Stirling Engine

The entire MEAM 201 class was spent designing and manufacturing a gamma type stirling engine, while learning how to use the machine shop. I machined all of the parts, except for a few that were given to us. Stirling engines are a type of heat engine and they operate by being heated on one side, which causes air to heat up, pushing a piston. A heat sink on the other side cools the air, allowing the cycle to repeat. The momentum of the flywheel keeps the engine spinning during this process. The spacing for the engine was given to us, but everyone was allowed to customize their engine. I added wheels and a gearing system, allowing my engine to drive, at least in theory. The front wheels could be turned and locked into place and the back wheels were connected to the flywheel with the highest gear ratio I could fit. Unfortunately, when we actually tested the engines I found that there was too much friction somewhere in the gears and it couldn't actually drive. I'm still not sure where all of the friction was coming from, but I might try to fix it at some point. Even if it hadn't been an issue, I don't know if the engine would have been powerful enough to make it move. I also did an official run with the second gear removed and ended up having the second fastest engine in the class, with a top measured speed of 1643rpm, only 18 rpm short of the fastest engine my semester.

Right Side
Left Side
Second Engine Test - Estimated Speed: 1150rpm