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Internal Combustion Engines: MEHB493– Lecture 1

Syllabus Topic 1 - Brief History; Basic Engine Cycles (2 and 4-

Stroke SI and CI Engines); Terminology and Definitions.

Reference – Chapter 1 of the textbook. Please read the relevant sections of this chapter.
Brief History
Heat engines have a history of over 250 years. However, for the
first 150 years of this history, there were only external combustion
heat engines.
In these engines, water, raised to steam, was interposed between the
combustion gases produced by burning the fuel and the work-
producing piston in-cylinder expander.
A classic example is Watt’s engine.

Watt’s Engine - Invented in 1778
1. Water is heated in a
furnace to generate steam.
Steam flow into the top of
the large cylinder, pushing
down the piston. By means
of linkage, piston in water
pump is lifted. The piston
sucked up water from

2. Steam enters the bottom

of the cylinder. This pushes
the piston upwards. This
force the piston in the water
pump down. In turn, forcing
the water out the tap.

1860-1865: Lenoir developed the first marketable internal
combustion engine (ICE).
Coal-gas and air were drawn into the cylinder during the first half
of the piston stroke. The charge was ignited with a spark, the
pressure increased, and the burned gases then delivered power to
the piston for the second half of the stroke. The cycle was
completed with an exhaust stroke. Efficiency: 5%
1867: Improved engine - Otto & Langen. Efficiency 11%.
1876: Otto prototype four-stroke engine. Efficiency: 14%

Lenoir’s Engine
Lenoir’s engine has a cylinder.
It has a double working piston.
On the way from one extreme
to the middle of the cylinder, a
fuel mixture gets sucked, and
then performed work on the
piston during the other half of
the way after being ignited.

On the other side, the

discharge of the burned gas
takes place at the same time.
Now the engine works in the
opposite direction, using the
same principle.

1892: Rudolf Diesel outlined in his patent a new form of internal
combustion engine. He proposed initiating combustion by injecting
a liquid fuel into air heated solely by compression. It took five
years to develop a practical engine based on this concept.
Engine developments, less fundamental but nonetheless important
have continued ever since.
A major development occurred in 1957 when a rotary ICE based on
the designs of the German inventor Felix Wankel was successfully

Otto Four Stroke Cycle Engine
Basic IC Engine Operation
Vast majority of ICE is based on the reciprocating engines.
In the reciprocating engines, the piston moves back and forth in
a cylinder and transmits power through a connecting rod and
crank mechanism to the drive shaft.
First, we take a brief look at the various parts of the engine.

Some Terminology

During engine operation, the piston comes to rest momentarily at
the top center, TC (also called the top dead center, TDC) crank
position and bottom-center, BC (also called the bottom dead
center BDC) crank position.

At the TC position, the cylinder

volume is a minimum. This
minimum volume is called the
clearance volume Vc.
At the BC position, the cylinder
volume is a maximum.

The volume swept out by the piston, the difference between the
maximum or total volume Vt and the clearance volume, is called
the displaced or swept volume Vd.

The distance between the TC

and BC positions is called the
The ratio of maximum volume
to minimum volume is the
compression ratio r.

Engine Cycles
Four-stroke Cycle
Majority of reciprocating engines operate on what is known as
the four-stroke cycle. Each cylinder requires four strokes of its
piston - two revolutions of the crankshaft - to complete the
sequence of events which produces one power stroke. Both
spark ignition (SI) and compression ignition (CI engines use this
The four stroke cycle is often called the Otto cycle after its
inventor, Nicolaus Otto.

The Four Stroke Cycle
1. An intake stroke: Starts with the piston at TC and ends with
the piston at BC. Draws fresh mixture into the cylinder. The inlet
valve opens shortly before the stroke starts and closes after it
ends in order to maximize the mass of the mixture inducted.
2. A compression stroke: This starts when both valves are closed
and the mixture inside the cylinder is compressed to a small
fraction of its initial volume. Toward the end of the compression
stroke, combustion is initiated and the cylinder pressure rises
more rapidly.

The Four Stroke Cycle 19
3. A power, or expansion stroke: Starts with the piston at TC and
ends at BC as the high-temperature, high-pressure, gases push the
piston down and force the crank to rotate. About five times as
much work is done on the piston during the power stroke as the
piston had to do during compression. As the piston approaches
BC the exhaust valve opens to initiate the exhaust process and
drop the cylinder pressure to close to the exhaust pressure.
4. An exhaust stroke: The remaining burned gases exit the
cylinder during this stroke: first, because the cylinder pressure
may be substantially higher than the exhaust pressure; then, as
they are swept out by the piston as it moves toward TC. As the
piston approaches TC the inlet valve opens. Just after TC the
exhaust valve closes and the cycle starts again.

Some People Refer Humorously to The Four
Stroke Cycle As: Suck, Squeeze, Bang and Blow.

