Types of Heat Engines [Internal & External Combustion]

By | March 20, 2019

What is a Heat Engine?

Before moving on to the heat engines (Classification of Heat Engines), let us first understand what is an engine.

An Engine is a device which converts one form of energy into another form.

Now we will move on to the definition of heat engines.

A heat engine is a device converts chemical energy of fuel into thermal energy and utilize this thermal energy to perform useful work.

Types of Heat Engines

Heat Engines can be broadly classified into Internal and External Combustion Engines.

Internal Combustion Engines are the Engines in which fuel is burned inside the cylinder.

External Combustion Engines are the Engines in which fuel is burned outside the cylinder and with the help of working fluid, brought to cylinder.

Both the types of Heat Engines can be divided into Rotary and Reciprocating each.

In Rotary Engines work is obtained from the heat with the help of Rotary devices (e.g. Turbines).

In reciprocating Engines heat is converted to the work with the help of reciprocating mechanism (e.g. piston and cylinder).

Below are some short forms given for convenience.

IC stands for Internal Combustion

EC stands for External Combustion

Heat Engines

  1. IC Engines

(i) Rotary

  • Open Cycle Gas Turbine
  • Wankel Engine

(ii) Reciprocating

  • Gasoline Engine
  • Diesel Engine
  1. EC Engine

(i) Reciprocating

  • Steam Engine
  • Stirling Engine

(ii) Rotary

  • Steam Turbine
  • Closed Cycle Gas Turbine

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