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Author Topic: Can a sterling engine recover a combustion engine's wasted heat?  (Read 380 times)

Offline thedoc

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Bruce Rodgers asked the Naked Scientists:
   Can a sterling engine recover a combustion engine's wasted heat?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 14/06/2016 07:50:02 by _system »


 

Offline evan_au

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A Stirling engine can recover some of the waste heat, if it has a cold sink available to it.

But not all the waste energy - that would produce a perpetual motion machine.
  • The policy of the Patent Office is "We will reject any application for a patent on a perpetual motion machine, unless it is accompanied by a working prototype."

There is a limit to the amount of energy that can be extracted by a heat engine. The theory was developed back in the days of steam engines, but it applies to jet engines and nuclear reactors too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnot%27s_theorem_(thermodynamics)

Talk about evading obsolescence!
 

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