Editor’s Corner

Welcome to the fascinating world of Stirling engines. Stirling engines have the most efficient cycle of any heat engine. That fact has enchanted, tantalized, and frustrated engineers and technology enthusiasts ever since the Philips electronics company began their efforts to develop power producing Stirling engines in the 1930s.

As the years have passed since the 1930's two things have become clear to those who have thought carefully about Stirling engines. First, Stirling engines can do things that no other engines can do at all. Second, it doesn't make sense to develop Stirling engines to do things that other types of engines can do cheaply and well.

Stirling engines can be built that:

  1. Are nearly silent at full power.
  2. Run on any fuel from sunshine to cow manure.
  3. Run for years without maintenance
  4. Produce zero or very low emissions.
  5. Are extremely efficient.

It is difficult to build Stirling engines that:

  1. Are cheap
  2. Start instantly
  3. Can change power levels quickly and efficiently with a simple regulating mechanism.
  4. Have a high power density

Of course, just because something is difficult doesn't mean that it's impossible. In fact, some of the world's most worthwhile projects have initially seemed difficult beyond all imagination.

Fortunately or unfortunately developing a great Stirling engine and bringing it profitably to market has in the past seemed simple, straight forward and easy to some people. I assure you that it is not simple, it is not straight forward, and it certainly is not easy!

My personal search for the right way to develop Stirling engines has led me to do unusual things like learn Russian, then travel to St. Petersburg Russia to look at Stirling engines. But wherever my search has led me, I have come to the conclusion that my job is to educate and teach people about clean green energy. It's the job of other people to develop power systems you can buy at a store.

So what should you do if you want to be able to buy a cheap clean Stirling engine to power your favorite machine at your favorite store?

  1. Link to us, if you have a web site.
  2. Buy a model engine, a kit or a book from us.
  3. Accept that fact that we aren't there yet.

The cleaner world that we all want begins with smart people like you who buy models, build kits, and read books. What will you do to clean up your own small part of the world? The cleaner world that you want begins inside you!

If you would like to contact us please click on the contact us page below.

Brent H. Van Arsdell
American Stirling Company - President