Download: How to Make a Jumping Stirling Engine

How to make a small jumping stirling engine? by Gilles Charles, University of Orleans.

Below you will find a demonstrative video of a jumper stirling engine assembly.


This article presents the realization of a small Stirling engine fairly simple to manufacture, and operating on the principle of a maintained oscillator. This engine makes it possible to illustrate very clearly the thermodynamic transformations undergone by the gas during a thermodynamic Stirling cycle (two isothermal transformations and two alternating isochoric transformations).


In the teaching of classical thermodynamics, it is often difficult to illustrate the concepts of thermodynamic transformations with concrete examples, or even experiments offered during the lessons.

If the concept of converting work into heat is very easy to illustrate by inviting pupils or students to rub their hands together and point out to them that it heats up, the reverse is to say the conversion of heat into work using a dithermal thermodynamic cycle with all the subtleties of the second principle of thermodynamics is much less so.

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It is possible to manufacture at low cost small hot air engines operating according to the Stirling cycle, consisting of two isothermal transformations and two isochoric alternating transformations.

This article first presents the operating principle of the jumping Stirling engine, before approaching the very detailed description of its realization. Finally, we give some characteristics of this motor (frequency of movement, order of magnitude of the mechanical energy brought into play on a cycle).

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