Different Types of Engines

Any device which can convert heat energy of a fuel into mechanical energy is referred to as an engine. There are different types of engines available. All automobiles which you can come across are powered by engines. Basically, there are two major types of engines. They are categorized according to their mode of operation. If you are interested in the field of automobile, then you must have come across several engines. The different types of engines available have different modes of operation. Take the time to understand the construction of your car’s engine. You will be required to study the different types of operation for you to understand how different engines work.

Major Types of Engine available

1. External combustion (E.C.) Engine

This is a type of engine where combustion of fuel takes place outside the engine. The heat produced by the combustion of fuel is the used to heat other low boiling point fluids into steam. The steam is then used to drive turbines. In external combustion engine, different types of fuels can be used. You can use liquid, solid or even gaseous fuel. The external combustion engines are mainly used to drive ships, locomotives, generation of electricity among other uses.

Advantages of E.C. engine

Starting tongue is very high

If you have a machine which will require high starting torque, then going for external combustion engine will be the best option. The engines are known to produce high starting torque which makes operation of machines which require high initial tongue easy to operate.

Cheaper fuels can be used

There are other types of fuels which are cheaper but they are in form of solid. You can easily use such type of fuel if you will resort to external combustion engines. The engines will accommodate any type of fuel. This makes them economical in companies where designers will like to utilize fuels which are readily available.

HIGH flexibility

The external combustion engines are highly flexible. You can use them in different operations. The combustion chamber is located outside the engine. This makes it easy for designers to come up with complex designs which can satisfy different needs. They can be applied in a variety of operations to produce electric power or any other applications.

2. Internal Combustion (I.C.) Engine

It is an engine type where combustion occurs inside the engine. As fuel burns it turns into high temperature and pressure. The high pressure force is then exerted on a piston. The piston then transmits the force to the crank through a connecting rod. The crank is then used to rotate wheels of a vehicle. In this type of engines, only gases and high volatile fuel such as diesel and petrol can be used. The engines are used in generation of electric power and in automobile industry.

Advantages of I.C. engine

High overall efficiency

The efficiency of internal combustion engine is high when compared to the efficiency of external combustion engines.


If you will like to have an engine in a limited space, then internal combustion engine will work well. They require less space hence saves on space.

Initial cost of internal combustion engine is lower

When comparing the cost of internal combustion engine and external combustion engines, you will find the cost of internal combustion engine is lower.

Stats easily

You will easily start internal combustion engines because they use high volatile fuel.



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