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Stirling engine facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Alpha Stirling
Alpha-type Stirling engine. There are two cylinders. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. The passage between the two cylinders contains the regenerator.

A Stirling engine is a kind of heat engine that converts heat into useful mechanical energy by the movement of a piston inside a cylinder within the engine. Unlike other commonly found heat engines such as the internal combustion engine used in cars and the steam engine used on railways, it re-uses the same gas for each stroke of the piston so there is no noisy exhaust. The same gas is repeatedly heated and cooled within the engine’s cylinder.

To run it needs a supply of heat to heat its hot parts. This can come from a fire, but also from the sun’s rays, from hot rocks near a volcano or from nuclear energy. It also has cold parts which cool the gas inside it and these are kept cold by a stream of air or water flowing over them.

It was invented by a Scottish minister, Reverend Dr. Robert Stirling in 1816.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Motor Stirling para niños

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Stirling engine Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.