An external combustion engine (EC engine) is a heat engine where an internal working fluid is heated by combustion of an external source, through the engine wall or a heat exchanger. The fluid then, by expanding and acting on the mechanism of the engine produces motion and usable work. The fluid is then cooled, compressed and reused (closed cycle), or (less commonly) dumped, and cool fluid pulled in (open cycle air engine).
"Combustion" refers to burning fuel with an oxidizer, to supply the heat. Engines of similar (or even identical) configuration and operation may use a supply of heat from other sources such as nuclear, solar, geothermal or exothermic reactions not involving combustion; but are not then strictly classed as external combustion engines, but as external thermal engines.
The working fluid can be a gas as in a Stirling engine, or steam as in a steam engine or an organic liquid such as n-pentane in an Organic Rankine cycle. The fluid can be of any composition; gas is by far the most common, although even single-phase liquid is sometimes used. In the case of the steam engine, the fluid changes phases between liquid and gas.
Other articles related to "combustion, engine, external combustion engine":
... The far end of the furnace is an enclosed box called the combustion chamber which extends upwards to link up with the firetubes ... The front wall of the combustion chamber is supported against steam pressure by the tubes themselves ... Above the combustion chamber and tubes is an open steam collecting space ...
... Combustion instabilities are typically violent pressure oscillations in a combustion chamber ... and long term exposure to these cyclic pressure and thermal loads reduces the life of engine components ... F1 used in the Saturn V program, instabilities led to massive damage of the combustion chamber and surrounding components ...
... Combustion Resources, Inc ... consulting services in the fields of fuel and combustion, such as testing of flow and mixing systems, reactor design, gas and particle sampling, gasification modeling, and shale oil extraction design and testing. 1995 as a spin-off from the Center for Advanced Combustion Engineering Research, joint collaboration between Brigham Young University and the ...
... Staged combustion dates back to the hot bulb engine of the 1890s ... The first stage of combustion occurred inside the hot bulb and the hot gases were then forced out into the cylinder, where they mixed with additional ... At this time, staged combustion was used because it was a convenient method of ignition and it is unlikely that there would have been much concern about air pollution ...
... Steam, as in a steam engine, is another option ... In the case of the steam engine, or the Organic Rankine cycle the fluid changes phases between liquid and gas ...
Famous quotes containing the words engine, external and/or combustion:
“Industrial mana sentient reciprocating engine having a fluctuating output, coupled to an iron wheel revolving with uniform velocity. And then we wonder why this should be the golden age of revolution and mental derangement.”
—Aldous Huxley (18941963)
“A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit.... A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.”
—Václav Havel (b. 1936)
“The night has been unruly. Where we lay,
Our chimneys were blown down, and, as they say,
Lamentings heard i th air, strange screams of death,
And prophesying with accents terrible
Of dire combustion and confused events,
New-hatched to the woeful time.”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)