Single Cylinder Diesel Engines of China

7 Dec



If you’ve spent a little time in China you’ve undoubtedly come across the sound of a single cylinder diesel engine. Its putt putt putt sound is that which we found in the original John Deere tractors years ago. The design is German and they can be found in Eastern European countries as well as China. They abound in China providing power to things like the pictured farm tractor which looks like a quite large rototiller with a wagon hooked to it. They are quite strong and can haul one and a half yards of sand or bricks piled up way higher than appears safe. Engines come in the 10 to 20 horse power range for the most part. So in the range of most lawn tractors in the US but with much higher torque and high speeds of less than 10 miles per hour.

If y0u look at the picture to the right the green container on top of the engine is filled with water.  The top opening is left open I imagine so water can be added as needed.  There is always steam rising from that area as they putt putt along.

Then there are the barges that move heavy loads of sand and other products for the building business up and down the many canals in Eastern China.   The barges sport 3 or 4 of the engines which all drive a common shaft to the propeller.   As with all modes of transportation in China it appears to be way overloaded.  Seems to me if a wave came along from a passing boat that the water would make its way into the hold and the whole thing would be at the bottom of the canal.  I spent hours standing on a bridge watching them but they seem to manage to carry their loads of sand and coal along without incident.

I’ve seen web pages that describe similar engines being used to power generators or alternators providing power for their owners of remote cabins and the such.  I’d love to bring one back with me to the US  and find uses for it.   Maybe next trip!!!  This trip I’m lugging Christmas meteor lights back with me.  They are just so cool – I should really bring back a container load of them!!!!

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