Lamina 1 - Solar Powered Lamina Flow Engine


Here is the video commentary:

I'm going to use this fresnel lens to focus the sun light onto this small motor. This motor will not actually start by itself, I had to give the flywheel a little push to get it moving. Notice that it's rotating in the counter clockwise direction, this is going to cause a problem. The bearing that connects the piston to the flywheel is not secured to the flywheel very well. It is just slid onto this brass rod. Now that it's spinning in the clockwise direction this won't be an issue.

I've made a few of these little engines and have seen this same thing before. Some times the flywheel will work itself out of it's bearings if it's spinning in the wrong direction but if I stop the engine and change the rotation it will ease itself back into it's bearings. Notice how i'm trying to pan the sunlight left and right on the Pyrex test tube. too much sunlight will actually cause the test tube to crack. I actually did crack this test tube but I didn't notice until a few days later. You may be able to see a little hair line fracture, it's kind of hard to see. The engine still ran well with a cracked test tube so no air must have been leaking in or out after it cracked. Interestingly if I apply too much heat with a propane torch the wall of the pyrex test tube will weaken and bubble up until a whole appears and then the engine quickly stops. So too much sun will crack the test tube but too much propane heat will melt it.

These objects you see here are electric motors I tried to use as generators. I haven't had much luck with that yet. Here I am trying to find out the rpm's of the flywheel but the tachometer will not work outside. I figure at it's fastest this engine was probably spinning at just over a thousand rpm's This small candle is causing the engine to spin at about 600 rpm's so I figure the sun was spinning it around 1000 rpms, I've seen a candle cause this engine to get over 1000 rpm's before. I'm going to upload a video with all the sizes of the individual parts of this engine so check it out if you are interested in building one for yourself.

Click here for the Lamina Flow Stirling engine plans.