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Stirling Engine - Low Temperature


A low temperature differential Stirling engine which can be run on a cup of coffee. Has an attachment point for a pressure sensor and a displacement sensor mounted, so it can be used to generate P-V diagrams.


Demonstrate the Stirling engine and cycle, display P-V diagrams, demonstrate how the power output may be calculated.


Included in box:

  • Low Temperature Differential Stirling Engine
  • Styrofoam cup
  • Vernier Module
  • 5V voltage source and leads
  • Gas Pressure Sensor
  • Differential Voltage Meter


  • Hot water
  • Computer with LoggerPro installed


  1. (Optional) Attach the sensors and leads for the LoggerPro sensors, as described below.
  2. Fill the styrofoam cup with boiling-hot water and place the Stirling engine on top.
  3. Allow some time for the engine to heat up.
  4. Start the engine by hand. (Note that the engine will only run in one direction. Try pushing it both ways and you'll notice more resistance in one direction than the other as it heats up.)


If you are running it without the pressure sensor you need to have the value closed, if you want to run it with the pressure sensor have the valve open.

LoggerPro setup:

  1. Connect the circular end of the pressure sensor to the valve on the engine
  2. Connect the differential voltage sensor to the black and white leads and then plug it into the corresponding slots above the label marked “sensor”. The polarity is noted on the device, make sure the side with the black wire is plugged into the ground.
  3. Use a multi-meter to check that the voltage coming out of the power source is ~5V. (If it is not then the 9V inside has died, unscrew the top and replace the 9V battery (Be careful not to short any of the wires, this is easy to do))
  4. Plug the power supply into the slots above the label marked “Power”. Again, make sure the side with the black wire is plugged into the ground.
  5. Check that the mirror is horizontal and correctly aligned with the IR sensor on the perfboard.

Demo room information

Location C3
Maker Unknown
Current State Working
demonstrations/4_thermodynamics/4f_entropy_and_the_second_law/stirling_engine_-_low_temperature/start.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/13 21:01 by demoroom