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Topics - StrawHat

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General Discussion / Stirling engine revolution
« on: March 17, 2020, 12:54:54 AM »
For all you folks that have machining capabilities, do you know how ridiculously easy it is to build a free piston stirling engine in the multi kilowatt capacity range? If the main reason you are interested in slow speed diesels is efficient and multi-fuel capable power generation, then the stirlings are definitely a better choice. Frankly, I'm tired of the ridiculous prices people are wanting for dilapidated slow speed diesels that need extensive repairs with only one or two sources of parts here in the US. No chance of any long life expectancies with pre-worn engines due to the limited nature of the repairs possible and those low quality parts currently available either.

Europe seems to be having a stirling revolution. Germany in particular. They have found that by using a stirling to directly drive a regular mechanical heat pump compressor using ordinary freon, and prudent use of counterflow heat exchangers, that a worse case COP of 1.9+ can be achieved! In carefully designed systems they are getting COP's over 2.5! That means for every 1000 btu's of fuel burned driving the stirling, you actually get 2,500 btu's of heat for the house! While it sounds like cheating the laws of physics, remember we are talking about HEAT PUMPS, which harvest heat from the outside in addition to using the heat input.

The EPA can't possibly gripe either without legally entrapping themselves because stirlings satisfy all sustainable energy carbon neutral desires. They can be powered by wood, garbage, landfill methane, any waste oils or fuels and anything that can be burned or that generates heat. Even solar concentrators are used. And to add to the benefit is the fact that most any fuel can be burned cleaner in a dedicated burner than in internal combustion, and considering most fuels rural folks are likely to burn, like wood are carbon neutral.

The theoretical efficiency is over 65% depending on design. You'll working miracles to get 35-40% from any slow speed diesel engine, especially with only 16 - 1 compression ratio's. And that would be only using good quality diesel fuel, not from any alternative fuel.

For me, I'm scrapping thoughts of buying any slow speed diesel. I'll just wait until I build a stirling.

Other Fuels / Very unusual fuels
« on: January 27, 2020, 06:09:21 AM »
Is anyone aware that in the early 1900's there were large diesel engines developed to run on coal dust! Back in those days a large amount of city electrification was done with large gas engines, steam engines of course, and specially designed diesels in the generating plants. Reciprocating steam engines were extremely inefficient and so were mostly replaced by some kind of internal combustion engine for electrical generation. Several decades later modern steam turbine generator plants were developed which were more efficient than any of the internal combustion engines!

Now if an engine can be made to run on coal dust, one could be made to run on charcoal too. Although charcoal doesn't pack as much energy as coal, it would still be workable.

On a side note, a piston steam engine could barely get 6% efficiency in most places, an "oil" engine would get 12-13% right off the bat. So there was an era where oil engines ruled in mines and mills before petrol or diesel engines came along. Gasoline (petrol) was once a nuisance by-product of making lubricating oils! An oil engine is not anywhere near a true diesel however, although some mistakenly call them a "semi-diesel" engine.

I wouldn't mind having an old "oil" engine just for fun. Not very efficient but would be fun to run one every once in a while. They once had a tractor that ran on oil engines, sort of like green acres. No reverse gear, you simply reversed the engine to go backwards using a trick of cutting fuel, then reapplying fuel just when the engine stalled.

Generators / Lister Flicker
« on: January 15, 2020, 03:31:40 AM »
You know, the flicker from each combustion stroke on the slower CS engines, and poor waveforms that made some appliances not work very well. Now in times gone by, there wasn't much choice other than using heavy flywheels, and maybe inductor/resistor/capacitor filters, ect.. Now days, we have a modern thing which has been perfected to maturity called an inverter. Don't use your Lister to directly power appliances, us it to charge a small battery bank that drives an inverter. This can be done simultaneously while drawing a load with the inverter. The battery bank not only acts as a buffer for Lister flicker but starting loads as well. The electronics in the decent modern inverters are so fast and effective that lister flicker is completely removed, and you power is a lot cleaner. This goes for both sine wave and so called modified sine wave inverters. Modern sine wave inverters are also more efficient than old modified wave inverters. The battery bank need not be huge either as it's purpose is used as a very short time impulse energy storage device. We also have the new generation of silicon carbide semiconductor powered inverters which are even more efficient and smaller for the same true power delivered.

Now for collectors sake, you might run a startomatic as is, but for clean power, there are better ways. Or just use the startomatic to charge the battery bank that drives the inverters for the best of both worlds.

Listeroid Engines / Latest Brands
« on: August 24, 2019, 04:43:46 AM »
So who is the currently the best for individuals to deal with for importing compressor "kits"? The documents and terms for importing small quantities of anything usually puts the buyer at great risk, so honesty of the seller and freight companies/forwarders becomes a huge consideration.

Seems the "Brand Round Up" topic is quite old and out of date.

Listeroid Engines / Roid Bearing Quality?
« on: August 18, 2019, 06:38:39 AM »
Since a lot of the Listeroids use tapered bearings, who makes these bearings? The steel quality, heat treat, and grinding will have a huge impact on lifespan. I can't see Timken quality coming out of a India bearing factory. It's possible that an old fashion babbit bearing fed by an oil pump would outlast a bad quality splash lubricated tapered bearing. In reality, in a splash system like that, both the mains and the rod bearings would need to be high quality USA made roller bearings to outlast those old time tested oil pump fed plain bearings.

Listeroid Engines / Latest Import Status?
« on: August 17, 2019, 12:05:40 AM »
Haven't seen or heard if any of the import regs have been relaxed under our latest leadership here in the US. Last I knew, you had to buy a compressor and convert it to get any listeroid engine. You would think these silly import restrictions would have been revisited and relaxed by now.

Things I want to Buy / Looking for CS 6/1 in mid US
« on: August 13, 2019, 11:59:04 PM »
Would like to find a CS 6/1 in the mid US. Old iron would be best, I am a very experienced engine builder, but don't have a large budget. Will pick up unit. Can rebuild an engine, even a seized one, as long as no major part or component damage is present. (sometimes engines seize from crud build up around piston without actual major damage once taken apart and honed a little) Rust is not always damaging on cast iron but severe rust is usually a problem on steel parts. Most Indian clones are way over priced for the quality you really get. Could also assemble an engine from parts provided they are all present and accounted for! Inventory list would be part of purchase agreement. Compressor kit with proper "accessories",..... maybe if priced low enough. Any 8/1, which is just a higher speed 6/1 with a slightly different flywheel is also fair game. No mounting frame needed, I'll build my own exactly the way I want it.

For some of you retailers, this may be a chance to get rid of an engine or crate of parts that is an engine, most wont buy and you don't have time to rebuild.

This ought to give everyone a picture of what I am out looking for!


Listeroid Engines / EPA double standard
« on: August 31, 2014, 09:49:07 AM »
This is sort of a pet peeve of mine. It seems that many popular stores are selling plenty of gasoline generators, and stand alone gas utility engines almost all imported, that have very little emissions control on them. No catalytic converters, very simple carburetors, and they all struggle to get thermal efficiencies of just 10%!. :o So how can anyone with any common sense excuse the ban of importing engines that get over three times the fuel economy of those gas burners? The 30+% thermal efficient fuel economy of the both Listers and Listeroids alone make up a very substantial emissions control measure. The best way to cut pollution is to burn less fuel to begin with!

Seems to me this violates the equal treatment or equality standards of our US constitution. If any of the rest of the engine enthusiasts out there happen to be good attorneys, you should jump on that note and intervene in this travesty.

On a side note while I'm here:
Hmmmm.... Just curios, the spell checker in this forum doesn't know the words Lister, or Listeroid! ::)

In Texas, we tend to talk about Aggie's when we encounter these sorts of things. ;D

Things I want to Buy / Gen Heads
« on: August 29, 2014, 07:42:10 AM »
Looking for a used 30 to 40 KW 3 phase gen head, not Chinese. Willing to buy and rebuild barely functional unit if price matches condition.

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