House-sized Stirling engine

Discussion on Stirling or "hot air" engines (all types)
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Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:13 am

House-sized Stirling engine

Post by Blueoctavius » Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:57 pm

I'm new to this forum, and I have a half-hatched idea that I'd like some help fleshing out, if anyone would care to offer any commentary.

Picture a masonry heater (essentially a wood stove or firebox surrounded by lots of thermal mass, to heat a house evenly with ~1 fire/day) in the centre of a house. It's hooked up to underfloor air channels that run through the room's concrete floor. The purpose is to:
1. suck air from the room into a chamber within the body of the heater,
2. heat it, and
3. exhaust it under the floor to be expelled back into the room.
The fire itself draws its supply air from a chilly Canadian winter outside - a constant flow of 'coolth' nearby.

In the simplest manner possible using only the energy of the heater, can I make this happen?

For starters, I've rationalized that to move maximum air at maximum temperature, the air to be supplied to the floor shouldn't be the driving fluid, or exhaust of the "engine". I'd rather have a chamber that collects cold air, expands as it warms (pressurizing an adjacent warming chamber that exhausts under the floor), and then dumps its tepid air into the fire's intake, refilling with cold air to start again. Since I only know enough about Stirling engines to recognize a similarity there, I'm hoping someone here will have a clear insight as to what line of development I should pursue, if any.

Thanking you in advance,
W Wiebe

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