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Tin Can Stirling Generator 2

YouTube Video

The engine has been run for 5 hours continuously now with no problems. I put the generator outside on a concrete paving slab and ran the wire inside, you almost can't hear it running with the concrete to absorb the vibrations. Just the gentle ticking of some of the loose parts moving a little.

All of the cans are beer cans except the displacer cylinder which is a coke can.
The diagram isn't to scale, just an approximation of the parts.



I've had quite a few requests for a diagram showing how all the parts fit together, so I finally got round to drawing one.
All of the cans are beer cans except the displacer cylinder which is a coke can.
The diagram isn't to scale, just an approximation of that parts.

The fire box isn't shown.

Click on the diagram to see the full sized legible version.

Recently I tried to run the engine on methylated spirits, the engine went crazy for a short while, then it sprung a small air leak around the piston elbow, fortunately, no water entered the engine! I had to reseal around the elbow. Also, the high temperature completely annihilated the silicone around the firebox, oops....

Take a look at the water tank, it's very rusty. I keep the tank full at all times as the engine tends to tip because of the wooden shelf etc.

Photo's of the rebuild are here

One rusty water tank....

New silicone applied

Another shot of the rusty tank

Update 20/07/2010: I added extra weight to the flywheel. The engine runs a lot smoother now, and the LED's don't fluctuate in brightness as much.

Flywheel with added weight

The stepper motor, as a generator

This is the generator, it's a stepper motor out of an old printer. Underneath it you can see a switch, this turns the joule thief on and off, the reason for the switch is that the joule thief draws quite a bit of power, even when it's not powering anything. There are 8 Schottky diodes rectifying the output power.

A capacitor bank

This shows underneath the generator, there is about 8000uf of
capacitors to smooth out the power.

This displacer rod and cranks.

The beginnings of the displacer cylinder

This shows the graphite piston and cylinder, which I got for free from Airpot Corporation (Thanks!). The balloon was to keep dust and grime out of the piston as well as water since the piston is submerged underwater. I removed it later as it kept getting caught and end of the piston.

This is the displacer rod, it's a 1.59mm brass rod running in a 3/32 brass tube. It's very smooth.

The displacer is made from wire wool, it's about 40mm tall and a little smaller than the coke can it runs in.

The above holds the generator tacho and electronics to use the power, it's made from some scrap oak I had.

The tacho is an old cycle computer converted to read 10mph = 100rpm.

An Experiment:

 can you generate electricity using my thermoelectric generator heated by the exhaust of this Stirling generator ?

Yes, you can... But not very much!

TEG2 & Stirling Generator MK2

The voltmeter is reading 156 mv! I actually think it's possible to power a radio off the exhaust of this engine, by making an aluminium heat-sink the clamps to the chimney, there should be enough heat to power the radio. TEG 2 will power a radio off a cup of hot water, and the chimney is hot enough to boil water, so it could work. I might cast an alu heatsink!