Here, we will publish facts, stories and content related to the objects you can find in DieselHouse. The goal is publish material that can be used for educational purposes and research, while available for anyone interested in the art of innovative engineering, engines and motors.

This page is created as a timeline, starting with the steam engine, moving on to industrial machinery, where our milk centrifuge was of particular importance to us and Danish agriculture, then moving on to the era of the diesel engine. We will then look at how other types of engines work, including the internal combustion engine, running on petrol the electric engine and finishing off, by taking us to todays day and age, explaining Power 2X.

New content will be this page continuously. 
If you, as a teacher, miss content about our field in relation to your teaching curriculum, we would love to hear from you at dieselhouse@man-es.com


In the 18th century, Scotsman, James Watt, developed the steam engine and it was immediately a technological revolution. Hard work no longer had to be done by humans and animals. In the 19th century, industrialization really took hold in several countries and the steam engine had it's heyday. Steam engines would power trains and ships, as well as an increasing number of factories. 

Steam engines are heat powered engines that convert part of the thermal energy in water vapor into mechanical energy. In steam engines, heat is transferred at a high temperature through water, which creates steam in a boiler. The steam is led into the engine, where it expands and causes movement to the engine's mobile parts. The efficiency of the steam engine depends on how much heat is supplied and how efficiently the heat is used. 



Newcomen's piston steam engine
The first piston steam engine was first built by Englishman Thomas Newcomen in 1712. It worked with a steam pressure only slightly higher than the atmospheric pressure and consisted of a piston connected to a pump rod with chains mounted on a rocker boom. The steam was admitted into the cylinder below the piston, which was raised to the top position with the help of a counterweight on the pump rod. Cold water was then injected into the cylinder, thereby condensing the steam and creating a vacuum, so that the pressure pushed the piston down and thus pulled the pump rod into the air. Newcomen's engine initially had only limited usefulness and low efficiency, but it rested on reliable technology, which was later further developed. During the 1700s over 1000 "atmospheric" steam engines of the Newcomen type were built.

James Watt's improvements

A great weakness in Newcomen's engine was an enormous loss of energy due to the constant alternation between heating with steam and cooling with water. This problem was solved by James Watt in the mid-1760s. In 1769 he obtained the patent for his separate condenser, which meant that the cylinder could be kept warm constantly. Instead of injecting cooling water into the cylinder, condensation took place in a separate container, the condenser, which was connected to the cylinder.

In the 1780s, Watt added a number of new inventions that made the steam engine more useful and efficient. He obtained a patent for a power transmission through a gear-wheel construction, which could convert the up and down movement of the piston into rotation, and for a construction where the steam could act with it's pressure on both the up and low of the piston's movement. The steam engine thus became double-acting in contrast to the previous single-acting machines. Furthermore, he constructed the so-called parallelogram, which could replace the previously used chains with a rigid connection, so that the piston both pressed and pulled on the rocker arm.

Source: Den Store Danske (the Danish Dictionary)

“I had once adjusted the machine so that it made less of a spectacle. But the owner could not sleep when he did not hear it raging. People seem recognize the machine's power by it's noise. Modest skills are apparently recognized neither in humans nor in machines".” At first, the noise of the steam engine was associated with efficiency. Quote: James Watt (1736-1819).

From steam to diesel
However, the steam engine had a large energy loss. For this reason, German engineer, Rudolf Diesel, sets out to achieve better energy utilization, as he in the 1980s began the development of what in the 20th century became known as the diesel engine.

The work of keeping the steam up in the boilers was hard and tiring work. On the ships, many seamen were retrained as engine-men as the coal-fired steamships were replaced by diesel ships around the 1920.

Today, the piston steam engine has outplayed it's role. But today, steam power is still used in turbines, which via paddle-wheels drive a shaft with several thousand revolutions per minute. The technology is particularly suitable for producing electricity and steam turbines are the primary power source at the large electricity plants, e.g. at the H.C. Ørsted power plant.


Steam engine no. 162 from the Baumgarten & Burmeister's establishment was delivered in 1859 to the Gunpowder Mill in Frederiksværk. The machine can produce 2 hp.

The original steam engine No. 162 is on display at the museum. 


S/S Hjejlen was built by Baumgarten and Burmeister in 1861 and in addition to being Denmark's oldest sailing steamship, it is also the world's oldest coal-fired paddle steamer.

Hjejle is the Danish name for the bird Golden Plover. The S/S Hjejlen still sails on the Silkeborg lakes and if you sail along with it, you can still experience the shoveling of coal under the boiler, as has been the case for 150 years. The ship continues to get propulsion from the original steam engine.

S/S Hjejlen's story
In 1844 a paper factory was founded by the stream Gudenåen and in 1857 Silkeborg got its own newspaper. In this, the editor planted the idea of ​​a steamship for transport and tourism between Silkeborg and Ry, whom did not have a railway at the time.  

In 1859, the citizens of Silkeborg, led by the paper factory's founder, Michael Drewsen, began to draw up shares for the project. The goal was to generate 8,000 reigsdaler, but when only 3,000 were gathered, Drewsen chose to order a ship for 10,000 reigsdaler anyway, with a loan from the Danish state of 5000. That the loan became an opportunity is largely due to a close acquaintance with Countess Danner and Frederik the Seventh. 

