A piston engine, also known as a reciprocating engine, works by expanding hot gases (a mixture of air and fuel) within a cylinder in order to push a piston, which in turn rotates a crankshaft and generates power. Unlike early steam engines, modern piston engines do not require an external source of hot gases, hence they are known as internal combustion engines.Continue Reading
The movement of the piston is called a stroke. Piston engines are categorized by the number of strokes required to complete one power cycle, as well as the speed of the crankshaft (revolutions per minute, or rpm). The four-stroke engine, for instance, requires four movements of the piston before the sequence of firing the engine repeats.
There are two types of piston engine that employ internal combustion: 'spark-ignited' (or SG) and compression-ignited (diesel).
In spark-ignited piston engines, the air-fuel mixture is injected via a spark plug at the top of the cylinder. This is based on the Otto cycle, in which the fuel requires an internal spark in order to reach the required temperature to burn.
Conversely, the diesel cycle, which is employed by compression-ignited piston engines, raises temperature by compressing air. When the fuel is introduced to the cylinder, the temperature is already hot enough for it to burn, with the expansion forcing the piston down.Learn more about Engine
The main components on a diagram of an internal combustion engine include the cylinder, which is the body of the engine, and the crankshaft, connecting rod, intake and exhaust valves, spark plug and piston. Fuel intake, burning and compression occur in the cylinder. The number and arrangement of cylinders in the engine determine the size and shape of the crankshaft, which rotates freely. The connecting rod, which connects the piston to the crankshaft is the primary mover in the engine.Full Answer >
The engine timing system on a gasoline automobile works by providing a spark to ignite the compressed fuel at the right time, providing the maximum power from the expanding fuel. If the engine timing is not correct, the vehicle suffers a loss of power, uses more fuel and produces more emissions.Full Answer >
A choke is a valve installed in a carburetor that restricts air flow, which enriches the fuel-air mixture when an engine is started. According to Autorized.com, a choke is designed to help engines start more quickly and efficiently when they are cold.Full Answer >
A turbocharger gives an engine more power by increasing the amount of air and fuel the engine burns. A turbocharger is an induction system that compresses the air entering the engine. Compressed air allows the engine to push more air into the cylinders, which increases the amount of fuel used. The turbocharger enhances the combustion process inside each cylinder, which generates more power and improves the power-to-weight ratio.Full Answer >