The diesel engine was developed by a refrigerator engineer Dr. Rudolf Diesel in the year 1897. The diesel engine is in fact a compression ignition engine where a piston compresses the mixture of air and oil thus increasing the temperature to such an extent that the oil starts igniting and a mechanism is used where in the process is repeated all over again till the engine is in operation. As heavy oil is used in this engine it is more efficient than a petrol engine.
Rudolf Diesel studied at Munich Polytechnic and while he worked as a refrigerator engineer he designed a number of heat engines and in 1893 he first described the internal slow combustion engine. The first prototype of the Diesel engine was initially operated in 1897. Rudolf Diesel’s diesel engine was the first to prove that fuel could be ignited without a spark. He was granted patent number 608845 for this engine in the year 1898.
This system works without the need of an electrical ignition system or a carburetor. The only things required are an exhaust system, a starting system and a cooling system. These engines are usually used in large size vehicles. An electric motor or an auxiliary gasoline engine is used in some of these vehicles while some start the engine with spark ignition or compressed air. However diesel engines are not without disadvantages. These engines are usually expensive, difficult to start in cold weather, noisy and they produce smoke. They also tend to vibrate a lot and are expensive to maintain. Diesel engines are also not ecologically compatible.