Dean Kamen Unveils Stirling Engine Powered Hybrid Car, Stuns Us All

November 10 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Environment   Year: 2012   Rating: 3 Hot

Dean Kamen has jolted the world yet again with his latest contraption — A Stirling engine hybrid car.

The Stirling engine, for those in the dark, is an engine which derives its power from an external heat source. The amazing thing about it is that the heat source can be just about anything, even your own body. Kamen’s car, dubbed “REVOLT,” can run on any conventional fuel, from biodiesel to natural gas.

Despite the practicality of such an engine, development of the Stirling engine in the world has been trying at best. Weird to think that an engine, which runs on heat and was invented in 1816, could fall to the side all these years. But we’re starting to see the Stirling engine pop up more and more these days, especially in large solar arrays.

So when are we going to see this in production?

“Kamen hopes his car could be in production within two years. He doesn’t know how much it would cost, but the goal is to make it affordable for average consumers.” – Union Leader

Yet after the disappointing Segway debut, can we expect much from this guy?

I hope so. Although the Segway was a resounding defeat, Kamen himself has recently unveiled two different technologies that could revolutionize the world. There’s the water purifier which shocked Colbert Report viewers by filtering any liquid into pure water. Last but not least is Kamen’s crazy Luke arm which uses brain impulses to allows amputees to move a robotic arm attached to their body.

Kamen, stop screwing with us, give us your goodies.

via Union Leader

Comment Thread (4 Responses)

  1. I think it’s safe to say that Kamen is one of the leading inventors in the world. This cool post doesn’t even mention the incredible IBOT that is the predecessor to the Segway, nor his dialysis machine among others. His primary weakness, which often seems magnified by the press, is in translating his inventions successfully (and profitably) to the market place. Though as a businessman he is vulnerable to criticism and definitely mis-read the impact of the Segway, many of his inventions are truly life-changing for many people…that is the true mark of a great inventor.

    Posted by: Jeff Hilford   November 10, 2008
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  2. I wonder if he’s just a little too late to the game. Something like this may have kicked up a rumble a few years ago but we’re so focused on hydrogen and not using fossil fuels in our future technology that this could be another bust.

    Posted by: martymcfly   November 11, 2008
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  3. This engine will probably occupy a small niche like the Segway. It doesn’t mean its not an important discovery it’s just that the giant industry leaders want a hydrogen economy and it’s marching along, albeit slowly.

    Posted by: Covus   November 11, 2008
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  4. I agree with Jeff—and have a lot of respect for Kamen—and think he’s really just years or decades ahead of market applications. The Segway 1.0 couldn’t fit into current system—but I wouldn’t be surprised if Segway 7.0 does change nature of mobility. This Sterling Engine has been in the works for a while. It is just a real world application.

    The engine doesn’t power the car itself, it’s a ‘range extender’ for a hybrid system – that is used to power the battery which feeds the electric motors.

    So it’s an auxiliary system.

    Agree, jury is still out on whether this is the best application. (as opposed to just a stand alone power system)

    But will look forward to his next prototypes…

    Posted by: Garry Golden   November 11, 2008
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