Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rudolf Diesel: 100 Death of emergency engineer - Spiegel Online

His invention was long considered noisy, smelly and lame. But the high-compression internal combustion engine by Rudolf Diesel has long been driving the world economy. 100 years ago died one of the greatest engineers of the late 19th Century. By Fabian Hoberg


Ironically, on a steamboat, Rudolf Diesel disappears from this world. The steam engine, the drive, wants to defeat the diesel – and it also creates. On 29 September 1913 Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel goes on a ride on the mail steamer “Dresden” overboard. He’s on his way through the English Channel to a meeting of the Consolidated Diesel Manufacturing Ltd.. in London, but never gets there on. His body was found three days later in the North Sea, the precise circumstances are never clarified. But his idea lives on -. Still

Rudolf Diesel is one of those pioneers, the early 19th Century to redefine mobility with technically brilliant ideas. The 18 Born in Paris in March 1858 Diesel spent his childhood in France and discovered his passion for art early on. He draws and constructed with twelve years he receives an award at the Société Pour L’Instruction Elémentaire. However, after the outbreak of the Franco-German war he must leave France with his family. It first goes into exile in England, 1870, he travels alone to Augsburg, to the birthplace of his father.

Diesel wants to quench his thirst for knowledge and first goes to the Royal County Vocational School, where his uncle is a professor. At 14, he wrote in a letter to his parents: “My greatest wish is to become a mechanic.” The young man is not only ambitious, but also very intelligent: In 1872, he finished as the best business schools and changes to the engineering school. There he again in 1875 for Best from parallel, he enrolled to study at the University of Technology (Polytechnic) in Munich. 1880 ended the engineer at the age of 22 years, his studies with the best exam for the Polytechnic.

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1878 is still an immature thought that the young engineer formulated during a lecture by Carl at Linde in his notebook: “Can you construct steam engines so that perform the complete cycle, without being too complicated” Diesel can, even if it should take a few more years. Dream of a strong machine

His first job takes him back to his native city of Paris. In the linden between ice factory in 1881 he was appointed director. But just to run the business, it is apparently too monotonous. He tinkers and applies for a patent in the same year for the production of clear ice in bottles.

linden appreciates the expertise of the young designer. After nine years in France Diesel enters the Linde Executive Board to Berlin. He is now responsible for market and cold storage – and can not stop inventing. His vision is for an efficient machine that is strong enough to power locomotives and ships. Instead of cold, he delves more and more into heat machines. The 1876 four-stroke engine developed thrilled him, but his efficiency is too low. For stationary machinery hovering before him a higher efficiency. He plans, expects and tinkering diligently before he introduces his engine.

In February 1892, he reported the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin a “new, rational heat engine” in order to replace the inefficient steam engine. Matter of the patent is the ‘working methods and the type of construction for internal combustion engines. ” A month later, he wants his machine at the Maschinenfabrik Augsburg (now MAN) can produce, at the time one of the largest steam engines manufacturer. He first gets a rebuff, as the senior chief engineer keeps the air compression pressure for much too high.

pressure, pressure, pressure

Because comes in comparison to the four-stroke engine without the diesel from spark plug. In the cylinder, the air is compressed so strongly that they ignite the injected fuel, petroleum initially it is due to heat itself. Due to the much higher compression ratio than the petrol engine, the efficiency is higher and the engine more fuel efficient.

In February 1893, the German Rudolf Diesel receives patent number 67207th Only a few months later, he improved his invention and obtains a patent for an “internal combustion engine with variable duration which takes place under varying pressure fuel introduction.” Thus, his theoretical concept can be implemented in practice but, diesel needed financial support. Which he found in Heinrich von Buz, director general of Maschinenfabrik Augsburg.

Diesel leaves Linde and developed at the Maschinenfabrik his engine. In April, the engineer starts with the experimental setup, in February 1894, the stationary engine running for the first time at idle. It would take another three years to the diesel engine is ready. The cylinder has an output of 18 hp and an efficiency of 26.2 percent. A sensation – then steam engines are only around ten percent efficiency. The engine can still be seen at the Deutsches Museum in Munich today.

Mysterious Death on the High Seas

The energy-saving drive will now soon replace the steam engine. 1895, the first diesel engines are supplied by the licensee Maschinenfabrik Augsburg. The invention is more and more recognition: in 1900 the drive receives at the World Exhibition in Paris, the Grand Prix award. From 1903 the first ships using diesel engine from the stack. 1904 produced the first diesel-fired power plant in Kiev six MAN diesel engines with 1,600 hp power. In 1924 the first truck with a diesel engine in series. The Citroën Rosalie in 1933 the first car with a diesel engine, but is not produced as a production vehicle. In 1936 the German diesel models Mercedes-Benz 260 D and Hanomag presented record.

As an inventor, he seems to be on target. But patent litigation and the bankruptcy of his company founded in 1898, diesel engine factory Augsburg make it crumbly. As awesome as he is an inventor and engineer, he is so clumsy as a businessman. Although he earned the meantime millions and lives lordly in Munich. Land speculation unfavorable licensing agreements and false friends but gnaw on account and at the ego. His mysterious death at just 55 years points to suicide, but evidence does not exist.

Shortly before his death, Rudolf Diesel is also at odds with the spirit of his work. To his son Eugen, he says: “It’s nice to be designed and invent, like an artist designed and invents But if the whole thing had a purpose, whether people have become more happier, I can not today. to decide. “

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