Does an external combustion engine work?

An external combustion engine burns fuel to heat water and produce steam. The steam is under pressure and is used to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. As the piston moves back and forth, it moves a piston rod, which can do work.

How efficient are external combustion engines?


The simplest steam power plant would have an open cycle, a maximum pressure of 10 bars, and no superheating of the steam. The efficiency of such a plant would be fairly low, that is, hardly above 5%.

Why external combustion engine is not widely used today?

External combustion engines are no longer used in transportation, as mobile designs are not efficient enough, but they continue to be used in power plants. For example, a natural gas power plant boils water into steam to turn a turbine, creating electricity.

Which is better internal or external combustion engine?

In IC engines, the combustion of fuel takes place inside, whereas in EC engines the fuel combustion takes place outside the cylinder. The advantages of IC engine are higher BTE, more horsepower developed per unit weight and low cost compared to that of external combustion engine.

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Do combustion engines work?

The engine then partially converts the energy from the combustion to work. The engine consists of a fixed cylinder and a moving piston. The expanding combustion gases push the piston, which in turn rotates the crankshaft. … After the piston compresses the fuel-air mixture, the spark ignites it, causing combustion.

Were steam engines efficient?

The efficiency of the steam locomotive has been given as 11 percent and that of the electric locomotive as about 20 percent. Neither value compares favorably with the 28 percent estimated for diesel locomotives, the ratios being 1.82 for electric/steam, 1.4 for diesel/electric, and 2.55 for diesel steam traction.

What are the disadvantages of external combustion engine?

De Laval’s steam turbine, used in ships and today’s thermal power plants, is also external combustion: the steam is produced somewhere else, in a boiler. Disadvantages of external combustion engine are: 1. Space requirement are larger vs comparable internal combustion engines.

Why don’t we use steam engines for cars anymore?

Due to the fact that steam provides constant pressure unlike the piston strokes of an internal combustion engine, steam-powered cars required no clutch, no gearbox and were overall extremely easy to drive. … Once the electric starter motor debuted in 1912, steam-powered cars all but vanished.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of external combustion engine?

External combustion engines are discussed as possible alternatives to the internal combustion engine for vehicle propulsion. Potential advantages are low levels of exhaust pollution, quiet operation, high starting torque, and possible lower costs during a vehicle lifetime.

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What is the difference between ice and ECE?

An Internal combustion engine does not require a boiler or other components, thus it is light and compact. Whereas the external combustion engine requires a boiler and other components to transfer energy, thus it is heavy. The internal combustion engine has an efficiency of about 35-45 %.

Is diesel engine an external combustion engine?

The diesel engine, named after Rudolf Diesel, is an internal combustion engine in which ignition of the fuel is caused by the elevated temperature of the air in the cylinder due to mechanical compression; thus, the diesel engine is a so-called compression-ignition engine (CI engine).

Is a steam engine an external combustion engine?

A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. … Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separated from the combustion products.

Is a jet engine an external combustion engine?

In general, jet engines are internal combustion engines. Airbreathing jet engines typically feature a rotating air compressor powered by a turbine, with the leftover power providing thrust through the propelling nozzle—this process is known as the Brayton thermodynamic cycle.

What are the 3 types of engines?

Types of engines and how they work

  • Internal combustion engines (IC engines)
  • External combustion engines (EC engines)
  • Reaction engines.

Who had the first V8 engine?

In 1907, the Hewitt Touring Car became the first car built in the United States with a V8 engine. The 1910 De Dion-Bouton— built in France— is considered to be the first V8 engine produced in significant quantities. The 1914 Cadillac L-head V8 engine is considered to be the first mass-production V8 engine.

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Why is it called reciprocating engine?

A reciprocating engine is an engine that uses one or more pistons in order to convert pressure into rotational motion. They use the reciprocating (up-and-down) motion of the pistons to translate this energy.