Water injection in the engines: in brief

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Overview of the different applications of water injection in heat engines, turbocharged or not

1) During World War 2ieme

Incredibly complex and turbocharged V-12 that this engine was to take off in never ideal conditions. These extreme conditions have made it necessary to find ways to exploit the maximum engine power, especially when it came to aviation engine. It was often a matter of life or death. This is when the technology of water-alcohol injection (alcoholic water) was developed ... Read more click here.

Wright Cyclone engine
Wright Cyclone engine

The research was conducted by people like Sir Harry Ricardo, researchers at the NACA Langley and all engine engineer of aeronautics during this time of war.

Engine Rolls-Royce Merlin
Rolls Royce Merlin engine.

Of very interesting papers validating the use of water injection are available. These are NACA publications August 1942 and September 1944. The findings are still valid today!

mechanical injector controller for alcoholic water injection
Diagram of an alcoholic water injection mechanical regulator (water + methanol) designed there over 60 years.

2) In current marine engines

Large industrial diesel engines currently use water injection system to reduce their emissions. There are several advantages to injecting water to cool the combustion temperature. currently companies developing this technology are Wartsila et Cummins.

Diagram of a fuel-water injector with electronic regulation
Diagram of a fuel-water injector with electronic regulation.

3) The important point of water injection

Main conclusions as to the use of water in internal combustion engines are the following:

  • The injection of water increases the octane number of the mixture.
  • The water injection enables increasing the mean effective pressure with a reduced specific fuel consumption.
  • The injection has a cooling effect of the internal engine parts (piston and cylinder).
  • The injection of water does not allow fuel economy when the fuel is not used to its limits thermochemical.
  • In extreme conditions, the injected water can be diluted with lubricating oil and cause damage.

More details

- The injection of water in the Messerschmitt.
- Water injection by emulsifying for marine engines.
- The key points
- The aquazole developed by Elf.
- Report NACA 1942.
- Report NACA 1944.


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