Friday, April 17, 2009

Engine #2 is Up and Running!

I accepted the challenge some time back that I would design and build a Stirling Engine that would run from the heat of your hand, and could be built without a machine shop.  The first engine I made did all that, but it didn't have any spinning parts.  The man offering to publish the book wanted an engine with a rotating flywheel, as this is more appealing to our potential audience for a book.  

I sketched out two more designs that were modifications of my first working model.  But then I got side tracked with more back surgery and both new designs (#2 and #3) were partially assembled for over a year.

This week I took two days off work and made a commitment to get them up and running.  At 1:00 PM today my second design (with a rotating flywheel of sorts) started running, and it has been going strong for most of the last 8 hours.  It has not run from the heat of the hand yet, but it has run on sunshine with no ice, and when inside it runs with ice when sitting next to a 60 watt light bulb.  I have a high level of confidence that this engine will run from the heat of the hand after some minor adjustment to the crank shaft and the addition of a little helium.

I believe the last of the three designs will be the most efficient.  It uses the same ultra-low friction design of the first engine with the addition of a rotating flywheel.  It should be also up and running by the end of the weekend.  After that I then have to get back to the text and finish up all the assembly instructions and organize all the pictures and illustrations.  The end of this project is in sight.

I don't know if I still have a publication deal or not.  I would not be surprised to learn that the offer has expired.  If I have to start over finding a publisher I will be looking into self publication with print on demand.

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