Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - StrawHat

Pages: [1] 2
General Discussion / Re: Stirling engine revolution
« on: March 20, 2020, 11:30:38 PM »

Be interested in seeing what you come up with.

Forgive me, and this is certainly not personal, but I have been reading my whole life I can remember about Stirling engines and miracle breakthroughs with them about to change the world. Bit like the endless new engines that weigh 3 Kg, do 500HP and get 196 MPH....  All just around the corner and NEVER happened.

I look forward to all new developments in engines BUT, the only ONE I have ever seen come to reality was the rotary. And now that's gone too.  To me there are sound mechanical and physics based reasons the stirling is unsuitable for automotive and the majority of other power applications despite their merits  and until someone comes along that disproves those beliefs, everything else is the same old hype or yet just another press release mainly aimed at raising investment $$.

I'll believe something new and wonderful has been created when I see it in the showrooms .  :0)

Yes, I have seen the very same thing all the years. Marketing is the main culprit. In the older days stirlings were more complicated in theory and weighed more for the same horsepower of regular automobile engines and so were not competitive. They also took longer to start. Nowdays, with all the emissions BS there is on regular car engines...... NOT SO! Really now, the BS is deeper than ever berore! Modern emissions garbage has made the once complicated stirling cycle look like a toy compared to all the complexity of all various catalytic systems, and for diesels now we add the particle filters, piss injectors, and yet another extra catalytic converter!

Now if we add really modern materials and knowledge to the old stirling concept, what we get is a little like Star Trek. There is a very serious efforts on going with major energy corporations to use thermoacoustic stirling cycle based technology to liquify natural gas, with large prototypes (over 500 gallonsLNG/day) already in operation. The most modern submarines use stirling engines and can stay under water for weeks without nuclear power. Nasa currently uses stirling engines in spacecraft where efficiency and weight are extremely important.

I mentioned the free piston type engine, very simple in construction. Very complicated calculations needed to design.  Only two moving parts, no cranks, or bearings. Pistons are gas floated or magnetic floated. Most efficient of all concepts. The Thermoacoustic concept has NO moving parts but is a little less efficient. About 30%-35% at best, but hey, that's as good as most diesels. Good design principles are always needed, and I see a lot of amateur engineering used for testing these engines, with the expected bad numbers emerging from these tests.

Oh yea, they are also very quite! The reason they are used in submarines. For off grid, electricity is easily, and very efficiently generated from burning wood, or anything else! Refrigeration for food storage and air conditioning is just as easily done with a stirling driving a compressor and a refrigerant, or compound stirling machines and NO refrigerants.

The machine work and shapes are very simple. The dimensions are not simple to calculate if a viable machine is expected. All dimensions and the weights of the two moving parts are very important. Dimensional tolerances will not be extremely tight however. Material choices and assembly techniques (I.E. welding processes) will be very important. Working gas will be extremely important with high pressure helium the best. The best machines will have higher pressure combined with higher hot side temperatures. This is why materials and assembly must be carefully chosen. Just because there are stirling engines that will run on the heat of your hand doesn't mean they are efficient and of any practical use! These are "bait" engines used to draw young people into college engineering programs, for which the other incentives (scholarships) will not be offered the next year and the school will get all your money, which you wont get back because your field of study will be obsolete before you graduate! Yea, the system is broken and a very corrupted racket with loads of greed, a modern day mafia type system.

Also, a well built free piston engine (hermetically sealed system) will last 30 years or more.

I am posting all of this info for all off gridder's out there that need a good sustainable low or no maintenance power source.

Who knows, with this virus stuff going around we might all need to live isolated in the woods like our pioneers did for a while.

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.

Listeroid Engines / Re: EPA Regulations
« on: January 28, 2020, 07:42:31 AM »
I think many are missing the simple and obvious about why EPA regs seek to outlaw the Listeriods. Our gubberment doesn't want anyone living off grid! Why? Simply put, they make tax money on every watt you buy off the grid. That's it!

Original Lister Cs Engines / Re: Lister 6/1 startomatic
« on: January 28, 2020, 07:18:12 AM »

I had problems with the decompressor / fuel cut off solenoid sadly it was totally burnt out and no longer functioning but I have been able to fit a small linear actuator in the housing which actually is a much better solution as once the actuator has lifted the decompression lever it no longer requires power so the chances of it burning out out as compared to the solenoid (which needs constant power to stay up) is zero.

