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Differences Between Gasoline & Diesel Engines

10/1/2013 11:54:23 AM | by Anonymous

Engines: Diesel - Marine

Diesel engines are also known as compression ignition engines. They are internal combustion engines that use the heat of the compression to initiate ignition and burn the fuel that has been injected into the combustion chamber. This will contrast with the spark-ignition engines such that a gasoline engine or gas engine uses a spark plug to ignite an air fuel mixture. They have the highest thermal efficiency of any standard external or internal combustion engine due to its very high compression ratio.


As for the low-speed diesel engines, they are used in ships and other applications where the overall engine weight is relatively unimportant but can have a thermal efficiency that exceeds fifty percent. They are usually manufactured in two and four stroke versions and were originally used as a more efficient replacement for stationary steam engines. Both the diesel engines and gasoline engines work by creating a controlled explosion that has a sealed piston chamber. The small explosion is rapidly moving with the piston which turns and rotates the output shaft.


For the gasoline engine, there is a mixture of fuel and air that are injected into the chamber and then ignited with a spark created by a sparkplug. On the other hand, the diesel engines do not rely on a sparkplug to ignite the mixture. The fuel is forced into the chamber and allows the high pressure to generate enough heat to ignite the fuel or air mixture.


Some diesel engines rely on a glow plug to heat the chamber to minimize the amount of pressure required for the engine to turn on. If without the added heat source, the pressure might require to achieve ignition that would be prohibitively high especially when the engine is cold. Diesel engines require diesel fuel for the combustion process to function properly and they are cheaper than the regular gasoline because less refining is required. Additionally, the diesel engines are more efficient and diesel cars get better mileage than their gasoline counterparts.


The difference between diesel and gasoline engines begins with understanding the combustion process of the two engines use. Both the internal combustion engines use pistons to create mechanical energy however what happens inside those pistons that cause to move is the key differences in efficiency and operation between diesel and gasoline engines. In the gasoline engines, the fuel is mixed with air and then compressed by a piston where they will ignite with a spark. The burning fuel releases the energy used to push the piston down which will turn the crankshaft off the engine.


As for the diesel engines, they use slightly different process to produce mechanical energy as the piston rises in the cylinder and the air in the cylinder is compressed. When the pressure builds up, the temperature of the air in the cylinder will rise dramatically. But when the combustion occurs near the top of thecompression stroke, the diesel fuel will be sprayed through an injector nozzle into the charge of hot air in the cylinder.



The fuel is instantly ignited by the hot air and the combustion gases will force the piston back down to the cylinder. This will cause the crankshaft of the engine to turn. No spark is needed because of the diesel fuel auto-combusts into the superheated air of the cylinder under compression. This lack of a spark that represents the major difference between the diesel and gasoline engines.

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