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  • sterling engines?

    I want to build a fan to move air around my wood stove. Would a sterling engine work for this or would the temperature be to much for this application. It would be sitting on the top of the stove. which can get very hot. Maybe if I put it on the warming boxes it would work better? I would like to put something on the cook top as long as I didn't burn it up. I've seen fans for sale that are powered off the heat of the stove, I would like to build my own.here's a picture of the stove.

  • #2
    I can't think of where just now, but some outfit was selling a stirling powered fan for just this purpose a few years back. I think it was around the time of the Y2K buildup

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    • #3
      Stirling-powered fans are available for this purpose, but those I've seen are expensive, something on the order of $300, if I remember correctly.

      There's a type that runs on thermocouples that is less expensive.

      You might want to do a Google search for Jon Bondy Stirling. At one time he was playing around with such a fan and posted many useful pictures of it.

      Be sure to spell it "Stirling" otherwise you won't find what you are looking for, unless the Web site misspelled it, too.

      Orrin
      So many projects. So little time.

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      • #4
        Cabellas, about $150 IIRC

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        • #5
          http://members.aol.com/tstirlingo/pages/tsokg.html

          There's a pretty cheap kit. No relation to seller or anything, no clue as to quality of kit either.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rbregn
            I want to build a fan to move air around my wood stove. Would a sterling engine work for this or would the temperature be to much for this application. It would be sitting on the top of the stove. which can get very hot. Maybe if I put it on the warming boxes it would work better? I would like to put something on the cook top as long as I didn't burn it up. I've seen fans for sale that are powered off the heat of the stove, I would like to build my own.
            this is one of my projects that i hope to get to some day. there are usually a few guys at the january Cabin Fever show in York, PA that have a bunch of Stirling engines. i always talk to them to figure out what i want to do. many of them build kits from Jerry Howell, and i'm thinking of going with one of his. one idea suggested was to take something like Jerry's Mini Stirling Fan and instead of having an aluminum heat riser with the alcohol burner under it, make a pedestal out of aluminum and set the pedestal right on top of the woodstove. you could used an aluminum cylinder for the pedestal. maybe 1.5" in diameter and several inches tall. you would need to have a disk on the base of the pedestal to make it more stable. here's a link to the Mini Stirling Fan:

            http://www.jerry-howell.com/MiniFan.html

            andy b.
            The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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            • #7
              It seems that a set of plans from Jerry Howell or others could be scaled up to make a fan that is as big as you want for the job. I've seen some pretty big ones at the shows. As far as burning one up, if it had brass or aluminum feet it should be fine and if it was running way to fast because of being to hot, you could build an insulating plate to set between it and the stove. I forgot that the ones from Jerry's site are alcohol fired but you could probably shorten the legs up where the alcohol burner goes so that the hot cap gets it's heat from the stove. I've never built one so I'm just speculating. Anyway, a quick phone call to Jerry could probably answer a lot of your questions and I'm sure he'd be glad to answer them since you may be buying plans from him. Here is a link. http://www.jerry-howell.com/SuperFan.html
              His phone number is at the bottom on of the home page on his site. Let us know what you find out.
              Jonathan P.

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              • #8
                A Sterling engine is relatively simple and should not be that hard to make. They like heat and the more you apply to it the faster it will run. Of course you must only use materials that can tolerate the heat from your heat source.

                Now if you what even more power and speed from it you can “supercharge” it by pressurizing the air inside the engine.

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                • #9
                  As you know, a Stirling engine works by temperature difference.
                  But if you place the engine on top of a hot stove, wouldn't both the hot and cold side be heated to almost the same amount, the hot side being slightly hotter.
                  Would it work well in this situation?

                  Afterthought:
                  Well, when heated by an alcohol lamp the heat also rises up past the cold side, but a wood stove is a much larger heat source.
                  I may be wrong, what do you think


                  .
                  Thomas

                  Problems worthy of attack prove their worth by hitting back
                  - Piet Hein

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                  • #10
                    I think the cabellas one works well on a stove.

                    No wait I know it does.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thomas Staubo
                      As you know, a Stirling engine works by temperature difference.
                      But if you place the engine on top of a hot stove, wouldn't both the hot and cold side be heated to almost the same amount, the hot side being slightly hotter.
                      Would it work well in this situation?

                      Afterthought:
                      Well, when heated by an alcohol lamp the heat also rises up past the cold side, but a wood stove is a much larger heat source.
                      I may be wrong, what do you think


                      .
                      this was also brought up in my Cabin Fever discussions, me and the guys i was discussing it with were thinking of putting the fan near the edge of the stove so it pulled air in from beyond the edge and blew it over the center of the hot stove. this is all just theoretical at this point.

                      andy b.
                      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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