Small stirling engines ready-made
I cut my finger recently, so I’ll keep this short.
It turns out there is a company that makes small stirling engines, which are a fairly good size, I think, for powering a tinyhouse. Before you think of trying to buy one from them, though, please remember that I’m sure they are not willing to sell just few of them to a private citizen, and if you hassle them unnecessarily, they might start turning the cold shoulder to any and all do it yourselfers in the future. But maybe they would sell a dozen or so to someone who knew what they were doing, and understands how buying parts from a commercial supplier goes (e.g. no refunds)… I wonder. Maybe I should try to buy some, get them working practically, and resell them to experimenters everywhere. Also, I don’t know the price, and it might be totally out of whack.
The company is Sunpower. I hear they consulted for infinia while the latter was designing their Powerdish (which uses a free piston stirling engine). You can download their catalog from their site… 2 or 3 of the ee-80 would be sweet to power a tinyhouse. You’d have to put together the electronics to control it and filter the output, though, I guess. They vibrate, though, so if only one of them is running at any time (or putting out more power than another), you might want to put it in a separate generator module that would rest upon the ground, outside the tinyhouse.
I keep meaning to read the “the next great thing” book, too, which certainly sounds interesting.
UPDATE: see the post “talked to sunpower today about those engines”