Friday, December 7, 2007

"The Book"

I hate to admit that I have been writing a book. That phrase has become such a cliche' that I notice a drop in respect for anyone who uses it! Nothing is for certain. I have a publisher who is interested, but since my concepts are not exactly what he is looking for, I will never know until the full manuscript is submitted if it will be published or not.

The topic is how to make Stirling Engines. The challenge I was offered was to design a Stirling engine that will run from the heat of a warm hand, and do it without a machine shop. The design must be something that is easy for others to replicate. Well, I think I have done it. My first design was up and running with less than $35 invested in parts.

The publisher asked for some design modifications so that the engine would run in a more traditional manner. It has a mechanism that moves back and forth and lacks a spinning flywheel. As a result of that request I have designed two more concept engines that both have spinning flywheels.

When the two new models have been built and tested, I simply need to document the construction process for them and add it to the manuscript.

I want to add a "Special Bonus Section" to the book about how to build a Pop-Can Stirling Engine. The Pop-Can engine is the starting point for many young engineering students, and it is also the entry point for many into the world of hot air engines like the Stirling. The plans that are available on the Internet are a decent guide for the process of building one, but I have yet to find any serious documentation about the building process.

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