Learning more about the history of the Stirling Engine

Discussion on Stirling or "hot air" engines (all types)
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Triangle.Stirling
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:29 am

Learning more about the history of the Stirling Engine

Post by Triangle.Stirling » Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:32 pm

Hi all,

After some time without doing anything with Stirling Engines I'm looking at it again.
I notice there aren't that much posts on this forum any more.

If we look back at the Stirling engine I notice there are so much failed attempts.
Philips, NASA, Whispergen are some that come to mind.
I've never fully understood why the Stirling wasn't developed more. It has some potential, I'm sure about that.

I researched a bit into Philips some time ago (I'm from the Netherlands).
There seems to be so much information that is not very known. I stumbled across the yacht they equipped with a Stirling, a Stirling mower, the generator, the bus.

Can anyone recommend sources or books that give more insight in the history of the stirling engine?
I'd really like to see a sort of complete history. The information is so scattered now.
If anyone can recommend something to read or look up, that would be nice!

Regards from the Netherlands!

Ian S C
Posts: 2221
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:15 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Learning more about the history of the Stirling Engine

Post by Ian S C » Sat Oct 03, 2015 4:00 am

With Philips, their motor was a success, just it's job went away when the transistor was invented just as it was developed, and no one wanted an expensive 200 Watt generator designed to charge batteries for valve radios.
I don't think Whispertec thought they had failed, don't know what the Spanish company that took on manufacture has done. Earth Quakes here in Canterbury New Zealand put the development company out of their buildings, and I think they have closed down.
NASA is still working on engines for space work.
True there has been little co-ordinated research and development. It needs the large motor companies such as Ford, GM, BMW, and a few others, but there has to be a very good reason to make them change from IC engines to Stirling Engines --- Electric vehicles with S E to charge the batteries, battery development is progressing well from the lead acid battery, to the Lithium cells of now.
Ian S C

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