Pros and cons of diesel engine

Applications of diesel engines


Applications of diesel engines in vehicles and industrial generators have been increasingly high over the years. However, the gasoline (petrol) engine can somehow serve some purposes of this so-called diesel engine of higher cost.

Let me remind you, that diesel engines vary from gasoline engines from their combustion process to the efficiencies they offer. In a diesel engine, air and fuel are infused in different stages and it compresses just the air at a higher ratio.

A diesel engine compresses at a ratio of 14:1 up to 25:1, whereas in a gasoline engine, the compression ratio is between 8:1 and 12: The very high temperature in the engine is much higher than the temperature attained in a gasoline engine.

At peak temperature and pressure, diesel that is let into the engine ignites on account of the extreme temperature. Our purpose here today is to examine generally the applications of diesel engines leading to their advantages. Previously, some article was published on Diesel engine checkout!

Diesel engines are commonly used as mechanical engines, power generators, and mobile drives. They find widespread use in locomotives, construction equipment, automobiles, and countless industrial applications.

Industrial diesel engines and diesel-powered generators are highly used in construction, marine, mining, hospital, forestry, telecommunications, underground, and agricultural applications. Learn about the difference between diesel engines and petrol engines here!

Difference between petrol and diesel engine

Now, let’s go deep to explain the applications of diesel engines!


Applications of diesel engines

The following are applications of diesel engines.

Passenger Cars.

diesel engine vehicles

Diesel is quite known for larger trucks, bigger cars, and now smaller bigger cars like the superminis. Smooth operation, as well as high low-end torque, are deemed important for passenger cars and small commercial vehicles.

The use of electronically controlled fuel injection has improved smooth torque generation, making the manufacturer produce high-end luxury vehicles with diesel engines.

Passenger car diesel engines usually have between three and ten cylinders, and a displacement ranging from 0.8 to 5.0 litres. Modern powerplants are usually turbocharged and have direct injection.



Diesel locomotives appeared first in 1913, built for continuous operation, and may require the ability to use poor quality fuel in some situations. Some locomotives use a two-stroke diesel engine, but many modern diesel locomotives are designed for diesel-electric locomotives.

The diesel engine is used to power an electric generator that in turn powers electric traction motors with no mechanical connection between the diesel engine and traction.

Diesel engines have eclipsed steam engines as the prime mover on all non-electrified railroads in the industrialized world.


The requirements for marine diesel engine varies, based on their application. mass usage of the diesel engine in the military and medium-size boats are suitable for medium-speed four-stroke diesel engines.

These engines usually contain up to 24 cylinders and have power outputs in the one-digit Megawatt region. Diesel engines for lorries may be used on small boats. while, large ships use extremely efficient, low-speed two-stroke diesel engines.

They can reach efficiencies of up to 55%. Unlike most regular diesel engines, two-stroke watercraft engines use highly viscous fuel oil. Submarines are usually diesel-electric.

Stationary diesel engine.

Stationary diesel engine

Stationary diesel engines are commonly used for electricity generation, but also for powering refrigerator compressors, or other types of compressors or pumps.

Usually, these engines run permanently, either with mostly partial load or intermittently, with a full load. Stationary diesel engines powering electric generators that put out alternating current, usually operate with an alternating load but fixed rotational frequency.

This is due to the mains’ fixed frequency of either 50 Hz (Europe) or 60 Hz (United States). The engine’s crankshaft rotational frequency is chosen so that the mains’ frequency is a multiple of it.

For practical reasons, this results in crankshaft rotational frequencies of either 25 Hz (1500 per minute) or 30 Hz (1800 per minute).

Non-road diesel engine.

The applications of non-road diesel engines are common for construction equipment. It offers better usability such as fuel efficiency, reliability, and ease of maintenance.

However, high power output and quiet operation are negligible. Therefore, mechanically controlled fuel injection and air-cooling are still very common.

The common power outputs of non-road diesel engines vary a lot, with the smallest units starting at 3 kW, and the most powerful engines being heavy-duty lorry engines.



The applications of diesel engines in aircraft existed before World War ll. However, in the late 1970s, there has not been any applications of the diesel engine in aircraft.

In 1978, Karl H. Bergey suggested that “the likelihood of a general aviation diesel in the near future is remote.” In recent years (2016), diesel engines have found use in unmanned aircraft (UAV), due to their reliability, durability, and low fuel consumption.

Finally, In early 2019, AOPA reported, that a diesel engine model for general aviation aircraft is “approaching  the finish line”. Watch the video below to learn more:

That is all for this article, where the applications of diesel engines is explained. I hope it was helpful, if so, kindly share with others. Thanks for reading, see you around!


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