Renewable Energy: Solar Thermal Stirling Engine


[long note] – [Thomas Jenkins] What we’re demonstrating
today is a device which concentrates solar energy onto what’s called a stirling engine. A stirling engine converts
the thermo energy, which is heat energy, as opposed to the light energy from the sun. And converts it into mechanical energy. The solar thermal heat
is being concentrated with this parabolic dish
onto a little shaft here which is connected to what’s called a stirling engine. So we can see that we
take a piece of paper just as a demonstration, and put it into the focal point where the post is, you should be able to see that it begins to smoke right away. The temperatures are quite hot. It’s just like the same concept behind a magnifying glass. You take a big area and concentrate all that energy into a small area. And this engine works as a difference between a very hot side and a cooler side. That thermal difference, we can translate into mechanical energy. We can have a little engine. You can see it, hear it. The engine is working
directly from the sunlight rather than trying to
plug it into the wall. In addition, you can
do a second conversion where you transfer the mechanical energy from the motor, the stirling engine, into electrical energy, so we can create electricity from the sun heat, as opposed to photovoltaics, which we looked at earlier, which converts the sunlight into electrical energy. -[Announcer] The preceding was a production of New Mexico State University. The views and opinions in this program are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the NMSU Board of Regents.

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7 thoughts on “Renewable Energy: Solar Thermal Stirling Engine”

  1. racmop1 says:

    love your vid looking to get solar put on house when it get a bit cheaper

  2. George Buscher says:

    Ok the thing runs. Now put it under a load and lets see what it can produce. You would need a device to track the sun and what happens on a cloudy day?
    So far professor you have a neat toy!

  3. gdog48001 says:

    That's pretty much all these types of sterling engines will be. They just don't produce enough torque to turn any real generators. But I've seen some promising steam type sterling engines that give a good amount of torque. With some tinkering and modifications i really do see the possibility of a decent solar engine. You could even use the exact same design on geothermal spots. Then no worries about there not being enough sun.

  4. Sunny says:

    It would be more appropriate to say that the solar energy is being "focused" instead of saying that its "concentrated" considering that's a parabolic mirror with a focal point on it.

  5. Jerry Jasuta says:

    You might want to do a bit of research beyond what you've seen on YouTube. Stirling engines have been built to power entire factories, submarines, and extended solar generating plants. Here outside of Las Vegas, there are thousands of stirling engines mounted on parabolic mirrors generating electricity. One was even put into a car in the 70s. NASA has developed several stirling based generators, and their plans are free to the public. There is much more potential here than shown on YouTube!

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  7. Arda Kozan says:

    leeroooyyyy jenkins

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