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Diesel Engine History

Diesel Engine Birth 1893

How a diesel engine works. Diesel technology.

Page with videos for students and who are interested in the design of diesel engines and how they work.

Diesel Engines History Videos

To start the video, click on the any picture below.

The Diesel Story (Rudolf Diesel & development of diesel engine)

The Diesel Story
The Diesel Story is a short 1952 film that gives viewers a brief overview of how early internal combustion engines functioned as well as a short history of the development of the diesel engine from the different prototypes developed by Rudolf Diesel during the late 19th to the modern diesel engines used in a wide variety of machines.

The film shows some of the early internal combustion engines (02:05), such as the four-stroke Otto silent gas engine. Animation is used to show how a four-stroke engine works (02:42). The film uses animation to show how the piston and hot bulb function.
Viewers see a picture of Rudolf Diesel (06:15), who creates a new engine. There is a close-up shot of a glass cylinder and piston (06:54), which was used in the diesel engine. Animation shows the process of combustion in this design. The film then uses a reenactment of Rudolf Diesel and his team working on diesel prototypes in Augsburg, Germany (08:00).
Animation is again used to show the addition of adding an air pump to the engine. This new design is tested in the Augsburg workroom (09:50). The men observe the new engine, which they complete in 1897 (11:25). A diesel engine is used to drive electric generators (12:26).
Footage shows the first diesel engine ocean-going ship, the Selandia, as it sets sail (12:47). (13:18) The ship heads for Bangkok. The film shows other diesel ships, including the Rinovia. Next, the film gives viewers a look at some of the developments of the diesel engine during the first half of the 20th century: an air-blast method and jerk-type pump (15:18), an airless injection, and a new high-speed engine (16:00).

Air-blast injection Diesel built in 1904

110 years old diesel is running
16 hp at 235 rpm
Bore 215 mm
Stroke 340 mm
110V Crompton dynamo and switchboard

Air-blast injection Diesel built by Grazer Wagon & Maschinenfabriks-Aktiengesellschaft (Graz, Austria)to MAN drawings. Lighting plant for a hospital installed in October 1904, later served in a sawmill until compressor damage by lube oil explosion.

The engine is running on air blast. The fourth rocker is not visible on this video clip, it is hidden between camshaft and cylinder head. Lift of injection needle is about 1 mm, this is the reason why you hardly see it lift. Look closely at 5:56. Injection timing is -5/+35 degrees crankshaft rotation. This protracted injection of fuel over 40 degrees is one of the reasons why these engines run so smoothly.

What you hear is a recording loop: noise in the foreground is intake air, remotely you hear the ding of the compressor first stage intake valve. Otherwise the engine is very quiet, somewhat like a steam engine.

The oldest Burmeister & Wain diesel Engine Start up 1907 year built

The oldest Burmeister & Wain diesel Engine Start up
Burmeister and Wain air-blast injection diesel engine from 1907 located in a water pumping station at Alborg, Denmark being started in 1996 for the 150th anniversary of B&W. At the time it was the oldest known B&W diesel to operate. It is very similar in design to the engine successfully built and operated in 1897 by Doctor - Engineer Rudolf Diesel.

Because it is an air-blast injection engine, compressed air from 45-62 bar (about 650-900 psi) is used to do the actual fuel injection. Fuel and blast air is delivered to the top of the injector by separate pumps, and when the cam opens up the injector, the very high air pressure at the injector forces the fuel down into the injection nozzle and into the highly heated air inside the combustion chamber. The blast air is actually delivered by an external air line to the engine during startup, and is disconnected when the engine is running to allow the internal air pump to take over.

MAN B&W Diesel Number 1 (MAN Diesel House).

Burmeister and Wain diesel #1
The Alborg's engine (see above) was truly the oldest working engine for many years.

But NOW the oldest is the first diesel engine delivered by B&W in 1904. It has been refurbished and made operational for Diesel House in Copenhagen after more than 60 years of standstill.

MAN Diesel House. MAN B&W Diesel Legend - H.C. Orsted Power Plant. Ole Grone explains.

Burmeister and Wain DM884WS-150
Builder: Burmeister and Wain
Type: DM884WS-150
Built in 1933 for the H C Orsted Power Station in Copenhagen
8 cylinder double acting opposed piston diesel engine
Cylinder bore 840 mm, Stroke 1500 mm, 115 rpm
24.5 meters long, 12.5 meters high, 1400 tonnes weighs

For 30 years it was the most powerful in the world.
It is still in running order and started on the first and third Sunday of each month for visitors to the Diesel House Museum.

The Engine That Powers the World - Diesel Engine from birth to today.

The world's first Diesel engine power station in Kiev
Splendidly, car enthusiast presenter Mark Evans gets excitedly hands on with some of the many applications of Mr Diesel's - yes, there was one - original creation, from vintage submarines and tractors to locomotive trains and container ships.
This is beautiful documentary movie.

The photo - The world's first Diesel engine power station in Kiev, built together with Rudolf Diesel in 1904, 1 600 hp/1177 kW (M.A.N.).

MAN Diesel and Turbo brief survey

MAN Diesel&Turbo brief survey
MAN diesel & turbo diesel division
Germany. Augsburg - 4-stroke engines. Research and development center. Turbochargers.
Germany. Humburg - Service Center.
Denmark. Copenhagen - 2-stroke engines. Research and development center.
Denmark. Holeby - 4-stroke generating sets.
Denmark. Frederikshavn - 2-stroke and 4-stroke propulsion systems. Service center.
France. Saint-Nazaire - 4-stroke engines (Ex. S.E.M.T. Pielstick).
United Kingdom Devision. Stockport - 4-stroke engines (In 2000, MAN Diesel, then known as MAN B&W Diesel acquired Alstom Engines Ltd from GEC. This included the former diesel businesses of English Electric, Mirrlees Blackstone, Napier & Son, Paxman, and Ruston).

Sulzer in the 1930s

Sulzer in the 1930s
The first Sulzer diesel engine was constructed with co-operation with Rudolf Diesel in 1898.

Until 1997, the company was one of the largest manufacturer of 2-stroke diesel engines for shipbuilding and stationary power plants. The diesel engine business was sold to Wärtsilä in 1997.


Sulzer in the 1930s
In 1938 the diesel engine era began when Wärtsilä signed a licence agreement with Friedrich Krupp Germania Werft AG in Germany. The first diesel engine was produced in Turku, Finland in November 1942.
In 1997 Wärtsilä absorbed the diesel motor producing New Sulzer Diesel (NSD), having been created by Sulzer in 1990.

The company offers for marine market services the merchant, offshore, cruise and ferry, naval, fishing, tugs, yachts and special vessel markets, and the offering includes ship design, main and auxiliary engines, auxiliary power systems, electrical and automation packages, propulsors (such as water jets, thrusters, propellers, and nozzles), seals, bearings, gears, rudders, scrubbers, boilers, and all related services, such as repair, configuration, upgrading, training, maintenance, and environmental services.

All names mentioned are registered tradesmen of registered companies and are mentioned for reference only.
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