Different types of Engines used in automobiles

When you glance around, you will notice that there are many vehicles on the road, on the water, and in the air. They all have engines that let them go on roadways, float on water, and soar in the air. Now we're confused about which types of engines they're employing to work. Are they powered by the same engine types or by distinct engines? 

This post will teach us about many sorts of engines. The classification of engines is determined by the type of fuel used, the cycle of operation, the number of strokes, the type of ignition, the number of cylinders, cylinder arrangement, valve arrangement, type of cooling, and so on. These engines are used in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, and marine industries. They are employed in a variety of industries based on their appropriateness. So, let's go over each engine type one by one.

To work in the automobile sector, you must be well-versed in engines and their various types. In this section, we will go through each engine type in detail. If you want an in-depth engine guide, you can watch YouTube videos or purchase an online automotive basic course that will teach you how an engine works in a vehicle.

Types of Engine

Basically, engines are of two types, and these are

  1. External Combustion Engines: Combustion of fuel takes place outside the engines.
  2. Internal Combustion Engines:  Combustion of fuel takes place inside the engines.

1. External Combustion Engine:

The combustion of fuel occurs outside the engine in an external combustion engine. And the majority of the fuel utilised is coal, wood, and so on. As an example, consider steam engines. 

2. Internal Combustion Engine:

The combustion of fuel occurs inside the engine in an internal combustion engine. Internal combustion engines include two-stroke and four-stroke petrol and diesel engines.

Internal combustion (I.C.) engines are classified into numerous categories based on a variety of factors.

The I.C. engines are classified on the following basis:

  1. Types of Design: Rotary engine, reciprocating engines
  2. Types of fuel used: Petrol engines, diesel engines, gas engines.
  3. The cycle of Operation: Otto cycle engine, Diesel cycle, Dual cycle engine or semi-diesel cycle engine
  4. Number of Strokes: Two-stroke engine, four-stroke engine
  5. Types of ignition: Spark ignition engine (SI engine), compressed ignition engine (CI engine)
  6. Number of Cylinders: Single cylinder, Double Cylinder, Multi-cylinder ( 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 etc)
  7. Arrangement of Cylinders: Vertical, horizontal, radial, V-type, W-type, opposed cylinder.
  8. Valve Arrangement: L-head, I-head, F-head, T- head engine
  9. Types of Cooling: Air-cooled, water-cooled

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Now lets discuss each engine types in details: 

1. Types of Design

On the basis of design, the engines are of two types and these are:

1. Reciprocating Engines

A reciprocating engine consists of a piston and a cylinder, with the piston reciprocating (To and Fro) within the cylinder. The reciprocating engine gets its name from the reciprocating action of the piston. Common reciprocating engines include two-stroke and four-stroke engines.

2. Rotary Engines

The rotor rotates in the rotary engine to generate power. There is no revolving motion. In the chamber, there is a rotor that rotates inside the chamber. Rotary engines include the Wankel rotary engine and turbine engines.

2. Types of Fuel Used

The engine is classed as a petrol engine, a diesel engine or a petrol engine based on the type of fuel utilised. You can also learn more about this by visiting the Tools Institute.

(i). Petrol Engine:

A petrol engine is one that uses pertol as fuel to power an internal combustion engine. A spark plug is used in a petrol engine to produce a spark for the combustion of an air-fuel mixture. When compared to diesel engines, petrol engines provide less power. Petrol engines can be two-stroke or four-stroke.

(ii). Diesel Engine:

A diesel engine is an engine that operates on diesel fuel. Because the heat of the compressed air is used to burn the diesel fuel, these engines are also known as compression ignition engines. It generates higher power than petrol engines.

(iii). Gas Engine:

A petrol engine is a type of engine that runs on petrol fuel. CNC (Compressed Natural Gas) is most typically utilised as a gas fuel to power automobile engines. CNG is less expensive than petrol and diesel, and it provides superior mileage.

3. Cycle of Operation

On the basis of the cycle of operation, the engine types are:

(i). Otto Cycle Engine:

This engine operates on the Otto cycle. Dr. Nikolaus August Otto invented the Otto cycle, which uses a petrol engine. The Otto cycle is used by all modern petrol engines. There are two isentropic (reversible adiabatic) processes and two isochoric (constant volume) processes in the Otto cycle.

(ii). Diesel Cycle Engine:

A diesel cycle engine is an engine that runs on the diesel cycle. In 1893, Rudolph Diesel devised the diesel cycle. The Diesel cycle is used by all engines that run on diesel fuel. When compared to the Otto cycle, this engine has a higher compression ratio and a higher thermal efficiency.

(iii). Dual Cycle Engine or Semi-diesel Cycle Engine:

A dual cycle engine or semi-diesel cycle engine is one that runs on both diesel and Otto cycle. 

4. Number of Strokes

On the basis of the number of strokes, the types of engines are:

(i). Four Stroke Engine:

Four-stroke engines are those in which the piston moves four times in one cycle of the power stroke, two times upward (from BDC to TDC) and two times downward (from TDC to BDC). This engine has four strokes. 

  1. Suction stroke: Suction of fir fuel mixture in (petrol engine) and suction of air in (Diesel engine)
  2. Compression stroke: Compression of air fuel mixture in petrol engine and comression of air in Diesel enignes.
  3. Power Stroke: Combustion of air-fuel mixture in petrol engine by spark plug and combustio of fuel in diesel engines by heat of the compressed air.
  4. Exhaust Stroke: Exit of the burnt gases in both petrol and diesel engines takes place.

