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The Stirling Engine Project


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This project is part of an Engineering 112 team project at Stephen F. Austin State University. This work was inspired by TheRecentPast.


Here is a Status Productions had to say about it.


There's energy all around us that's just waiting to be tapped into. Whether it's hot coffee on a cold day, light from the sun, scented candles, waste heat from electronics... there's power to be had! How about we turn it into useful power? Step in the sterling engine.


Ever put a tightly filled balloon in the freezer, then come back and see it largely shrunken? Once you bring it back out into a warm room it expands again. Now what if we could use that expanding and contracting for moving a piston... and you've got the general idea. If you heat air, it expands, if you cool it it contracts. It's a very simple idea, for a very simple engine.


The object of this experiment is to produce a 'calorimeter' based on a novel design that can measure the input to output power ratios of an electrically noisy and complex cold fusion system. Instead of measurement of heat directly from a unit, the system will yield the equivalent of COP (COEFFICIENT OF PERFORMANCE) relating the efficiency of the test system. It does this in a way that is entirely immune to electrical input noise complications that normally arise in submerged plasma systems. The goal is to produce a device that uses an auxiliary resistive heater that can be turned up and down until the overall system is “self sustaining”. Some Cold fusion systems appear to give over 5 to 1 input to output power ratios. If these turn out to be true values, this system should be capable of being a stand alone self sustaining device. If such Cold fusion claims are not valid for the system under test, then resistive heating will be require to keep the system running.


The Stirling engine was invented in 1816 by the Rev. Robert Stirling who sought to create a safer alternative to the steam engines of the time, whose boilers often exploded due to the high pressure of the steam and the primitive materials of the time.


Stirling engines convert any temperature differential directly to movement: they use a displacer piston to move enclosed air back and forth between cold and hot reservoirs. At the hot reservoir, the air expands and pushes a power piston, producing work and displacing the air to the cold reservoir. There the air contracts and pulls the power piston, closing the cycle.





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