This book will provide you with illustrated plans and assembly instructions to build your own "heat of the hand" Stirling engines. A machine shop is not required for the construction of these Stirling engines. All three designs can be built with common tools. Two of the Stirling engine designs are efficient enough to run from the heat of your hand. The engines are designed to run with air or they can be charged with helium for even greater efficiency.
The idea for this book started when I was recovering from back surgery and looking for a project. I was designing and building Stirling engines as a hobby and wanted an engine that would run on the heat of my hand. I had several conversations with Brent Van Arsdell, the owner of the American Stirling Company. Brent is an extremely talented engineer. He told me that if I could create an engine that would run from the heat of my hand without using a machine shop that I should write a book about it, because he thought it would be a good seller. So we discussed some guidelines, and then the challenge was on. The engine I designed had to be affordable to build. I needed to avoid expensive components like ball bearings and manufactured parts. It had to be something that could be made with the tools that are familiar to most handyman types. And it had to run from the heat of your hand.
Brent provided some valuable tips on Stirling engine design. He was particularly helpful in providing some strategies for reducing friction. After a while I had Engine #1 up and running, and I sent him a video of the engine running from the heat of my hand. Brent said it didn't count. This engine was reciprocating. The flywheel did not turn continuously in the same direction. So I went back to work and built engine #2. And because I was getting pretty good at this, I decided to build a prototype for a third design while I was at it.
The end result was this book that you are now thinking about buying. And you should buy it! It is filled with over 130 detailed photographs and drawings that will make it easy for you to understand and build one of these marvelous little engines. I have included information on how to work with acrylic sheet (Plexiglas) so that you can know all the tricks for how to make your engine into a marvelous conversation piece and a moving work of art.
Authored by: Jim R. Larsen
You can build all three of these unique Stirling engine designs with the illustrated instructions in the book.