S/S Hjejlen has benefited the people of Silkeborg for 150 years. 


Build no.: 15
Client: Hjejlen Aps, Silkeborg
Type: B&B højtryksdampmaskine
Length: 25 meter
Width: 3,6 meter
Dept: 1,7 meter
Load capacity: 6,5 tdw
Speed: 8 knots
Scale of museum model: 1:96

In the DieselHouse you can experience a model of S/S Hjejlen.


Steam engines played a major role in the expansion, excavation and deepening of Copenhagen's harbor facilities towards the end of the 19th century. 

In 1843, H. H. Baumgarten started a mechanical workshop in Købmagergade in Copenhagen. In 1846 he went into a partnership with C.C. Burmeister and formed the company Baumgarten & Burmeister. The same time, the workshop had to move to Christianshavn due to space constraints. As early as 1847, they produced the first steam engine that was sold to chocolate manufacturer Aagaard in Copenhagen.

W. Wain, worked closely with the two at the Orlogs shipyard and when Baumgarten retired in 1865 Burmeister & Wain (B&W) was formed.

The B&W steam engine No. 356, was used on floating cranes owned by the Copenhagen Port Authority and was in use until the 1930s.

Delivered: 1872
Cylinders: 2
Performance: 40 hp 


The steam passenger ferry, Fritz Juel, was built by Burmeister & Wain and delivered to Svendborg County in 1873. The ship was Denmark's first car ferry and used to sail between Svendborg and Tåsinge. 

The ship was last in service during World War II until 1946.

The museum displays the original high-pressure steam engine from Fritz Juel, as well as one of the ship's two original paddle wheels.

The museum will eventually be able to demonstrate a steam engine in use.


Delivered: 1873
New built no.:
Ship weight: 18 tons (37 brutto tons)
Top speed: 5.5 knots
Maximum performance: 50 hp


The paddle steamer D/H Dannebrog was built at Orlogsværket as a royal ship and functioned as such until the current royal ship, also named Dannebrog, was delivered in 1932. D/H Dannebrog was a royal ship under King Christian IX, Frederik VIII and Christian X and served as a royal ship for 53 years, from 1879-1932 and was built by B&W. In 1934, D/H Dannebrog was demolished. At DieselHouse you can experience a model of D/H Dannebro.



Build: 1880
Build no.: 109
Owner: The Danish Navy Ministry (The Danish Royal Family)
Load capacity: 180 tdw
Engines: Two B&W high- and low pressure steam engines
Performance: 1200 hp


Knippelsbro (Knippels Bridge) stands as one of Copenhagen's best-known landmarks and is also the oldest preserved bridge connection in the Port of Copenhagen. But did you know that B&W was involved in the making of the bridge? 

1868-69 Burmeister & Wain built a new bridge to replace the old Knippelsbro. It was an iron bridge, designed by wholesellers J. Adolphs and C. A. Broberg. 

Broen forbandt  Slotsholmsgade med Torvegade og blev bygget ved siden af den gamle bro, som blev benyttet mens byggeriet stod på. Broen åbnede 1. august 1869.

1934-37 the bridge had to be renewed again and Burmeister & Wain was once again given the honor of being responsible for the construction work, together with the contractor company Wright, Thomsen & Kier. Harbor builder Godfred Lorentz was responsible for the construction and architect Kaj Gottlob for the design. This was when the two well-known copper-clad bridge towers was constructed.

While undergoing the work, a temporary bridge was established next to it. 

The new Knippelsbro was inaugurated on the 17th of December 1937 and appeared as the bridge we know today, only thoroughly renovated in 1989 with respect for the architecture.  

The bridge engine was of course supplied by B&W.

Historically, Knippelsbro goes back much further: In 1618-20, Christian IV had the first bridge built, which was later to be named Knippelsbro. The bridge went over the harbor channel when Christianshavn was built. The district was to function as a defense against enemies coming from the sea side.

In 1633, Hans Knip became a keeper at the bridge and collected tolls from the passing ships. The bridge was originally called Christianshavn's Bro, but was popularly called Knippen's Bro, which over time became Knippelsbro.

During the bridge's time, there have been a total of five bridges, which have looked radically different, starting as a wooden bridge with statue entrances, then with entrances with wooden carvings, then B&W's iron replacement, next came a bridge with gates with bridge houses on top of them, before finally setteling on the 1937 B&W bridge we know today. 

At DieselHouse, the original drawings are shown as well as the 1937 model showing the lifting mechanism.


I 1846 producerer Baumgarten & Burmeister en bred vifte af maskiner, så som trykpresser, tørremaskiner, farvemøller mv. 


Constructed by Baumgarten & Burmeister in 1847.

April 1st 1851, the first Danish stamp was released. The stamp was printed  on a printing press of the same type as the one displayed in DieselHouse.


In 1882, Burmeister had teamed up with Wain and supplements their income from steam engine production, with the production of a new type of machine, the milk centrifuge. Danish farmers are in the middle of the conversion from grain production to animal agriculture and so the centrifuge supports the farmers in milk production. 

What is a centrifuge?
A centrifuge is a mechanical device, which purpose is to separate matter into it's various components. For example, to separate milk, in dairy terms called whole milk, into a fatty phase, cream, and a watery phase, skimmed milk. This process is called skimming or separation.