One thing I like about real old school technology is anything that burns out can almost always be rewound! The rewind will always be much more durable using modern wire and varnish too. I have done this before on several electromechanical devices.

Other Fuels / Re: Pyrolysis Oil - Free fuel from wood / plastic
« on: January 27, 2020, 06:27:59 AM »
This is a spin off of the old Fischer Tropchse process invented by the Germans well before world war two. Most modern refineries use all sorts of variations of this process to make the "blended" fuels we burn today. "Straight run" refinery fuels haven't been used much since the 1950's. The Germans didn't have many petroleum reserves so they made most of there gasoline and diesel from coal using many variations of this process. We bombed a lot of there processing plants during WW2 too! These days gasoline and diesel are made from anything from crude oil to natural gas, and 90+ percent of every barrel of oil *can* be made into fuel if they want to spend the money on the refinery equipment needed to do so. Most of that remaining 10% is used to generate the energy needed to refine the other 90%. It's all a choice of raw material cost, profit and capital expense, not any technology challenge. Also, modern "full synthetic" lubricating oils are made this way.

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 / Re: Lister Flicker
« on: January 27, 2020, 05:45:02 AM »

What do you suggest to power the inverter/battery bank?
12/24v alternators are not easy to come across other than automotive types. These need external regulator controllers to have any decent efficency. My 6 1 was flat out driving 2x 80a 12 v internal fan alts which was only about 2 kw output.

Leece alts in 24v with an external reg are good but certainly not cheap here.

That's easy, the most efficient way is to charge the batteries is using a typical AC generator(alternator) putting out 120 or 240 using a modern high frequency switching regulator based charger. A good "smart" charger will not care about voltage fluctuations and will deliver a constant charge according to the batteries needs.  Engineering wise, starting with a higher voltage results in less semiconductor losses than lower voltages in switching regulated chargers. Low voltage alternators tend to be extremely inefficient. A modern switching regulated charger working off 120 volts will be more efficient than an old school alternator charging straight into the batteries.  In other words, an old startomatic powering a modern switching regulated battery charger, which charges the batteries, which are also connected to a separate inverter operating simultaneously to run your modern appliances. No flicker, brush noise, or even if the engine stutters, you still have high quality constant power. Correctly selected low ESR capacitors connected across the batteries will act as extra insurance to eliminate any high frequency noise the batteries can not absorb due to inductance an electro-chemical effects. Keep in mind that both the charger and inverter also have capacitors on the battery side.

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 / Re: Roid Bearing Quality?
« on: August 30, 2019, 04:56:36 AM »
Bargain prices? Most people selling these things are on fishing expeditions trying to get a bite on ridiculous prices. P.T. Barnum would be proud of anyone selling scrap iron for $3.00 a pound when its only worth $0.20 a pound at the most.

Truth of the matter is interest in India engines is just about done due to low cost solar, EPA, quality issues etc as the fellow at Boltan Equipment will soon find out.
Another large factor is I would guess that fully 90% of people who bought Listeroids never did anything useful with them and they are just decorations in the shed or garage. A lot of people are tired of looking at them and there are quite a few for sale, often at bargain prices.

Listeroid Engines / Re: Roid Bearing Quality?
« on: August 25, 2019, 06:35:45 AM »
I'll bet some of those babbit Lister engines were the ones that have been reported to have lasted 40 years without serious internal maintenance.

Pretty much the entire steam engine era ran on babbit up to the early 1900's. Then came oil engines and early "glow tube" petrol engines. Note that oil engines are not true diesel engines. The compression ignition engine came along later. Not sure if Rudolf Diesel is the actual true inventor of the compression engine, but he perfected the idea into mass production.

Oil engines became popular at one time, taking over a lot of jobs once done by steam engines. About the best thermal efficiency from the best piston steam engines was only 6-7%, the oil engine almost immediately jumped to 12 %. Double that of steam. This ushered in internal combustion as the favorite power source of the time. Then came petrol engines with even better efficiency, especially after the spark plug was invented, and then the compression ignition engine with the best fuel efficiency.

An interesting European farm tractor (forgot the name) using an oil engine had no reverse gear. The driver simply cut the fuel, waited just before the engine completely stalled, hit the fuel again and the engine restarted in reverse. Those engines ran equally well in either direction! While those oil engines would run on just about any oil that would burn, they still only got about half the efficiency of an indirect injection CS Lister. They use an entirely different principle than compression ignition engines.

