Combustion Engine | Definition and Types of engine

Read abut combustion engine |
A combustion engine is a mechanical device or motor which is designed to convert heat energy into the form of mechanical energy. However, engines are of different types. It has various different applications but most widely used in automobiles.
The basic engine types is generally classified with respect to their combustion:
External Combustion Engine
Fig: External combustion Engine or EC Engine

This is an engine in which the combustion or burning of fuel takes place outside of the cylinder. That’s why it is known as EC Engine. However, In this engine heat is obtained by burning of fuel, then it is used to convert the water or other low boiling temperature into steam. The steam is of high pressure and is used to rotate turbine. Fuels used in this engine may be solid,  liquid or gas fuel . These types of engine are generally used to drive locomotive, ships, generation of electric power, also used in power plants,etc.

Advantages of External Combustion Engine:

  1. Higher Initial Torque.
  2. usability of cheap fuels like solid fuel.
  3. Flexibility as compared to IC Engine.

Disadvantages of External Combustion Engine:

  1. Engine takes more area i.e, Large size.
  2. It is heavy in weight.
  3. Combustion process takes long time.

2) Internal Combustion Engine:

Internal Combustion Engine
Fig: Internal Combustion Engine:

This is an engine in which burning of fuel takes place inside the engine. That‘s why the name is Internal Combustion Engine. When the fuel burns inside the engine cylinder, it generates a high temperature and pressure.

This high pressure force is exerted on the piston (A device which free to moves inside the cylinder and transmit the pressure force to crank by use of connecting rod), which used to rotate the wheels of vehicle.

In these engines we can use only gases and high volatile fuel like petrol, diesel. Simple example: Automobile engine( Car and bikes,etc), generation of electric power, etc.

Advantages of Internal Combustion Engine:

  1. It has overall high efficiency over E.C. engine.
  2. These engines are compact and required less space.
  3. Initial cost of I.C. engine is lower than E.C. engine.
  4. This engine does not faces starting issues in cold because of it uses high   volatile fuel.
  5. Combustion takes less time.

Disadvantages of Internal Combustion Engine:

  1. More complexity and less flexibility due to more moving parts in less space.
  2. Low power to weight and power to volume ratios.
  3. Can not use cheaper fuels eg solid fuels. However, only liquid or gaseous fuel of given specifications can be efficiently used. These fuels are relatively expensive.
  4. IC engines have reciprocating parts and hence balancing them is a problem and they are also susceptible to mechanical vibrations.
  5. High maintenance and lower combustion Efficiency.
  6. After a decade, the world may completely shift to electric vehicles due to increased pollution levels. Also statements regarding this are being made by several developed countries.

Soon, Majority of auto makers will shift to all electric due to climate change which is a good move to keep climate and pollution in mind.

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