It seems like alot of people build little solar powered stirling engines as more of a novelty. What if you used the solar to take a load off your main power source?What if you used a solar collector as a preheater? Some stirlings have a regenerator on the outside.Add a big heat sink to the regenerator to focus your collector on. If you dont want this heat sucked into the cold side add a reed valve past the heat sink.The flow would be just oneway.
Dan Rojas wants to use the parabolic trough as a preheater to his steam engine.He says the trough stays focused from 11 to 3 or 4. You cant use the trough on a stirling engine because it has a long focal line.
If you take a parabolic trough with a distant focal line, then turn a much smaller trough 90 degrees and facing in you get a sharp focal point.The advantages are its easy to build and your only moving the small trough most of the time.
Discussion on Stirling or "hot air" engines (all types)
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