A new product has come onto the scene, and it can be powered by COFFEE (sort of)! The Low-Temperature Difference Stirling Engine can operate on just a hot cup of coffee or other hot liquid!
The Stirling Engine works by the expansion (or contraction) of air when heated or cooled. Heat expands the air in piston that drives a shaft and spins a wheel (or some other action). A second piston is use to draw out the expanded hot air so the process can be repeated. So far, so good, yes? But usually Stirling Engines require a fair amount of heat difference to operate, so that most of the time you need at least boiling water for them to operate. But in theory a Stirling Engine can operate with very minimal temperature differences between the source heat and room temperature.
Low-Temperature Stirling Engines have existed before, but usually were high priced! Now we present a model that costs under $100. Like any Low-Temperature Difference Stirling Engine it can operate not only on a hot cup of liquid, but also on ice!
Now we wouldn’t want to leave you with just some pictures, so here is a video of the Stirling Engine in action. All we used was a beaker of water that had been microwaved for 1-1/2 minutes!
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