Stirling engines come in 3 main variations: Alpha, Beta and Gamma. The differences between these 3 are due to the different layouts of the pistons. All 3 types have a power piston and a displacer piston, the displacer piston moves air between the cold and hot sides of the engine, as the air expands this applies pressure to the power piston, therefore driving the engine. The Gamma style engines have the pistons offset and are typically in parallel to each other, an example of a gamma engine is our now famous KS90 engine. In a Beta style engine the pistons are on the same axis and typically have a shaft going through the power piston. On this style engine the mechanical linkages are a little more complex, but the air flow is more straightforward. An example of a Beta engine is our Nano Rhombic.
With an Alpha style engine, rather than air flowing around the displacer piston, the air is pushed towards the power piston, usually via a pipe. In this style of engine the 2 pistons tend to be similar in size. Alpha Stirling engines have the advantage of being easier to scale when used in industrial applications.
Our Nano Hive engine gets its name from the honeycomb design that encases the glass cylinder. As with all our Nano range the Nano Hive runs off Methylated spirits (denatured alcohol).
|Engine size||83mm x 50mm x 115mm (3.2in x 1.9in x 4.5in)|
|RPM||1600 - 2000rpm|
|Weight||235g / 0.51 lb|
|Engine type||Alpha engine|
|Stroke length||9 mm|
|Crank Design||Simple 90 degree|
|Working temperature||About 200C / 390F|
|Bearings||Precision miniature ball race bearings|
|Materials||Mainly glass, brass, stainless steel, aluminium|
|Finish||Brass, anodised grey aluminium|
|Fuel||Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits)|
|Manufacture||Almost all parts CNC machined|