Now you can show off a real, working miniature Stirling Engine.
The Stirling engine is a true marvel of engineering. Invented more than 200 years ago, many still argue that the Stirling Engine should be the engine of choice throughout industry.
A Stirling Engine is a hot air engine, powered by air rather than steam. In succinct terms, A Stirling Engine converts heat energy (thermal energy) into mechanical energy (kinetic energy). The air is alternatively heated and cooled, so that the expansion caused by the heating drives a piston.
In this Stirling Engine model, you must first carefully attach the heat sink “hot side” tube, a glass tube with shredded metal filings that act as a heat sink. Once in place, a fixed amount of air is sealed inside the engine. The fuel can is then filled with rubbing alcohol and placed under the heat sink tube. Light the alcohol (don’t worry, only the surface alcohol will burn) and position the flame so that it strikes the metal filings in the glass tube. Give the glass tube a minute to heat then gently spin the wheel to get the engine “started”.
The gas on the “hot side” of the engine will heat and expand driving the piston outward. When the air is pushed on the “cold side”, it cools and contracts allowing the piston to return to the hot side. The gas inside the Stirling engine is moved back and forth from the hot side to the cold side over and over again as long as a heat source is maintained.
The piston in this engine will turn remarkably fast, so fast that you cannot see the moving piston with your eye. The piston drives a generator that will create enough electricity to light the alternating colored LED.
Stirling Engines are remarkably quiet and efficient. This mini Stirling Engine measures about 6-inches long and only by 4-inches tall. It is constructed from quality aluminum alloy parts throughout and has rubberized foot pads and a magnetic holder to secure the fuel can. It’s a strikingly beautiful engineering model that will look great on your desk, dresser, or living room table.
NOTE: The heat sink glass tube comes in a separate package and must be placed on the sealed rings before use. You must oil the rubber seals (or use Vaseline) before attaching the glass tube. Slowly and carefully twist and push the glass tube into place. THE GLASS TUBE CAN EASILY BREAK if too much pressure is applied.
This model includes:
- Stirling engine with hot and cold side glass tubes
- Pulley system to turn a DC motor/generator
- LED light
- Fuel can
- Beautiful aluminum alloy stand with rubberized feet to reduce vibration and protect furniture