Stirling Engines as power converters

  • Some members of the Stirling Engine Society have been playing about with various designs of Thermal Lag Engine. I'm hoping that there will be some examples at the midlands exhibition later this month, to have a tinker with. (I do know that one of the people who has been building these devices will be there.)


    There have been various theories suggested for how these odd little engines work - some slightly more feasible than others. But there still seem to be a number of unknowns. I suspect it is high time that thermal plasmonics was thrown into the mix - just to confuse matters still further ;)


    If you google around, you can find examples of some thermal lag engines online - along with some videos. The challenge (as always) is to improve the efficiency of the current devices - so that they might find more of a use than just being cute.


    External Content www.youtube.com
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.


    I also see that our friend Allan Organ is now getting in on the act - with his latest (unaffordable) textbook.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • There was a Stirling Engine rally in Hereford last Sunday. Here is a short video (under 3 minutes) of some of the engines on display.


    External Content www.youtube.com
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • I've long suspected that the designers of regenerative "Caloric" engines, such as John Ericsson (1803-1889) believed that Caloric possessed some form of inertia. I don't think Ericsson (or his contemporaries) could quantify it - but it might explain some of the design features of the early engines, which seem slightly bizarre today (with our currently accepted thermal theories).

    Just thought I'd post a little update.


    The sudden shifting of heat along a heated bar, plunged in water, could be amenable to calculation through variations of the Drude model for thermal conductivity.


    Note that the model involves laws (such as the Wiedemann-Franz law) rather than full theory, however it does give a route to introduce such concepts as phonons and "thermal inertia".

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • External Content www.youtube.com
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.


    Resonanttheme
    www.youtube.com

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited once, last by Frogfall ().

  • China tests a Stirling cycle power converter in orbit


    External Content www.youtube.com
    Content embedded from external sources will not be displayed without your consent.
    Through the activation of external content, you agree that personal data may be transferred to third party platforms. We have provided more information on this in our privacy policy.


    They have used twin free piston units, horizontally opposed and possibly electrically synchronised - in an effort to overcome balance issues. Heat is from radioactive decay - but the article below doesn't mention the source type (The previously abandoned NASA unit, above, used Plutonium-238).


    If fact, the Phys.Org article is ridiculously dumbed-down and bizarrely compares the generator to a hydroelectric dam rather than to other heat engine generators or solid state thermoelectric systems.


    China tests a Stirling engine in orbit
    The China National Space Agency (CNSA) has made considerable progress in recent years with the development of its Long March 5 (CZ-5) rocket and the completion…
    phys.org

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

    Edited 3 times, last by Frogfall ().

  • The reporter is a little confused over the technology, but it is an interesting development all the same.


    New Chinese thermoacoustic Stirling engine breaks power record
    Patented by NASA but never developed, Chinese scientists have managed to reach a major milestone in the development of a thermoacoustic Stirling engine.
    interestingengineering.com

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • Photo of the unit mentioned in the above story (tracked down by a fellow member of the Stirling Engine Society).

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • The Luftwaffe during (perhaps before) WW2 were working on a 'free-piston' internal combustion engine of similar overall form, the suggestion being that it would power an aircraft using the gas from it's exhaust alone, but dropped the idea because it was hard to start...

  • a 'free-piston' internal combustion engine of similar overall form

    This has been mentioned before. There is a handy page on wikipedia about free piston engines (including their use as gas generators)


    The first practical type go back to Raul Pateras, in France, in the 1930s. The wartime Junkers designs were similar in concept. There were also the weird "Lutz" donut shaped free piston designs.


    People in lots of countries have played around with them over the years - but they have never displaced crank-based piston engines, for a number of technical reasons. Maybe one day :)

    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

  • Sent to me by a fellow member of the Stirling Engine Society - and written by ChatGPT.


    I wonder if ChatGPT can write the music too?


    "The most misleading assumptions are the ones you don't even know you're making" - Douglas Adams

Subscribe to our newsletter

It's sent once a month, you can unsubscribe at anytime!

View archive of previous newsletters

* indicates required

Your email address will be used to send you email newsletters only. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Our Partners

Supporting researchers for over 20 years
Want to Advertise or Sponsor LENR Forum?
CLICK HERE to contact us.