3D printed Stirling engine

Cold plate for 3D printed Stirling engine

This article is about a low-temperature Stirling engine I designed to be mostly built using 3D printing. I designed the engine to use Stratasys’s fused deposition modeling technology, an additive manufacturing process. You can see a video about the engine here: This article will go through much of the same material that is in the […]

Power piston sizing for Stirling engines

Power piston and displacer sizing chart for Stirling engines

One of the more difficult yet critical issues in designing your first Stirling engine is deciding on the correct power piston displacement. My earlier discussion of power piston sizing did not satisfy a lot of people. So I’m going to make this one very simple to apply. For me to suggest the right size power […]

Tamera video of Sunvention SunPulse engine

sunpulse power piston1A

I came across this video of an interesting large, low-temperature Stirling engine. You’ll need to get to about 1:30 before it gets interesting. The following numbers are based on what I have seen in the above video or statements the speaker has made and in a few cases, guesses based on what I can see. […]

Solar-powered Stirling engine design details

I’ve put together a video of the latest version of the LT-2 Stirling engine. Because this low-temperature engine has minimal output power I sometimes consider it more of an artwork than an engine. I often refer to it as the sculpture engine. What this engine lacks in power it makes up for in reliable operation. […]

Variable reluctance starter motor for Stirling engine

VR3 motor

I chose to use a variable reluctance motor as the starter for my Stirling engine design for the following reasons: 1. The most important feature is that it offers near zero friction when the motor is not energized. The only sources of friction are the shaft bearing drag and aerodynamic drag on the rotor. This […]

Improving solar power when the sun is low in the sky

Light transmission1

Tests on my solar-powered Stirling engine determine it will run with a solar incidence angle of up to 59 degrees, but I would like the engine to work up to 66 degrees incidence or 24 degrees above the horizon. This number is selected because that is the angle that would allow the engine to run […]

Self-starting solar-powered Stirling engine


This is a continuation of my Stirling engine development for a sculpture project that is solar powered. Because this engine needs to autonomously control its operation, it needs to self-start at the proper time. Here’s a video of the engine with starter and controller. This engine is based on the simple Stirling with some significant […]

Low-temperature Stirling Engine

I’m currently working on a low-temperature engine for use in a solar-powered sculpture project. Fortunately it really doesn’t need to run anything other than itself. Ideally it will not use concentrated solar to keep the project simple although that limits the engine to a very low temperature ratio. A low temperature ratios mean low power. […]

1 Watt Stirling engine driving high-power LED


First let me say I will display this engine and generator at the Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA on May 21, 22 so you can see it running if you are there. The above video shows a one-watt Stirling engine driving a one-watt LED. Conversion efficiency is not too high so I’m only driving […]

Generating power with a stepper motor

Current vs RPM

If you want to generate electrical power from about a tenth of a watt up to several watts, a stepper motor might be worth considering. I’m going to go into detail here on a specific stepper motor that can generate up to a little over ½ watt. First a few key features: 1. Inexpensive: New […]