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1. The working principle of the Vakuum Engine

A flame 1) is drawn into a cylinder 2), which is closed using a valve 3). The air in the cylinder is heated and expands, pushing the piston out. The flame in the closed cylinder is extinguished and the air inside quickly cools down, causing it to contract. Atmospheric pressure (1 bar) pushes the piston back with the help of the flywheel 4). The valve re-opens the process starts again.
In 1758 Henry Wood was awarded the patent for the vacuum engine.

2. Working principle and history of the Stirling Engine

The Reverend Richard Stirling lived in the Presbyterian parish of Kilmarnock in Scotland. His thoughts constantly revolved around the development of an atmospheric engine, which could be used to pump water from the tunnels of the local mines. In 1818 he devised the original Stirling engine in which pistons and cranks were used to turn a flywheel using only expansion and contraction of air in a closed system. Because the Stirling Engine / Hot Air Engine works via atmospheric pressure (1 bar), its performance is very limited and not really suited to commercial application.

The air in the displacer cylinder (VZ) is heated by the burner (A) and expands. The displacer piston (VK) pushes the heated, expanded air through the cooler (K). The air in the working cylinder (AZ) is now cooler and of a lower volume because the air that had expanded has contracted again. The pressure of the atmosphere (AT) pushes against the working piston (AK) and the flywheel (S) turns. The displacer piston (VK) pushes the cooler air into the displacer cylinder (VZ) and over the heat source (A) and the process begins again.


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