It was roughly 125 years ago that Rudolf Diesel first obtained the patent on the diesel engine. Since that time, the diesel fuel injection system has seen some upgrading, but things pretty much move along in the same manner prescribed by Rudolf.
Diesel engines perform in a manner that is heavily influenced by their diesel fuel injection system design. The most notable advances achieved in diesel engines, in fact, resulted from designs of diesel fuel injection systems that were far superior. The main purpose of a fuel injection system is to deliver fuel to a diesel engine’s cylinders.
This is commonly known. However, even though this is the main purpose of an injection system, how that fuel gets delivered in the engine can affect many different things that can be traced right back to the engine. Those things include engine performance in general, emissions, and noise from the engine itself.
The pressures inside the system also have an enormous effect on the diesel engine. When injection pressures get to 30,000 psi, there is a very fine mist of fuel. There is also a more complete burning of the fuel. The diesel fuel injection system is designed to be able to deliver fuel when there is an extremely high injection pressure. This is something that the spark-ignited engine cannot do.
Because of this, the system component designs and materials must be able to withstand higher forms of stress. If the materials and components can withstand higher stresses, then they can perform for the extended periods of time that match an engine’s durability. The precision in the manufacturing process that also requires tight tolerances is what makes the entire system function effectively.
Diesel fuel injection systems are also known for having more intricate control requirements. When you have all of these features and you put them together, you have a system that is about one-third the cost of the engine it runs.
The precision of the parts of the fuel injection system is crucial because, in order for the engine to work, the fuel must be injected at the proper time. This means that the injection timing must be controlled. The proper amount of fuel must also be released to meet the power requirement. This means that injection metering must be controlled in a similar way.
It is precisely because the diesel fuel injection system works the way it does that makes the diesel engine continue to have the success that it has.