J. Clarke wrote:
| Stirlings and fuel cells may have been big news in the '60s, but
| I'm a bit puzzled as to why anyone thinks that they're anything to
| get excited about today.
A friend and I have been tinkering with a fluidyne (a liquid-piston
Stirling cycle engine) whose only moving parts are air and water as
time and money have allowed. There is some info, a video, drawings,
and a photo on a web page at the link below.
The immediate goal is to come up with a very low-cost solar-powered
water pump that can be used for irrigation and village water supply in
areas where electrical power isn't an option.
Although we'd originally planned to use a parabolic trough as an
energy collection device, we've shifted our focus toward flat panel
collectors. Photos of the prototype trough construction and testing
are on a web page at the link below.
Of some interest is that Stirling cycle engines can be operated in
reverse. In the "normal" conceptualization, one drives a Stirling
engine by applying heat to its "hot" side and removing it from the
"cold" side to produce mechanical energy.
However, if one applies mechanical energy to a Stirling cycle engine,
it will "pump" heat from its cold side to its hot side.
My intent is to drive a fluidyne with solar energy to produce
mechanical energy - which will be applied to a second fluidyne so that
this second fluidyne will function as a heat pump.
The resulting solar-powered heat pump could be used to provide
refrigeration and air-conditioning in areas where electricity is
either unavailable or expensive.
I would guess that might become exciting to people in hot, sunny
DeSoto, Iowa USA