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A Stirling engine is a heat engine that is operated by a cyclic compression and expansion of air or other gas (the working fluid) at different temperatures, such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. More specifically, the Stirling engine is a closed-cycle regenerative heat engine with a permanently gaseous working fluid. Closed-cycle, in this context, means a thermodynamic system in which the working fluid is permanently contained within the system, and regenerative describes the use of a specific type of internal heat exchanger and thermal store, known as the regenerator. Strictly speaking, the inclusion of the regenerator is what differentiates a Stirling engine from other closed cycle hot air engines.
Originally conceived in 1816 as an industrial prime mover to rival the steam engine, its practical use was largely confined to low-power domestic applications for over a century.
originally posted by: moebius
a reply to: Gargoyle91
The cool thing about Stirlings is that they can run with pretty much any source of heat.
There are Combined Heat and Power units available which are pretty impressive.
originally posted by: Gargoyle91
Just came across this anyone heard of this type of engine You think it's feasible power ? Kind of cool none the less!
originally posted by: Grimpachi
That old tech may become very useful when space and gravity isn't an issue. Imagine huge flywheels being spun up storing mechanical energy for later use. No friction in space to slow them down so it is just stored that way to be used when needed.