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Tamera stirling engine questions

 
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Hello all. I have been (once again) looking for more detailed n updated info on the Stirling engine in Tamera, Portugal.
a few thoughts/questions I have:
-has anyone seen this with their own eyes and can attest that it actually works (and they don't have a battery bank providing the electricity that this SE is supposedly generating
-why don't they make the plans available, for sale or free? obviously they haven't been able to bring this to market and will probably never for economic reasons. But if the plans are available people could build their own and maybe even tinker with and improve the design.
-if all the off-grid people could use this instead of batteries I think the world would be a MUCH better place, from an ecological perspective (batteries are NASTY things)
-as I don't know these people in Tamera, I am starting to wonder if this whole thing is more about boosting egos than ecology?

ciao 4 now
 
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Fascinating device.  I have no doubt it works as claimed.  The problem with getting systems like this to the mass market is acceptance.  Not that many people are going to make the adjustment to lifestyle this kind of system is going to require.  The green house for solar heat collection, the hot oil fluid system for cooking, water heating, all differ remarkably from the "Normal" way of doing things.  Unfortunate that no plans are available?  Has anyone tried doing a patent search for drawings?  I'm sure some wrench head around here could figure out how this was done.

SunPulse Design References.
 
Mother Tree
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I have seen it with my own eyes when I went there with my son to the 2012 water symposium.

I'm not an engineer!  It seemed legit to me. I saw the tubes installed in the greenhouse to collect the heat used to power it. I saw the crazy looking contraption that gave the impression it was going to turn into chitty-chitty-bang-bang at any moment. I saw it 'fire up' and do its thing. I saw the system that the hot oil(?) could be diverted to so the heat could be used for cooking instead. I saw no evidence of hidden battery banks or how they might be powered. It struck me as real science doing real things, but being run by people who were more into the spiritual/peace/love aspects than the science.

I couldn't say for certain of course without going down there again with someone like my engineer partner and checking absolutely everything, but I saw the pipes collecting heat, I saw the hot stuff collecting, I saw the stirling engine starting up and I've no reason to doubt it.

Here are a few pictures I took at the time.







Here's a link to the post I wrote in my thread about Tamera - The Stirling Engine at Tamera

As for egos, who knows? Similarly, no idea why they don't make the plans available. Maybe they lost them?

The whole vibe of the place was kinda odd, but felt genuine despite all that. They're big on 'free love' and the end of the water symposium, which I was attending with my then 16 year old son, overlapped with the start of one of their free-love weeks. My son got himself picked up by a very nice young lady whose chat up line was to ask about the lake and if he knew anything about it. My son obligingly explained the whole water retention theory and practice to her in great detail and took her for a long walk right around the main water retention area pointing out all the relevant details. Then when he got back he sought me out in the bar and sat down right beside me looking terrified explaining that he'd taught this girl all about the retention system as she'd asked him about it "and now I can't get rid of her mum!" and stayed put by my side for the rest of the day so I could shield him from the free-love brigade.

We also attended the very last talk of the symposium where the founder allowed himself to talk about other aspects of Tamera as well as the water retention and energy and ecology aspects. My son was home-schooled and for reasons I don't really want to go in to I'd been sure to educate him to be immune to brainwashing. Part way through the founder's talk he went rigid and started whispering far too loudly about 'hive mind' and 'thought control'. Everyone else was politely listening and saying nothing, and some of those nearest me were obviously rather amused by my somewhat frantic attempts to say something like "I'm not asking you to believe it, I'm just asking you to listen to it and see what you can learn from it." He sat there seething and shaking and gripping his chair while I was rather proud of him and trying frantically not to create a scene.  

But despite all that, I think their stirling engine is real and functional. Just maybe not commercially viable.
 
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I don't see why it would not work. But I also don't see the advantage over photovoltaic. And the latter is getting quite affordable and generates electricity which is far easier to use than hot oil.
 
pollinator
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Stirling engines generate electricity from heat. The hot oil, I would presume, comes from the solar collectors and is used to heat the engine.
 
Thomas Tipton
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Stirling engines generate electricity from heat



Not exactly.   Stirling engines create mechanical energy (work) from heat, and you can use that to do anything you could do with an electric motor.  Maybe the Amish would be ok with this system?  Peltier devices generate electricity from heat.
 
pollinator
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Hedy Parks wrote:Hello all. I have been (once again) looking for more detailed n updated info on the Stirling engine in Tamera, Portugal.
a few thoughts/questions I have:
-has anyone seen this with their own eyes and can attest that it actually works (and they don't have a battery bank providing the electricity that this SE is supposedly generating
-why don't they make the plans available, for sale or free? obviously they haven't been able to bring this to market and will probably never for economic reasons. But if the plans are available people could build their own and maybe even tinker with and improve the design.
-if all the off-grid people could use this instead of batteries I think the world would be a MUCH better place, from an ecological perspective (batteries are NASTY things)
-as I don't know these people in Tamera, I am starting to wonder if this whole thing is more about boosting egos than ecology?

ciao 4 now


If I had to guess I would say part of why you don't see much info on Stirling's is the same thing that happened to small wind power, tegs, gasification, and a whole host of other alternative energy ideas. Around a decade ago solar panels started getting really really cheap. All the functions mentioned in their systems can now be accomplished with a modest investment in solar. No moving parts, low maintenance and not so massive either. It's a good thing really a better mousetrap came along.
Cheers, David
 
Hedy Parks
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Thank you all for the replies.
Just a clarification of what I would want it for: using the engine and hot oil when the sun is not shining, instead of using batteries to store the energy for those times. Not at all to replace PV panels.
 
Sebastian Köln
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I don't think the hot oil will stay hot for very long unless they have a massive well insulated tank full of hot oil.
Assuming 2kJ/(kg K) of heat capacity and 1000kg of oil and a 200K temperature differential, that is 400MJ (100kWh).
The theoretical efficient limit of a heat engine with 300C hot and 100C cold side is 35%. With some luck it might get 10%.
So that tank contains 10kWh of useful electrical energy.

With a upper temperature of 200C, only 200MJ (50kWh) are stored and the theoretical efficiency drops to 20%. Assuming the engine archives 7%, the useful energy is now 3.5kWh.

For reference 1kWh of LiFePo4 cells is around 300Eur.
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