As an illustrious* scientist on this very site has pointed out,
conventional central heating systems require an electrical
pump to circulate hot water through radiators, meaning that
your heating is dependent on both electricity and boiler
It has occurred to those awfully clever people
this need not be the case. Instead, a small Stirling engine is
mounted on the pipe carrying heated water away from the
boiler, such that the heat difference between boiler and
drives a modest pump.
The modestness of the pump means that it will not drive the
whole heating loop very well - flow rates will be meagre.
However, fear not. Additional Stirling-engine-driven pumps
are distributed around the system at several points.
there is a significant temperature drop (for instance, across
radiator), the local Stirling engine will start working to
augment the circulation of hot water, and will automatically
self-regulate, easing off when the flow is high enough to
reduce the temperature differential or when the room
Stirling engines are mechanically simple and capable of
prolonged, unattended operation, making them ideal for
installation as part of a heating system, which now becomes
completely independent of an electrical supply.
* "illustrious" - derived from the word "lustrous" and the
prefix "il- ",
meaning "not", rather like "illegal" and "illegitimate".