Diesel engines offer the lowest specific fuel usage
of any other large internal combustion engine. The
fact remains, two-stroke diesels with high pressure
forced induction, particularly turbo charging, make
up a large percentage of the largest diesel engines.
Throughout North America, diesel engines are generally
used in larger trucks, where the low stress, high
efficiency cycle will lead to a much longer engine
life and lower costs to operate. These advantages
also help to make the diesel engine ideal for use in
the heavy haul industry.
Cars however, continue to use gasoline, primarily
due to the consumer desire for a wider range of
RPM. In Europe, the use of diesel engines with cars
is far more common.
Even though diesel engines are more efficient when
throttled down, they aren’t suitable for most types
of aircraft. The higher compression ratios of the
diesel cycle demand a much stronger block, head,
and almost all moving parts in general. These
stronger parts add a lot of weight, or a lot of
expense, especially if lighter alloys are being used.
The Otto cycle engines are much cheaper to build for
these reasons, although they have long been overtaken
by the turbine engines. For the same displacement
of the engine, Otto cycles will produce more actual
power than a Diesel cycle can, because the fuel
will burn at a much faster rate, allowing more power
strokes per minute than a standard diesel can offer.
What this means, is that less fuel has to be carried.
Additionally, commercial aircraft is normally run
at preset limits, so that Otto cycle engines used
in aircraft don’t suffer anywhere near the efficiency
penalties that land vehicles do. Heavy equipment,
such as those used in mining and construction,
almost always uses diesel engines.
Diesel engines are also used with submarines. In
these types of submarines, the diesel engine is run
when the submarine is on the surface, which charges
the batteries that power the submarine once it is
All across the world, diesel engines serve many
different purposes. They are used with almost all
types of heavy machinery, and other vehicles. Gas
isn’t the way to go with heavy machinery, as the
engines simply can’t withstand the beating.
Diesel has been popular for many years with machinery
and submarines, simply because the engines can
last for years and years. Although they won’t offer
as much speed as gasoline, the torque and power is