Thursday, October 7, 2021

Invention of diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel

Though best known for his invention of the pressure-ignited heat engine that bears his name, Rudolf Diesel was also an eminent thermal engineer, a connoisseur of the arts, a linguist, and a social theorist. He was born in Paris, France in 1858.

The young Diesel's life was changed by a lecture on thermodynamics at the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich, where he learned that it was theoretically possible to make an internal combustion engine that would convert all heat into work.

Diesel set himself the task of translating theory into practice. In 1885, Diesel set up his first shop in Paris to begin development of a compression ignition engine. The process would last 13 years.

Seeking to increase the efficiency of the Nikolaus Otto engine. it occurred to Diesel that he could do away with electrical ignition if he could compress air to so small a volume that the temperature would be above the ignition point of an appropriate fuel. The cycle of operations he conceived was set forth in his patents of 1892 and 1893.

He obtained a German development patent in 1892 and the following year published a description of his engine under the title Theorie und Konstruktion eines rationellen Wäremotors (Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat Motor).

His first working engine was only just over 25% efficient. Today, the best Diesel engines top 50%. But even so, 25% was more than twice as good as its rivals achieved. From 1893 to 1897, Diesel further developed his ideas at Maschinenfabrik-Augsburg AG (later Maschinenfabrik-Augsburg-Nürnberg or MAN).

In the 1890s, he received a number of patents for his invention of an efficient, slow burning, compression ignition, internal combustion engine.

The first commercial engine built on Diesel's patents was installed in St. Louis, Missouri, by a brewer, Adolphus Busch.

It was only after World War One that Diesel's invention began to realize its commercial potential. The first diesel-powered trucks appeared in the 1920s, trains in the 1930s. By 1939 a quarter of global sea trade was fueled by diesel.

The diesel engine became the major power plant for submarines during World War I. It was not only economical in the use of fuel but it proved itself reliable under wartime conditions.
Invention of diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel

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