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ignition

Magneto and Diesel Ignition Systems

A magneto ignition system is essentially the same as a battery system except that a permanent magnet generator supplies current directly. Where compactness is an advantage or where there are no other accessories that require a battery, a magneto system may be preferred. Aircraft, motorcycles, and farm equipment often have magnetos.

In a diesel engine the fuel ignites as soon as it is injected into the hot, highly compressed air in the cylinder. Diesel engines frequently utilize an electric heating element, called a glow plug, inside the cylinder to preheat the air to facilitate starting and running until the engine has reached its operating temperature.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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