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Stirling engines

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Dune, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Is anyone here familiar with working sterling engines? I feel that it is the responsibility of eveyone to do all that can be done, to lessen the use of fossil fuels. I think if we save ourselves it will be as a result of grass roots efforts. I don't think even a well intentioned government is going to make the change for us. Relief will come in many forms, and every possible solution must be chased down. I intend to design and construct a wood burning cogeneration system and am presently leaning towards a heat differential or sterling engine, fueled by wood and spinning a generator. I own a machine shop with cnc and have built over a hundred custom machines over the last 30 years. I am asking for help with design, and engineering, if available. Thankyou.

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  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    The only succesfull sterling engines on the market are running on natural gas or solar power.There is a Sterlin cycle gernerator/water heater made in New Zealand that fires propane and is oriented for boating service and was being triled in England. Sandia is using what appears to be a STM generator on their concentrating solar collector. Sunpower was supposed to come out with a woodfired sterling cycle generator a few years back and was offering to sell prototype units, but there hasnt been any apparent folow through. It was an interesting design. Dean Kamen has some wood fired prototypes out in the field on his water purification systems. He has been working on the Sterling engine for longer than he has worked on the Segway.

    The biggest hope was STM engines out of Michigan that were selling commerical units, but they went out of business last year due to short seal life. Someone bought the assets, so they may return if they can get the seals to hold up (a common problem).
  3. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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  4. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys. This is some good info. Since I posted this, I have found two books that look promising. Wasn't aware of insurmountable problems, hopefully just solutions which havn't been found yet. If and when I get to the prototype stage, I will report back here, If I have anything positive to say. Thankyou.
  5. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    In europe we have quite a few working sterling engines with cogeneration systems. I prefer thermal oil and conventional steam engines as the technology seems to be more robust.
  6. m0jumb0

    m0jumb0 New Member

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    i've also looked into stirling engines.. they look promising at least from the standpoint of being fuel agnostic. as long as you have a big enough heat differential you can use anything from the sun to waste heat from other processes. there are lots of tiny hobby-sized engines, and huge commercial ones, but there aren't a lot of in-betweeners that can be used on a homeowner level... at least that i've seen. you could really fill a niche if you paired it with a water heat-exchanger for scavenging heat from boiler installations or even automotive applications. i really think the future of energy is on a personal level.. you're going to see a lot fewer huge centralized generators and more personal and neighborhood ones. a huge percentage of electricity is wasted in distribution, so why not cut that part out and do it at home.
  7. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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  8. m0jumb0

    m0jumb0 New Member

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  9. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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  10. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thank you for the replies. I have been researching stirling engines in particular for about a month now, and these are some of the best hits yet. Could not get to an english language website for sunmachine though. Any help on that would be apreciated. Again, thanks for the info.
  11. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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  12. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    John, thanks for the link. Do you know of any companies selling stirling engines? Also, sunmachine does not seem to have an english language option on their website. I e-mailed them and have gotten no response. any help would be greatly apreciated.
  13. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    John, one more question, googled thermal oil, didn't find much. Can you give another clue or two about that?
  14. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    Lots of companies selling larger stirling engines but for small scale its normally a case of buy the plans and make it yourself.

    Another company at the smaller scale

    http://www.stirling.dk/

    With regard to thermal oil you can replace a conventional wet steam boiler with a thermal oil steam evaporator and then use a conventional steam engine/turbine

    http://www.gekakonus.net/e/produkte_dg.htm

    Or go the whole way and use a thermal oil turbine normally referred to as an ORC unit.

    The sunmachine site is in english have you clicked on the language key.
  15. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    John, I would love to just buy a set of plans and build one. Do you know of any proven plans for sale? As far as the sunmachine, The link you provided did not get me there, but I googled them and got to a site, that had many lanquage options, but not english.
  17. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

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    Sorry about the sunmachine site I think it may have gone offline however try some of these manufacturers some supply complete kits others castings .

    http://www.stirlingengines.org.uk/manufact/post.html

    I will try and find the title of a book which has been recommended to me however I am really a steam engine man not a stirling engine man.
  18. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    John, thanks for your input, you have been a great help.
  19. Nice-N-Warm

    Nice-N-Warm New Member

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    Hi Guys,
    I've been reading this thread and thought you might be interested in a site I found a while back - pretty interesting stuff. http://www.cyclonepower.com/
    Really interesting multi-fuel EXternal combustion engines that can run on liquid fuels, solid fuels and, I think, Solar as well
    Looks kinda cool... who knows!?
  20. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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  21. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Well alright. Now we are getting some links. Thanks guys, keep em coming. That cyclone engine looks interesting.
  22. Hansson

    Hansson Feeling the Heat

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