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Types of Engines

The types of engines you'll learn about in this section include diesel, rotary, HEMI, stirling and quasiturbine, to name a few. You'll also see photos and animated images of the technologies we explore.

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How Stirling Engines Work

The Stirling engine is a heat engine that is vastly different from the internal-combustion engine in your car. It has the potential to be more efficient than most types of engines, but it hasn't made it into mass production yet. Find out why.


How Stirling Engines Work

The Stirling engine is very different from a typical car engine -- there's no combustion in a Stirling. Learn all about the stirling engine. See more »

How Rotary Engines Work

A rotary engine works completely differently than the conventional piston engine. Learn what makes a rotary engine unique among engines. See more »

Is there a way to compare a human being to an engine in terms of efficiency? For example, can you calculate the equivalent "miles per gallon" (kilometers per liter) rating for a person riding a bicycle? See more »

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate under water while a gasoline engine cannot?

Is it true that a diesel engine can operate under water while a gasoline engine cannot? See more »

Diesel engine efficiency is greater than a regular gasoline engine, but they never really caught on. Learn about some of the diesel engine disadvantages. See more »

Is there a difference between inline and V engine configurations? Find out what designers look at when deciding which configuration to use in a car. See more »

How Car Engines Work

The car engine is a staple of modern life, a piece of engineering genius and one of the most amazing machines we use on a daily basis. Learn how the four-stroke internal combustion engine works. See more »

How does a Miller-cycle engine work? See more »

How Diesel Engines Work

Ever wonder what the difference is between a gasoline engine and a diesel engine? Diesels are more efficient and cheaper to run than gasoline engines. Learn what makes diesel engines different! See more »

How Diesel Two-Stroke Engines Work

Diesel two-stroke engines are used to power locomotives, large ships, and generating facilities. Find out how a diesel two-stroke engine works. See more »