This ECO Stirling engine was manufactured by ECO Model Engines, Canada, circa 1960. The orange engine has a 6-spoke, 3.5″ flywheel. Originally conceived in 1816 as an industrial engine to rival the steam engine, the Stirling engine is noted for its high efficiency compared to steam engines, quiet operation, and the ease with which it can use almost any heat source. Like steam and flame licker engines, it is an external combustion engine in that heat is applied to one end of the cylinder from an outside source. Speed is related to the difference in temperature from one end of the cylinder to the other. A loose-fitting displacer piston shunts the air between the hot and cold ends of the cylinder. A power piston at the end of the cylinder drives the flywheel. Highly efficient modern Stirling engines are being looked at by the power industry as a renewable way to generate electricity by using the reflected heat of the sun as a heat source. Unfortunately, the ECO Company is no longer in business.

Exhibit added: March 2, 2011 - Last modified: March 30, 2023

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship