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'[OT] On Stirling engines'
2006\08\30@050758 by Russell McMahon

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James and I seem to be the only ones discussing Stirling engine design
on the Sandia thread. Is anyone else interested in practical
discussions here or should I take any other stuff offlist with James?


       Russell


2006\08\30@064745 by Lindy Mayfield

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I've been reading them, just I ain't smart enough to do anything but watch.  


-----Original Message-----
From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu] On Behalf Of Russell McMahon
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 12:07 PM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: [OT] On Stirling engines

James and I seem to be the only ones discussing Stirling engine design
on the Sandia thread. Is anyone else interested in practical
discussions here or should I take any other stuff offlist with James?


       Russell


2006\08\30@071306 by Byron A Jeff

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On Wed, Aug 30, 2006 at 09:06:48PM +1200, Russell McMahon wrote:
> James and I seem to be the only ones discussing Stirling engine design
> on the Sandia thread. Is anyone else interested in practical
> discussions here or should I take any other stuff offlist with James?

I've enjoyed reading the discussion. I get where you're thinking of an
engineering prototype.

But unfortunately I think James is right. The barrier to entry is
way too high for a breakthrough to occur. I think many would have thought
that gas prices in the $3 range and oil prices about the same would
have jolted Americans (folks I know) into thinking about alternative
energy. But they pay the price, grumble about it and keep moving.

So to get Stirling or any other alternative engery measure to be
considered, it's going to have to be cost competitive with a breakeven
fairly early in the game.

I'll give my example. A year ago, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita
wiped out most of the Gulf of Mexico oil infrastructure, gas/oil prices
soared in the US. I made the decision to switch to time priced electricity
and to heat the house with electrical heaters. Not a bad move. But during
the winter I priced a number of possible strategies for dealing with the
peak time electricity cost of 20 cents a KwH. This included:

6) Absorption, dessicant, and Einstein space conditioning
5) Whole house shading
4) PV driven by concentrated sunlight to drive conventional AC.
3) Shifting non peak grid electricity into batteries and running off
batteries during peak time.

But we finally chose a mix of the two most cost effective strategies:

2) Run the conventional AC during peak time.
1) Conserve by turning the AC off during peak time.

It was simply cheaper to burn the relatively more expensive electricity
that to do anything else.

And that's the true barrier to alternative energy. It'll cost
billions of dollars to switch. And unless you have another strong motive
other than costs, you won't get many to switch if it isn't cost effective.

I though the nuclear avenue was interesting. I spend some time reading up
on nuclear pebble bed reactors that used graphite encased fuel pebbles that
couldn't melt down even if the cooling system were complete disabled.
Nuclear waste and terrorism threats aside, the real cost of nuclear is
embedded in the NRE safety costs that conventional plant designs must
take into account. New plants cost billions to build. It would be ideal
if the concept of the cheap 100 MW neighborhood pebble bed (or other
meltdown proof type) of nuclear reactor could be activated. That could
stablize electrical prices enough that maybe other alternative forms
of electricity and transportation could get a foothold.

But keep at the discussion. It's interesting reading.

BAJ

2006\08\30@073731 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I've been reading them, just I ain't smart enough to do anything but watch.

Makes more than one of us then ....

2006\08\30@090806 by Luis.Moreira

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You Guys carry on, I am finding it very interesting.
When I posted the link was as someone that finds the Stirling engine
fascinating but that has no theoretical and practical experience on the
subject, but I want to.
Best regards
           Luis


-----Original Message-----
From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu] On Behalf
Of Russell McMahon
Sent: 30 August 2006 10:07
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: [OT] On Stirling engines

James and I seem to be the only ones discussing Stirling engine design
on the Sandia thread. Is anyone else interested in practical
discussions here or should I take any other stuff offlist with James?


       Russell


2006\08\30@092343 by Gus S Calabrese

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I am totally fixated with the idea of getting a Stirling engine to work
in a practical setting.  It is just a question of materials science  
advancing
to the point where one can be built that has longevity for an  
acceptable price.


Gus   (AGSC)


On 2006-Aug 30, at 03:06hrs AM, Russell McMahon wrote:

James and I seem to be the only ones discussing Stirling engine design
on the Sandia thread. Is anyone else interested in practical
discussions here or should I take any other stuff offlist with James?


        Russell


2006\08\30@122937 by John Ferrell

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Please keep it where we can see it. It is way beyond my resources but I find
it interesting.

John Ferrell    W8CCW
"My Competition is not my enemy"
http://DixieNC.US

{Original Message removed}

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