Not that I’m all that enamored of ties in the first place but having one machine down when you walk in the door and another go down while you’re working on the first makes for a busy morning.
I hate when things happen like that but if you recall I did say that my plate needed to be more full. I guess I just didn’t mean in this direction. :-/
Still pondering Stirling engines. I’ve figured out some things and really want to build one. Since the tin-can version is fairly simple and cheap I might try that first. Though I could probably make an effective one from copper plumbing parts if I shaved things down and was careful about weight.
Here’s another weird thought. Why can’t you make a completely ceramic Stirling engine that you could put in the magma of a volcano. I wonder what material it would take to be able to withstand the heat of the molten rock. Once one of those is constructed I can’t see it not being cost-effective to run. I mean you’re running off the internal heat of the planet at that point which is for our current purposes almost endless.
Got some cheap copies of the “miser” style Stirling engines on the way from a guy off E-Bay. That’s the model that runs off a differential as low as the heat from your hand or a cup of coffee or sunlight. I think that’s got some potential for a sunlight based charger for batteries. Actually you could likely charge batteries using the differential between the inside and outside of your house and get something running that way.
There are a lot of options with this technology. Victorian era technology is may have been but it’s being updated at a rapid pace and is quite good at what it does and can be made from locally available materials pretty cheaply. And unlike solar cells it requires nothing but some good metalworking skills to create and sometimes not even that depending on the design.
Lots of opportunities...