What is Stirling engine: Definition and 38 Discussions

A Stirling engine is a heat engine that is operated by the cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas (the working fluid) at different temperatures, resulting in a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. More specifically, the Stirling engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine with a permanent gaseous working fluid. Closed-cycle, in this context, means a thermodynamic system in which the working fluid is permanently contained within the system, and regenerative describes the use of a specific type of internal heat exchanger and thermal store, known as the regenerator. Strictly speaking, the inclusion of the regenerator is what differentiates a Stirling engine from other closed-cycle hot air engines.Originally conceived in 1816 by Robert Stirling as an industrial prime mover to rival the steam engine, its practical use was largely confined to low-power domestic applications for over a century. However, contemporary investment in renewable energy, especially solar energy, has increased the efficiency of concentrated solar power.

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  1. C

    I Ideal working gas for a Stirling engine

    I was reading around Stirling engines and there's something I am not sure about, can't see a logical explanation. So the ideal gases discussed are hydrogen and helium on account of their higher thermal conductivities. But I am unclear on what motivation there would be to use hydrogen which has...
  2. J

    Stirling engine LTD (Low Temperature Differential) plate size / energy

    i need a simple calculation of a stirling ltd surface area calculation per watt produced and would a very rough surface and very large surface area hinder heat flow if the distance to re generator is extreme /would folding the surface area of a flat plat ltr help increase the power of engine...
  3. Isolde Wilde

    DIY Stirling engine project

    hello, I had made an DIY alpha type Stirling engine for my physics project and now I have to write an report about the relationship between the heat given to the engine and the motion of the wheel. I had searched a lot about Stirling engines and I learned about work, energy, efficiency...
  4. C

    Electrical Miniature Turbines for a solar collector

    I have a satellite dish converted to a solar collector. It isn't very big, just a small scale prototype at the moment. I have measured just over 300 degrees Celsius at the focus point. I am considering either using a sterling engine or a steam turbine to generate some electricity. The problem...
  5. Waggles

    Renewable Energy Concept - Stirling Engine Composting

    So I've got this crazy idea. To put it simply, to use the heat from anaerobic composting to power hot-air engine, specifically a Stirling Engine. Based solely on my own reading, the center of a closed composting heap can reach anywhere from 120-160 degrees without killing the microorganisms...
  6. Jarro

    Stirling engine against solar panels

    Hello, Since childhood, I have been wondering why it is not possible to make miniature electric motors with pistons and gas container covered with a very dark (meaning high absorption coefficient over a wide spectral width) material that would translate the energy of sunlight directly into...
  7. G

    Error in this depiction of a Stirling engine?

    Hi. In my (German) physics lecture notes, I found this depiction of a Stirling engine: According to the text, it should be A: isothermal expansion B: isochoric cooling C: isothermal compression D: isochoric heating This seems correct for the PV diagram, but strange in the illustration on the...
  8. TheBigDig

    Finding the energy dissipated per cycle in a Stirling Engine

    1.Recently, we performed an experiment to measure the efficiency of the Stirling Engine. The experimental method can be seen in the image provided. We have been asked to calculate the power dissipation PR and the energy dissipation per cycle WR as part of our lab report. The other variables...
  9. CivilSigma

    Efficiency Calculation for a Stirling Engine Cycle

    Homework Statement Figure 2 represents a model for the thermodynamic cycle of the Stirling engine, patented by Scottish clergyman Robert Stirling in 1816. The engine operates by burning fuel externally to warm one of its two cylinders. A xed quantity of inert gas moves cyclically between the...
  10. U

    Can Polystyrene Withstand the Heat in a Stirling Engine Displacer?

    Hey Guys, I'm working on a Stirling engine to show my nephew. I have made one before that runs off off coffee water but now I'm planning on making a system which will use a heat source around 90-125°C and I do not know if polystyrene will melt or not. So if you guys have any suggestions for a...
  11. Feodalherren

    Thermodynamics - Stirling Engine

    Homework Statement In 1816, Robert Stirling, a Scottish clergyman, patented the Stirling engine, which has found a wide variety of applications ever since. Fuel is burned externally to warm one of the engine’s two cylinders. A fixed quantity of inert gas moves cyclically between the...
  12. A

    How do you measure the force of a Stirling engine?

