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Advantages of Diesel Engines

9/27/2012 1:18:06 PM | by Anonymous

Engines: Diesel

A type of internal combustion engine, the diesel engine, also known as compression-ignition engine, got this name from the fact that it initiates an ignition using the heat of compression to burn fuel which would be injected into the combustion chamber. It was invented by Rudolf Diesel in 1893 with a primary goal to create an efficient alternative to gasoline engines. The similarity between these engines and gasoline engines is that both work by creating controlled explosions in sealed piston chambers which help to move the pistons, which in turn rotates the output shaft causing a vehicle to move. Unlike the diesel engines that make use of compression for combustion, the gasoline engines or gas engines make use of spark-ignition, which requires a spark plug to ignite an air fuel mixture. Also, in the gasoline engines, a mixture of fuel and air is injected into the chamber. Whereas in the diesel engine, the fuel is forced into the chamber and the high pressure within is able to generate sufficient heat to ignite the fuel and air mixture. However, since the diesel engine doesn’t require a spark plug but instead high pressure, attaining the high pressure may sometimes take too long or may not be conventional. Therefore, some diesel engines make use of a glow plug which heats up the chamber in order to minimize the amount of pressure required for the engine to run. If this added heat source, the pressure required to achieve ignition could be very high, especially when the engine is cold.


Advantages of using diesel engines

Diesel engines offer several advantages as compared to gasoline or gas engines. Diesel engines require diesel fuel for the engines to function properly, which is cheaper as compared to gasoline due to the fact that less refining is required to obtain the former. Also, diesel engines tend to be more efficient as they permit cars to get more mileage as compared to the gasoline engine cars. The fact that diesel engines do not require sparking for combustion means that there is less maintenance required for vehicles with diesel engines.


Diesel engines function differently and do not require a spark plug or other complicated electronic fuel injection systems. Therefore, by discarding such complicated systems, the engines eliminated any failure of such devices, resulting in low maintenance costs and more reliability. Horsepower is a key advantage when comparing diesel and gasoline engines. Horsepower refers to the measure of the rate in which a vehicle is able to apply power. Also, torque refers to a vehicle’s strength to accelerate, pull or tow. Usually, diesel engines tend to have much more torque as compared to gasoline or gas powered engines. Diesel engines are also more efficient as compared to gasoline as they require lesser amount of fuel to perform the same amount of work as an engine powered by gasoline. This is due to the engine’s higher temperature of combustion and greater expansion ratio. A typical gasoline engine would be 30 percent efficient whereas a diesel engine would be able to convert at least 45 percent of the fuel energy into mechanical energy.


Another advantage is that the life of a diesel engine is almost twice the life of a gasoline engine as they make use of parts that have high strength to be manufactured, resulting in greater strength for the engine. Diesel is also a better lubricant as compared to petrol, which allows a diesel engine to last longer as compared to a gasoline engine. Diesel fuel is also safer to use as compared to gasoline as. Even though it would burn in open air using a wick, it does not explode or release large amounts of flammable vapor into the air. This property is what made diesel often used in submarines as it would not release flammable particles into the air, which can be a major hazard.

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