" Fuel less " space engine

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Circlip

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Strictly should be described as "A Solar Powered Hot Air Engine". Was shown in another thread but "greyed areas of plans made it difficult to read. Originally published in Popular Science, hope it's an easier read.

Regards Ian.
 

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DJoksch

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This seems to be a modified version of the April 1961 Popular Science Hot Air Engine project. Here are two variations from the 1961 article and they will operate nicely with a parabolic mirror.
 

Geartooth

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That 1961 Popular Science engine was one of my first projects when I got my lathe back in 1974. I built it because I didn't think it could work. To my surprise, it worked very well. I then made two smaller 1/2 sized engines, one in mirror image. They both run fine as well.
 

brad_gambino

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Wow! That is awesome!! I am fairly new to this site, so I am trying to learn the ropes on how to navigate and use this forum.
 

a41capt

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Is the article from post number 1 complete? It almost appears as though the assembly section is cut short. I’d like to build the solar version for my grandson.

Thanks,
John W
 

Circlip

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Is the article from post number 1 complete?

This is what was originally posted from P/S only exception being background colo(u)r.

Regards Ian.

Just re-checked the article John W, it is complete, it's just the truncated way American mags were printed. Text from top half of second page continues on page three.
 
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jacobball2000

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I don't know why they would call it a space engine when it needs air to operate.
 
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The term "Space" - as used in the 1960s (as I remember) - was a term suggesting the technology could be used in Space. It was applied to lots of things as a "Marketing tag", suggesting "clever engineering", or "High Tech". With hermetic seals on the gas containment of the engine it can work in space - exceedingly well if configured to collect sufficient solar energy, and use the black cold of Space for the cold end.
A current "common" use for this design of engine is in N. Zealand (Whispergen 800: Whisper Tech Ltd (New Zealand) ), where I understand they have domestic combined heat and power units - powered by gas - where the hot end of an hermetically sealed Stirling engine is within the fire for heating domestic hot water and for heating via radiators, and the rotary power is used to generate up to 2kW of domestic electricity. The "Cold" end of the engine is in the "cold end" of the water cycle, and the surplus heat from "flames" is used to further heat the water to domestic use temperatures (~80deg.C?) via a conventional heat exchanger. Efficiencies of high 90% are quoted...?
Here's one for a US patented device to run when there is a regular power loss.
US players are:
  • Sunpower Biowatt Type: Sunpower Inc. (United States of America);
  • STC RemoteGen Type: Stirling Technology Company Inc (United States of America)
I think the Stirling engines are filled with Helium (?) at high pressure (20bar?), so are sealed well enough for Space.
Anyone else care to comment, as I'm sure my memory isn't perfect on this one!).
K2
 

Circlip

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I don't know why they would call it a space engine

Cos it has a "Satellite dish" fastened to the front and "Looks" spacey. Think my description on first posting is correct.

Regards Ian
 
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Hi Folks,

It was the 1960's in marketing crazed USA! Space age blinking lights for your HiFi, atoms with electrons whizzing around on dry cleaning signs , genuine Naugahyde leather, atomic cleaner (none stronger!), Four out of Five Doctors smoke Camel unfiltered cigarettes and drink Johnny Walker or Crown Royal, you should too. All sorts of silliness.

Looks like a fun project in any event, thanks for posting it!

Cheers,
Stan
 
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Doctors will drink anything! Scotsmen only drink single malt. The stuff that isn't good enough gets blended and sold to the rest of us!
But the Scotsmen are a generous people when you get to know them. I lived in the Highlands for a year and they taught me a lot about their heritage.
K2
 

a41capt

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Is the article from post number 1 complete?

This is what was originally posted from P/S only exception being background colo(u)r.

Regards Ian.

Just re-checked the article John W, it is complete, it's just the truncated way American mags were printed. Text from top half of second page continues on page three.
Thanks Ian, and you’re right about the strange pagination found in many magazine articles!
John W
 

a41capt

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While many people believe that the Stirling engine has no place in industrial application, the concept of using the extreme temperature differentials found in space prove it to be a workable design. The downside is (of course) that it has mechanical parts that wear and there aren’t easily available parts next door! On the other hand, the Swedish Navy has found application in the cold deeps of the ocean, and powers at least one of their submarines with silent Stirling power.

My foray into the low temperature differential (LTD) Stirling model world was semi frustrating, but I was able to make a successful model that runs quite well on the difference between room air and an ice pack. Friction kicked my @$$ on several attempts and still plagues the semi successful model.

 

Rocket Man

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Hot Air Engines are fun to build & fun to run. I like the Beta hot air engines they are more efficient and run with enough extra power to run other things like, fan, water pump, generator.. Beta engines have the power piston & displacer piston both inside the same cylinder, less parts, easier to build. There was once a factory Hot Air beta engine with pistons the size of 55 gallon barrels that produced 40 HP, do Goodle search for pictures. Here are videos of a 2" bore beta engine that I built, several different versions of the same engine. I still want to build the coffee cup hot air engine it will cool your hot coffee.

Hot Air Stirling Engine Fan Al-Cool Fan Co. - YouTube

Hot Air Engine Al-Cool Fan Co.Stirling - YouTube

Hot Air Stirling Engine FAN 12" 450 RPMs - YouTube

Hot Air Stirling Engine 900 RPMs - YouTube
 
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SmithDoor

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Looks great.
I good use for dish antenna's

Dave

Strictly should be described as "A Solar Powered Hot Air Engine". Was shown in another thread but "greyed areas of plans made it difficult to read. Originally published in Popular Science, hope it's an easier read.

Regards Ian.
 
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Rocket man: Your 2" beta engines run well! But what is the input heat sorce? - just a small meths burner, or more compact gas burner? - I could not see clearly at the bottom of the videos. Makes me want to build one, as they look like powerful engines - for stirling engines. What are the piston seals on the power piston? - I think this is where most of the friction is developed that kills many Stirling engines?
K2
 

Gedeon Spilett

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I also did this engine years ago, a very fine runner, with a simple alcohol burner. very well drawn and clear instructions in the text.


This is an efficient and simple to build engine that works very well. It uses a variable crank, similar to the fast return mechanism of a shaper, a clever design to improve the power cycle.

with a rope brake dynamometer, I measured 0.8 w


PS, yes the "blue prints" in the original paper are not that easy to read, so I did metric ones by the way...
 
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