    I was wondering how the force of a Stirling engine was measured? I mean, for every degree Celsius that the temperatures differ. how much more force (or horse power) is the engine generating? Are there any other variables to this? What I'm getting is can Stirling engines power cars if enough heat...
  13. C

    Stirling Engine School Project Help

    I need to generate electricity from this, how would I do so? I was thinking about placing magnets on the flywheel and using silver wiring as a conductor. This needs to power an RC cars electric motor so I can drive the thing and I have little to no experience with anything electrical. Any...
  14. H

    What is the purpose of using two cylinders in a Moriya Stirling engine fan?

    Hi all:I am currently considering building a moriya stirling engine fan turbine. I would like to know if anyone here has built one. If so, is it possible for you to explain why they use 2 cylinders (power and displacer)? what is the principles of using two cylinders over this type ...
  15. W

    Calculating Work and State Variables for an ideal Stirling Engine

    Homework Statement Consider the ideal Stirling cycle working between a maximum temperature Th and min temp Tc, and a minimum volume V1 and a maximum volume V2. Suppose that the working gas of the cycle is 0.1 mol of an ideal gas with cv = 5R/2. A) what are the heat flows to the cycle during...
  16. tsuwal

    Thermodynamics: Is Stirling engine reversible or irreversible?

    Stirling engine: the cycle is composed by two isothermals and 2 isometrica and there are just two heat reservoirs. By the isometrics I would say that that it is irreversible since you exchanging heat with a reservoir at a different temperature than your gas. However my notes say the...
  17. F

    Will curved heat pipes improve Stirling engine efficiency?

    Stirling engines use regenerators(heat pumps) to recover heat and increase their efficiency.The basic problem here is "The regenerator constitutes a (dead) volume which thwarts the benefit of its presence.There is never absolute truth" I believe I have a working concept of the heat pipe.My idea...
  18. D

    Readily-available radioisotope heat source for a Stirling engine?

    Hi folks...I'm new here, please go easy on me, it's been quite a long time since college physics! :-) I need a feasible and readily available heat source for a Stirling cycle engine. (It's a type of engine that runs off of hot air...google it and you'll see plenty of examples.) Is there a...
  19. A

    Design a Stirling Engine: Gamma vs. Beta

    I am thinking of building a Stirling engine and am debating between a gamma type and beta type. Any advice on which type I should go for, and what the advantages/disadvantages to each is? Thanks
  20. M

    The workings of a Stirling engine

    Hi As a school project, I want to construct a Stirling engine (particularly this kind : http://monsterguide.net/how-to-build-a-stirling-engine ). The execution is quite simple, but I do not fully understand the theoretical background. Can someone give me an explanation?
  21. T

    Stirling Engine Help for High School Engineering Project

    I'm designing a stirling engine for a high school engineering project. I need to know more information about them though before I start machining out the parts. I looked at Wikipedia and a few other sites, but I need something a little more in depth. I'm looking for a good stirling engine book...
  22. T

    Stirling engine survey for high school engineering class

    I am making a CNC machined stirling engine for high school my engineering class. Before I can get started I need people to fill out this survey to help me decide which design to go with. Thanks! Stirling Info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine...
  23. A

    Thermodynamics: Efficiency for Stirling engine

    Homework Statement I'm trying to find an expression for the efficiency of a stirling engine operating with an ideal diatomic gas, and cycling through a volume V and a multiple of its compression ratio, r, Vr. Homework Equations processes: 1-2 isothermal expansion 2-3 isochoric...
  24. M

    Why do you need to start this Stirling engine by hand?

