Power output measurement of the PE 2 Stirling engine

Calibration for motor load

This article covers power measurements for the PE 2 3D printed Stirling engine. The net output power (the useful power) plus the frictional losses measured earlier are combined with other test data and simulation results to more fully understand this engine’s performance. The techniques and data should be useful for others designing Stirling engines, especially […]

How to measure engine friction using flywheel deceleration

Flywheel kinetic energy vs speed

This article describes the method used to determine the engine component friction in the 3D printed Stirling engine. This technique can be used on rotating machines of any size. The ordinary purpose for a flywheel is to store kinetic energy to smooth the rotation of an engine or machine tool. For our purposes we will […]

Engine friction measurements using flywheel deceleration

complete engine with and without compression

Flywheels are used to store kinetic energy. Once a flywheel is accelerated to some rotational speed, it will only slow down because it is transferring energy to a load. By accurately measuring the flywheel’s rate of rotation versus time, we can determine the rate at which the flywheel’s energy is being transferred to the the […]

Speed & temperature measurements of the 3D printed Stirling engine

Stirling engine speed vs temperature ratio

Using the automated testing system for the 3D printed Stirling engine I described in my last article, I’m now presenting some of the results of using the test system. On the chart below I’ve plotted all the data I collected versus time. It’s a little busy so I’ll explain it in detail before I go […]

Automated testing of the PE 2 Stirling engine

test setup1

As you can see from the photo, I’ve switched over from manually taking data from sensors to semi-automated testing of the 3D printed Stirling engine. I’m still manually controlling the heat input so I wouldn’t call this fully automated testing. This article will cover the test setup details including a schematic and a listing of […]

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

makerfaire

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 […]

Engine 3F Efficiency Analysis part 4

Rev 1: See details at bottom. Let me summarize what has been covered and what remains in this efficiency analysis: Component Power percentage of total power Efficiency analysis Heat lost directly to the environment 40.3w 58.4% Part 1 Thermal shorting: heat conduction directly from the hot end to the cold end 5.9w 8.6% Part 2 […]

Measuring a Stirling engine with 1 watt power output and 1.5% efficiency

MVI_0389_0007

The following is a transcript with still photos of the previous video on the same subject. I’ve included a few more notes about the engine, my model 3F. This is a gamma configuration Stirling engine. I’m powering it with the heat from a 70 watt light bulb so that I can accurately measure the heat […]

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 […]