Sterling Heat Engines

Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: cokehead On: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:14 am

Has anyone ever considered using a Sterling Engine powering a generator using hot water from a boiler or flue gases as a heat source? I can only find model engines or very expensive ones not readily adaptable or affordable to the average homeowner. Steam engines are not safe to leave unattended. From what little I've learned the Sterling would be much safer and almost automatic.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun Apr 13, 2008 10:00 pm

They are pretty sophisticated pieces. While their theoretical efficiency is very high, they are rarely practical and I'm not sure why, it could be the cost. They do have to be fairly large for a small power output and run best at a fixed rate. They will run on almost any heat source though. What did you have in mind?
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: cokehead On: Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:09 pm

Hi Ian, The pie in the sky idea is operate the Sterling generating about 20 amps of heat from my boiler with the waste heat from the Sterling helping to heat the house. Why just make heat if you can have electricity too. In theory it sounds good but without mass produced hardware that is affordable it probally isn't practical. Who knows, maybe there is someone out there that has worked it out. Maybe you could use a grid interface like they use for solar panels and sell any excess power to the power company. I don't have an in depth knowledge of the Sterlings to know it it would be feasible.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502


Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: hotwheels On: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:24 am

Here's one that runs on wood pellets. Don't know how much it costs, but I'd say it's pretty expensive.
Last edited by Richard S. on Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: <removed dead link>
hotwheels
 

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: cokehead On: Mon Apr 14, 2008 9:36 pm

Thanks for the link. I checked it out and sent them an e-mail. I bet it would be out of my reach finacially but if you dont ask you'll never know.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: pret On: Mon Apr 14, 2008 10:52 pm

Would you let us know what you find out? I found some plans online for making a sterling engine from tin cans... probably not what you're looking for :P

This is very interesting stuff!
pret
 

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: cokehead On: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:34 am

Wikipedia has a great article on Sterlings. Sounds like hot water wouldn't create enough heat differental between the sides of the engine to do useful work. Off the cuff I'd say it would take fire box temps on the hot side. Needs a serious heat source to put out useful power.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_engine
Last edited by cokehead on Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: Scottscoaled On: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:02 am

Use the coal fire as the high side and cool off the low side with your heating water. Seems that a differential of 2500 degrees far. should be a big enough difference. By the way, the pricetag on these engines are astronomical. Have you found a cheap source? :) Scott
Scottscoaled
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520x4, 350, 700. Van Wert 400 x 2, 800, 1200.
Coal Size/Type: Lots of buck

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:48 am

Did you see how much even the little display engines or DIY project ($150), the Brass one is like $2000.
http://www.stirlingengine.com/
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:50 pm

stokerscot wrote:Use the coal fire as the high side and cool off the low side with your heating water. Seems that a differential of 2500 degrees far. should be a big enough difference. By the way, the pricetag on these engines are astronomical. Have you found a cheap source? :) Scott


I found this on a stirling site.
"A good general guideline is that if the hot side of the engine is not at least 500 deg. F. (260 deg. C) the engine will be too bulky for the amount of power it puts out."

I think one could be built fairly cheap from scavenged parts. It isn't as complex as a steam or ICE

We need more info, plans and drawings. :)
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: Matthaus On: Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:33 pm

This looks like an interesting book:

http://www.stirlingengine.com/ecommerce ... duct_id=84

Chapter 6 for a taste of how it reads:


http://www.stirlingengine.com/download/lockwood_chpt6.pdf
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.


Based on a quick scan of the pictures, looks like this particular science project determined that the size of a Stirling Engine for 5 HP is almost 15:1 bigger when compared to a normal 4 stroke internal combustion engine.
Matthaus
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Leisure Line WL110 Dual Fuel
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Leisure Line Lil' Heater (rental house)
Coal Size/Type: Rice and Buckwheat Anthracite

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: cokehead On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:32 pm

I'm impressed by what I read here. Time will tell if they can deliver at prices that work. They seem focused on solar but the technology could turn any heat source into electicity.
http://www.infiniacorp.com/main.php
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
cokehead
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Locke, Godin, Tarm in da works
Stove/Furnace Model: Warm Morning 617-A, 3721, 502

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:34 pm

This is a very interesting topic to me. I have been doing a lot of reading about steam electric generation and some of the best steam engines were made in the early 1900s.
http://www.otherpower.com/steamengine.shtml
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:44 pm

Just some other reading material. http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/stmpwr.htm
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert

Re: Sterling Heat Engines

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:53 pm

One more link and I'll be quiet for the night.
http://www.tinypower.com/electric.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
jeromemsn
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker 90 dvc
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman elite fireplace insert