Hi Strawhat, grinding bearing races to fit an unusual or no longer available bearing size is very good advice provided you have access to a grinder and you keep the coolant flowing, wouldn`t want to alter the hardening/tempering with excess heat. Sadly I do not own a grinding machine. Many years ago I did have a lathe with a grinding attachment that would have been perfect for this situation. I tried not to use it too often as I was concerned about the amount of abrasive dust it deposited on the lathe sliding surfaces.

Yes, a lot of Lister engines have babbit filled bearings. I have only had to pour a new babbit bearing once on a very old saw milling machine, The trick is to coat the shaft with carbon from an oxy/acetylene torch with the oxygen turned off, once the shaft is well coated with soot, turn on the oxygen and warm up the bearing/bush housing, now pour your babbit. The soot will prevent it from sticking to the shaft.

Hi Glort, I have used head warn lamps a lot in the past and they are an excellent addition to any tool box, I used to keep a rechargeable LED set in the glove box of my UTE, when I got a flat tire at night it was invaluable. I have also used the cheap plastic safety glasses with the bifocal magnifying lens at the bottom. If I remember rightly, they come in five different strengths depending on how bad your eyes are, I guess I would need a number 5 now!  :laugh:


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 / Re: Latest Import Status?
« on: August 24, 2019, 04:21:22 AM »
Ive check out some of those resources. One thing I'm curious about with the compressor "kits" is that customs might reject the unit if they find the kit to convert to an engine within the same crate as the compressor. That is......If they were to expend the energy to actually inspect the contents.

It might be smart to ship the kit separately and even using a different mode.

Anyone know how much our current US import duties are on these "compressors"?

Listeroid Engines / Re: Roid Bearing Quality?
« on: August 24, 2019, 04:08:11 AM »
One trick I've used a few times on gearboxes, etc. is to find a metric bearing that is very close to the imperial size. Slightly over on the cup, and slightly under on the shaft bore of the cone. Mount the cup up on an arbor, set up in a cylindrical grinder and take the OD down to the needed imperial size. For the cone use ID grinding to open up the shaft bore to the imperial size. Ceramic turning tools can also be used in both OD and ID situations as long as the race doesn't have a lube hole in it. In other words, convert a metric bearing to an imperial sized bearing. Only works in a few select cases though where close sized metric bearings can be obtained, otherwise the races get too thin. Never alter the actual bearing rolling surfaces though.

In the old days when a bearing wore out, you'd just melt out the old babbit and re-pour new babbit. Usually the shaft served as part of the mold, so after some light clean up work the bearing was ready to go again with no machining. Light scraping was the most that was ever needed. Excellent for rough in the field repairs.

Didn't some of the old CS engines use babbit?

Listeroid Engines / Re: Latest Import Status?
« on: August 19, 2019, 07:04:13 AM »
They are finding that all of the DEF/DPF systems are a mistake because manufacturing and distributing the DEF actually causes more pollution and consumes more fossil fuel energy than the engines did before they implemented this entire DEF infrastructure. If they were as smart as they say they are scientifically, they should have been able to accurately forecast that outcome and reject the fatally flawed DEF/DPF idea before it was implemented. Another fine example of our Mo/Larry/Curly EPA politics.

Got a source on that statement? I wouldn't mind reading more on it.

Its pretty much old news in the trucking industry. You would probably find some article somewhere in lots of different trucking magazines. I hear all sorts of these things since work in that industry. They haven't tightened any laws on non DEF trucks that are all grandfathered in, and the only state that wont allow them is Kalifornia. If that were anything else but true, other states would be following and outllawing non DEF trucks, and they are not.

Listeroid Engines / Re: Roid Bearing Quality?
« on: August 19, 2019, 06:42:28 AM »
Well, glad to hear at least one brand of roid is using professionally manufactured bearings. What about the rest? Are they using split cranks so rolling element bearings can be used on the rod bearing as well as the mains? I would hate to have a splash lubricated sleeve type rod bearing in a unit with tapered bearing mains. The mains would last a long time but the rod bearings would be a definite weak link. I would like to know more about some of these Lister "copy" engines before thinking about getting one.

Pages: [1] 2