How To: Make a Stirling Engine from Soda Cans

created at: 11/08/2010

Guess what! You can make a super efficient Stirling engine from two soda cans!

“Awesome,” you’ll no doubt say. And then…


“What’s a Stirling engine?”

Turns out, it’s a super-efficient type of engine that converts heat into energy using cyclic compression, meaning it continually feeds itself energy by “compressing cool gas, heating the gas, expanding the hot gas, and finally cooling the gas before repeating the cycle.”

Like this:

Get it?  

“You Can Use the Sun as a Source of Heat
Stirling engines are a type of heat engine. They convert heat into mechanical work (you can find out more about how they work here), which means that it is possible to use the sun as a source of heat to general clean power. The video below shows a working stirling engine build out of soda cans that spins up to almost a thousand RPM!”

Find out more at TreeHugger