Stirling Engine Technology – Converting Heat to Mechanical Work or Electricity

( 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.


  • Miguel Bas says:

    I need more details for analysis.

  • KY.SONG says:

    Solar. battery.

  • Mark Lyons says:

    The stirling cycle engine pre dates the steam engine.
    I’ve got to correct you on them being used as the basis for tower concentrated thermo solar systems. Although this site reported on such a use for engine recently and may be of use in small scale generators. The large scale concentrated solar thermal systems using heliostats only uses salt as the transfer and storage medium of heat and therefore energy.

  • dalibor says:

    for some reason I cant find link for video, is there any suggestion?

  • Steven says:

    The Stirling engine dates back to the 1800’s. There are websites devoted to building them out of scrap you might have around the house. How is this news?

  • anil pokhrel says:

    I m interested to construct a Stirling engine for my home purpose. I m already familiar to compressed air engine with my own design while in school. So can I have some strong idea on stirling engine cylinder n piston mechanism.

  • Siva Naga Krishna says:

    Can we make sterling engine work’s with solar power

  • Ali osman kucukpacalar says:

    Hi.Starting how mach.500 kw

  • allen lumley says:

    This U-Tube video has been inactive – no further posts from the original Author – LAST YEAR when you 1st posted it !

    Not your finest hour in getting the story out there !

  • Kelvin Wilson says:

    If interested in the very best compressed air technology check out [email protected] Or Webb htt// Or mail to Mike Kain Air Future Ltd . PO box 79177. Avonhead Christchurch Can 8446 New Zealand .

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