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My first Stirling machine - made by my grandfather.


In my younger years, my grandfather showed me a machine that he had made himself - he used to work in a weaving mill as an engine fitter. He called it a "Warmluftmaschine", i. e. a machine running with hot air, and he had made it just to try out the working principle. Unfortunately I was too young to understand how it worked, but nevertheless I enjoyed it when it was running! Later he gave it to me, and I still hold it with great admiration as a keepsake from him.

Here are some photos (click to enlarge) of this one-piston air cooled Stirling machine (beta type):







Notes on the pictures:

  1. "Opa, was machsch du do?" (Grandpa, whatcha doin'?)
  2. General view.
    The aluminum part on the right is not original - my grandpa added it so that I did not bruise my little fingers under the moving connecting rods.
    Note the alcohol burner, soldered from a copper lamp cover. The machine runs for several minutes, until the somewhat small cooling fins get too hot, reducing the temperature difference.
  3. Detail: connecting rod and piston.
    The rod to the displacer runs through the middle of the power piston, which is connected to the crank shaft of the red flywheel. The 4 rods a arranged in a way that I saw nowhere else so far - one "spare hole" shows a  trace of earlier experiments.
  4. The power piston and the displacer, disassembled.
  5. The machine in maintenace phase, power piston and  displacer removed.
  6. Don't miss to watch the animated gif from M. Keveney, which shows how the machine works. He has many other well done machine drawings there as well.

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