Physical considerations
Milk that is allowed to rest will naturally, as a result of gravity, separate into cream and skimmed milk. Cream contains fat, while skimmed milk contains water, which means that they cannot dissolve homogeneously. The milk will then, as a result of gravity and the difference in the density of the components, separate into two phases. Since fat is lighter than water, the fat will settle on top of the water.

B&W produced centrifuges from 1881-1910.

In 1882, Denmark's first co-operative dairy factory was established in the town of Varde. Together they could invest in a centrifuge, which could separate the cream from the large quantities of milk, far more efficiently than it had previously been possible on the farms, which increased the quality of the dairy products. The cooperative dairy factory was just the first of many and to this day the co-operative dairy factories still delivers fresh quality milk to the Danes.

At the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889, B&W was awarded the Grand Prix prize for the design of centrifuges for agriculture.

In 1908, an agreement was made with AlfaLaval, who bought the rights to B&W's milk centrifuge for DKK 500,000, which today corresponds to DKK 37.4 million.

The centrifuge required greater engineering accuracy than the large steam engines, that were often more crudely constructed. Thus the experience building centrifuges paved the way for Burmeister & Wain's engineers to enter the development of diesel engines in the following century. 


Where the steam engine was the most important source of power in the 19th century, the diesel engine became the most important in the 20th century. The German engineer Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913) developed a completely new engine in the 1890s. It took up less space and performed better than the steam engines. In 1898, Diesel signs a contract with B&W, which gives the Danish company the right to manufacture diesel engines.

At the beginning, only stationary engines were built, for power plants, pumping stations and factories. Later, B&W worked on developing a diesel engine that could power seagoing vessels. 

RUDOLF DIESEL (1858-1913)
Rudolf Diesel is described by some, as a bit of a child prodigy, as he already received a medal at the age of 12 for drawing fine technical drawings at school. 

In 1873 he was admitted to the industrial school and graduated two years later with the highest grades ever achieved. 

He continued his studies at the "Technische Hochschule" in Munich, where he graduated in 1879, aged only 21. 

During his time as a student, he became interested in thermodynamics and already at this time began to think about the process that would later bear his name.

In 1892, Rudolf Diesel was issued a patent for his ground-breaking invention: A combustion engine igniting the injected and finely atomized oil solely by the heat of compression.

He carried out a series of experiments in what is today MAN's workshops in Augsburg.

The first test resulted in a minor explosion in the test engine, but it clearly showed that the process worked (the oil was ignited by the hot air).

In 1896 he had a steadily running engine with an efficiency which clearly surpassed the steam engine.

This process and engine subsequently received his name; The diesel process and the diesel engine.

B&W followed Rudolf's tests and in 1898 signed a license agreement with Rudolf Diesel. This agreement gave B&W the rights to produce engines in Diesel's designs. B&W produced an experimental engine and a number of changes were introduced. The first engine was sold to Niels Larsen's Vognfabrik in Frederiksberg and, after a number of different tests, was delivered to the customer in 1904. It's purpose was to drive a dynamo, that produced lighting for the factory, as well as a publishing shaft to pull machinery. 

The engine was named B&W No. 1. It is fully functional and is started weekly for the public. See when in the section under Opening hours.

B&W NO. 1

B&W No. 1, DM140, is the first diesel engine delivered by B&W in 1904 to N. Larsen Auto Factory in Copenhagen. It's purpose was to run a dynamo that supplied lighting power to the factory and a publishing shaft to pull machinery. 

After approx. 20 years of operation, the engine is sold to A/S Søvang's drying plant (pumping station / dewatering plant) at Højslev Station in Jutland, where it continued to work without problems.

When B&W turned 100 years in 1943, the engine was bought back by B&W, with the aim of including it in the collection of the newly established B&W Museum, which was inaugurated in 1946. At that time the old engine was set up as an exhibition object, without being able to run.

When given the opportunity to move the old museum to the engine hall at H. C. Ørstedværket, it seemed obvious to renovate the old engine and bring it into running condition. The engine was then set up on its own foundation and connected to air, water, oil and exhaust pipes. In 2006, after repairs, the engine was ready to run again. 

Motoren er udstyret med en cylinder, et svinghjul på otte tons og yder 40 hk. B&W nr. 1 er stadig fuldt funktionsdygtig og startes en gang ugentligt for publikum, her på museet. Se tidspunkter for motorstarter under afsnittet ‘Åbningstider’.

/ DM140

Delivery year: 1904
Type:  Single cylinder four stroke trunk diesel engine
Performance:  40 hp at 180 revolutions per minute 
Cylinder diameter: 320 mm
Stroke length: 490 mm
Start air pressure: ca. 60 bar
Fuel injection: ved et lufttryk på ca. 60 bar med egen luftpumpe på forkant
Maximum pressure: 35 bar
Medium pressure: 5 bar

Motoren præsenteres for publikum hver torsdag og ved specielle lejligheder. Se afsnittet under Åbningstider for tider.


At the beginning of the twentieth century, many small engine factories arose in Denmark – Holeby on Lolland, in the South of Denmark, was one of them. The factory was bought by B&W in 1930.

Holeby's engine no. 1 was produced in 1910 and installed in Christophersen's power station in Holeby. Here it pulled a generator that made power for the night shift until the late sixties. Holeby's production of four-stroke engines continued until 2005, when production was moved to Frederikshavn. 

