Stirling engines are having a bit of a revival. What are they, and how do they work? Could they generate our electricity in the future?
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I like machines that show their workings. You can see all the parts of a stirling engine doing their jobs. Stirling engines are simple, but use a principle that may be unfamiliar to many viewers. One thing that you have to remember from your science classes is that gases expand and contract very rapidly indeed, making this sort of engine practical.
Stirling engines are not very powerful nor do they have great power to weight ratios. I know of one annual boat race that takes place in England on a river using stirling engines, and it is somewhat sedate.
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