The Multi-cylinder Engine
For a smoother running, more powerful engine, multi-cylinder
engines are commonly used. The most common is the four cylinder

Four Stroke , Four Cylinder SI Engine Operation (Video)

Thermodynamics Model of the Engine Cycle
The thermodynamic cycles used to model the internal combustion
engine cycles are the Otto and Diesel cycles.
The Otto cycles consists of (1) an isentropic compression process,
(2) a constant volume heat addition process, (3) an isentropic
expansion process and (4) a constant volume heat rejection process.
The Otto cycle is used to model the spark ignition (SI) internal
combustion engine cycle.
The Diesel cycles consists of (1) an isentropic compression process,
(2) a constant pressure heat addition process, (3) an isentropic
expansion process and (4) a constant volume heat rejection process.
The Diesel cycle is used to model the compression ignition (CI)
internal combustion engine cycle.
Detailed discussions of these cycles will be done later.
The Two Stroke Cycle
The two-stroke cycle is applicable to both SI and CI engines. The
two strokes are:
1. Compression stroke: Starts with the closing of the inlet and
exhaust ports. This stroke compresses the cylinder contents and
draws fresh charge into the crankcase. As the piston approaches
TC, combustion is initiated.
2. Power or expansion stroke: In this stroke, the piston approaches
BC, when first the exhaust ports and then the intake ports are
uncovered. Most of the burnt gases exit the cylinder in an exhaust
blowdown process. When the inlet ports are uncovered, the fresh
charge which has been compressed in the crankcase flows into the
cylinder. The piston and the ports are generally shaped to deflect
the incoming charge from flowing directly into the exhaust ports
and to achieve effective scavenging of the residual gases.
The Two Stroke Cycle 31
2 Vs 4 Stroke Engines
A two stroke engine can produce twice the amount of power than a
four stroke engine of the same size. This is because it fires once
every revolution, giving it twice the power of a four stroke, which
only fires once every other revolution.
Two stroke engines has a higher weight-to-power ratio (kWh/kg).
Two stroke engines are simpler and cheaper to manufacture
compared to four stroke engines.
Four stroke engines are longer lasting than two stroke engines that
don't have a dedicated lubricating system. However, the spark plugs
in a two stroke engine last longer than those in a four stroke engine.
Four stroke engines are more fuel efficient and environmentally
friendly when compared to two stroke engines.
Two stroke engines are noisier and smellier than four stroke engines.
Terminology And Abbreviations
The following terms and abbreviations are commonly used
in engine technology.
Spark Ignition (SI): An engine in which the combustion
process in each cycle is started by use of a spark plug.
Compression Ignition (CI): An engine in which the
combustion process starts when the air-fuel mixture self-
ignites due to high temperature in the combustion
chamber caused by high compression. CI engines are
often called diesel engines, especially in the non-technical

Top-Dead-Center (TDC): Position of the piston when it
stops at the furthest point away from the crankshaft. Top
because this position is at the top of most engines, and
dead because the piston stops at this point. Because in
some engines top-dead-center is not at the top of the
engine (e.g., horizontally opposed engines, radial engines),
some call this position Head-End-Dead-Center (HEDC).
Some sources call this position Top-Center (TC).
Bottom-Dead-Center (BDC): Position of the piston when it
stops at the point closest to the crankshaft. Some sources
call this Crank-End-Dead-Center (CEDC) because it is not
always at the bottom of the engine. Some sources call this
point Bottom-Center (BC).

Direct Injection (DI): Fuel injection into the main combustion
chamber of an engine. Engines have either one main
combustion chamber (open chamber) or a divided
combustion chamber made up of a main chamber and a
smaller connected secondary chamber.
Indirect Injection (IDI): Fuel injection into the secondary
chamber of an engine with a divided combustion chamber.
Bore: Diameter of the cylinder or diameter of the piston face,
which is the same minus a very small clearance.
Stroke: Movement distance of the piston from one extreme
position to the other: TDC to BDC or BDC to TDC.
Clearance Volume: Minimum volume in the combustion
chamber with piston at TDC.

Displacement or Displacement Volume: Volume displaced
by the piston as it travels through one stroke. Displacement
can be given for one cylinder or for the entire engine (one
cylinder times number of cylinders). Some literature calls this
swept volume.
Smart Engine: Engine with computer controls that regulate
operating characteristics such as air-fuel ratio, ignition timing,
valve timing, exhaust control, intake tuning, etc. Computer
inputs come from electronic, mechanical, thermal, and
chemical sensors located throughout the engine. Computers
in some automo biles are even programmed to adjust engine
operation for things like valve wear and combustion chamber
deposit buildup as the engine ages.
Engine Management System (EMS): Computer and
electronics used to control smart engines.

Wide-Open Throttle (WOT): Engine operated with throttle
valve fully open for maximum power and/or speed.
Ignition Delay: Time interval between ignition initiation and
the actual start of combustion.
Air-Fuel Ratio (AF): Ratio of mass of air to mass of fuel
input into engine.
Fuel-Air Ratio (FA): Ratio of mass of fuel to mass of air
input into engine.
Brake Maximum Torque (BMT): Speed at which maximum
torque occurs.
Overhead Valve (OHV): Valves mounted in engine head.
Overhead Cam (OHC): Camshaft mounted in engine head,
giving more direct control of valves which are also mounted
in engine head.