Is the Hot Cat able to utilize the Stirling engine? Rossi’s immediate answer to this question on the Journal of Nuclear Physics was,
“Yes, now the Sterling engine is an option.”
It has been a subject of speculation for some time that the Stirling engine would be easily adaptable to the Hot Cat, if it is sustaining high enough temperatures. Apparently, from other comments that Rossi has made, not only is the Hot Cat sustaining its operation, but there are no plans to shut it down in the near future.
The Stirling engine is operated by heat, but with much more efficiency than the steam engine. It also operates quietly and can use just about any heat source. It is also being used in CHP, or Combined Heat and Power units, which are engineered to utilize waste heat as an alternative fuel.
The Stirling engine has been around since 1816, but has been used in domestic duties for most of a century. This is a closed-cycle air engine. There have been other names for the same concept, because each manufacturer names its own device. It is normal considered an external combustion engine, meaning that the heat transfer takes place through a solid barrier, rather than within the cylinder.
Since its invention, the Stirling engine has been fitted with a regenerative heat exchanger, making it even more efficient that the original hot air engines. Right now, the largest producer of Stirling engines is the Infinia Corporation. They hold over 30 patents on the device, and have tested the reliability of their engines to exceed 20 years. NASA has considered using Stirling engines, powered by nuclear-decay, to extend missions into the outer edges of the solar system.
With Rossi creating the power, we may find that the electrical generation is ready and waiting in existing technology.