Stirling engine

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Beta stirling animation.gif

Problem[edit]

Stirling engines kits are built at the navy academy. Blocks of metal are machined by freshmen at MIT into a stirling engine. The reason is that they are the most efficient engine that exists. Building one looks easy, but most fail. The goal is to get a process so refined, that 50 intro to engineering students can build one at home .. with most materials found in a grocery store.

Conceive[edit]

Build stirling engines out of cans, wire, balloons, pens, foam .. stuff found at a grocery store. Develop instructions that anyone can successfully follow. Turn it into the second weekend exercise for an intro to engineering course.

Design[edit]

Can designs have the most simple materials. There are many other designs.

Can Designs
HCC Starting point

Implement[edit]

Stirling engines seem easy to build. Kits can be purchased that work the first time. Material lists are easy to make. There are two implementation problems:

  • don't understand the theory of operation
  • when doesn't work, the next steps are missing
  • people that get stirling engines to work can not verbalize, take pictures and chop into fine detailed steps the solutions to the typical problems people encounter.

This is why the same specific design needs to be built by everyone. Don't let the parts one finds guide the design.

Operate[edit]

Many overheat (burn up) their stirling engine in order to solve problems. A well designed stirling engine can run on the heat of a coffee cup or the heat of one's hand video.

Demo[edit]

presentation

Next Steps[edit]

  • develop presentable theory of operation
  • start building a specific design and documenting failures
  • source all the parts in the above design