Holeby No. 1 was dismantled, boxed and placed on pallets to be placed as a landmark in front of Holeby's administration building. However, this was never put into practice, so when DieselHouse was set up, a foundation was made for the engine. 



When the engine arrived, it turned out that many parts, over the years, had disappeared. Despite the lack of drawings and parts lists, we succeeded in recreating and assembling the engine, which can now be experienced in DieselHouse in its entirety.


Delivery year: 1910
Type: Dual cylinder four stroke trunk diesel engine
Performance: 60 HK
Effect: 60 EHK at 250 rpm
Start air pressure: ca. 60 bar
Maximum pressure: ca. 35 bar
Medium pressure: ca. 5 bar
Compressed air injection at 60 bar with built-in compressed air pump up front
Cylinder Diameter 277,4 mm
Stroke length: 410 mm

The engine is functional, but is currently being inspected. When the machine has been thoroughly inspected, the engine will once again be started for the audience.


In 1912, a ship sensation took place in the shipyard on Refshaleøen: The new build no. 276, M/S Selandia saw the light of day. M/S Selandia was the first diesel engine-powered ship to be approved to sail on the oceans.

The ship was created in a collaboration between B&W and ØK, who saw the diesel engine as an effective replacement for the steam engine as propulsion engine for ships. Effective because it had a better degree of efficiency, needed less space for fuel and less manpower, saving space in the engine room.

Selandia was built at the B&W shipyard on Refshale Island and completed a successful trial voyage in the ice-filled Øresund in February 1912. The ship was handed over to EAC on 17 February and subsequently set out on her maiden voyage on 22 February 1912 with Bangkok as the final destination. The ship had 900 tonnes of oil in a tank under the engine, so that there was enough fuel for both the outward journey and the return journey, as it was not then possible to refuel in Bangkok.

The ship caused a great stir all over the world and gave both EAC and B&W a commercial and technological edge over its competitors.

Selandia was thus the start of the phasing out of the steam engine as ship's propulsion machinery and laid the foundation for the success of the diesel engine in ships.

Selandia weighed approx. 7000 tons and could sail at a speed of 12-13 knots (20 km/h)


NO. OF MAIN ENGINES: Two eight-cylinder engines each with 1250 IHK at 140 rpm
Hp: In total 2500
Cylinder Diameter: 530 mm
Stroke length: 730 mm
Medium pressure:  5,3 bar
Start air pressure: 20 bar
Compressed air atomization: ved  60 bar


See also clips from the documentary "Magten over havet - M/S Selandia" (in english "Power over the sea - M/S Selandia"), which was shown in 2012 on the TV station DR K.


In 1930, B&W supplies its first two-stroke engine for B&W's newly built ship, the M/S Amerika. In fact, many of the new engines power B&W ships and the company thus benefits from the mutual production development of both ships and propulsion means. 

The engine was pressurized atomized and received scavenging air from two separate electric fans. But M/S Amerika was a remarkable ship in several ways. Previously, many ships had no chimneys, while M/S Amerika had two. However the aft chimney functioned as a water tank.

The maiden voyage brought the ship from Copenhagen to Bangkok, but already on its second voyage, M/S Amerika sailed across the Pacific Ocean, as it did many times thereafter, until 1939. 

Historically, the M/S Amerika was also a remarkable ship
In 1939, the M/S Amerika was en route from the Panama Canal to Los Angeles when World War II broke out. The ship continued its journey and returned towards Copenhagen. When the Germans occupied Denmark on April 9, the ship had reached the Faroe Islands. When the British occupied the Faroe Islands on 13 April, the British took ownership over the M/S Amerika and it subsequently served under the English flag. The majority of the Danish crew continued to serve on board and were trained as soldiers. The ship was painted gray and equipped with weapons.

In 1940, the ship loaded munitions and Red Cross ambulances in East Africa, but soon came to a hold at the cost of Malta for several months. 

In 1941, a total of six ships stranded by Malta, were painted red and white striped to resemble Italian merchant ships, and on 23 July the ships set sail together under the Italian flag. 

The waters between Sardinia and Tunisia were extremely dangerous, but the ships avoided both the many mines and three torpedoes from a German aircraft.

M/S Amerika reached Liverpool and after much-needed repairs, the ship once again carried cargo via the great oceans.

In 1942, M/S Amerika sailed in a convoy with 42 other merchant ships and 13 escort vessels. Between 20 and 25 April, the convoy was attacked by 19 German submarines. 


On 21 April 1942, at 20:50, M/S Amerika was hit by two torpedoes from one of the German submarines and sank in just 30 minutes. 

49 crew members, including 29 Danes, and 37 passengers lost their lives. Which is considered the greatest tragedy of the Danish merchant navy during the Second World War.


Build no.: 559
Ship and engine built by: Burmeister & Wain, Copenhagen
Build year: 1930
Client: The shipping company, Det Østasiatiske Kompagni A/S (The East Asian Company A/S)
Length: 141,73 m
Width: 18,90 m
Dept: 13,12 m
Type main engine: One B&W 662WF-140
Hp: 7000
Speed: 14 knots

In DieselHouse you will find i.a. a model of the remarkable ship, M/S Amerika.