(ii). Two Stroke Engine:

A two-stroke engine is one in which the piston moves twice, once from TDC to BDC and once from BDC to TDC, to produce a power stroke. All four processes of suction, compression, power, and exhaust occur in two strokes of the piston in two stroke engines.

5. Type of Ignition

On the basis of ignition, the engines are classified as:

(i). Spark Ignition Engine (SI Engine):

A spark plug is installed at the engine head in a spark ignition engine. The spark plug generates a spark after the gasoline is compressed and ignites the air-fuel mixture for combustion. The petrol engines use spark ignition.

(ii). Compression Ignition Engine (CI Engine):

There is no spark plug in the cylinder head of a compression ignition engine. The heat from the compressed air ignites the gasoline. Compression ignition engines are used in diesel engines.

6. Number of Cylinders

Engine types are classified according to the number of cylinders in the engine:

(i). Single cylinder engine: A single cylinder engine is a type of engine that has only one cylinder. Single cylinder engines are commonly seen in motorcycles, scooters, and other vehicles.

(ii). Double cylinder engine: The engine with two cylinders is known as a double cylinder engine.

(iii). Multi-cylinder engine: A multi cylinder engine is an engine that has more than two cylinders. The number of cylinders of a multi-cylinder engine can be three, four, six, eight, twelve, or sixteen.

7. Arrangement of Cylinders

Engines are classified according to their cylinder arrangement:

(i). Vertical engine: The cylinders in vertical engines are placed vertically, as illustrated in the diagram.

(ii). Horizontal engine: The cylinders in horizontal engines are arranged horizontally, as indicated in the diagram below.

(iii). Radial engine:  The radial engine is a form of reciprocating internal combustion engine in which the cylinders radiate outward from a central crankcase like wheel spokes. It is termed a'star' engine because it resembles a stylised star when viewed from the front. It was commonly used for aeroplane engines until the gas turbine engine became popular.

(iv). V-engine: The cylinders in a v-type engine are arranged in two banks with an angle between them. To avoid vibration and balancing issues, the angle between the two banks is kept as minimal as feasible.

(v). W type engine: The cylinders in w type engines are placed in three rows to produce a W type configuration. When 12 and 16 cylinder engines are constructed, a W type engine is created.

(vi). Opposed cylinder engine: The cylinders of an opposed cylinder engine are placed opposite each other. The piston and connecting rod move in the same direction. It operates more smoothly and has better balance. The configuration of the opposed cylinder engine increases its size.

8. Valve Arrangement

Automobile engines are categorised into four types based on the valve arrangement of the inlet and exhaust valves in various positions in the cylinder head or block. These arrangements are referred to as 'L', 'I', 'F', and 'T'.  The word 'LIFT' is easily remembered to recall the four valve arrangement.

(i). L-head engine: The inlet and exhaust valves are positioned side by side in these engines and are controlled by a single camshaft. The combustion chamber and cylinder form an inverted L.

(ii). I-head engine: The inlet and exhaust valves are situated in the cylinder head of I-head engines.  All of the valves are controlled by a single valve. These engines are usually found in autos.

(iii). F-head engine: It's a hybrid of I-head and F-head engines. In this case, the inlet valve is normally located in the head, whereas the exhaust valve is located in the cylinder block. The single camshaft controls both sets of valves.

(iv). T-head engine: In T-head engines, the inlet valve is on one side of the cylinder and the exhaust valve is on the other. Two camshafts are required to work in this case, one for the inlet valve and one for the exhaust valve.

9. Types of cooling

Engines are classed according on the sort of cooling they use:

(i). Air cooled engines:

Air is used to cool the engines in these engines. In air-cooled engines, the cylinder barrels are separated, and metal fins are employed to offer a larger radiating surface area, which increases cooling. Air cooled engines are commonly used in motorcycles and scooters.

(ii). Water cooled engines:

Water is used to cool the engine in water cooled engines. Water-cooled engines are found in automobiles, buses, trucks, and other four-wheeled vehicles, as well as heavy-duty motor vehicles. To keep the water from freezing in cold conditions, an anti-freezing chemical is added. Every water-cooled engine has a radiator to keep the hot water from the engine cold.

Aside from the types of engines mentioned above, the internal combustion engine is also classed as follows.

1. Speed:

On the basis of speed, the types of engines are:

(i). Low speed engine
(ii). Medium speed engine
(iii). High speed engine

2. Method of Fuel Injection

On the basis of method of fuel injection the engines are classified as:

(i). Carburettor engine
(ii). Air injection engine
(iii). Airless or solid injection engine

3. Method of Governing

(i). Hit and miss governed engine: It is a type of engine in which the governor controls the fuel entry. It regulates engine speed by turning off the engine's ignition and fuel supply at high speeds.

(ii). Qualitatively governed engine
(iii). Quantitatively governed engine

4. Application

(i). Stationary engine: A stationary engine is one whose framework does not move. It is used to power stationary equipment such as pumps, generators, mills, and factory gear.

(ii). Automotive engine: These are the engines that are employed in the vehicle industry. Internal combustion engines, such as petrol engines, diesel engines, and petrol engines, are examples of automobile engines.

(iii). Locomotive engine: Locomotive engines are engines that are utilised in trains.

(iv). Marine engine: The engines used in marines for boat or ship propulsion are known as marine engines.

(v). Aircraft engine: Aircraft engines are different types of engines that are utilised in aircraft. Radial and gas turbine engines are employed in aviation propulsion.

This is everything about the many sorts of engines; if you found this material useful and valuable, please like and share it.

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