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Stirling Engine

Stirling Engine

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Published by anon-124856

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Published by: anon-124856 on Jul 02, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/22/2013

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PROJECTS: 
STIRLING ENGINE
www.makezine.com/07/stirlingengine
90
Make:
Volume
 
07
 
TWO-CANSTIRLINGENGINE
By William Gurstelle
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Set up:p.94Make it:p.96Use it:p.101
Stirling engines are
external combustion
engines, whichmeans no combustion takes place inside the engine andthere’s no need for intake or exhaust valves. As a result,Stirling engines are smooth-running and exceptionally quiet.Because the Stirling cycle uses an external heat source, itcan be run on whatever is available that makes heat — anythingfrom hydrogen to solar energy to gasoline.Our Stirling engine consists of two pistons immersed in twocans of water. One can contains hot water and the other cold.The temperature difference between the two sides causes theengine to run. The difference in the hot and cold side tempera-tures creates variations in air pressure and volume inside theengine. These pressure differences rotate a system of inertialweights and mechanical linkages, which in turn control thepressure and volume of the air cylinder.
William Gurstelle
serves on MAKE’s Technical Advisory Board and is the author of
Backyard Ballistics
and
 Adventuresfrom the Technology Underground
.
REDLINING AT 20 RPM
The Stirling engine has long captivatedinventors and dreamers. Here are com-plete plans for building and operating atwo-cylinder model that runs on almostany high-temperature heat source.
 
PROJECTS: 
STIRLING ENGINE
www.makezine.com/07/stirlingengine
92
Make:
Volume
 
07
THE STIRLING CYCLE
    I    l    l   u   s    t   r   a    t    i   o   n   s    b   y    N    i    k    S   c    h   u    l   z    /    L  -    D   o   p   a .   c   o   m
COMPRESSIONAs air in the coldwater contracts,the cold pistonmoves down.COOLINGCold piston (left) movesupward by flywheel iner-tia, drawing hot air overto cold side.HEATINGWith the cold pistonfully down, most airis on hot side and getting reheated.EXPANSIONHot air is forced to theleft cylinder, forcing thecold piston up. This isthe power cycle.
Four Steps of the Stirling Cycle
Every heat engineworks on a cycle. Whenheat is applied to aworking fluid, the fluidundergoes some sort ofchange — its pressure, volume, or temperatureis increased by theadded heat — and in sodoing, the fluid doesmeaningful work onits surroundings. Workcould mean makinga piston move, or aturbine, or some othermechanical object. TheStirling cycle is a four-step process, using hotair as its working fluid.1234

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