The royal ship Dannebrog was built at the Danish Navy's shipyard, Orlogsværftet on Holmen in Copenhagen in 1931. The ship was a replacement for the former Dannebrog, which was built by Burmeister & Wain in 1880. It was a paddle steamer. Dannebrog was handed over in the spring of 1932 to the Danish royal family, Christian X and Queen Alexandrine, who was also the ship's godmother. The ship was later inherited first by King Frederik IX and Queen Ingrid and later by Queen Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. 

In 2020, Dannebrog had covered over 300,000 nautical miles on the royal family's summer cruises to Danish ports as well as trips to the Faroe Islands and Greenland, where the ship has been a regular part of the programme. The ship has a crew of 58 men + 27 people associated with the royal household. 

Started weekly at the museum. See when below the section 'Opening hours'.

When Dannebrog was built, it was equipped with two main engines from Burmeister & Wain of the type 828VF, as well as two auxiliary engines of the type 222VHK. 

These engines were replaced in 1955 with two B&W 828VF-50 main engines and three 320MTBS-30 auxiliary engines. 

In 1980 these engines were replaced with two B&W Alpha main engines, type 6T23L-KVO a 870 HP at 800 rpm. Auxiliary engines type Scania DI12 62M. The replacement was carried out at Helsingør Shipyard. 

The engine shown in the museum is one of the three B&W auxiliary motors for electricity production from 1955 and has the following data: 


Number of cylinders: 3
Hp: 150
revolutions per minute: 600
Weight: 10 tons


Also known as the H.C. Ørsted engine

Experience our giant diesel engine, B&W 2000, on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month at 11.00 (remember to check opening hours and when engines are started).

B&W 2000 er en otte cylindret, double-acting, longitudinally flushed two-stroke engine, with a bore of 840 mm and a stroke of 1500 mm. The generator was built by Swedish ASEA (today ABB).. It was commissioned in 1933. The engine is 24.6 meters long, 12.5 meters high and weighs 1400 tons. 

This mechanical marvel was built by B&W to produce power on the H.C. Ørsted works. It's purpose was to deliver electricity to Copenhagen twice a day, at peak strainage of the power grid (in the morning and at 3-4 p.m., when people got off work)

The diesel engine has the advantage over the steam turbine that it can deliver power to the generator in just a few minutes and thus supply power when an urgent need arises. With its quick start-up, it was therefore better suited to equalize fluctuations in consumption than the large steam turbines that powered the rest of the plant. The visionary size of the diesel engine also meant that the many workers had to cast and construct the building itself around it.

The B&W 2000 was taken out of daily use in the late 60s, but engineers and machinists have carefully kept the engine ready to go until it was disconnected from the grid in 2004.

During World War II, the engine played an important role in the freedom fight, as the plant's own resistance group used it as a hiding place for weapons.

For more than 30 years, the engine was the world's largest diesel engine. Since 1970 and until 2004 the engine has functioned as an emergency system in the event of a power failure. That is why the machine has been tested once a month and ensured that there was always starting air pressure on the large starting air tanks. 

This enabled the motor to deliver power, when Øresundsområdet was hit by a power failure in 2003. The engine started on compressed air and forced the towed pumps to deliver fuel and lubricating oil. For the first few minutes the engine ran without cooling water and then power was generated so that the cooling water pumps started.

The diesel engine is still functional but is no longer connected to the grid.

The diesel oil is injected into the cylinders with a pressure of approx. 350-400 atm. The purged air, which is necessary to clean the cylinder of combustion gases and supply fresh air, is provided by four pcs. gear blowers, which are pulled by the engine by means of a large chain. These deliver approximately 1,800 m3 of air per minute at an excess pressure of 0.25 atm.

The content of the lubricating oil tank is 40 tonnes, which approx. 10 times an hour is pressed through the bearings as lubricating oil and through the pistons as cooling oil with a pressure of 2.5 atm. The engine is fresh water-cooled in a closed system, and this water is kept cooled by water from the port of Copenhagen using a heat exchanger.

The engine has supply pumps for lubricating oil and fuel, drawn from the engine itself.


Production name: DM 884WS-150
Production year: 1932
double-acting, longitudinally flushed two-stroke engine
Performance: 15.000 kW = 22.500 hk (ehk) = 15 MW
– Equivalent to 250,000 60W light bulbs
– Enough to light up 4,000 households
The engine's maximum performance: 115 revolutions per minute. 
Cylinders eight
cylinder diameter: 840 mm
Stroke length: 1500 mm
Nominal speed: 115,36 rpm
Maximum effect: 22500 bhp.  (elektric performance on the generator 15 MW)
Start air pressure: ca. 25 bar
Compression pressure: ca. 35 bar
Maximum pressure: ca. 50 bar
Medium pressure: ca. 7 bar
Consumption: 240 grams of fuel oil per kWh at 1200 kW = 2880 liters per hour
Dimension: 24,5 m long, 12,5 m tall
Engines total weight: 1400 tons
– Equivalent to 280 fully grown elephants
– 1,120 passenger cars (VW Passat)
– or 18,000 people of average size

which consists of a complete cylinder of 20 tonnes, a crankshaft of 140 tonnes and a generator rotor at 80 tonnes.

