Stirling EngineRegular price $79.95
An Engine that Runs off Coffee? Patented in 1816 by Reverend Doctor Robert Stirling, this style heat engine was designed to replace the notoriously dangerous steam engine during the Industrial Revolution.
Simply place this engine on top of a coffee mug filled with freshly brewed java or a hot cup of tea and watch this portable powerhouse do its thing! No batteries required. You supply the mug and hot (or ice cold) beverage. For ages 14+
How does it work? Where steam engines require very high temperatures and pressures to function, the Stirling engine uses an external heat source to cause expansion and contraction of the gas inside the chamber, which in turn drives the piston. When the heat expands the air, the air pushes up on the piston. When the air cools, it contracts, pulling the piston down. This heating and cooling moves the piston, making the wheel turn. Simply apply a hot or cold source that is 36°F (20°C) different from the ambient temperature and this engine will run!
For best results, try a boiling hot cup of tea or a very warm hand on a very, very cold day. …Or you COULD just claim it’s all about the caffeine….unless you prefer decaf, that is.
- PISTON: The changing pressure of the gas forces the piston to rise and fall.
- FLYWHEEL: The flywheel is turned by the piston, and drives a second rod, pushing the displacer. It also serves to regulate the energy produced by the piston.
- DISPLACER: As the displacer is pushed by the flywheel’s rod, it forces hot air from the base of the chamber to the cooler top.
- CHAMBER: The limited amount of gas in the chamber is heated from the bottom, expanding and driving the piston upward.