Hello, readers, this is Amrit again with you.

Today we will look at the working and other important points on Battery Ignition System. So let’s start with the definition.

Battery Ignition System Definition:

An ignition system in which we use the battery for the generation of electricity and further that electricity is used in cars, commercial vehicles.

Battery Ignition System Parts:

The main parts of Battery Ignition system are:

  • Ignition switch
  • Battery
  • Ignition coil
  • Ballast resistor
  • Contact breaker
  • Distributor
  • Capacitor
  • Spark Plug

Ignition Switch:

This is used to turn on and off the ignition system.

The battery is connected to the primary winding of the ignition coil by the ignition switch and ballast resistor.


It is a device that provides electrical energy for the ignition.

A battery is charged by a dynamo driven by the engine.

Generally, two types of batteries are used in a spark-ignition engine, lead-acid battery & alkaline battery.

The lead-acid battery is used in light-duty commercial vehicle whereas

An alkaline battery is used in the heavy-duty commercial vehicle.

Ignition coil:

This ignition coil is the main body of the battery ignition system.

The purpose of the ignition coil to step up the battery voltage (6 or 12V) to a high voltage, which is sufficient to produce a spark at the spark plug.

Ballast resistor:

This is connected in series with primary winding to regulate the current in the primary winding.

It is made of iron. 

Contact breaker:

The contact breaker is regulated by the cam and when the breaker is open, current flows through the condenser and charges it.


Used in a multi-cylinder engine to regulate spark in each spark plug at the correct sequence.

There are two types of distributors.

  • Carbon brush type
  • Gap type


This is a simple electrical capacitor in which two metal plates are separated by an insulating material with a distance.

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Spark Plug:

It generates sparks to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber.

Each spark plug is connected to the distributor of the ignition system.

Battery Ignition System Working Diagram:

In the Battery ignition system when the ignition switch is on, the current from the battery starts flowing through the primary circuit & through ballast register, primary winding and contact breaker.

And then the current which is flowing through the primary winding induces a magnetic field around it.

The more will be current, the stronger will be its magnetic field.

Now the contact breaker opens, the current through the primary winding collapse and this immediate collapse in the current induces a voltage of about 300V in the primary winding.

This voltage induced in the winding charges, the capacitor to the much greater voltage than the battery.

As the capacitor charged, the current through the primary winding stops and the current starts to flow to the battery from the capacitor.

This reverses the direction of the current and magnetic field in the primary winding.

Due to the collapsing and reversing of the current and magnetic field, a very high voltage of about 15000 to 30000 V induced in the secondary winding. 

A high voltage current induced in the secondary winding is transferred to the distributor through a high tension cable. 

The distributor has a rotor that rotates inside the distributor cap.

The distributor cap has metallic segments embedded into it.

As the rotor rotates, it presses and opens the contact breaker point.

This allows the high tension current to transfer to the spark plugs through the metallic segments. 

As the high tension current reaches the Spark Plug, it produces the spark in the engine cylinder for the combustion of the air-fuel mixture.

Battery Ignition System
Battery Ignition System

Battery Ignition System Advantages:

These are the following advantages of battery ignition system:

  • The intensity of spark is good.

Battery Ignition System Disadvantages:

The disadvantages are:

  • Efficiency decreased with a reduction in spark intensity.
  • Occupies more space.
  • Maintenance problems are more due to the battery.
  • Efficiency decreased with a reduction in spark intensity.

Battery Ignition System Application:

The application of this system is:

  • Commonly used in cars and light commercial vehicles.

Difference Between Battery Ignition System and Magneto Ignition System:

Difference Between Battery Ignition System and Magneto Ignition System, PDF
Battery Ignition System Magneto Ignition System
Maintenance problems are more because of battery.less because of no battery.
It occupies more space.Occupies less space.
Commonly used in cars and light commercial vehicle.Mainly used in racing cars and two-wheelers.
Efficiency decreased with a reduction in spark intensity.Improves due to high-intensity spark.
A good spark available.During starting, quality of spark is poor due to low speed.

General Questions:

What are the two types of ignition systems?

The two types of ignition system are:
1. Battery Ignition System
2. Magneto Ignition System

What are the components of the battery ignition system?

The main parts of Battery Ignition system are:
1. Ignition switch
2. Battery
3. Ignition coil
4. Ballast resistor
5. Contact breaker
6. Distributor
7. Capacitor
8. Spark Plug

Details of Difference between Magneto and Battery Ignition system.

Here is my another article on Magneto Ignition System

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About the Author

Amrit Kumar

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Amrit is a Co-founder of Learn Mechanical Portal (Previously owned "Engramritkumar.com"). He completed his diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Acharya Polytechnic Bangalore and also completed his B-Tech from Delhi.

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