    Homework Statement Why do you need to start this Stirling engine by hand? Homework Equations N/A The Attempt at a Solution there is not sufficient power at first to overcome the inertia, so external work in the form of pushing it by hand is needed. however once started the momentum of the...
  25. K

    Stirling Engine Theory - Mechanically Driven

    Hi, I have had an idea floating around regarding stirling engines, and was hoping that somone may be able to provide some information. Supposing a stirling engine is run mechanically, one side heats up, the other cools down. what would happen if the cool side was heated externally...
  26. V

    Stirling engine to electric motor

    Does anyone know what stirling engine could be used to power a generator which in turn powers an electric motor? I am thinking of using this concept in a vehicle. A diagram is here: It shows a metal sphere in vacuum sealed container. It would be connected to by a retractable contact...
  27. Drakkith

    Building a Stirling Engine at Home

    Hello all. I've been wanting to build a Stirling engine at home out of parts that i could easily afford/scrounge up. Not one of those small ones that you hold in your hand, but one that could generate some real work. Enough to run a small generator maybe. The problem is that i have absolutely no...
  28. R

    Building a Solar-Powered Stirling Engine

    Hi Guys I m trying to make a Stirling engine power by solar heat. Somewhere I found out that the solar flux available on Earth is abt 1350watts/m2 Is this heat energy only or "heat & light " combined?? I m trying to find out if my soar engine will be better than traditional solar...
  29. C

    Using gas engine's residual heat to power a Stirling engine.

    It does not sound bad, does not It??. Using the residual heat it would be possible to power a Stirling engine, producing energy to be stored in the battery. Getting less power from the gas engine, (less time alternator running), less gas used, higher efficiency. How does it sound??
  30. R

    Help with Calculating Work Done by a Model Stirling Engine

    Homework Statement I need some help with this problem: A model Stirling engine uses n = 7.44 × 10–3 mol of gas (assumed to be ideal) as a working substance. It operates between a high temperature reservoir at TH= 95.0°C and a low temperature reservoir at Tc = 24.0°C. The volume of its...
  31. V

    What are the design considerations for a 5kW Stirling engine?

    Hey, I'm an electrical engineering student and I'm trying to design a solar dish which converts the heat from sunlight into electricity. I managed to make a small stirling engine with the results i got from google (The stirling engines made from coke cans). I was wondering how costly...
  32. A

    Efficiency of a Stirling Engine

    Homework Statement Derive an expression for the effiency of the cycle (of a Stirling Engine) working between two heat baths at temperatures T1 and T2 with volumes in the ratio V2/V1. Assume the working substance is a monatomic ideal gas. Homework Equations Work done=heat absorbed from...
  33. e2m2a

    Stirling Engine Thermodynamics

    Need clarification of some thermodynamic concepts dealing with a Stirling engine. I've read descriptions that talk about the temperature of the heat source. Is this temperature referring to the surface temperature of the metal that contains the gas? Or is it referring to the temperature of...
  34. Z

    Stirling Engine: LDT and high heat input?

    Hello, I am working toward my new Stirling engine prototype for a particular application. Let me start with a small description of what I am going to try anyways: I will experiment this with a small electrical heater: - heat input: 50-100 W (heater thermall insulated on all sides but the...
  35. P

    Why Might the Efficiency of a Stirling Engine Differ from a Carnot Engine?

    Halliday says that the efficiency of an ideal Stirling engine is lower than that of a ideal Carnot engine?? But why?? It seems to me that there efficiency are both \epsilon =1-\frac{T_L}{T_H} Though Halldiay also say that this equation do not apply to Stirning engine but only to Carnot...
  36. T

    Thermodynamics: gas for stirling engine + liquid with high density

    Hi, *** for the ones that don't like to read much (:smile:): the basic point is that I need a gas that gives as much pressure as possible with a temperature increase and a constant volume and that is easy to get my hands on; and a liquid with a high density (like mercury or something) that...
  37. L

    Stirling Engine Application

    Hi. I know of the commercially available "battery-less" flashlights that use either squeezing or shaking mechanisms to generate electricity. I was wondering, however, whether I can create one that uses the difference of temperature between the hand and the room temperature. I propose to use a...
  38. S

    How is the Stirling Engine Advancing Power Generation and Sustainability?

    [SOLVED] Stirling Engine Information Just want to make sure everyone is aware that the Stirling engine is advancing and has many great applications in power/energy generation, cooling, and water purification. http://www.StirlingInfo.com has current news, and an organized directory.