252 Fuels

One of the singular advantages Stirling engines have over internal combustion engines is that they are truly multi-fuel capable. The Stirling cycle requires only a sufficient heat source to operate and does not rely on carefully timed fuel injection and combustion processes as do internal combustion engines. Practical Stirling cycle engines may be operated using propane, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, radioisotopes, solar energy, and even wood or other biomass. The only limitation on fuel source imposed by the engine is that a sufficient amount of heat must be transferred to the cycle at a controllable temperature. There are often minimal changes to fuel systems needed to accommodate different fuel types, but the engine itself requires no new hardware.

The freedom to choose fuel type allows other considerations to be made when selecting fuels. Cost and availability of each fuel are usually the first items considered, and the Stirling generator can operate on whatever fuel is most readily available. However, cost is not the only concern when choosing a fuel. The environmental impact of storing and combusting the fuel must be considered. Low emission burners have been developed for fuels such as gasoline and natural gas, and the technology is being developed for the use of biomass fuels. Some analysis should be performed to make certain that a fuel is compatible with the combustion technique and heat transfer systems used.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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