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Thread: Stirling Engine - 1983 Celebrity - Anyone have any info on it?

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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    Default Stirling Engine - 1983 Celebrity - Anyone have any info on it?

    If anyone is familiar with the Stirling cycle external combustion engine, you may find this interesting. Interested in Stirling engines AND GM Front-Wheel-Drive A-bodys, you may find it REALLY interesting.

    NASA did expiriments in the 70's and 80's with this powerplant. There was a Dodge van and a Dodge Ram pickup converted, under the "Stirling Mod I" project. The Mod II project was a 1983 Chevy Celebrity. The car's original engine was removed and replaced with the V4 Stirling powerplant.

    This is the car (the only picture I could find of it). Courtesy of Stirlingengineforum.com. I really wish I could find more pictures of the car with the engine installed.


    Here is the engine. It reportedly got more than 50 MPG highway.









    Inside the large dome on top of the engine is the fuel combustion system. It is a burner with a continuous flame, like a torch. The flame heat is applied to heat exchangers in the 4 components on top of the engine (the black cylinders). When these are red-hot the Stirling cycle can work. The flame is not inside the engine, hence it is external combustion.


    Connecting rod and piston assembly:


    Technical document of the engine. This is the Mod II engine, halfway down the document:
    http://mac6.ma.psu.edu/stirling/repo...1997021349.pdf

    The above pictures are courtesy photos from NASA. Credit is due to NASA and the Defense Videos and Imagery distribution system where you can find larger versions as well as many more pictures.

    If anyone has any more info or pictures of this car, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    David

    Look me up on Facebook and CarDomain and My Webpage



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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    I found several cites:

    1. Over the span of several years, AM General dropped Stirling engines into quite a few vehicles, actually: An AMC Concord, a GM G-chassis cube van, a Dodge D-150 pickup truck and a 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity. In total, they racked up more than 50,000 test miles, and mileage ranged from 18 mpg up to 28.5 mpg and above......so Iím speculating that, if GM didnít crush them, they may still be in a warehouse in Michigan. Iím certain few people, if any, have seen them since, because the only photo of the Stirling Spirits Iíve come across so far is the one leading this post.

    2. Note: This page contains sample records for the topic turbine engines stirling from Science.gov

    Btw, Chrysler played around with turbine engines

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    Senior Member white89euro's Avatar
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    If the project cars got only 18 to 28.5 mpg, then why would anyone want to pursue this project further. My 3.1 V6 and other engines achieve that mileage without trouble. 18mpg would be a low, with plenty of winter warmup. 28.5 was a high for my Tech4 Celebrity, but I've surpassed that with my 3.1 V6 1989 Ciera. Last check it achieved 27.5 mpg.

    No doubt the 50 mpg claims are doubtful, or GM would be pursuing that avenue right now - especially for trucks.

    Thanks for sharing the information though guys!

    George

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by white89euro View Post
    why would anyone want to pursue this project further
    They are more efficient than most internal combustion engines, but their capital cost is much larger, and they are heavier.

    They are more suited to micro-CHP system (combined heat/cool and power), and solar produced power applications.

    Hence, they may be more suited to a continuous running application (constant speed engine), and they take a while to get started.

    But, they can run upto 250,000 hours before failure (mean time before failure (MTBF)í), if designed well.

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    To Turbokinetic"

    I remember reading about Stirling engines during the first or second gas shortages we experienced. As with most people, I never heard any thing
    else about the engines. Were they developed in Australia?

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Walmart WAVE Hybrid Semi-Truck Promises Efficiency

    Walmart has revealed their futuristic hybrid big rig, the WAVE concept. Using a micro-turbine hybrid setup and aerodynamics like youíve never seen before, Walmart thinks this is what the future of trucking looks like.
    ;;;;
    ;;;;
    Capstone makes various sizes of MicroTurbines: 30kW, 65kW, and 200kW. Products based on the 200kW turbine are also available in 600kW, 800kW, and 1MW configurations



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    Senior Member turbokinetic's Avatar
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    I love the turbine hybrid idea - but the truck's appearance is just awful.

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbokinetic View Post
    truck's appearance
    Around late 50s or early 60s, insurance folks passed around an idea where driver in consumer vehicles was in center of vehicle, with passengers in back seats.

    In the 90s, one large truck company was converting over from cab-overs to conventionals; well, in the process, there were a number of incidents where drivers smack the conventional's nose on something. Sitting front & center would take awhile to learn for conditioned conventional driver.

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    Senior Member SexySilhouette's Avatar
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    Not sure why they called it a Chevy Celebrity -Concorde.





    I do recall reading some about these back in the day.
    Jay

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SexySilhouette View Post
    Not sure why they called it
    AMC Concord - The AMC Concord is a compact and economical car by 1970s US standards, produced by the American Motors Corporation for the 1978 through 1983 model years. The Concord replaced the AMC Hornet and to some extent the mid-size AMC Matador, discontinued after 1978 in a market moving to downsized automobiles

    Manufacturer American Motors Corporation
    Also called VAM American/Lerma (Mexico)
    Production 1977Ė1983

    A 1980 AMC Concord served as the test vehicle in s conceptual design study of the automotive Improved Gas Turbine (IGT) powertrain. Working under a NASA contract for U.S. DOE's Division of Automotive Technology Development, Williams Research performed the design and analysis on the gas turbine engine, while AMC's AM General subsidiary did the vehicle installation studies, supplied the vehicle, transmission, drivetrain, and the typical car accessories.[47] The two-door sedan used a dual-rotor gas turbine with variable power turbine nozzle, and a 3-speed automatic transmission for conventional rear-wheel-drive. Williams Research conducted all the performance and fuel economy analysis, with the turbine powered Concord meeting expectations. The final report estimated that the IGT vehicle would have a 10% higher cost over the conventional piston engine, of which less than half of the cost penalty would be in the turbine engine, but the remainder would be the cost of adapting existing production of vehicles and systems. However, fuel economy improvements, as well as reduced maintenance and repairs, would result in an overall life-cycle cost saving of 9% for the IGT vehicle.[47

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Conceptual Design Study of an Improved Gar Turbine Powertrain. Lewis Research Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved 7 April 2012.

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    Senior Member Prospeeder's Avatar
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    I think hes just commenting on the very first picture. Which is not a celebrity its an AMC Concorde. Most all early 80's 4 doors in a fuzzy picture look the same anyway.
    "Pontiac, Of Course"
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    That pick with the chevy hubcap is a celebrity frame and suspension set up.. it may have been grafted to the concord body at one point.
    Roads.... Where we're going, we don't need roads.

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