Search This Blog

Saturday, 25 October 2014


The name diesel is given to an engine invented by a German named Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) in the late 19th century.

Rudolph Diesel had the idea to develop an engine which relied on a high compression of the fuel to ignite it. He took his inspiration from watching a lecture where there was a demonstration of a Malaysian fire starting technique called the 'fire piston' which creates flames through air compression.

Diesel first came up with a design for his engine in 1892 and, subsidized by the Krupp company, constructed a ‘rational heat motor’, demonstrating the first compression-ignition engine in 1897. Diesel was granted US Patent No. 608,845 on August 9, 1898, for his engine.

Diesel's original 1897 engine on display at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany. Photo by Chris Thomas via Wikipedia

A diesel engine can also be made to run on vegetable oil made from old cooking oil. This type of fuel is called biodiesel. This is not a new idea. Rudolf Diesel demonstrated his diesel engine in the 1900 Exposition Universelle (World's Fair) using peanut oil fuel.

Rudolf Diesel was lost overboard from the steamer Dresden while on his way to London on September 29, 1913. Many believe he committed suicide as, shortly after Diesel's disappearance, his wife Martha opened a bag that her husband had given to her just before his ill-fated voyage, with directions that it should not be opened until the following week. She discovered 200,000 German marks in cash .

Rudolf Diesel

The first diesel locomotive took to the rails in Germany in 1912.

The first US diesel-power passenger car, a Cummins powered Packard, was built in Columbus, Indiana in 1930.

To promote the diesel engine, Cummins Engine Company owner Clessie Cummins mounted a diesel engine in a used Packard Touring Car and set out from Indianapolis, Indiana for New York's National Automobile Show. The first diesel-engined automobile trip was completed on January 6, 1930.
The 800-mile trip used 30 gallons of fuel, which cost $1.38, and showed that diesel was a viable option as an internal combustion engine.

The world's largest diesel engine is currently a Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C Common Rail marine diesel, which produces a peak power output of 84.42 MW (113,210 hp) at 102 rpm.

A gallon of diesel will carry a tonne of freight 246 miles by rail, or 88 miles by road.


No comments:

Post a Comment