How Does A Stirling Engine Function And Importance In Solar Technology To Generate Free Energy

This is extremely simple heat exchange engine which function with temperature change within two metal plates. First surface is heated at one side of the engine and second is cooled at the other side, causing the air expansion near the hot surface (high temperature) whereas compression at the cold plate (low temperature). Expansion and compression of air within the engine results in the movement of displacer in upward and downward motion between the two surfaces into a cycle. This amazing hot air engine was created by Robert Stirling in 1816 as replacement to steam engines at that time which is a great contribution in heat engine technology.

How it works?

A good model for understanding the basics of a Stirling engine made of a closed cylinder which contains two metal surfaces(aluminium) at two ends. One displacer is present between the plates and attached to a flywheel by a wire to transfer mechanical energy during upward motion. When one plate is heated for example; bottom plate, the air near that plate expands and resulting the displacer to move upward. On the other hand flywheel connected to a tiny piston which takes the mechanical energy from flywheel and force the displacer to help in down movement. Once displacer is at top position the tiny piston moves down resulting the compress air to fill the displacer downward. This makes a loop of up and down motion of both displacer and piston, causing the cyclic movement of flywheel.

Solar Thermal Technology

For solar thermal technology we use heat energy of sun light for mechanical energy to move a generator to generate electricity. Stirling engine serves exactly the same desire and they are very powerful solar power generators and generate clean renewable energy. For Solar thermal Stirling engines are placed as part of solar dishes where large parabolic mirrors reflects the sunlight towards one center point where Stirling engine is aligned this then drives by using this heat energy from sunlight and resulting mechanical energy to produce electricity. Solar thermal dishes are used in either residential and commercial energy production. Stirling engine supported solar dishes for residential are smaller in size and produces around 1-2 kW of electricity. Whereas in commercial usage a giant single Stirling Engine backed solar dish can generate up to 25kW (kiloWatt) of electricity.

Your geographical location is important for choosing if solar dishes are best selection. Solar thermal engines are best suited for users in areas that get lot of sunlight throughout the year but not so good for areas that receive much snow and not much sun.

One of the best way to learn this extremely simple engine is to purchase a simple do-it-yourself model. For further reading please check stirling engine history and basics as well as it’s use in renewable energy.

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