Rossi: Can’t Find Stirling Engine Fit for Purpose

If you remember, a few weeks ago Andrea Rossi put out a request on the Journal of Nuclear Physics, asking if anyone had a Stirling Engine that might be suitable to work with an E-Cat. He said, “Please send your proposals for Sterling Engines to be coupled with the E-Cats (power 5 kW and 10 kW). The best offers will be bought for testing.”

When a reader asked Rossi today if there had been any suitable proposals made, he replied:

I arrived to the conclusion that does not exist any Sterling Engine mature for an application to the E-Cat. We received many proposals regarding concepts, prototypes to be developed: we need a product off the shelf.

I suppose it’s not terribly hard to understand why this might be the case — Stirling engines are not the kind of thing one finds in an industrial or domestic setting these days. I can’t think when I have seen one in operation outside a demonstration model, so commercial units are probably quite unusual, and Rossi doesn’t want to have to deal with underdeveloped Sterling engines.

For those unfamiliar with Stirling engines, they are relatively simple machines which run on a principle of air expansion and compression caused by the difference in temperature between hot and cold cylinders. The constant heat of an E-Cat makes a Stirling engine an attractive option, but apparently Rossi has yet to come across one that suitable yet. I’m sure he’s open to future offers, however.

Below is a short video demonstrating a small Stirling engine at work.

  • Nick

    Stirling engines are used in solar dish accumulators quire regularly. There are two main systems that I’ve found:

    1. United Sun Systems. They acquired Stirling Energy Systems in 2012.
    http://www.unitedsunsystems.com/

    2. Infinia Corporation – http://www.infiniacorp.com/

    Both tend to make units in the 1-10kW range mostly.

  • Wisintel

    I think this adequately solves Rossi’s main problem. How to convert the heat from the E-Cat into usable energy. The article below references using sunlight to create steam that reacts with a cheap metal oxide to produce hydrogen. There is no reason the steam could not be be created by Rossi’s E-Cat. The only question would be, “Would the E-Cat produce more Hydrogen with this method than it consumed?”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130801142331.htm

    As a metal oxide compound heats up, it releases oxygen atoms, changing its material composition and causing the newly formed compound to seek out new oxygen atoms, said Weimer. The team showed that the addition of steam to the system — which could be produced by boiling water in the reactor with the concentrated sunlight beamed to the tower — would cause oxygen from the water molecules to adhere to the surface of the metal oxide, freeing up hydrogen molecules for collection as hydrogen gas.

    “We have designed something here that is very different from other methods and frankly something that nobody thought was possible before,” said Weimer of the chemical and biological engineering department. “Splitting water with sunlight is the Holy Grail of a sustainable hydrogen economy.”

  • Anonymole

    Great Stirling engine video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqIapDKtvzc (p1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFfMruoRMGo (p2)

    First it’s a heat cycle generator, then it’s a freezer, then a cold cycle generator, then it’s a heater, then it’s a heat cycle generator again. Bloody amazing.

  • Prof Gavin Kenny

    I have followed the use of Stirling engines to produce electricity and heating primarily for boat use, but there is a system developed for home use: http://www.whispergen-europe.com/

  • Barry

    Can anyone tell me if a backyard system of solar reflectors aimed at a Stirling engine would be able to produce a useful amount of energy?