Page 29How to Make Progress

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The UK group of Stirling engine builders have long progressed beyond
being able to make engines that do actually work.

Some of the steps of progress have been achieved by insight and logical thought.
Some by repeated experimentation until a solution was found.

My belief is that power measurement, via strain gauge, removes some of the “guesswork”
and provides clarity to enable further progress.

We all agree that we would like more power. The power curve is the yardstick.

The fact that the engine power peaks long before maximum revs are achieved is something
that the power curve chart makes clear.

Measurement can also stand up to “tales of the opposite”

”I had an engine and when I pressurised it, it didn’t make any more power”.

Well – this engine does – have a look at the charts opposite.

Now, please note that as the pressure increases, the gains diminish.

This suggests that there is a maximum, And if we went beyond – power would diminish?

It’s just simple. Feel the way forward by measurement.

Plotting the peak power points, the new curve suggests there is a maximum pressure.

Why? Perhaps there are too many gas molecules to be heated properly?

The heat flow from the hot cap is not enough to heat all that gas?