Stirling Prayer Engine
I built this Stirling engine in August, 1996. The power
source is a votive candle, which inspired me to name it "Stirling Prayer Engine". I built it from plans given to me by a fellow MSEC (Mendocino Stirling Engine Club)
member. He downloaded the plans from a great web site by Stirling engine enthusiast Koichi Hirata. His web site is not always up, so here's a local mirror of the plans.
I made a few small changes from the plan specs, most notably the reduction of the stroke length of the power diaphragm crank throws (from 8mm to 4mm) and the
addition of a flywheel. I built the engine in less than a day, and it worked fine once I replaced my original diaphragm(made from a latex glove) with one made from
the recommended material, a rubber balloon. I used a "helium quality" balloon which is thicker than regular ballon material.
The above picture was made by placing the engine on my flatbed scanner.
The picture below was made with my Connectix Color QuickCam.
I made a 10 second movie showing the engine in
operation (mpeg format, 180kbytes). The sound wasn't recorded loud enough, please turn your sound all the way up before downloading it. Note: remember to turn the sound back down afterwards!
Original date of this page October 7, 1996,
Latest modification December 11, 2001