of wasted energy.
Nology's ignition system needs less than one degree of crankshaft rotation
to complete. With a spark duration that short the ignition timing is much
more precise, and when all the spark energy is released at once spark power
is increased subtantially. Flame front growth is much quicker and combustion
more complete, resulting in increased horsepower and a cleaner burn. And because
an ultra powerful spark can ignite more fuel, you can raise fuel flow, increasing
horsepower even more.
|To summarize Nology's ideology on ignition systems is easy, get the job
done quickly and with a big bang. It seems to work.
Copyright © 1994 –
Nology Engineering, Inc.