Stirling Engines
Last updated on Saturday, October 31, 2020 04:06:52 PM Mountain US Time Zone


Stirling Engine, Double-acting Steam Engine

Stirling Engines

A Stirling "coffee-cup" engine. Stirling Engines are
facinating devices that I find far more interesting
than steam as they are self-contained devices using
more exotic materials, requiring much tighter machining
tolerances, & are thus harder to design & fabricate. As an
application example, I have used a mid-wave infrared (MWIR)
(3000nm to 5000nm) imaging system that incorporated a
Stirling Engine to cool its sensor for lowered thermal noise.

Click to see video. Pre-heated base.

pressure/volume graph of the idealized Stirling cycle.

Alpha- & Beta-Type Stirling Engines.

Beta-type rhombic Stirling Engine.









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Double-acting Steam Engines

A double-acting bronze steam engine machined from a rough
kit. The base is red oak with routered radiused edges & rubber feet.

Click on photo for a v
ideo showing the engine running on compressed air.
Both a mill & a lathe are needed for this project. A problem with kits is that
the amount of material per part is minimized making it harder to grip when
machining, possibly necessitating designing & machining a fixture, which in
general is not a beginner's project. Also, not being able to hold close machining
tolerances results in an undesirable "wobbly looking" flywheel rotation, (DA).

Stirling Engine, Double-acting Steam Engine