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Cooling fan 'hot air engine', Stirling engine fans;

By Andy Eisemann

Need a cooling fan but have no electric power?  There is one, its a Kyko Stirling cycle Engine fan.
Stirling engine fans or hot air fans, a cooling fan powered by lamp oil and very efficient.

This unusual machine is not an antique.
In fact it's a modern day version of a rare antique the British made Kyko, or Ky-ko.
This copy was being commercially produced until as recently as 8 years ago in a third world country where
electricity was still in short supply. Powered by paraffin oil (lamp oil or kerosene) the Stirling cycle engine fan
 is very efficient running 36 hours per litre of paraffin or lamp oil. Stirling fans are very well engineered, 
a practical fan with a sturdy hot air engine that runs for hours without electricity!  
Stirling fans are solidly built, very reliable, and cheap to run.


Weight, 10kilograms Bore 2inches, stroke 1 and a half inches Speed, 450rpm (tops) Power source, double wick kerosene lamp Running time, 36 hours to 1 litre Height, 40inches to top of chimney, 34 inches to top of guard Fan, 4 blade in 24inches diameter guard Cast iron engine with ball-bearing crankshaft Two-cylinder, one power piston, one displacer cylinder.

Photo of the Stirling cycle engine fan - Click to enlarge

Would you like to know more about Stirling fans - or possibly own one?

Stirling Cycle engines were applied to many types of early devices, like pumps, dental drills etc.
In fact, there was even a time when hot air could cool you off. In the gas lamp era, before electricity
became widespread, hot air engines were applied to fans.

Many enthusiasts may be familiar with, for example,
Dr James R Senft's model version MORIYA.
However, an array of companies built hot air fans commercially: the Lake Breeze,
to name just one. Many of these fans were similar to present day electric fans, in that they were
portable designs for individual use. They can occasionally be spotted in older (or very authentic) motion
 pictures. Ceiling fans were also built, often belt-driven from a fairly sizeable hot air engine.

Lake Breeze Fan

In the gas lamp era one of the KyKo's competitors in the non-electric fan market was the American made
Lake Breeze, similar in operation though much smaller in size hence less air flow.

As the availability of electricity spread, electric motors took over the task and the
manufacturing of hot air fans ceased.

Or did it?

You see, electricity hadn't got everywhere around the world quite yet.

As a result, hot air engine fans were still being commercially made in Pakistan until as recently as 8
years ago. This Stirling fan is a modern version of the original KYKO or Ky-Ko brand hot air fan sold in
 England and around the British Empire for around 90 years.

From the front the Stirling engine fan looks like any modern electric fan, but from the back the hot air
engine shows clearly in the shape of the housing, not to mention the tall exhaust chimney intended to take heat
from the burner up and out of the air stream.

This Stirling cycle engine runs the fan using paraffin oil (aka lamp oil, aka kerosene) and is very efficient.


The Original Ky-Ko Model

Historical Advertisement from London Times, 1938
Kerosene powered engine fan;

Ky-Ko Non-Electric Fan

Of all the commercially produced Stirling Fans,
the British made "KY-KO" was one of the most popular.

Our Model of the Stirling cycle engine fan;

This "KY-KO" machine is identical to the original, except for the following improvements.

New model fan Below; This is a close-up of the Stirling cycle engine with the crank case door open;  

How We Managed to Get Hold of These Stirling cycle engine fans;

After a great deal of research and several journeys to Pakistan, I had at last made contact with the
 engineer responsible for these marvelous mechanical creations.

He informed me that he was no longer commercially manufacturing these Stirling cycle engine fans.
However if I was committed to finance the setting up of his tooling and place a large enough order with him,
he would do me a once only production of a Stirling fan.

For this idea to become a reality, all I needed was to find enough committed enthusiasts to bring up the
numbers for a minimum order.  I contacted 12 engineering magazines worldwide on my plight of the Stirling cycle
 engine fans. They were excited to hear what I was doing and all graciously published my editorial.

I was inundated by enthusiasts worldwide all eager to know how to obtain one or several of these rare
Stirling cycle machines. The response exceeded my expectations and we went straight into manufacturing.
All enthusiasts that received these machines from us were very happy.

What Enthusiasts Have to Say About Our Machine

"Two Stirling cycle engine fans fans arrived safe and thoroughly packed. I had one up and running.
They certainly put out quite a breeze and I am pleased with the way it runs.
I'm now looking forward to using them in earnest when it gets a little warmer."

West Sussex, England

"Wish I knew about your full size machine before I bought a very expensive tiny working model of it:
which incidentally cost me substantially more than your machine and it's not half the machine of yours.
Good value !Very pleased with the Stirling cycle engine fan."

Sydney, NSW, Australia

"Now it's assembled and it runs beautifully.
Thank you for all the trouble you took to get hold of these machines."

Hannover, Germany

"When fired up it had more of a kick than expected. Have already thought of various adaptations
 using the basic engine unit."

Argyll, Scotland

"Arrived in perfect condition and works just fine.
What a thrill to have been part of this venture with a Stirling cycle engine fan.
Every one who has seen it so far can't believe this piece of old world engineering.
Thanks again for starting this venture. I couldn't be happier with my purchase."

Akron, NY, USA

Would You Like To Have One -
Or Know More about the Stirling engine fans?

In my enthusiasm of having these machines manufactured, I made sure to order extra units for
myself.I still have a limited supply in storage.
If you would like to own one of these amazing pieces of machinery or would like to just know more about
Stirling engine fans, please contact me for further details as I'd be happy to help.

I feel that with the low cost of manufacture, these units are excellent value and with the small numbers
 produced, these machines should become quite collectible.

Click Here for Order details & contact info.

Click the Links below to see more pictures of the
Stirling cycle engine fan

Left Side View Right Side View Front View Back View

Updated 2005. Andy:  Contact details on Order page.