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Posted by Morris Dovey on April 11, 2007, 5:00 am
no spam wrote:

|| Actually, there are a few plans for Stirling engines that can be
|| driven using solar heat. Usefulness of the plans will, of course,
|| depend on the planned application and your particular DIY skills.
|| I'm playing with liquid piston Stirlings (fluidynes) because I
|| don't have access to a machine shop and because I have minimal
|| metalworking skills. The plumbing skills needed to build a
|| fluidyne are much easier to acquire. :-)
| You'd be supprised what you can make w/o a machine shop and how
| fast you can get metalworking skills.  Trust me, I know.

Well, I'm certainly willing to be surprised. I'm at the stage where I
pause to celebrate whenever I thread three holes in a row without
breaking a tap - and I'm just not good enough to build a crankshaft
for a 2 hp Stirling engine with just a hacksaw and a file.

| I guess I was expecting too much. I was thinking some where there
| was a site that covered most of the info on solar.

That's a lot of ground to cover. I'd guess that wikipedia might be a
good starting point to get vocabulary that can be used to STW.

|| I have a couple of web pages with some general info for air-heating
|| panels - sorry, I've forgotten the URLS - but you might find 'em
|| with a Google groups search restricted to alt.solar.thermal
| Air heating and batch water heating stuff seems to be all over.
| Probably because its simple.

It can be simple or not depending on how much a designer is trying to
squeeze out of a given area. Iain McClatchie (another physicist here
on a.s.t) has me learning about black body radiation. It doesn't seem
simple to me, but the study has led me to some startling performance
improvements. I'm positively /itching/ to build an absorber out of
mirror-bright aluminum to see if it'll really appear black.

I found one of the design pages at
www.iedu.com/DeSoto/SC_Design.html - and must have deleted the others.
The page that's still there is old, but may still provide you with
some food for thought.

| And this how to starts from where?  I've seen how to's on making
| them but what they are is how to take a bunch of little cells and
| build a big one.

I searched back to find the thread on comp.arch.embedded - it involved
a $ educational kit from Bell Labs in which the starting point was a
naked silicon wafer. I tried the BL link but the page has either been
moved or withdrawn. :-(

| Seems like I had an easier time in the old days when all the info
| came from books.

Well, yes - but in the old days there was less info, petroleum was
less expensive, and solar panels didn't work nearly as well - and
until Mosaic and digital cameras, we just couldn't share stuff like we
can today.

Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA

Posted by Steve Spence on April 9, 2007, 11:04 pm
You can find some practical examples at

Steve Spence
Director, Green-Trust

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