Today we will give you full information About this cute machine. what is so interesting about this machine is that, you just place an ice block below it will start to rotate what is even more interesting is that if I replace this ice block with a cup of hot water it will again rotate but in the opposite direction this interesting device is known as a sterling engine invented by Mr. Roberts telling long back to understand how does this device work or how was Mr sterling’s mind work at the time of this invention. Let’s find out more.
it’s hard to believe that the mere presence of a constant low and high temperature can result in a pulsating motion like this one but then along comes the genius mind of Robert sterling to start to separate the hot and cold plates with an insulating material let’s introduce a thick insulating cylinder called the displacer for this purpose if the displacer is at the bottom it will obviously prevent the heat flow from the bottom plate which means the majority of the air undergoes a heat transfer with the upper cold plate and the air volume approaches the surrounding air temperature if the displacer is moved up the exact reverse will happen and the air will heat up when the air temperature inside this volume increases its pressure also increases Robert sterling’s next brilliant idea was to use this high pressure to run a power piston the same power piston can move the displacer up or down let’s see how he achieved it practically to achieve this objective.
Robert sterling connected one more crank on the same rotating shaft of the power piston this time at a 90 degree offset to the first crank now this crank is connected to the displacer he also added a flywheel in the shaft the use of which we will come to know later now let’s see how these arrangements achieved Robert sterling’s objectives when the bottom plate of the engine is heated up let’s start with the power piston’s lowest position if you check the position of the displacer here.
it is almost in the middle the air obviously gets heated so its pressure increases which move the piston up let’s rewind and see this motion once again just observe what the displacer is doing clearly during the piston’s upward motion the displacer moves up and supports the additional heat from the hot plate the displacer prevents the cold plate heat transfer during this motion which means that during the piston’s upward motion the air’s temperature and pressure keeps increasing and the piston extracts the energy however after reaching the top you can see that the displacer is again in the middle which means that the heated air can lose heat to the cold plate obviously this process reduces the pressure of the air volume due to the momentum of the big flywheel the piston will now start its downward journey during which the air loses progressively more heat and pressure, therefore, the piston’s downward motion happens without much difficulty after the piston reaches the bottom position we are back at the starting point and the cycle repeats it’s a beautiful way of producing reciprocating motion isn’t it now you can predict.
how this machine will behave if we keep an ice block below it here the inside air temperature and pressure become lesser than the atmospheric temperature and pressure the low pressure inside the chamber means the force acting on the piston will be in a downward direction so the piston has to move down this way the engine rotates in the opposite direction, in short, this engine will keep on working unless and until there is a temperature difference between the two plates the greater the temperature difference the greater the engine speed and power output sterling engines have amazing energy conversion efficiency.
Q: So why don’t we use these types of engines in our cars?
A: The main reason is that sterling engines are slow to respond to varying power demands to vary power output from a sterling engine you have to control the upper and bottom plate temperatures and temperature controls always take time moreover sterling engines are heavier and costlier compared to their counterparts however we believe that the sterling engine can be an ideal candidate for solar power extraction the Maricopa solar power plant commissioned in 2010 was based on sterling engine technology and was capable of producing 1.5 megawatts of electricity this project was later abandoned due to environmental concerns let’s hope that modern engineers will find a suitable application for Robert sterling’s genius invention please don’t forget to support us and thank you for reading the Post.
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