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5.1.8 Starter motor


The function of
starter motor is to start the engine by rotating the flywheel. Electric power
from battery powers the rotation until taken over by combustion cycle. The
engine needs the initial push from the starter motor to start its continous
combustion process after; the starter motor is disengaged until the engine is
turned off and on again. 46

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5.1.9 Spark plugs & Fuel injector


A spark plug is a
device fit into the top of the cylinder head of petrol engine. The fuel
injector is a device fit into the top of cylinder head of a diesel engine.  The function of the spark plug and the fuel
injector is to fire up the fuel. The spark plug ignites the air-fuel mixture inside
the petrol engine cylinder by producing an electrical spark using the
electrical energy it receives in its insulated electrode connected to the
ignition coil. 47 The air-fuel mixture of petrol engines used to be metered by
a carburetor. The1980s marked the end of carburetors and the beginning of fuel
injector resulting to bring better efficiency of combustion and to reduce emissions.

Fuel injection in petrol engines is carried out through Multi Point Fuel Injection
(MPFI). The MPFI is an advanced version of carburetor. The fuel injectors
vaporize the fuel and mix it with air and sent to the cylinder, each cylinder
is treated individually by the system. A computerized system made from
microcontroller does the mechanical job of carburetor electronically making it
extremely precise and efficient by metering and mixing the fuel in the optimum
ratio. 48


Diesel engines or
Compression ignition engines uses a fuel injector instead of a spark plug. The
fuel injection system consists of many components. Most basic functional units
of injection system are feed pump, fuel filter, fuel injection pump,
high-pressure pipe and injection nozzle. The feed pump draws the fuel from the
fuel tank. The fuel is filtered through the fuel filter and is sent to the fuel
injection pump. The fuel is pressurized to high pressure and is sent to the
injection nozzle through the high-pressure pipe. The injection nozzle injects
the fuel into the cylinder containing hot compressed air. The fuel starts to burn
starting the combustion process. 49


5.1.10 Engine Control system


Ever since the
emissions law that is becoming increasingly stricter with time, it had been absolutely
necessary to implement electronic systems controlling the engine for regulating
the air fuel mixture for improved efficiency and produce lesser emissions. The
Engine Control Unit (ECU) is a powerful computer inside the car that controls
the engine. The ECU obtains the needed information to evaluate the status of
the car from the sensors. The ECU uses the information to monitor and gives inputs
to various parts of the engine for managing parameters such as the emissions
and fuel economy of the engine. The ECU decides multiple decisions of the
engine. For example spark timing and duration of opening of fuel injector etc. 50


5.1.11 Exhaust system


The exhaust
system is a crucial element governing the emission levels of the internal
combustion engine. The exhaust system consists of the exhaust manifold,
turbocharger (an optional component to help increase the inlet pressure of the
engine), catalytic converter and silencer. The exhaust manifold is made of cast
iron or stainless steel. The function of exhaust manifold is to transfer the
exhaust gas from the multiple cylinders of the engine to the turbocharger or to
the exhaust pipe. The turbocharger is a turbine placed along the exhaust gas with
a function to convert the pressure of engine exhaust gas into mechanical energy
through the rotation of the turbine, this turbine further drives the compressor
connected to the inlet manifold to increase the pressure of the inlet gases that
improves engine performance. The turbocharger is of 2 types axial and radial
flow. In the axial-flow type, flow through the turbine is in the axial
direction. In radial-flow type, gas inflow is directed into the center from
outside. The radial-flow turbine is the most commonly used type in cars. 51
Post the turbo charger the exhaust gas is sent through a catalytic converter
present inside the silencer. A catalytic converter consists of a
stainless-steel case containing a metallic or ceramic substrate. This substrate
contains a number of fine channels running along its length. The surface of the
substrate is coated with precious metals such as platinum, palladium and
rhodium. It is these precious metals that are the actual catalysts initiating
the chemical reactions that conversation of carbon monoxide into carbon
dioxide, nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and oxygen, hydrocarbons into carbon
dioxide and water, the nitrogen oxides back into nitrogen and oxygen. 52


5.1.12 Cooling & lubricating system


Due to the large
number of moving parts in a combustion engine, intense wearing and heat from
friction is generated due to continuous movement of metallic parts over each
other. The engine also produces enormous heat from combustion (upto 1600
°C). For the smooth operation of
engine these parts has to be cooled and lubricated. The lubricating and cooling
components are designed to supply lubricating oil at correct pressure and
temperature to the moving metallic parts that are in contact with other
metallic parts of an engine. 45


The above parts
and components are the key part categories of the IC engine. These parts are
supported by a number of minor parts for the functioning of the engine. The
suppliers of the above parts are again segmented based on their expertise.

These suppliers hold the dominant expertise in metal manufacturing techniques
of casting, molding, forming, surface treatment and also case specific
expertise in electronics and materials. We view the electric car part
components to compare and analyze which areas the suppliers of the above parts
are impacted. 

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