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What would happen if we combined current pellet stove technology with a Stirling engine through an outside wall? Answered

In Theory, A Stirling engine works on a difference of temperature. For many rural homes there is great expense in developing and sustaining power lines. These homes are already heating from an inside source, and create a difference of temperature, depending on the proximity to the firebox of at least 2X. If developed as a mobile stove, you could glean a mobile power source only dependant on supplying a small chamber with fuel.

Such an engine would be able to sustain on green fuels as well if heating an area wasn't a factor.

It might even pay for itself in an AC situation where the thermal difference is reversed.

Why haven't we put a power source in every appartment using electric fuel?


Has anyone considered using an outdoor wood boiler exhaust to heat the head of the engine? Also, I've heard mixed comments on the heat differential needed to run the Stirling, does anyone know what the temperature ranges are?

In India they do that already for years . They made hundreds of ST-5 stirling motors years ago , working on pellets ,straw , hey , wood or anything that burns to make electricity or pump water . Here in the West you can buy a wispergen, remeha a.o. domestic heater/generator mostly on (natural) gas but small series on pellets mostly for testing. Returning electricity back to the grid is only useful in countries where tax is high on (hydrocarbon ) fuel / energy .
Small production-runs are underway for 0,7 hp and 5 hp motors in India.

The problem is still/always the storage of energy (batteries)

Far too many air heads not enough common sense!
The reverend Robert Stirling and his brother Designed and built an engine heated with coal put it on a two wheeler and it did work. All the bull aside , the engine worked and could be scaled up or down in size to perform to what ever your requirements are. Slow rpm and lack of interest stopped the further development. Almost all Stirling engines you see today are models or toys with few exceptions. Please do not judge the performance of a legitimate device by the inability's of a toy. If you want real power build a real engine!!!

www.lindsaybks.com sells some of th' best and most authorative books on stirling tech available !  Did you know that Phillips of the Netherlands ran a fleet of busses on th' streets of Holland for 5 years powered by sterling engines that weighed less than 100 lbs and produced app 150 hp usein' propane fer fuel ?

While "in theory" it sounds nice, though I think you have vastly under estimated the amount of power it takes to turn a generator to generate even half of the energy it takes to run even an efficient small apartment.

Start your research by figuring out what the average electrical needs that you would be willing to live in.  Be honest with you calc.  If you need air cond. then include it.  Lights, cooking, entertainment etc.

Now research using current generator tech. how much power it takes to generate that amount of power.  Now add 25% to that for a safety factor.  It's not good to have things run at 100% load all the time, and there will be times when you want or need more power than you figured.

Now find a sterling motor design that will supply that amount of power plus a safety factor on the motor.  It has to have a life span the will make the project useful.  If it only runs for 6 months then nobody is going to use it unless in a emergency situation.

After you've got these answers then come back here and tell us whether or not it will work.  Or better yet if it will work come back here and sell us a few.  There are several if not hundreds or thousands of us on just this site that would be very interested in something like this that works.

Good luck.

Now find a sterling motor design that will supply that amount of power plus a safety factor on the motor.  It has to have a life span the will make the project useful.

...and if you can find an off-the-shelf Strling generator, with the right power output, that you can buy in one-off, not 10,000 off, please let me know. The only current Stirling tech like that is not available to the likes of us.


Well, if the project is viable then someone would step up and provide the equipment.  Maybe even someone from around here. 

I've been trying to research "power" Stirling engines for months. The best stuff is still secret. What I know is that the best engines are pressurised with Helium - everything works better in dense gases, hence the pressure, helium is low viscosity and dense, best of both worlds.

Now if you know anythng about Helium, you'll know its a VERY difficult gas to keep in one place - and knowing how is being kept a closely guarded secret. The engine (cases) I have seen are really neat. The "engine" oscillates at 40/60Hz to generate directly - it doesn't rotate !

There are some plans for "power" engines, not toys on-line, but I have it on the authority of the Stirling Engine Society  that they aren't worth the money.

I've never built one so they are still in the category of "magic" to me.  I understand the principle but just don't see how they work so well with so little energy.  One of these days I'll try one out and see if it's a conspiracy. lol

There's no such thing as a free lunch as you know. They only work well on small temperature differences, if they have really low friction between all the moving parts - the consequence of which is you can't extract any real power. They DO NOT/CANNOT break "Carnot cycle" efficiency which some claim.

You can now buy natural gas fuelled domestic boilers which have stirling engine generators to create electricity from their waste heat. The overall efficiency is very high, and the surplus electricity goes to the grid, which buys it off you. 

If you did this, the heater would have work harder because the Stirling engine would take heat out of the room. It may result in the fuel cost increasing, possibly more than the current power costs.

When you say pay for itself in an AC situation, do you mean using the thermal difference between the outside and the inside that you are cooling to generate power for the Air Conditioner. That sounds a little to much like a perpetual motion machine, and you are not allowed those.