Design of an ignition coil

Information about the design of NGK ignition coils, high-voltage generation through magnetic induction and transformation and influential factors.
Ignition coil example

The design of an ignition coil for the petrol engine is essentially identical for all ignition coil types from a schematic perspective. There are two coils in the interior of each ignition coil: the so-called primary coil, which is comprised of relatively thick copper wire, and the secondary coil, which is significantly longer and is produced of a relatively thin copper wire.

Ignition coils have a laminated magnetic core, around which the primary and secondary coils are wound. The copper wire of this coil is insulated in order to prevent the voltage from jumping over from coil to coil and thus resulting in short-circuits.

Ignition coils and magnetic induction

The high-voltage pulse of an ignition coil arises in the secondary coil with the help of magnetic induction. For this purpose, the primary coil is first supplied with the battery current through the low-voltage connection of the ignition coil. A magnetic field is simultaneously formed around the primary coil. If this current flow is interrupted, the magnetic field collapses. It is this collapse which triggers a voltage pulse in the secondary coil.

Transformation: The coil determines

The voltage pulse arising in the secondary coil is higher than the 12 volt battery voltage, which previously flowed through the primary coil. The reason: The secondary coil is wound with considerably finer wire and thus has a significantly higher number of windings than the primary coil. The so-called winding ratio is between 1:150 and 1:200, depending on the coil.

Additional influential factors

Apart from the winding ratio, there are additional factors which influence the actual level of the high-voltage pulses emitted. For example, the strength of the magnetic field arising in the primary coil plays an equally important role as that of the speed with which it collaborates. The density of the secondary coil, as well as the time remaining for the charge also have a strong influence on the end result.