A type of internal combustion engine more accurately known as a compression ignition engine is designed to provide power by compressing the fuel at high temperature and significant pressure until it ignites.
Diesel engines are either two-stroke or four-stroke. ‘Stroke’ means the movement of the piston in the engine.
This engine uses one stroke in each direction. The first stroke being compression, which results in the ignition of the compressed fuel. The return stroke brings new fuel into the cylinder.
This engine has one compression stroke and one exhaust stroke and each one of those has a return stroke – hence, four-stroke. The compression stroke compresses the fuel/air mixture prior to ignition. The exhaust stroke pushes the burnt gases out the exhaust.
The majority of diesel engines use the four-stroke cycle, however some larger engines operate using the two-stroke cycle.
Generators produce either single or three phase power. Domestic customers usually only need single phase whilst industrial and commercial usually need 3-phase.
Uses of diesel generators
Commercial / Industrial
Companies install diesel generators for either primary use (if in an area with no electricity supply), secondary use (as a backup, should a power cut occur), or emergency use (in the event of a power cut having devastating consequences, such as in a hospital).
Most large passenger / cargo / agricultural vehicles have diesel engines. From HGVs and buses, to trains, tractors and diggers. All construction vehicles also run on diesel powered engines.
Huge diesel engines are used to power ships and liners with outputs of up to 90,000 kw!
Since the 1930s some airplanes have used diesel engines, however it is more the small general aviation planes that use them today such as Cessna 172s and Piper Cherokees.
Underground industry is particularly biased toward using diesel power with both the heavy machinery and transportation vehicles relying on diesel engines.
An absolutely imperative part of running a hospital is to ensure that all essential life-saving equipment never loses power. Diesel generators are used all over the world to keep patients alive should a power cut, whether localised or due to a natural disaster, occur.
Major companies who provide communications and telecommunications including internet services, as well as banks and major financial data corporations, rely on back-up power provided by diesel generators.
Diesel generators are an essential part of life today! With the fuel itself being a cheaper option than petrol, and with a much lower chance of catching fire, it is a much preferred option.
Eagle Generators Ltd – Suppliers of new F G Wilson diesel generators
Photo credit – Diesel generators in use at ATR