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How To Make a Low Temperature Differential (LTD) Stirling Engine


LTD stirling engines are interesting. They harvest the temperature difference of the environment versus a cold object, and using this they power some pumps.

I don’t know the efficiency of this stirling engine, but it would be a nice idea for the hot areas of the world to put in some ice in your car and then go all the way until it melts. I don’t know how much capacity the water has as a reservoir of thermal energy, but I bet that if someone would invent a mechanism that works by this principle in a car, everybody would rush to the polar caps to sell them to the car owners.

Watch the video and comment! Your opinion is worthless!

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  1. @Gnomic: Correction: the efficiency of MOST Stirling engines fall below 35%. Typical LTD engines have efficiencies less than 12% (usually falling aroudn 1% to 3% for smaller units). However, NASA has manufactured a Stirling engine having an efficiency of 48%. Keep in mind that you cannot exceed 50% — the laws of thermodynamics forbid it.

  2. When making upper and lower disks what workholding tip do you use ? Do you simply apply pressure with the tail stock or the disk is also glued on the face plate you made before ? I tried using super glue and the like with poor results… No way to turn down the disk roughly sawn by holding with adhesive.

  3. The efficiency of the sterling engine is quite low, in the 20-30% range, but this is partially offset by being able to use a highly efficient external heat source should one be available. There is at least one sterling powered sub – with a nuclear engine.


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