Combustion engines are machines that convert energy into mechanical power. Engines get
energy from many sources such as fuel, steam, air or water. Petrol engines and steam engines are combustion engines that get energy from fuel. Combustion engines are of two types internal combustion engines and external combustion engines. An internal combustion engine produces heat energy internally by the combustion of fuel. An external
combustion engine produces heat energy externally by the combustion of fuel. The heat energy in both types of engines is thern used to derive mechanical power.
Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch physicist, designed a machine in 1673 to push vehicles. His machine worked by using air and gunpowder. Lenoir also made an internal combustion engine, which ran on gas with electric ignition. The first combustion engine was invented in 1854 by Italian physicists, Barsanti and Matteucci. However, it was not useful for practical purposes.
Two stroke engine and
Dugald Clerk, a Scotsman, designed a two-stroke engine in 1878. This two-stroke engine worked in a simple way. It completed its cycle in a single turn of the crankshaft. It is generally used in motorcycles. In 1927, Felix Wankel invented a rotary engine in which a triangular rotor is used instead of the piston. The rotor completes all four strokes in a single revolution. It is used in cars and airplanes.
Internal combustion engine
Internal combustion engin The internal combustion engin is used in automobiles, such as cars and motorbikes and several types of generators. It forms the basis of modern transportation. Thousands of vehicles on internal combustion engines where the combustion of fuel takes place in the cylinder. The number of cylinders can vary from one to thirty. The number of cylinders determines the smoothness of the engine and the amount of fuel that it burns.
External combustion engine
The external combustion engin helps heat a wo duid, such as water. Steam engines and Stirling cycle engines are common examples of external combustion engines a oines. The sources of heat in steam engines are wood coal, or oil. Stirling engines use gases, such as
air hydrogen, or helium instead of water. The gases are repeatedly heated and cooled by moving them between cold and hot heat exchangers. The heating of the gases increases the pressure and enables the piston to work. The Stirling engine was invented by Robert Stirling in 1816
In 1872, Nikolaus Otto built the first four-stroke engine based on Alphonse Beau de Rochas’ idea. This engine completes the combustion cycle by moving the piston four times. The four movements of the piston are suction, compression, combustion, and expulsion. They are carried out in two turns of the crankshaft. Four-stroke engines are used in most modern automobiles.
Invention of the steam engine
In 1698, Thomas Savery invented a crude steam machine. He used it for pumping water out of coal mines. Thomas Newcomen made some changes for its improvement. The Newcomen engine was further improved by James Watt. His machine allowed for the rotation of wheels. Steam engines are used in steam ships, boats, turbines, pumps, and locomotives They are also used in stationary machines in mills, factories, and power stations.