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Making Stirling Engines - Andy Ross

Making Stirling Engines - Andy Ross
Andy Ross
pdf - 68 pages
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Imagine a small engine for your bicycle, canoe, or campside generator that is as quiet as a sewing machine. Its exhaust flue gases are nonpoisonous, nonpolluting and practically odorless. It starts easily, and should run without repair for many hundreds of hours, burning less than one-half liter of kerosene per hour.

Such an engine was developed 40 years ago and incorporated into a small genera- tor set by the Philips company of Holland; it is the modern stirling air engine.

Unfortunately, only about 100 of these units were made before Philips suspended production, having concluded the 200 watt output was inadequate for commercial success in the world market at that time. Subsequent research bypassed the small air- charged stirlings, in the pursuit of larger helium and hydrogen-charged machines.

Upon first reading about the Philips air engines, I wondered why, 25 years later, such supposedly simple, reliable, and quiet engines were completely un- available and largely unknown. This puzzle so intrigued me that I decided to make a stirling air engine and find out.

What began as a hobby project quickly grew into an obsession, and I have devoted a significant portion of my time to working on stirling engines ever since. This book chronicles that work, with the aim of encouraging and assisting others interested in making small stirlings.

I assume the reader is already familiar with the basic operation of the stirling cycle. For those who are not, I recommend starting out with Jim Senft’s recently-published primer, “An Introduction to Stirling Engines”, which, along with other sources of addi- tional information, is listed in the bibliography.

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