An Engine is a mechanical device that is used to convert one form of energy to another.
The type of engines about which we are going to talk in this article convert heat into work.
One the basis of place of combustion engines can be divided into two parts.
One is internal combustion engine (ICE) and another one is external combustion engine.
In one of our earlier articles we have discussed about external combustion engines in details. You can read that article on clicking the link given below.
A detailed article on external combustion engines.
Let us continue our discussion with internal combustion engines.
What is internal combustion engine?
It is quite obvious from the name that in internal combustion engines, fuel is burned inside the engine. Unlike external combustion engines in which fuel is burned outside the engine.
Most popular type of internal combustion engine which we see today is the engine which we use in our cars and bikes.
We can easily not that we put fuel in these engines and that fuel gets burnt inside the cylinder. Engine converts heat of fuel into power and throws out exhaust gases of combustion process.
Attribution: By Zephyris – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10896588
In the above animation we can easily understand working of internal combustion engine.
Blue color denotes fuel and brown color denotes exhaust gases.
The most common types of internal combustion are
- Open cycle gas turbine
- Reciprocating internal combustion engine
- Wankel Engine etc.
Advantages of internal combustion engines
- Size of engine is very less compared to external combustion engines
- Power to weight ratio is high
- Very suitable for small power requirement applications
- Usually more portable than their counterpart external combustion engines
- Safer to operate
- Starting time is very less
- High efficiency than external combustion engine
- No chances of leakage of working fluids
- Requires less maintenance
- Lubricant consumption is less as compared to external combustion engines
- In case of reciprocating internal combustion overall working temperature is low because peak temperature is reached for only small period of time (only at detonation of fuel).
Disadvantages of internal combustion engines
- Variety of fuels that can be used is limited to very fine quality gaseous and liquid fuel
- Fuel used is very costly like gasoline or diesel
- Engine emissions are generally high compared to external combustion engine
- Not suitable of large scale power generation
- In case of reciprocating internal combustion noise is generated due to detonation of fuel
Types and applications of internal combustion engines
- Gasoline Engines: Automotive, Marine, Aircraft
- Gas Engines: Industrial Power
- Diesel Engines: Automotive, Railways, Power, Marine
- Gas Turbines: Power, Aircraft, Industrial, Marine