Engine Development History

- Jun 11, 2020-

Engine development history

Looking back at the history of engine generation and development, it has gone through three stages of development: steam engine, external combustion engine and internal combustion engine.


External combustion engine

The external combustion engine, which means that its fuel is burned outside the engine, was invented by R. Stirling of Scotland in 1816, so it is also called the Stirling engine. The engine converts the heat energy generated by this combustion into kinetic energy. The steam engine modified by Watt is a typical external combustion engine. When a large amount of coal is burned to produce heat and heat the water into a large amount of steam, high pressure is generated. The high pressure pushes the machine to do work, thus completing the conversion of thermal energy to kinetic energy.


internal combustion engine

Schematic diagram of the engine structure (Figure 1)

Schematic diagram of the engine structure (Figure 1)

When you understand what an external combustion engine is, you know what an internal combustion engine is. The biggest difference between this type of engine and the external combustion engine is that its fuel is burned inside. There are many types of internal combustion engines, and common gasoline engines and diesel engines are typical internal combustion engines. Uncommon rocket engines and jet engines mounted on aircraft are also internal combustion engines. However, due to the different power output methods, there are huge differences between the former two and the latter two. Generally, the former is mostly used on the ground, and the latter is mostly used in the air. Of course, some car manufacturers have also used jet engines in their cars for the purpose of creating a new record of the world’s car speed, but this is always a very special example, and there is no applicability for mass production.


gas turbine

In addition, there is a gas turbine. The working characteristic of this kind of engine is to produce high-pressure gas by combustion. The high pressure of the gas is used to push the blades of the gas turbine to rotate, thereby outputting power. Gas turbines are used in a wide range, but because it is difficult to finely adjust the output power, cars and motorcycles rarely use gas turbines, and only some racing cars have used gas turbines.