Ground propulsion

Ground propulsion

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Ground propulsion'
Start a new discussion about 'Ground propulsion'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Ground propulsion is a different term than transport, because it refers to solid bodies being propelled. Those bodies may be mounted on vats or using wheels while the latter dominates for standard applications.
The primary and most natural type of propulsion is the use of muscle power. Vehicles drawn by an animal have nearly disappeared nowadays. There are some communities left, where one can make a living solely relying on the techniques employing muscle energy in a very efficient form like bicycle
Bicycle
A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

s, wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

s etc..
But civilisation employs other types of methods to transport bodies with higher velocities, in the last two centuries up into the 1970s mostly steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

s. Now the main focus is on
  • internal-combustion engines
  • electric motor
    Electric motor
    An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.Most electric motors operate through the interaction of magnetic fields and current-carrying conductors to generate force...

    s (which includes linear motors being part of the track)

or combinations of those.
Turbines are not used because of the small part load efficiency. Also other types with external combustion like the Stirling engine
Stirling engine
A Stirling engine is a heat engine operating by cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas, the working fluid, at different temperature levels such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work....

 or without combustion like the fuel cell
Fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...

are only used in planes. It is different in transmission that has a manual or automatic.