Friday, 12 February 2016

How to Build a Stirling Engine

A Stirling engine is a kind of heat engine where the heat of the engine runs because of the cyclical compression and spreading out of working fluid, gas, or air at various temperature levels. This results to conversion of mechanical energy from heat energy. 

In 1816, Robert Stirling found out how to build a Stirling engine and was predicted. At present, a Stirling engine is only used on specific machines such as submarines and in yachts where it is used as a back up generator of power source. It is preferred for operations where quietness is a must. 

It is possible to have a do-it-yourself Stirling engine. It is one of the simplest engines that can be assembled even at home. In addition to its simplicity, a DIY Stirling engine has the ability to rotate at maximum level of up to 3000 rpm. 


The materials needed to build a Stirling engine are the following: 
Red Bull tins 
Coke tins 
High-temperature glue 
Straight pins 
Silicon gasket 
PVC elbow 

Make sure to gather and prepare all the materials before starting the steps on how to build a Stirling engine. 


1) Build a ring stand by using the Coke tin. Make it concave and hollow. After it is already hollowed, cut the tin into halves. Get the bottom part that has the base ring. Slice the tin's sides and create a ring that has three legs. The sides of the tin should be slashed and curved so that it becomes the ring stand.

2) Then, start constructing the engine's pressure vessel. Use another Coke tin can and scrap off the can's sides. Next go on cutting off the upper portion to form a vessel. This would serve as the pressure vessel's lower area. In making the upper area, use another Coke tin can. From the lower part, cut out at least 2 inches. Then, get the bottom part and create a hole in the middle using the pin. Glue in the bolt and the steel plate, which is a small rectangle, on the internal core of the pressure vessel's upper part. The glue serves as prevention for leakage.

3) Construct the displacer. The steps in creating it is similar to how the pressure vessel was made but the Red Bull tin cans would be used. Also, the engine's displacer should fit in the interior of the pressure vessel and should be capable of preventing leakage. 

4) Construct a crankshaft using a piece of the coat hanger. Then, create a supporter for the crank. For the support, cut out two Red Bull tin cans and make holes. Set these aside. Put together the crank and the supports. Make sure that the crank can smoothly rotate in the supports. Once done, attach this piece in the upper part of the pressure vessel. 

5) Construct a diaphragm by cutting out from the balloon a disc's shape. It is the diaphragm that would unite the disk with the crank. Make sure that it is durable so that it would not be damaged during rotation. 

These are all the steps on how to build a Stirling engine. It is now ready to be used. When running the engine, the lower portion of the pressure vessel should be heated and, after about 20 to 30 seconds, lightly press on the flywheel so that it would rotate. The pressure vessel should be constantly cooled down. Avoid it to become overheated. Putting an ice on the vessel's upper part would help. Just make sure that the ice water would not get through the engine.

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