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Doug Conner‘s Stirling engine may be viewed at the upcoming Bay Are Maker Faire. Check it!

This Stirling engine delivers 1W to a stepper motor used as generator to power a high-power LED. This engine uses electrical heating for simplicity and to simplify efficiency measurements. At 1.7% efficiency, it’s not a good way to power your lights! It’s only for research.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal nerdage.net


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Comments

  1. PhysBrain says:

    Sure, it’s not a good way to convert electrically, or even chemically, generated heat into electricity. But let’s say you happened to have ready access to a large flat surface – like say a roof or drive way – that get’s reliably heated by the sun every day. That’s energy that would otherwise be going to waste. How much power per unit area could one generate by pulling heat off of a parking lot, or the roof of a residential or commercial building? Let’s assume that the cold sink is provided by a water main. Anyone wanna run the numbers?

    1. Anonymous says:

      Use the earth as a cold sink, not a water main. More mass for the heat sink, without having to waste water, or have hot water that you don’t want. At 100W/Sq M, more or less, you’d probably get a few watts per square meter. Wonder if you’d do better with a Peltier junction…

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