The 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 unusual machine is not an antique but a reproduction. In fact it’s a modern day version of a rare antique the British made Kyko, or Ky-ko, being commercially re-produced. Powered by Natural Gas, the Stirling cycle engine fan is very efficient running up to 500 hours per kilo gram of LPG. 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. 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. 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.
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