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  #1  
Old 05-09-2011, 01:19 PM
rowan.bradley rowan.bradley is offline
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Oil fired Stirling engine MicroCHP

Is there any sort of oil fired micro CHP system available and suitable for home use? I ask because the village where I live has no gas. A gas fired Stirling engine surely just has a gas burner to heat up the hot side of the engine. Couldn't this just as easily be an oil burner? It almost sounds possible to DIY modify a gas powered system to burn oil...

Or is there some other more fundamental reason why this is not a good idea?

Thanks - Rowan
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Last edited by rowan.bradley; 05-09-2011 at 02:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2011, 03:23 AM
mbrownn mbrownn is offline
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There are some things available but the problem is expense. Just Google your question and you will see

The problem with sterling engines is only their lack of production. I am convinced that there is a real market for engines of 1/2, 1 and 5hp. Lets hope that someone with the funds to do it starts making them.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:39 PM
microchap microchap is offline
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Options for oil fired micro CHP

You are right that Stirling engines can use any fuel in theory, it is just that so far developers have focussed on gas as it is the most common fuel. I did some trials of the Whispergen unit several years ago and it ran really well on both fuel oil and renewable oil; there is a paper on my website describing the results. That product is still available but only as a DC unit; you would need to add an inverter.
Alternatively Baxi sell an IC engine product but this is quite large (5kWe) but might be worth it for klarge homes and small hotels.

For more information on micro CHP products and the subject generally there is a public information site: www.microchap.info
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Last edited by microchap; 05-10-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2011, 05:42 PM
rowan.bradley rowan.bradley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microchap View Post
it ran really well on both fuel oil and renewable oil
That's what I initially thought. What about all those corrosion problems reported by others in earlier messages though?
Quote:
That product is still available but only as a DC unit; you would need to add an inverter.
That sounds reallty odd. I thought Powergen (now E-on?) had bought 50,000 of these to sell to UK customers - they must surely have had an AC solution?

Thanks - Rowan
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:27 PM
microchap microchap is offline
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Some confusion here...

Sorry, what I meant was that the oil fired version is only available as a DC unit.
The AC unit updated, more efficient etc. is expected to become available for sale again later this year.
If you want to see what it looks like, it is the one wrapped in cling film in the micro CHP image library here.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:50 AM
mbrownn mbrownn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microchap View Post
Sorry, what I meant was that the oil fired version is only available as a DC unit.
The AC unit updated, more efficient etc. is expected to become available for sale again later this year.
If you want to see what it looks like, it is the one wrapped in cling film in the micro CHP image library here.
Its good to see the development of this technology, unfortunately these units are a little rich for me, hehe Great info though.

Living in the tropical 3rd world as I do, a simpler unit would be better, a unit that could be fired with biomass or cracked plastics. These could be used in areas where electricity is not readily available.

heat is generally an unwanted byproduct here. If there were low cost low heat differential units that could run from the heat produced by an air-conditioning unit I am sure a market could be found but low heat differential usually means large and that means expensive so I doubt we will see anything like that soon
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