The Importance of Fuel Delivery in Diesel Engines


The engine of a diesel-powered vehicle operates quite differently than a standard combustion engine. In those powerplants, a spark plug assists in igniting the fuel mixture to start the process. In a diesel engine, the fuel is delivered under incredibly high pressure into the hot combustion chamber. This makes the fuel delivery components a critical part of the diesel process.

Fuel System Components

There are several parts that make up a diesel fuel system. At the start of the process there is a fuel tank, fuel supply pump, and a fuel filter. Each of these aid in transporting and cleaning the fuel before it gets compressed and delivered. The components of that latter stage typically include these items:

  • Fuel injection pump
  • Fuel injector
  • Injector nozzle

All of these pieces are important to the engine operating, as it would otherwise be starved for fuel. However, the key to a diesel running well lies in the injection system itself.

The Benefits of Good Injection

Diesel units operate by compressing the air in the cylinder at a much higher level than a typical combustion engine. This intense compression makes the temperature within the cylinder extremely hot. Now the conditions are ripe for burning. The last thing that needs to be added is fuel, but it can’t just be fed in randomly or inadequately.

The job of diesel fuel injection is to then take the pressurized fuel and spray it into the heated combustion chamber. This can be achieved with several different style injectors. No matter what type is utilized, there are three keys to achieving maximum power and efficiency:

  1. Timing – Combustion can’t occur until everything is at optimal state. This means the fuel must be delivered at peak compression, otherwise there will be more inefficiency.
  2. Atomization – The injector needs to provide the fuel in as fine a mist as possible. This leads to more uniform combustion and increased power output.
  3. Mixing – There needs to be a good mixture of oxygen as well as effective utilization of the air in the chamber. Any bubbles or excess vapor present in the system can be a detriment to engine operation.

Proper fuel mixture and delivery are essential to a diesel engine running properly. If fuel is distributed poorly or there are unburnt droplets in the cylinder, then power and efficiency of your vehicle are suffering. You can ensure peak performance and efficiency by having an optimized fuel injection system.

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