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MAN - History 3

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Rudolf Diesel and the Carnot cycle

To have written such a letter at all clearly identifies Rudolf Diesel as a theorist, and then for many years to insult the head engineer, at least in writing. But maybe only a theorist is in a position to invent such a construct. Basically what he was saying was, is that air is so compressible that almost any fuel added can be ignited therein.

How this is then to be technically carried out, is no concern of the theorist. Indeed, Diesel did recalculate and after 250- and 150 bar, now arrived at the surprisingly, much lower value of 44 bar and offered procedures using liquid- or gaseous fuels. With his subsequent change of opinion, Heinrich von Buz would be taking a great risk and, as we'll see later, thus made a certain contribution to the invention of the diesel engine.

Despite the extensive distribution of his book and the granting of a patent, all Rudolf Diesel's other plans, except this one, evaporated into thin air. In the beginning companies were interested, but then withdrew. A number of professors spoke out against the feasibility of the project. Only the Krupp directors decided, despite having major concerns, to support Diesel from now on to the tune of 30,000 German marks a year, thus at least indirectly, supporting the project.

Now Diesel could have his test engine built in Augsburg and the livelihood for himself and his family was secured. Relatively soon afterwards MA(N)* started with the construction of an experimental engine, it was given the sole distribution rights of the engine in southern Germany but would have to pay Rudolf Diesel 25 percent of the purchase price. That way the company, and with it, the managing director Buz, took the risk of being stuck with the expenses in the event of failure, and in the event of it being successful, of having to part with a considerable slice of the profits.If, from the perspective of MA(N)* one now reports on the development of the Diesel engine, then in principle, this description is as much a tale of woe as it is from the viewpoint of Rudolf Diesel. The project faced disaster several times, Krupp threatened to suspend its payments. Only one person seemed to have undying faith in this project, Heinrich von Buz, who also persuaded the Krupp company to stay with the project. 05/14

*just from 1898 Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nürnberg AG

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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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