A compact, transparent Stirling engine for demonstrating the operation and fundamental design of such engines. A temperature difference of approximately 5? C between the base and top plates is sufficient to set the motor in motion. This difference can be generated just by the warmth of a human hand or by cooling through contact with a cold object from a refrigerator. The top plate’s matt, black coat also enables the device to be operated as a solar-powered engine. In this case the direction of rotation will depend on whether the heat is applied from above or from below.
The power cylinder is made of precision glass, while the displacement cylinder and flywheel are made of acrylic glass; this allows a clear observation of the movements of the power piston, displacement mechanism and crankshaft drive. The crankshaft and connecting rod have miniature precision ball bearings.