Total number of operating hours: about 75,000 hours

The engine is demonstrated to the public twice a month, first and third Sunday of the month, as well as on special occasions (e.g. Culture Night). See when below the section 'Opening hours'.


The Bur-Wain diesel engines were produced in the years 1938-1948 at B&W on Wilders Plads. In total, approx. 1600 units of this type of engine was produced. 

The Bur-Wain engines were primarily used in trucks and buses, but were also used for shunting locomotives for DSB and for smaller boats. 

The exhibited engine has been in the motorboat "Britt" and the owner Ib Petersen has built the engine from spare parts in the period 1995-1997. A few years ago, Ib Petersen donated the engine to DieselHouse and present it weekly to the audience.


Type: Bur-Wain Diesel 6 A 13 D
Year: 1945
Cylinders: Seks
Cylinder diameter: 110 mm
Stroke length: 135
Number of strokes: four-stroke engine med direkte brændstofindsprøjtning
Liters: 7,7 liters
Compression: 17:1
Performance: 105 ehk at 2000 rev/min
Max omdrejningsmoment: 588 Newton meters (Nm) at 1500 rpm

Started weekly at the museum. See times for motor starters under the section 'Opening hours'.


Since the first experimental engine Diesel produced, there has been an incredible development in engines, but also in the processes of the engines. This development has meant that diesel engines today are the all-dominant main engine in ships and in many large and small electricity plants, especially on islands around the world.

Diesel engines were quickly becoming leaders in all areas where engine power was needed and B&W was gaining more and more competitors, both within stationary engines and marine engines. As the powerful two-stroke engines gained ground on the market, B&W's engineers responded by developing a double-acting four-stroke engine that further increased the engine's performance.

In 1939, a new technique was developed in engine design: the cylinder section and crankcase were separated, which enabled the use of coarser and thus cheaper fuel oils.

In 1951, the main objective was to achieve higher speed. And so B&W introduced the B&W two-stroke engines with turbochargers, which increase performance by 35% and made the engines both smaller in size and weight. 

Meanwhile, it became increasingly difficult throughout the 20th century for industrial production to survive in Western European countries, where wages and production costs significantly exceed the level in Eastern Europe and Asia. In 1950, 65% of production licensees were European (today 75% are Asian).

1973 The Oil Crisis.

From 1979, MAN buys 50% of the B&W shares, then a further 49% and finally the remaining.

In the 1980s, the main obstacle was to reduce fuel consumption. Fuel consumption constituted an increasingly large operating cost of on eg. ships, from about 20% in 1972 to 50% ten years later. 

The focus was now to build the intelligent engine, which would be controlled electronically, to ensure more stable operation and an improved control of fuel consumption and emissions. 

Which leads us today, where development has continued on to reaching new goals. 
Read more about the new goals and innovations on man-es.com


The diesel engine is a combustion engine that works by self-igniting fuel. In the diesel engine, air is drawn in, which is compressed, compresses molecules, causing the temperature and pressure to rise so much that the injected fuel, the diesel oil, self-ignites. This happens just before the piston reaches the top position. During combustion, the temperature and pressure in the cylinder rise further, so that the piston is pressed back and provides mechanical work to the crankshaft which begins to rotate.

The diesel engine is produced both as a two-stroke and four-stroke engine and is used as a stationary power machine as well as for propulsion of ships, trains and cars. 

The diesel process is characterized by a cylinder being filled with clean air, which is compressed by the movement of the piston to a pressure of 30-60 bar and a temperature of 550-600 °C. Shortly before TDP (top dead point), the diesel oil is injected, which self-ignites due to the high temperature. The combustion causes a pressure increase to 50-140 bar and a maximum temperature of 1600-1800 °C. Combustion continues at the high pressure until it is completely finished at approx. 5-15 °KV after TDP.

The two-stroke engine is where the combustion takes place every time the main piston is in the top position. Intake and exhaust are controlled in the classic two-stroke engine by the main piston.

The two-stroke engine has appealed to many car designers due to its simplicity, but despite the use of different types of valves, it has not been possible to control the intake and exhaust so well that the engine can compete with the four-stroke engine, in efficient combustion. The two-stroke system is widespread among marine diesel engines.


The cycle of the four-stroke engine is divided into four strokes; intake, compression, expansion and exhaust.

Since the amount of fuel that can be burned in a cylinder is dependent on the amount of air in the cylinder, performance can be increased by the air having a higher pressure without simultaneously having a higher temperature. This is done by compressing the inflow air either in a mechanically driven fan or in a turbo fan (also called a turbocharger). 

Turbochargers are used for ship engines as well as for the smaller diesel engines used in ships for electricity production (auxiliary engines). They are also used for diesel engines in construction equipment and in buses and trucks.

When an engine is double-acting, you can bring the engine to combustion twice per round, instead of one. When the piston is in the top position, as well as in the bottom position.  

This is particularly effective on large engines such as the B&W 2000, also known as The H.C. Ørsted Engine, here at the museum.

It works by having a cylinder that is very long, with a cylinder head (cylinder cover) at both ends of the cylinder. A piston rod connects the piston to a crosshead outside the cylinder to which the connecting rod is connected. The piston rod is sealed at the passage of the lower cylinder cap.

Means that the fresh air enters when the piston is at the bottom and pushes the combustion gas out through a valve.

Source: Den Store Danske (The Danish Dictionary) 


The gasoline engine is characterized by the fact that a mixture of atomized and vaporized gasoline and air is compressed and ignited via an electrically produced spark. This is also called the Otto process. 

Just like with the diesel engine, a piston moves up and down in a cylinder. Fuel and air are injected into a carburettor, the cylinder is closed tightly, the piston compresses fuel and air, which have nowhere to go and the temperature and pressure in the cylinder rise. 

Shortly before the pressure is up to 40-50 bar and the temperature reaches 2200-2500 °C, this point is also called TDP (top dead point), the fuel is ignited via an electric spark. A small explosion occurs which pushes the piston back which causes the shaft in the motor to rotate. 

When the piston is pushed away from the top of the cylinders, there is again room for fresh air in the cylinder, air ducts open and let the hot air out, while cold air is taken in and cools the engine. Waste gases, primarily carbon dioxide and water, are expelled via the exhaust pipe.

There are more differences than those mentioned, but these are some of the most significant.

Differences in the structure of the engine
One of the biggest differences is that the fuel is ignited electrically in a petrol engine, where the fuel self-ignites in a diesel engine. A petrol engine therefore also has spark plugs, a diesel engine does not.

Differences in compression
The fuel in a diesel engine needs greater pressure and higher temperatures to self-ignite than the gasoline engine needs before the fuel is ignited by a spark. The compression in the diesel engine is 14:1 to 25:1, compared to the petrol engine where it is 8:1 to 12:1. 

Differences in fuels
Diesel as a fuel contains a greater proportion of carbon and is heavier and more oily than petrol. Gasoline is lighter and more flammable. Compared to petrol, diesel only evaporates at a much higher temperature. Another fundamental difference between the two types of fuel is that diesel contains more energy than petrol.


H.C Ørsted and electromagnetism
On 21 July 1820, H. C. Ørsted published the very first scientific article describing electromagnetism.

Electricity and magnetism have been known far back in history, but have always been seen as two completely independent areas. H.C. Ørsted changed all that.

He had observed electric current through a platinum wire, affecting a compass needle. 

After several experiments, he was able to establish that both electricity and magnetism are created by moving electrons. Electricity by electrons moving through a wire and magnetism when the electrons move in the same direction. So when his compass needle made small jerks, in the presence of the current carried through the platinum wire, as in a wire, it is due to the discovery of the electromagnetic field.Electromagnetism was born.

Electromagnetism is the basis of everything from wind turbines to mobile phones and other electric motors for e.g. cars. 

The electric car
The very first electric-powered car saw the light of day as early as 1832 and was built by the British inventor, Robert Anderson. But it wasn't until the second half of the 19th century before the electric car was made practical.

In 2023, it is believed that there will be 26 million electric cars on the world's roads, which is 60% more than in 2021 and a number that is expected to increase further in the coming years.

The electric engine
Electric engines are today a very common and fairly simple motor. They also come in several shades and can look different. Often they don't look like anything special and rarely consist of as many parts as other engines. 

What electric motors have in common is that they convert electrical energy into mechanical energy.

This happens by the electric engine receiving energy from e.g. a battery through wires. The electrical energy energizes copper wires inside the electric engine, which via electromagnetism causes a rotor to turn, on the rotor is mounted a shaft that goes through the engine and out at the opposite end. The shaft rotates together with the rotor. At the end of the electric engine's shaft, the device that must receive the mechanical energy is placed. 

Source: Den Store Danske (the Danish Dictionary) and Videnskab.dk (science . dk)


When we talk about Power-to-X (PtX), it opens up a wide range of issues that we, as a society, would like to solve: getting rid of fossil fuels, meeting an increasing need for energy, converting what we have too much of (e.g. CO2) to a resource (energy), safe storage of e.g. CO2, longer storage of power from renewable energy, such as solar and wind. 

But what does Power-to-X actually cover?
Power-to-X means: converting electricity (power) into something else (x). 

Electricity can, for example, be converted via electrolysis into hydrogen, which can either be used directly or combined with other elements and refined into e.g. fuel, gas and chemicals.

How does Power-to-X work?
We receive power (electricity), from e.g. wind or solar energy. Via electrolysis, water (H2O) is split into (H2) hydrogen and (O) oxygen.

The hydrogen can either be used alone, or be converted into ammonia, methanol or methane by adding nitrogen (N) or carbon (C) from CO2. These are also called e-fuels or electro-fuels because electrolysis has been used to produce them. 

E-fuels can be broken down into three groups: Power-to-Gas (PtG), Power-to-Liquid (PtL) and Power-to-Chemicals (PtC): 

Synthetic natural gas (SNG) can be used directly in the existing gas infrastructure without changing anything else.

Renewable energy is used to run an electrolysis plant that breaks down water into hydrogen and oxygen. This results in hydrogen that can be added to the natural gas grid or used as fuel for other applications. Alternatively, carbon dioxide can be added to the hydrogen in a methanation reactor, resulting in synthetic methane, also known as SNG or e-gas. CNG can be stored and used directly as a fuel for mobility or heating purposes.

Hydrogen is converted into methanol, which can be used in the production of synthetic fuels for road and air transport. It can be used directly by the mobility sector and the existing petrol or diesel infrastructure.

So PtL can be used for fueling planes, trucks and ships. 

