Antique cars, Vintage cars and Classic cars for salethe free encyclopediaStirling engineAlpha type Stirling engine. There are two cylinders. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. Beta type Stirling engine. Originally conceived in 1816 as an industrial prime mover to rival the steam engine, its practical use was largely confined to low-power domestic applications for over a century. The Stirling engine is noted for its high efficiency compared to steam engines, quiet operation, and the ease with which it can use almost any heat source. Name and classification Robert Stirling was a Scottish minister who invented the first practical example of a closed cycle air engine in 1816, and it was suggested by Fleeming Jenkin as early as 1884 that all such engines should therefore generically be called Stirling engines. There are many possible implementations of the Stirling engine most of which fall into the category of reciprocating piston engine. History Invention and early development
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