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What's in Steve's World

Stirling Page

Stirling Engines
Land Sailing

Steve's Model Stirling Engines

In late 2006 I started designing and building model Stirling engines.  My first one below was a "proof of concept" design using a pivoting displacer rather than a more conventional piston type.  I took this one step further with my second engine and it uses a larger displacer chamber with the same pivoting design.  I also used more ball bearings and a glass/graphite power cylinder set.

This is my first Stirling cycle engine.  I designed and built this engine October 2006


Click here to see it working

This is my second Stirling.  It is larger than my first one and I have made many changes to it over the last two years.  I shortened the power stroke, made the flywheel lighter and added a generator attachment.  With these changes it will almost run from the heat of your hand.  There is a video at the bottom of the pictures that shows it running and generating enough voltage to flash a couple LED bulbs.




Stirling Alternator Attachment

Added 10-22/2008


When I finished  my  second Stirling and showed my wife Susi how it runs her comment was “well, it’s neat but what does it do?”.  Being a typical male I was confused.  I thought I had done a lot considering I had just turned a tea candle into mechanical motion!  After rethinking her comment I decided that I would indeed try to make it do something eventually. 


Using neodymium magnets and two small relay coils and a couple LED’s I made a simple alternator to drop onto my Stirling.  My main concern was to make it attach as simply as possible without altering my engine.  The pictures below should help show how I did it.  Basically it’s just a simple plate that fits on the existing tower by slipping between the vertical plates.  I added wiring grommets to hold two magnets on the flywheel in the holes that were already there.  Since my engine is made of aluminum and all screws are stainless steel (except the flywheel axle and bearings) I had no problems using the strong rare earth magnets.  The current produced is very low and I can only measure tenths of one volt but it’s enough to light a couple 1.8 volt LED’s at low RPM surprisingly brightly.  



Stator Plate

Wiring side

Sliding on alternator


click here to see it running (12 MEG file)

Stirling Links

Roy's model engines in the UK

Boydhouse Stirling Forum

Some truely amazing model Stirlings

A site for plans to make a LTD Stirling