By combining hydrogen with CO2, nitrogen or other compounds, a chemical reaction is triggered and chemicals such as ammonia, ethylene or propylene are produced, which can be used in industries to produce various products. 

Source: man-es.com

So why isn't the whole world running on e-fuels already?
At DTU (the Danish Technical University), Professor of Physics, Jakob Kibsgaard describes that: "At the moment, the conversion of electricity to hydrogen is the most used power-to-x process. It is a well-known process that we can implement on a large scale. However, the process remains both expensive and energy-intensive. One third of the energy in the electricity used for the electrolysis process is lost. Thus, hydrogen contains only two thirds of the energy used to produce it.

"Although we are able to develop hydrogen fairly efficiently, the number of places we can use hydrogen is limited. For example, it is not suitable for heavy transport or in industries. Therefore, it is necessary to process the hydrogen further in a synthesis process”.

At DTU, research is being carried out to produce e.g. methanol or kerosene, without first producing hydrogen, to make the process more efficient. 

In order for Power-to-X to succeed, Jakob Kibsgaard predicts that more efficient catalysts are needed for the electrolysis process as well as a plan for integrating Power-to-X into the existing energy system.

Source: dtu.dk

MAN Energy Solutions built a Power-to-X plant for Audi in 2013
Audi's Power-to-X plant in Werlte, Germany, has now been taken over by kiwi AG. MAN delivered a complete PtX solution including a methanation reactor as a single source solution. The facility supplies natural gas, which is used for several purposes, including The ElbBlue container ship, which, as the first ship in the world, sails on synthetic fuel.

MAN power-to-X
On MAN-ES.com you can keep up with the latest innovations.


The 19th century – the heyday of the steam engine
1712 - The Englishman – Thomas Newcomen invents the steam engine and James Watt improves the steam engine until the 1780s

1820 – H.C. Ørsted discovers electromagnetism
1832 – The Worlds 1st electric vehicle

1843 - H.H. Baumgarten starts a mechanical workshop in Købmagergade in Copenhagen
1846 - C.C. Burmeister joins H.H. Baumgarten
              A wide range of industrial machines is produced by B&B: Printing presses, drying machines and dye mills
1865 - Baumgarten retires and W. Wain joins: Burmeister & Wain (B&W)
1881 – B&W's first milk centrifuge revolutionizes agriculture and wins Grand Prix at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1889

1892 – Rudolf Diesel patents his diesel engine
1896 - Rudolf Diesel has a stable diesel engine ready
1898 - B&W gets the rights to produce and further develop diesel engines from Rudolf Diesel's design

The 1900s – the heyday of the diesel engine
1904 - First diesel engine from B&W is delivered, B&W no. 1 to Niels Larsen's Vognfabrik in Frederiksberg. The engine drove a dynamo that ensured lighting for the factory. B&W revolutionizes the engine market time and time again:

1910 - Holeby diesel engine no. 1 is ready and installed in Christoffersen's Power Station in Holeby on Lolland
1912 – The world's first diesel engine built for an ocean-going ship, M/S Selandia
1914-1918 - World War I
1920s - steamships are replaced by diesel-powered ships
1930 - B&W buys the competitor from Holeby on Lolland
1930 - B&W supplies their first two-stroke engine for the new built B&W ship M/S Amerika
1930s - B&W develops double-acting four-stroke engine
1932 - B&W 2000 stands ready at The H.C. Ørsted Power Plant. The engine is three storeys high and the building must be built around the engine. For 30 years the engine is the World's largest, until B&W builds something even bigger.
1939 - B&W developes a new technique in engine design: the cylinder section and crankcase were separated, which enabled the use of coarser and thus cheaper fuel oils. 
1938-1948 - around 1600 Bur-Wain engines were produced primarily for trucks, buses and shunting locomotives
1939 – 1945 - World War II:
weapons are hidden under the B&W 2000 engine by own resistance fighters. A coin from the war is still preserved under the engine.
1943 - B&W No. 1 is bought back
1951 - B&W introduces turbocharged two-stroke engine and increases performance by 35%, for faster propulsion, less weight and less displacement
1950s - wages exceed production costs in Western countries and where 65% of licensees in 1950 are located in Europe, today 75% are located in Asia
1973 - Oil Crisis

1979 - B&W becomes MAN and continues innovation engine engineering and is responsible for the vast majority of engines in ships that cross our seas, trucks that deliver our goods and buses that transport usFrom 1979, MAN buys 50% of the B&W shares, then a further 49% and finally the remaining.

1980s - focus on better fuel economy
1990's - The focus was now to build the intelligent engine, which would be controlled electronically ensure stable operation and an improved control of fuel consumption and emissions
1995-1997 - Ib Petersen builds an engine from spare parts from Bur-Wain engines for his boat Brit. The engine would later be exhibited at the museum
2003 - The B&W 2000 engine from 1932 is used as an emergency power generator to start the electricity grid after a large power outage in the Øresund area, causing havoc in both Denmark and Southeren Sweden
2006 - B&W no. 1 is fully restored and ready to be started at the museum

 2020s - MAN continues to innovate the market with new solutions Read more about the new goals and innovations on man-es.com


This page is continuously a subject to correction of eg. any errors.


All illustrations and animations on this page is by Maikie Andersen, Maikie.dk