Measure the power and efficiency of your Stirling engine; it’s easy

In the world of small Stirling engines everyone seems to talk about power and efficiency—but you seldom see the facts and the data. Just a couple days ago I saw the following Stirling engine on Youtube: The promoter claims it must be putting out 100 to 150 watts. It was the usual unloaded engine spinning […]

Simple Stirling 1 performance with and without regenerator

I’ve tried a variety of regenerators on the Simple Stirling 1 engine and the one shown in the photo is simple to make and performs as well as or better than all of the other ones I’ve tried. The test results on the engine with the original displacer and with the modified displacer containing the […]

Torque and Power measurement of low-speed, low-power engine

I needed to measure the torque and power output of my Stirling engine so that I could compare it with the simulation. The engine currently spins up to 70 RPM and has torque levels up to around 2 in-lbs. My first attempt at a design to measure torque was easy to make and gave satisfactory […]

Tachometer Part 2

After using my bicycle speedometer-tachometer for a while, I decide to test the Schwinn speedometer that I saw on Amazon for $10. Although it uses the same programming values that I show in the table from my earlier Low-cost Tachometer article, it has some differences that I thought I should point out. The maximum “speed” […]

Flywheel Spin-down work measurements

One way to measure the friction on a rotating machine such as an engine or motor is to spin it up and record the appropriate data while it slows down without power. By measuring the time elapsed between two RPM measurements and knowing the moment of inertia, you can compute the lost energy from the […]

Low-Cost Tachometer

  If you need to measure RPM in experimental setups but don’t want to invest a lot of money, consider using a bicycle speedometer. You can get reasonably accurate measurements digitally displayed using an inexpensive ($15) bicycle speedometer. All you need to do is attach a magnet to the rotating part of the device, position […]