External combustion engine


External combustion engine

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. [ [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/external%20combustion external combustion - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary] ] 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.

The working fluid can be a gas as in a Stirling engine, or steam as in a steam engine. 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.

ee also

*Steam engines
*Stirling engines
*Trochilic engine
*Internal combustion engine
*Nuclear power
*Solar thermal rocket (an externally heated rocket)

References


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • external-combustion engine — [eks tʉr′nəlkəm bus′chən, eks tʉrn′ lkəm bus′chən; ik stʉr′nəlkəm bus′chən, ik stʉrn′ lkəm bus′chən] n. an engine, as a steam engine, that obtains its power from heat produced by burning fuel outside the cylinder, turbine, etc. * * * …   Universalium

  • external-combustion engine — [eks tʉr′nəlkəm bus′chən, eks tʉrn′ lkəm bus′chən; ik stʉr′nəlkəm bus′chən, ik stʉrn′ lkəm bus′chən] n. an engine, as a steam engine, that obtains its power from heat produced by burning fuel outside the cylinder, turbine, etc …   English World dictionary

  • external-combustion engine — noun a heat engine in which ignition occurs outside the chamber (cylinder or turbine) in which heat is converted to mechanical energy • Hypernyms: ↑heat engine • Hyponyms: ↑steam engine * * * noun : a heat engine that derives its heat from fuel… …   Useful english dictionary

  • external combustion engine — An engine that burns its fuel outside the engine. A steam engine is an external combustion engine …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • external-combustion engine — /əkˌstɜnəl kəmˈbʌstʃən ɛndʒən/ (say uhk.sternuhl kuhm buschuhn enjuhn) noun an engine in which the ignition of the fuel mixture takes place outside the engine cylinder. Compare internal combustion engine …   Australian English dictionary

  • external combustion engine — noun Date: 1915 a heat engine (as a steam engine) that derives its heat from fuel consumed outside the cylinder …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • External Combustion Engine —   An engine in which fuel is burned (or heat is applied) to the outside of a cylinder; a Stirling engine …   Energy terms

  • external-combustion engine — exter′nal combus′tion en gine n. an engine, as a steam engine, in which fuel ignition takes place outside the cylinder or turbine …   From formal English to slang

  • Combustion engine — may refer to: Internal combustion engine External combustion engine This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change …   Wikipedia

  • combustion engine — noun : an engine that derives its motive force from the energy of combustion compare external combustion engine, internal combustion engine * * * any of various types of engines driven by energy produced by combustion …   Useful english dictionary


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