Stirling Engine

Topics: Internal combustion engine, Heat engine, Steam engine Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: August 13, 2012
Applied Science Research 12th Grade 10/21/07

Stirling Engine
Brandon Risberg Abstract: This paper includes a historical overview of the Stirling engine. It also includes an overview of the mechanics of a Stirling engine, and the results of the author’s project to build a Stirling engine. Although this engine did not work, this paper includes ways to improve in future projects. History: The original Stirling engine was designed and developed by Reverend Dr Robert Stirling [1], a fantastic engineer and a reverend with the church. At that time it was called a ‘hot air’ engine, no one knows when the term Sterling engine became widely accepted. Stirling received the original patent in 1816, and had his first engine built and working as a water pump in a quarry in 1818, and later powering an iron foundry in 1845. Stirling was trying to come up with an alternative to the current steam engine and later the internal combustion engine. The downside to the steam engine is the necessity to use boilers, which have the off chance to explode. Stirling sought to build an equivalent engine that would not have such a potentially deadly side effect. Although the Stirling engine eventually lost to the steam engine for popular support, it continues to be useful. The Stirling engine produces a higher efficiency rate than either the steam or internal combustion engines. However, it must run at very high temperatures to achieve maximum power output and efficiency. This limits its commercial utility and contributed to its decline. It is not entirely lost, however, Philips, the large Dutch electric and electronic manufacturer, began to design and produce a line of sterling engine based generators in the 1930’s. Development continued through WWII till the initial batch was produced in 1951. However by then the market was being taken over by the electric engine and the company lost out on the design. Operation: In general, engines and heat engines work very similarly. They have involved...

Cited: [1] “Stirling Engine”, Wikipedia, September 24, 2007, [2] “Carnot Cycle”, Wikipedia, September 24, 2007, [3] “Carnot Cycle”, Georgia State University, September 25, 2007, [4] “Dr. Dann’s Website”,, September 14, 2007,
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