Stirling Engine Technology – Converting Heat to Mechanical Work or Electricity

Stirling Engine Technology ( Solar Thermal Magazine) – A Stirling engine is a heat engine that operates by cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas (called the working fluid) at different temperatures, such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. Simply said the engine is able to convert heat into work that can be used to generate electricity or power some other application. The Stirling engine, is the basis for parabolic, dish and tower concentrated solar thermal energy systems.

This video shows the developmental progress of a high-performance Stirling engine intended to power an electrical generator. (SV2 MKII by Kirk Engines, Inc)

The goal in this case according to the author is to have a propane-fueled, portable generator developing approximately 500 watts @ 12 volts DC to charge battery arrays.

stirling engine

Enjoy the video.

About Gordon Smith
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.


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