Stirling Engines for Home Power

In summary, the question is whether having Stirling Engines attached to an outdoor wall near a wood stove in a cold climate is a feasible power source. Potential issues include increased consumption of firewood and difficulties in engineering for passive leaks. While there are options for using Stirling Engines to circulate hot air from the stove, building an engine powerful enough to generate significant power would result in the stove no longer effectively heating the house. For further information on Stirling engines and their challenges, the book "Air Engines" by Finkelstein and Organ is recommended.
  • #1

Pythagorean

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TL;DR Summary
Stirling Engines in a cold climate with wood stove heat source
Would it be a feasible power source to have several Stirling Engines sticking through an outdoor wall near your fire place in a cold climate?

Issues I can think of:

Presumably it would be a heat sink and require you to consume more firewood.

Engineering it to not have passive leaks might be troublesome.
 
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  • #2
Pythagorean said:
TL;DR Summary: Stirling Engines in a cold climate with wood stove heat source

Would it be a feasible power source
How much power do you need to be successful?

Enough to light a LED?
Enough to supply your whole house?
 
  • #3
If you want just enough power to circulate hot air from the stove, search stirling engine stove fan. Lots of hits. Here is an image from one randomly picked hit:
Stove fan.jpg

If you built an engine powerful enough to generate serious power, it would take all the heat from the stove, extract some mechanical power, and send the remaining heat outside. The stove would not heat the house. If the rejected heat went into the house, the efficiency would be a little lower because of the smaller temperature difference. If the engine was 10% efficient, 90% of the stove heat would go into the house.

I can recommend a good book on Stirling engines: Air Engines by Finkelstein and Organ. It's still available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0791801713/?tag=pfamazon01-20. Chapter 1 discusses "furnace gas engines" that were available in the late 1800's. These engines have many challenges involving sealing, lubrication, and friction, and the book discusses solutions. The book is a good read for the curious mind.

Amazon shows other books about Stirling engines. I don't know anything about those books.
 
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