The Engine And Internal Combustion

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Introduction In 1816 Reverend Robert Stirling patented an engine that produced motive power from heated air that is known today as the Stirling Engine. In general terms, the Stirling Engine is an external combustion heat engine that functions through piston motion resulting from the expansion and compression of a working gas sealed within the engine. Invention of this technology predates the gasoline and Diesel engines and significantly differs from internal combustion heat engines. It was not until April of 1945 that Stirling’s invention became popularly known as the Stirling Engine.
While many differences can exist between a Stirling Engine and internal combustion engine, three primary features stand out. First, exclusion of
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The first practical application of this technology was used to pump water from a quarry and it would be some time before it would be scaled to a larger useful application. After periods of refining his ideas and designs, he teamed with his brother James, a locomotive engineer, to register patents for improvements in 1827 and 1840.
By 1943, these improvements translated to increased power conversion and output, and the Stirling Engine model was implemented at a level capable of driving all machinery at the Dundee iron foundry. However, frequent mechanical failures of the Stirling system resulted in its abandonment by the Dundee foundry, leading to replacement by the steam engine.
One of the supporting arguments for the use of the Stirling Engine over early versions of the steam engine was safety – steam engine boiler explosions frequently lead to injuries and fatalities, along with operational shutdowns. As steam engine boilers became safer the appeal of Stirling Engines declined and the technology was marginalized to smaller domestic uses (e.g., pumping water). The advent of the electric motor and smaller internal combustion engines further reduced the Stirling Engine’s market share, and by 1940, the technology was primarily limited to obscure applications.
The Philips Company was integral in carrying Stirling Engine technology forward on
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