Definition - What does Reciprocating Engine mean?
Reciprocating Engine is a heat engine which uses reciprocating pistons to transform pressure into rotating motion. These engines are used in various distributed generation applications and throughout institutional, industrial and commercial facilities for CHP and power generation. The engine starts quickly, follows load well, and has a great part load efficiency and high reliability. Using multiple reciprocating engines increases the overall availability and capacity of a plant. They can be fueled by natural gas, propane, diesel, or even gasoline to be used in small units.
Petropedia explains Reciprocating Engine
Reciprocating Engines contain high electrical efficiency than gas turbines with comparable sizes and hence they lower the operating costs related to fuel. However, the maintenance costs of these engines are higher than gas turbines. There are various types of reciprocating engines; the main types are steam engines, internal combustion engines and stirling engines. The internal combustion engines can be further classified into spark ignition engine and compression ignition engine. The engine fuels in Reciprocating Engines can be in gaseous forms like propane vapor, biogas, and natural gas and in liquid form such as gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel.