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

still there.

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