Railways NTPC (Technical Ability) Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

Category : Railways

Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)


  • An internal combustion engine (ICE) is an engine where the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit.
  • In an internal combustion engine the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion apply direct force to some component of the engine.
  • The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy. The first commercially successful internal combustion engine was created by Etienne Lenoir around 1859.
  • The term internal combustion engine usually refers to an engine in which combustion is intermittent, such as the more familiar four-stroke and two-stroke piston engines, along with variants, such as the six-stroke piston engine and the Wankel rotary engine.
  • Internal combustion engines are quite different from external combustion engines, such as steam or Stirling engines, in which the energy is delivered to a working fluid not consisting of, mixed with, or contaminated by combustion products.
  • Working fluids can be air, hot water, pressurized water or even liquid sodium, heated in a boiler. ICEs are usually powered by energy-dense fuels such as gasoline or diesel, liquids derived from fossil fuels. While there are many stationary applications, most ICEs are used in mobile applications and are the dominant power supply for cars, aircraft, and boats.
  • Typically an ICE is fed with fossil fuels like natural gas or petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel or fuel oil. There's a growing usage of renewable fuels like biodiesel for compression ignition engines and bioethanol for spark ignition engines. Hydrogen is sometimes used, and can be made from either fossil fuels or renewable energy.
  • Although various forms of internal combustion engines were developed before the 19th century, their use was hindered until the commercial drilling and production of petroleum began in the mid-1850s. By the late 19th century, engineering advances led to their widespread adoption in a variety of applications.
  • Early internal combustion engines were started by hand cranking. Various types of starter motor were later developed. These included:

\[-\] An auxiliary petrol engine for starting a larger petrol or diesel engine. The Hucks starter is an example

\[-\] Cartridge starters, such as the Coffman engine starter, which used a device like a blank shotgun cartridge. These were popular for aircraft engines           

\[-\] Pneumatic starters

\[-\] Hydraulic starters

\[-\] Electric starters

  • Electric starters are now almost universal for small and medium-sized engines, while pneumatic starters are used for large engines.
  • The first piston engines did not have compression, but ran on an air-fuel mixture sucked or blown in during the first part of the intake stroke. The most significant distinction between modern internal combustion engines and the early designs is the use of compression and, in particular, in-cylinder compression.
  • The base of a reciprocating internal combustion engine is the engine block which is typically made of cast iron or aluminum.
  • He engine block contains the cylinders. In engines with more than 1 cylinder they're usually arranged either in 1 row (straight engine) or 2 rows (boxer engine or V engine); 3 rows are occasionally used (W engine) in contemporary engines, and other engine configurations are possible and have been used.
  • Single cylinder engines are common for motorcycles and in small engines of machinery. Water cooled engines contain passages in the engine block where cooling fluid circulate (the water jacket).
  • Some small engines are air cooled, and instead of having a water jacket the cylinder block has fins protruding away from it to cool by directly transferring heat to the air.
  • The cylinder walls are usually finished by honing to obtain a cross hatch which is better able to retain the oil. A too rough surface would quickly harm the engine by excessive wear on the piston.
  • The pistons are short cylindrical parts which seal one end of the cylinder from the high pressure of the compressed air and combustion products and slide continuously within it while the engine is in operation.
  • The top wall of the piston is termed its crown and is typically flat or concave. Some two stroke engines use pistons with a deflector head. Pistons are open at the bottom and hollow except for an integral reinforcement structure (the piston web).
  • When an engine is working the gas pressure in the combustion chamber exerts a force on the piston crown which is transferred through its web to a gudgeon pin. Each piston has rings fitted around its circumference that mostly prevent the gases from leaking into the crankcase or the oil into the combustion chamber.
  • In two stroke gasoline engines the crankcase is part of the air-fuel path and due to the continuous flow of it they do not need a separate crankcase ventilation system.
  • The cylinder head is attached to the engine block by numerous bolts or studs. It has several functions. The cylinder head seals the cylinders on the side opposite to the pistons; it contains short ducts (the ports) for intake and exhaust and the associated intake valves that open to let the cylinder be filled with fresh air and exhaust valves that open to allow the combustion gases to escape.
  • However, 2-stroke crankcase scavenged engines connect the gas ports directly to the cylinder wall without poppet valves; the piston controls their opening and occlusion instead. The cylinder head also holds the spark plug in the case of spark ignition engines and the injector for engines that use direct injection.
  • All CI engines use fuel injection, usually direct injection but some engines instead use indirect injection. SI engines can use acarburetor or fuel injection as port injection or direct injection. Most SI engines have a single spark plug per cylinder but some have 2. A head casket prevents the gas from leaking between the cylinder head and the engine block.
  • The opening and closing of the valves is controlled by one or several camshafts and springs—or in some engines—a desmodromic mechanism that uses no springs. The camshaft may press directly the stem of the valve or may act upon a rocker arm, again, either directly or through a pushrod.
  • The crankcase is sealed at the bottom with a sump that collects the falling oil during normal operation to be cycled again. The cavity created between the cylinder block and the sump houses a crankshaft that converts the reciprocating motion of the pistons to rotational motion.
  • The crankshaft is held in place relative to the engine block by main bearings, which allow it to rotate. Bulkheads in the crankcase form a half of every main bearing; the other half is a detachable cap. In some cases a single main bearing deck is used rather than several smaller caps.
  • A rod is connected to offset sections of the crankshaft (the crankpins) in one end and to the piston in the other end through the dudgeon pin and thus transfers the force and translates the reciprocating motion of the pistons to the circular motion of the crankshaft.
  • Usually eddy current damping is used in PMMC instruments.
  • Moving coil instruments are preferred measurement of dc voltages only because of their inherent advantages such as low power consumption, no hysteresis loss, very effective and reliable eddy current damping, high torque weight ratio, no effect of stray magnetic field etc. and incapability of measuring ac voltages as explained below:
  • The dynamometer type instruments are suitable both for dc and ac measurements because they have square- law response.
  • As the electro-dynamic type instruments have the same accuracy on dc and ac both, they are called the transfer instruments.
  • Thermocouple and electrostatic type instruments also fall in this category.
  • Dynamometer type instruments are usually not used for dc measurements as these instruments have higher cost, higher power consumption, low torque-weight ratio, non-uniform scale and other several drawbacks in comparison to PMMC instruments.
  • The end of the connecting rod attached to the dudgeon pin is called its small end, and the other end, where it is connected to the crankshaft, the big end. The big end has a detachable half to allow assembly around the crankshaft. It is kept together to the connecting rod by removable bolts.
  • The cylinder head has attached an intake manifold and an exhaust manifold to the corresponding ports. The intake manifold connects to the air filter directly, or to a carburetor when one is present, which is then connected to the air filter.
  • It distributes the air incoming from these devices to the individual cylinders. The exhaust manifold is the first component in the exhaust system. It collects the exhaust gases from the cylinders and drives it to the following component in the path.

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Notes - Internal Combustion Engine (ICE)

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