Stirling Engine Books

Not finding enough information about Stirling engines on Google?

While the Internet can provide you with a lot of information about Stirling engines (it brought you to this site, after all, didn’t it?), there’s nothing quite like reading an actual book about an interesting topic.

Or perhaps a pamphlet or free download is what you’re looking for.

Here, I’ve listed all of the literature written about Stirling engines that I’ve come across that I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about them. I’ve also provided brief summaries of the books for you.

These ten books are divided into three sections, Informational books, How-To books, and Free Downloads. Click on any of the links below to be taken a particular section:

  1. Informational Books
  2. How-To Books
  3. Free Downloads

Informational Books

“Around the World by Stirling Engine” by Brent H. Van Arsdell – American Stirling Company

Around the World by Stirling Engine Book“Around the World by Stirling Engine” is a book I wrote in order to provide enthusiasts a comprehensive look at Stirling engines.

This book is probably the best general book on Stirling engines. It not only explains how Stirling engines work, it also covers all the current power producing uses of Stirling engines along with how to contact the people who build them.

“The Next Great Thing” by Mark Shelton –  Amazon

I mentioned this book in my article about Stirling engine animations and for good reason.

This book chronicles the efforts of SunPower, an Ohio-based company, in their attempt to develop a solar-powered Stirling engine that would provide a safe and environmentally-friendly energy source.

While it doesn’t delve into the design of the engine they developed, it does have a lot of great information on Stirling engines and on their journey to create a better engine for the world.

“Mechanical Efficiency of Heat Engines” by James R. Senft – Amazon

I’ve mentioned James R. Senft in many of my articles, notably in my page about Low-Temperature Difference engines.

In this book, Dr. Senft discusses, through quantitative analysis, the idea that mechanical efficiency of heat engines is just as important as thermodynamic efficiency.

“An Introduction to Stirling Engines” by James R. Senft – Amazon

Dr. Senft has many publications available on Amazon, and his introduction to Stirling engines is one of the more popular products.

This book aims to provide an overview of Stirling engines, their history, and basic design components.

How-To and Design Books

“How I Built a 5 Hp Stirling Engine” by Merrick Lockwood – American Stirling Company

how I built a 5 hp stirling engine book front and back coverAnother book available for purchase through this website is this design guide and overview by Merrick Lockwood.

While not quite a “how-to” with instructions, Lockwood tells his story about developing a power-producing engine and gives advice for developers wanting to do something similar.

Included in this book are all of the design drawings Lockwood still has.

“Stirling and Hot Air Engines” by Roy Darlington and Keith Strong – Amazon

This book is another popular product on Amazon and is dedicated to providing information on how to design, build, and optimize Stirling engine models.

This book has lots of graphics from Darlington and Strong’s own experiences in building engines and is helpful to anyone who might want to build Stirling engine models.

“Eleven Stirling Engine Projects You Can Build” by Jim R. Larsen – Amazon

Jim Larsen runs his own Stirling engine website and has dedicated much of his life to building Stirling engines.

In this book, he details five of his original designs, provides design guidelines for two classic designs, and gives detailed reviews of four commercially available kits, including our own MM5 Kit.

“Quick and Easy Stirling Guide” by Jim R. Larsen

Another book by Jim Larsen, this might be a better option for beginners.

This book describes all of the details and items you’ll need to know to build a Stirling engine from two soda cans.

This book has the most Amazon purchases for Stirling engine-related books with a high star rating.

Free Downloads

“Stirling Engine Design Manual” by William R. Martini – Amazon or Free Download 

I’ve talked about Martini’s Stirling Engine Design Manual in an article about why Stirling engines aren’t more popular. 

You can purchase either the first or second edition on Amazon. However, this guide is also available for free download from NASA’s website.

You can follow this link to try your hand at understanding Martini’s guide.

Fair warning: a lot of this is virtually incomprehensible, so, unless you are very technical or an engineer, you may find it difficult to understand.

“Making Stirling Engines” by Andy Ross – Amazon or Free Download

This is another book available on Amazon.

But, why pay for this book when you can get it as a free download?

In this book, Ross chronicles his self-described “obsession”with Stirling engines.

Jim Larsen was given the rights to distribute this book as a download by Andy Ross himself.

You can download this book here by scrolling down to the “free stuff” section.

Have Another Recommendation?

Do you have a great Stirling engine book recommendation you think should be added?

Let us know in the comments!

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