Let's Build a Can Stirling Engine
The Can Stirling engine can rotate using a candle as the heat source. This engine is constructed with very simple materials. There are a can, a balloon, a wood board and others.
A Can Stirling Engine
(This engine was proposed by Mr.Saburo Tsucchida.
He is teacher of Kasukabe technical high scool.)
Step 1 - Material Preparation and Structure
To make the Can Stirling engine you require these materials: wood board 10mm thick; balsa wood 10mm thick; wire 1.5mm diameter; fishing thread; a balloon; square lumber 5mm square; two
thumbtacks; a paper clip; clay; a 200ml steel can; cardboard; a candle; nails (or wood screws); and rubber bands.
These tools are required: cutting pliers; scissors: a saw: wood glue: some quick-drying glue: and
This engine has a very simple structure as illustrated. It makes use of wood frames, a wire crank shaft, a can cylinder, a rubber balloon diaphragm. You can get these materials easily. The wood
piston is connected to the crankshaft with fishing thread.
View of a Can Stirling Engine
Step 2 - Cut a Wood Board
As illustrated in the following figure, you must make two side boards, two boards to fix to the can, and a bottom board, all of 10mm thickness.
You must make the holes for the crank somewhat bigger to reduce friction.
Cut a Wood Board
Step 3 - Make a Wood Piston
Fit the pieces of cut balsa together with wood glue. Attach a length of fishing line to the center of the piston with quick-drying glue.
CAUTION: The diameter of the can which I used is about 50mm. The height of the can is about 100mm. If you use an other-sized can the diameter and the height of the wood piston must be fitted
to the can. Clearance should be 2 or 3mm.
Make a Wood Piston
Step 4 - Make a Diaphragm
You will make a diaphragm using a rubber balloon. As shown in the following figure, cut the balloon and reinforce it by pasting the cardboards. Make a hole in the center of the diaphgram and pass
through a fishing thread. Be careful to make a close-fitting hole - not a big hole.
Make a Diaphgram
Step 5 - Make Connecting Rods and a Crank Shaft
As illustrated in the following figure, make two connecting rods using lumber that is 5 mm square. Make the holes for the crank shaft somewhat bigger to reduce friction. Bend a wire of1.5 mm.
diameter. Put on the connecting rods before bending the wire.
Connecting Rods and Crank Shaft
Step 6 - Construct a Diaphragm and Crank Mechanism
As illustrated in the following figure, attach the diaphgram and the connecting rods with two thumbtacks.
Construct a Diaphgram and Crank Mechanism
Step 7 - Construct the Frame
You will construct the wood frame (See the Step 2). When you construct the frame, you must make sure that the crank shaft can rotate with a very small friction loss.
Construct the Frame
Step 8 - Construct a Wood Piston and Crank Mechanism
After you pass the fishing thread through the hole in the diaphragm, You must tie the thread to a paper clip attached to the crankshaft.
Construct a Wood Piston and Crank Mechanism
Step 9 - Fit Up a Can
Cut off the top face of a can and fix the can to the frame securely. Place the diaphragm over the can with some rubber bands. Adjust a length of the fishing thread so the piston moves without touching
the can. And for the final measure, put on a drop of machine oil in the hole of the diaphragm. The Can Stirling Engine is completed.
Fit Up a Can
Step 10 - Let's Try to Move
When the engine is completed, Please heat a bottom face of the can cylinder with a candol. When the face is fully heated, rotate the crank shaft with your hand. Does the engine start to move?
There are two important points to move model Stirling engines. One is a perfect seal of the air in the engine. Another is low friction of the mechanical parts. If your engine does not move, check these
points. Does the air leak from the hole of the diaphragm ? Does the wood piston touch the cylinder?