Sefton Heat Engines

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  • White paper on distributed power - [1] by Tim Sefton.
  • Bare engine is $2300 for 1kW with pressurized operation, and 200W-400W standard operation.
  • manufacturing franchise is $20k - At its simplest configuration (low hot end heat of 600 F ) and no pressure - you'll see about 200 Watts of power output. At its max power out put (high hot end heat of 650 F) and pressure of 28 PSI you see about 1 KW of power output. 200 lb weight. At pressure, does 1kW. Huge: about 8'7" long

The March to Energy Enslavement via The Power Grid

There is great focus today on migrating everything to electric, electric cars, electric stoves, electric lawn mowers, and more. There are four key reasons why this migration needs to evolve to a distributed energy generation topology instead of just electrification.

Historically energy generation was too complex and too expensive to be widely distributed, much like mainframe computers, energy generation needed large capitalization and centralized specialization to be developed. Edison wasn’t putting dynamo’s for electricity generation into peoples homes, it was just too expensive, too dangerous and too complex. So electric generating plants were born.

Today, that is not the case. Local energy generation can be a key player in reducing costs, improving reliability and impacting climate. Energy generation is starting to migrate to a distributed model with the low cost and easy to use solar panels, but that doesn’t work for everyone, adoption is cumbersome, and moving too slowly. We need to increase our focus, as a country, on the development and distribution of energy conversion devices (heat engines) as residential based power plants in addition to the adoption of solar panels for electricity generation.

There are four key reasons why this is important:

National Security: The easiest way to cripple the US is by damaging or destroying our electricity grid. In doing so this would decimate the US population and usher in a truly apocalyptic age. This is known to our enemies. (EMP Commission Report 2004 ). Distributed power generation does not eliminate the EMP risk but can severely reduce its impact.

Climate / Efficiency: Migrating to a distributed energy generation platform (combined heat and power) improves efficiency of power generation by some 25% ( and eliminates the energy losses by transmission and distribution (5-11% dependent upon the state-see chart below). This savings comes close to the CO2 eliminated by a 100% electric car fleet. Local generation of electricity by energy conversion device (ie. heat engine) allows for the capture of heat in the electricity generation process, reducing the massive energy losses, due to lost heat energy, at our power plants today.

Government Control and Regulation: With single sourced electricity generation through regulated utilities the government will be unable to refrain from pulling this lever of control over every day activities from driving to posting on instagram.

Price: Today electricity is inexpensive, ubiquitous, and reliable - with centralized planning and government funding of more “smart grid” this will change- electricity cost will substantially increase in price to achieve the same reliability we take for granted today. Being able to choose the energy source for creating your electricity - be it solar, natural gas, wood, etc. drives competition and improves energy efficiency though natural market forces.

Energy conversion devices (heat engines are the best example) have been around for quite a while. During the 70’s auto companies investigated heat engines replacing internal combustion engines (powering vehicles is not the best application for heat engines). NASA, at the Glenn Research Center, has had a heat engine energy conversion device running continuously for over 14 years (that's robust). They have also developed energy conversion devices for use in deep space where solar energy is not available. Heat engines have no internal combustion, have no intake of fuel, or air, and no exhaust. They are closed systems that operate based upon a temperature gradient.

We see a future where a power appliance is standard issue in every home providing enough electricity to power all the needs of an average homeowner from charging up your car to cooking your food to cooling your beer. This appliance would be smaller than a refrigerator, lower in cost then solar panels, and run from any heat source or fuel type - solar, hydrogen, natural gas, wood, even nuclear fusion/fission. This technology is readily at hand today, not in 50 years.

Just as mainframe computers migrated from centralized dinosaurs of days past, into cell phones of today. Let's transition our power generation from centralized, inefficient power plants to localized power generation technology, get rid of those ugly power lines (at least a few of them) and secure our country.

Tim Sefton Tim Sefton is President of Sefton Motors Sefton Motors is a manufacturer of heat engines for power generation.


  • From Mr. Zachazevski on Sefton via Eric- target "customers" is simple - stove top engine for MCHP application. Cabins in mountains/for winter get away mobile houses etc. When your sun does not shine enough to charge batteries suing pv, and you under-foot fuel is wood. And you need heat anyway. But run it as a big bussines - is a dead end end. Warranty things will just eat your alive. Going open source - as i did state in my first mail - It is a huge amount of different processes / technologies ones need to use. The only viable option - run outsource cnc machining, which is much cheaper, than i do expected earlier and sell all this as kit to assemble itself. But again - not everyone would like assemble it on its own and most peoples now need it as a black box - with one side heated, other cold and a 230v connector in the middle. Now on that not to do in this field:
  • MJ about Sefton - price point just does not cut it for the Sefton. Size is ginormous - over 8' long. Cost is $2-6k/hp at best, and Hp cost for regular engines is $25/hp [2]. At 100x the industry standard cost, the Stirling does not have easy inroads into the marketplace. Suggestion: develop charcoal engines and charcoal pellet combines for practical distributed power generation.
  • Critique of Sterling for power - great as CHP in winter, but in summer you will require a different heat source, doubling your effective cost, unless you are running on wood and throwing away the heat in the summer. This would work is with seasonal storage of heat for winter where the heat is produced in the summer.