The Most Significant Breakthroughs in Engine Technology

Auto Tech Outlook | Tuesday, October 26, 2021

While much attention is being paid to alternative power systems such as batteries and fuel cells these days, internal combustion engines will continue to play a significant role in heavy-duty applications.

FREMONT, CA: Over the years, engine technology has advanced dramatically, from two-valve systems using gravity to feed combustion mixtures to modern fuel injection systems. The use of an internal combustion engine is likewise being phased out in favor of electric vehicle technologies.

HYBRID: People have heard about hybrid vehicles by now, and many will have a basic understanding of their fuel efficiency and their benefits. The term hybrid refers to a vehicle that utilizes two distinct power sources. This typically consists of a standard gasoline combustion engine assisted by an electric motor, but some use a diesel engine in today’s market. The electric motor assists the vehicle in taking off and can operate the vehicle entirely on electric power on the highway and under specific low-load scenarios. This contributes significantly to the reduction of fuel consumption.

DIRECT INJECTION: The days of the carburetor system are over. The direct injection works by spraying air and gasoline into each cylinder precisely (combustion chamber). Regular fuel injection or electronic fuel injection (EFI), however brilliant an idea, sprays the mixture into the intake manifold and then draws it into the cylinders as the valve/s opens. Modern automobiles benefit considerably from the new technology because it is a more accurate means of injecting gasoline. Additionally, the amount of gasoline used is detected and managed more precisely for each cylinder. Modern diesel and turbo-diesel engines, frequently referred to as 'TDI' engines, also incorporate the technology (turbo direct injection).

ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV): EVs are only recently becoming popular. These are entirely powered by electricity, just like any other battery-powered device. The electric motor propels the car ahead by turning the wheels. The primary advantage is that there is no fuel usage and no exhaust emissions. The disadvantage is the battery; when it runs out, the car comes to a complete stop. This is fine for gasoline and diesel automobiles, as one can easily visit a fuel station to refuel before the tank gets dry. Due to the scarcity of EV charging facilities, one can only drive an EV a short distance. Numerous governments worldwide are looking to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate EVs.

HYDROGEN FUEL CELL: Compared to the hydrogen combustion mechanism described previously, fuel cells operate more like electric cars. Hydrogen is utilized to initiate a chemical reaction that produces electricity. Similar to an electric vehicle, this electricity is then used to power an electric motor. The most admirable feature about this concept is that it eliminates the need for recharging the fuel cell. Rather than that, it simply needs to be refueled with hydrogen, which can be problematic in and of itself. However, this is one of the most environmentally friendly propulsion modes since no pollutants are produced during the process. Recharging electric vehicles can be environmentally detrimental, depending on how electricity is generated in a particular region.

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