Sunteți pe pagina 1din 27




The medium speed four stroke trunk piston engines can be found on most medium to large merchant vessels even if the main engine is either a steam turbine or a two stroke crosshead engine. In these cases it will often be found that the electrical power is supplied by alternators driven by medium speed four stoke engines. They are the favored method of propulsion on ships where head room is a minimum, for instance, on ferries and passenger vessels, and where, as is the current trend for these ships, diesel electric propulsion is utilized. Diesel electric propulsion allows the engines to be placed wherever is most suitable, as they no longer have to be aligned with reduction gearing and shafting as is the case with conventional installations. Generally, medium speed engines run at between 250-850 rpm. Above this range they are defined as high speed engines. Although not as powerful as their two stroke crosshead cousins, the largest four stroke engines are delivering just over 2000 kw per cylinder. Advances in design and materials have led to an increase in efficiency, together with an increase in turbocharger pressure rations which allow a greater quantity of fuel to be burnt per cycle. Medium speed engines have a higher power to weight ratio than the slow speed two strokes, but due to the higher speeds tends to have reduced maintenance intervals. The name Trunk Piston refers to the piston skirt or trunk. The purpose of the skirt or trunk in four stroke cycle engines is to act in a similar manner to a crosshead. It takes the thrust caused by connecting rod angularity and transmits it to the side of the cylinder liner, in the same way as the crosshead slipper transmits the thrust to the crosshead guide. With such engines, which are termed trunk piston engines, the engine height is considerably reduced compared with that of a crosshead engine of similar power and speed. The engine manufacturing costs are also reduced. It means of course that there is no separation between the crank case and the liner and piston. This has its disadvantages, especially when considering the choice of lubricating oils when burning high sulphur residual fuels

Four stroke engine


As the piston moves upward and approaches to the top dead center (TDC), as measured by crankshaft rotation, the camshaft lobe starts to lift the cam follower. This causes the pushrod to move upward and pivots the rocker arm on the rocker arm shaft. As the valve lash is taken up, the rocker arm pushes the intake valve downward and the valve starts to open. The intake stroke now starts while the exhaust valve is still open. The flow of the exhaust gases will have created a low pressure condition within the cylinder and will help pull in the fresh air charge as shown in figure 7.3. The piston continues its upward travel through top dead center (TDC) while fresh air enters and exhaust gases leave. After top dead center (ATDC), the camshaft exhaust lobe rotates so that the exhaust valve will start to close. This is accomplished through the valve spring, which was compressed when the valve was opened, forcing the rocker arm and cam follower back against the cam lobe as it rotates. The time frame during which both the intake and exhaust valves are open is called valve overlap and is necessary to allow the fresh air to help scavenge (remove) the spent exhaust gases and cool the cylinder. In most engines, 30 to 50 times cylinder volume is scavenged through the cylinder during overlap. This excess cool air also provides the necessary cooling effect on the engine parts. As the piston passes TDC and moves downward and, like a pump, creates a vacuum that draws fresh air through the intake valve into the combustion chamber. Once the piston reaches the bottom of the cylinder, the intake valve closes, trapping the air inside the cylinder.


After bottom dead center (ABDC), the intake valve starts to close. At this point the air charge is at normal pressure (14.7 psia=1 atm) and ambient air temperature. The piston has traveled about half of its stroke, thus reducing the volume in the cylinder by half. The temperature has now doubled to ~70 C and pressure is 34 psia. According to the laws of physics, when air is compressed, temperature increases. At about 43 BTDC the piston has traveled upward 3.062 inches of its stroke and the volume is once again halved. Consequently, the temperature again doubles to about 320F and pressure is ~85 psia. .When the piston has traveled to 3.530 inches ~640 F and pressure 277 psia. When the piston have traveled to 3.757 iches of each stroke, or the volume is again halved, the temperature climbs to 1280F and pressure reaches 742 psia. With the piston area of 9.616 in the pressure in the cylinder is exerting a force approximately 7135 lb. or3-1/2 tons of force. The above numbers are ideal and provide a good exp. of what is occurring in an engine during compression. In an actual engine, pressures reach only about 690 psia. .This is primarily to the heat loss to the surrounding engine parts.

