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Solar Stirling Engine

 
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tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 9:06 am    Post subject: Solar Stirling Engine  Reply with quote    

Anybody seen this before?

http://www.sunmachine.de/english/main.html

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tahir,

It looks interesting, but as we've found with the rooftop wind turbines, it's really necessary to get some hard data to see if the numbers actually stack up. After all if you need 6 units (@ $5000 + 30% installation costs? or is that for all 6 units?) plus photovoltaics to equal a condensing boiler, then that's quite an outlay, even if it does require less maintenance.

That they're also developing what looks like a wood-pellet CHP unit (I think) is also interesting,


Peter.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's the problem with most of these technologies, there's too many grey areas, I reckon it'll be another couple of years before any of these technologies are mature enough for all but the most adventurous to try out.

From alll the discussions that I've had in recent weeks the biggest contribution any household can make to reducing energy consumption is insulation, triple glazing, super insulated roofs, insulated walls and floors, etc.

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think that you're right - trouble is, rockwool or cellulose (which are you going for?) isn't quite as sexy as a solar-powered stirling engine with a wood log top up mechanism


Peter.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44283
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Blue Peter wrote:
rockwool or cellulose (which are you going for?)


Not that far down the road yet, but it'd be nice to use cellulose or wool

Blacksmith



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 05 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I made a "hot air "engine many years ago, very low power output, saw one at the model engieer exhibition once that would run powered by a bright light shone on to a parabolic reflector
Dave

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 05 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As far as I can see, that indeed is what this sun machine is. Did your version use a stirling engine?


Peter.

Blacksmith



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 05 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It was from a set of drawings in the "Model Engineer" magazine.
Opposed crank displacer cylinder one side power cylinder the other side, flywheel was about 4" dia. Powered by a small meths flame.
Have seen a larger one at (I think) Kew bridge engines.
Dave

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 05 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I haven't built a sterling engine yet, but tried out two types of parabolic reflectors, one a trough shape, the other a dish. Just held a thermometer inside a black pipe inside a glas tube, no sealing, no water, and I had to pull away the thermometer after a couple of minutes, as the temperature was rising so high, that it was going off scale, which was 110 degrees C, especailly fast in the focal point of the dish. A good way of quickly heating water for a cupa. perhaps a way to save on Camping Gaz when backpacking is to have a Mylar sheet and a way to stretch it over your saucepan and extract the air from the pan with a Vacuvin pump (drill a small hole near the top of the pan, stick a little membrane valve over the hole, attach a ring of innertube to the base of the vacuvin to make close contact). Then hang your kettle on a stick in front of the focal point. A very light way of transporting an additional stove for when the sun is shining. The vacuvin pump and the Mylar sheet would just be a few grams, a lot less than carrying extra fuel, and would last indefinately. Sorry, went off on a tangent there, the idea came to me as I was writing it.

Blacksmith



Joined: 25 Jan 2005
Posts: 5025
Location: Berkshire
PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 05 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Opposite of a solar still.....sort of.

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 05 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just found this site
http://www.staev.com.sg/stm-engine.asp
There is also an interesting page on Ultra capacitors, up to 5000F

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