Run Your Stirling Engine on the Heat of Your Hand

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Run Your Stirling Engine on the Heat of Your Hand

Postby stan.hornbaker » Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:49 pm

How to Run Your Stirling Engine on the Heat of Your Hand

Purpose: To demonstrate that the Coffee Cup Stirling Engine can be run
on the heat of your hand.

Equipment: 1. A MM-1 or MM-5 Coffee Cup Stirling Engine (CCSE).
2. A really cool morning with temperatures near freezing or a little
above and a calm atmosphere, little or no air movement.
3. A thermometer to determine outside air temperature.
4. A watch with sweep second hand or digital seconds counter..
5. Optional: Two 4” sq. ceramic tiles taped together.

Procedure: 1. Warm the ceramic tiles in a toaster oven to 120 deg.F.
or so. If no tiles are available improvise or skip Step 2.and proceed.
2. Place tile on folded newspaper, set your CCSE on the tile on some
folded newspaper and set outside for top part of the engine to cool to
outside air temperature.
3. Set the CCSE on the palm of your hand, holding it down with the
brass brace across the top of the engine.
4. Flick the prop with one finger. The engine should start and run if
the top is cold and the bottom is up to body temperature.

Observations and Data:
1. Record air temperature and air movement conditions.
2. Record the surface temperature of the top of the engine from the
surface decal thermometer on the CCSE.
3. Count the revolutions of the prop/crankshaft for one minute and
4. Repeat at 3 minute intervals for several times or until your
fingers get too cold to continue.

Supplemental Experiment. Try at this time or go inside, warm your
hands and start again.
With the engine running steadily cup your palm so that contact is
maintained around the outside but not in the center of engine base.
After 10 or 15 seconds press your palm back into close contact with base.
Q. 1. Did the engine slow down perceptively?
Q. 2. Did the center of the base feel cooler than the perimeter?
Q. 3. Did the engine speed up again when palm makes full contact?
Q. 4. Why did center of base feel cooler, or did it?
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