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Difference Between Internal and External Combustion Engine

In this article, you’ll learn about internal and external engines and the difference between internal and external combustion engines.

What is the Heat Engine?

An engine is a device that converts one form of energy into another. A heat engine is a machine in which the chemical energy of a fuel transformed into thermal energy by combustion to produce mechanical work. Heat engines may be classified according to the place where combustion takes place.

Apart from that, also check out a two-stroke engine is a type of internal combustion engine. Furthermore, learn about why does knocking occurs in an engine. Moreover, also check out various types of steam engines used in industries.

Types of Heat Engines

Following are the two main types of heat engines:

  1. Internal Combustion Engine
  2. External Combustion Engine

1. Internal Combustion Engine

If the combustion of fuel takes place inside the working cylinder, the engine is known as an internal combustion engine (I.C engine).

Ex: Petrol Engine, Diesel Engine etc.

2. External Combustion Engine

If the combustion of fuel takes place outside the working cylinder, the engine is known as an external combustion engine (E.C engine).

Ex: Steam Engine, Steam Turbines etc.

Read Also: Engine: Types of Engines in Automobile [Massive Guide] with PDF

Difference Between Internal and External Combustion Engine

The varies differences between the internal combustion engine and the external combustion engine is as follows:

The internal combustion of fuel takes place inside the working cylinder. Whereas the external combustion of fuel takes place outside the working cylinder.

The working fluid used in the internal combustion engine is maybe Petrol, Diesel & Various types of gases. Whereas the Working fluid used in the external combustion engine is maybe steam.

The internal combustion engine requires less space. As compared to the external combustion engine it requires a large space than the i.c engine.

The capital cost of the internal combustion engine is relatively low. But the capital cost of the external combustion engine is relatively high.

Starting of this internal combustion engine is easy & quick. As compared to the external combustion engine, the starting of the engine requires time.

In the internal combustion engine, thermal efficiency is high. Whereas in the external combustion engine, thermal Efficiency is low.

The power developed in an internal combustion engine is per unit weight of these engines is high. As compared to the power developed in an external combustion engine is per unit weight of these engines is low.

An Internal combustion engine does not require a boiler or other components, thus it is light and compact. Whereas the external combustion engine requires a boiler and other components to transfer energy, thus it is heavy.

The internal combustion engine has an efficiency of about 35-45 %. As compared to the external combustion engine has an efficiency of about 15-25 %.

The Fuel cost of the internal combustion engine is relatively high. As compared to the fuel cost of the external combustion engine is relatively low.


Conclusion

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Saif M
Saif M. is a Mechanical Engineer by profession. He completed his engineering studies in 2014 and is currently working in a large firm as Mechanical Engineer. He is also an author and editor at theengineerspost.com