Since watching a few videos about the Stirling Engine, I’ve had a thought to build one. But what to power with it?
A boat. I could heat the top with sunlight. Paint it black for maximum heating, materials chosen to hold as much heat as possible.
The cold end would be flush with the hull. Possibly even a finned heat sink like you’d use on a computer, with the fins extending below the hull(probably with a shield open on the ends to let water through for cooling while protecting the fins from impacts). Especially once you get moving, this should provide fairly effective cooling of your cold end.
Not sure how practical it would be to build something to transport people and/or cargo, but a small model should be feasible.
This boat wouldn’t work too well at night, though if there’s a warm front coming through while the water is still cold you might get a bit of power, though if you’d take this thing far from shore you’d want backup oars or materials to build a fire on the top plate.
I’ll look into the feasibility of this over the weekend, and maybe put together a parts list soon if it looks buildable(and I can get access to a large enough body of water to test whatever I build, if it’s not small enough to test in a bathtub.
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Stirling Engine kit at Amazon