A model of a Stirling engine showing its simplicity. Unlike the steam engine or internal combustion engine, it has no valves or timing train. The heat source (not shown )  would be placed under the brass cylinder.
frameless
Illustration from Robert Stirling's 1816 patent application of the air engine design that later came to be known as the Stirling Engine
A typical late nineteenth/early twentieth century water pumping engine by the Rider-Ericsson Engine Company
Philips MP1002CA Stirling generator of 1951
Stirling engine running
A pressure/volume graph of the idealized Stirling cycle.
Point focus parabolic mirror with Stirling engine at its centre and its solar tracker at Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA) in Spain.
Alpha-type Stirling engine. There are two cylinders. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. The passage between the two cylinders contains the regenerator
Beta-type Stirling engine, with only one cylinder, hot at one end and cold at the other. A loose-fitting displacer shunts the air between the hot and cold ends of the cylinder. A power piston at the open end of the cylinder drives the flywheel
Top view of two rotating displacers powering the horizontal piston. Regenerators and radiator removed for clarity
Various free-piston Stirling configurations... F. "free cylinder", G. Fluidyne, H. "double-acting" Stirling (typically 4 cylinders).
Cutaway of the flat Stirling engine:
10 - Hot cylinder.
11 - A volume of hot cylinder.
12 - B volume of hot cylinder.
17 - Warm piston diaphragm.
18 - Heating medium.
19 - Piston rod.
20 - Cold cylinder.
21 - A Volume of cold cylinder.
22 - B Volume of cold cylinder.
27 - Cold piston diaphragm.
28 - Coolant medium.
30 - Working cylinder.
31 - A volume of working cylinder.
32 - B volume of working cylinder.
37 - Working piston diaphragm.
41 - Regenerator mass of A volume.
42 - Regenerator mass of B volume.
48 - Heat accumulator.
50 - Thermal insulation.
60 - Generator.
63 - Magnetic circuit.
64 - Electrical winding.
70 - Channel connecting warm and working cylinders.
A modern Stirling engine and generator set with 55 kW electrical output, for combined heat and power applications.
Dish Stirling from SES

Other devices which use linear alternators to generate electricity include the free-piston linear generator, an internal combustion engine, and the free-piston Stirling engine, an external combustion engine.

- Linear alternator

In a free-piston device, energy may be added or removed by an electrical linear alternator, pump or other coaxial device.

- Stirling engine
A model of a Stirling engine showing its simplicity. Unlike the steam engine or internal combustion engine, it has no valves or timing train. The heat source (not shown )  would be placed under the brass cylinder.

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