Fuel in a liquid state is injected into the cylinder at a precise time and rate to ensure that the combustion pressure is forced on the piston neither too early nor too late. The fuel enters the cylinder where the heated compressed air is present; however, it will only burn when it is in a vaporized state (attained through the addition of heat to cause vaporization) and intimately mixed a supply of oxygen. The first minute droplets of fuel enter the combustion chamber and are quickly vaporized. The vaporization of fuel causes the air surrounding the fuel to cool and it requires time for the air to reheat sufficiently to ignite the vaporized fuel. But once ignition has started, the additional heat from combustion helps to further vaporize the new fuel entering the chamber, as long as oxygen is present. Fuel injection starts for example at 28 C BTDC and ends at 3C ATDC; therefore, fuel is injected for a duration of 31C. Both valves are closed, and the fresh air charge has been compressed. The fuel has been injected and is starting to burn. After the piston passes TDC, heat is rapidly released by the ignition of the fuel, causing a rise in cylinder pressure. Combustion temperatures are around 2336F . This rise in pressure forces the piston downward and increases the force on the crankshaft for the power stroke as illustrated in. The energy generated by the combustion process isnt all harnessed. In a two stroke diesel engine only about % 38 of the generated power is harnessed to do work, about %30 is wasted in the form of heat rejected to the cooling system, and about % 32 in the form of heat is rejected out the exhaust. In comparison four stroke diesel engine has a thermal distribution of % 42 converted to useful work, % 28 heat rejected to the cooling system, and % 30 heat rejected out the exhaust.

As the piston approaches for example 48C BBDC, the cam of the exhaust lobe starts to force the follower upward, causing the exhaust valve to lift off its seat. The exhaust gasses start to flow out the exhaust valve due to cylinder pressure and into the exhaust manifold. After passing BDC, the piston moves upward and accelerates to its maximum speed at 63 BTDC. From this point on the piston is decelerating. As the piston speed slows down, the velocity of the gasses flowing out of the cylinder creates a pressure slightly lower than atmospheric pressure. At 28 C BTDC, the intake valve opens and the cycle starts again.

In its original configuration, the four-stroke engine relies entirely on the piston's motion to draw in fuel and air (Naturally Aspirated Engine), and to force out the exhaust gasses. As the piston descends on the intake (inlet) stroke, a partial vacuum is created within the cylinder which draws in the air/fuel mixture. The intake valve then closes, the piston ascends, and the mixture is compressed and ignited, causing the piston to descend again. As the exhaust valve opens, the piston ascends once more and forces the exhaust gases out. This was the technique used in early four-stroke engines. It was soon discovered, however, that at rotational speeds approaching 100 revolutions per minute (RPM) or greater, the exhaust gasses could not change direction quickly enough to exit past the exhaust valve by thepiston'smotion alone. At high rotational speeds, consistent flow through the intake and exhaust ports is maintained by allowing the intake and exhaust valves to be open simultaneously at top dead center (known as valve overlap). The momentum of the exhausting gas maintains the outward flow and creates a suction effect on the cylinder known as scavenging, helping to draw the intake charge into the cylinder. In order to retain efficiency, however, the exhaust valve must be closed soon enough so that too much fuel/air mixture from the intake port is not drawn into the engine's exhaust, wasting fuel. In a high-power situation such as racing, where high engine speeds and forced induction are common, this wasted fuel charge can serve to cool the exhaust valve and prevent detonation. After ignition of the fuel/air charge, as the piston approaches bottom dead center, combustion slows. Just before the charge is finished combusting, the exhaust valve is opened at approximately twenty degrees of crankshaft rotation before bottom dead center. This allows the still-expanding gasses inside the cylinder to push out through the exhaust port, starting exhaust flow and giving the exhaust flow momentum. Though a small amount of force is lost through the exhaust port that could be driving the piston, the force that the piston must exert on the gasses to exhaust them from the cylinder is reduced, resulting in increased efficiency. Exhaust systems in many situations are a compromise between cost of production, optimum flow, low emissions, and low noise levels. Restrictions in an exhaust system, including emissions equipment, mufflers, and simple exhaust tubing can restrict proper exhaust flow. In multi-cylinder applications, in which many cylinders share a common exhaust pipe, pressure waves created by cylinders exhausting gas can impede flow of exhaust from other cylinders. Since this prevents exhaust gas from exiting the cylinder, the overlap of the intake valve can result in reversion, when exhaust gas enters the intake port. The internal pressure problems due to a multi-cylinder engine sharing a common intake plenum can be overcome by using a carburetor or injector for each cylinder. Accomplishing maximum volumetric efficiency for a given engine is not a formulaic process. Variables such as flow rates , overlap, valve lift, porting specifications and the location of valve events create a large set of variables. Different intake and exhaust equipment is tested at different speeds and loads, and the end result is usually a compromise between power, emissions, and cost, except in situations where maximum power is desired regardless of cost or emissions (such as racing.)