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Wankel engine

Wankel engine

A type of rotary engine of high efficiency

Physics

Keywords

Wankel engine, internal combustion engine, engine, petrol engine, heat engine, thermodynamics, cylinders, bar, engine block, eccentric shaft, rotary piston, spark plug, fuel, injector, generator, rotary disc, four-stroke, automobile, car, crankshaft, petrol, carburettor, mechanical energy, combustion product, environmental pollution, air pollution, automobile factory, heat energy, physics

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Scenes

Engine

  • engine block
  • gearbox
  • air filter
  • intake port
  • exhaust manifold
  • fan belt
  • generator
  • ignition distributor

Operation

  • intake port
  • exhaust manifold
  • eccentric shaft
  • rotor (rotary piston)
  • spark plug
  • injector
  • generator

Stroke 1

Stroke 2

Stroke 3

Stroke 4

Internal construction

  • radiator
  • engine
  • gearbox
  • drive shaft
  • petrol tank
  • differential gear
  • driven shaft
  • exhaust pipe
  • generator

Cylinders

  • crankshaft
  • rotor (rotary piston)
  • injector
  • spark plug

Narration

We know that cars are powered by engines, but how does this work exactly? The rotating motion of an engine’s crankshaft is transmitted to the wheels by the drive shaft. The gearbox changes the number of rotations of the driven wheels during one turn of the crankshaft. In low gear, the output of the engine is high but the speed is low; in high gear, the car is faster and uses less fuel but accelerates more slowly.

Unlike four-stroke Otto and Diesel engines, the Wankel engine contains rotary pistons.

The spark plug ignites the mixture of air and petrol in the engine; the explosion pushes the rotary piston and the shaft turns.
The four strokes of a typical Otto cycle occur in all three combustion chambers of the Wankel engine; that is, three power strokes occur during each full turn of the crankshaft. The animation shows the processes taking place in one of the three combustion chambers.

As the rotor turns during the first stroke, the volume of the combustion chamber increases, reducing the pressure inside. This is why air flows into the chamber and the injector injects petrol into the combustion chamber.

During the second stroke, the turning rotor compresses the mixture of air and fuel.

The third is the power stroke: the spark plugs ignite the compressed mixture of fuel and air, and the explosion forces the rotor to turn.

The exhaust gases are expelled through the exhaust manifold during the fourth stroke.

The construction and operation of Wankel engines are simpler than that of reciprocating piston engines, although the widespread use of these engines has been prevented by excessive wear, poor lubrication and greater environmental impact.

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