Piezo ignition is a type of ignition that is used in portable camping stoves, gas grills and some lighters, and potato cannons. Piezo ignition uses the principle of piezoelectricity, which, in short, is the electric charge that accumulates in some materials in response to high pressure. It consists of a small, spring-loaded hammer which, when a button is pressed, hits a crystal of PZT or quartz crystal. Quartz is piezoelectric, which means that it creates a voltage when deformed. This sudden forceful deformation produces a high voltage and subsequent electrical discharge, which ignites the gas.
No external electric connection is required, though wires are sometimes used to locate the sparking location away from the crystal itself. Piezo ignition systems can be operated by either a lever, push-button or built into the control knob. An electric spark is usually generated once per turn of the knob or press of the button.
- PIEZOELECTRIC GENERATORS: APPLICATIONS, APC International
- Piezo Disassembly — Exposing the piezo element in a barbecue lighter
- Piezo Igniter Life — A destructive test of igniter lifetime