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Low Frequency Operation of the P3 Micro Heat Engine

[+] Author Affiliations
Scott A. Whalen, Michael R. Thompson, Cecilia D. Richards, David F. Bahr, Robert F. Richards

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Paper No. IMECE2002-39307, pp. 469-476; 8 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Microelectromechanical Systems
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Microelectromechanical Systems
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3642-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


The development and low frequency testing of a micro heat engine is presented. Production of electrical power by a dynamic micro heat engine is demonstrated. The prototype micro heat engine is an external combustion engine in which thermal power is converted to mechanical power through a novel thermodynamic cycle. Mechanical power is converted into electrical power through the use of a thin-film piezoelectric membrane generator. This design is well suited to photolithography-based batch fabrication methods and is unlike any conventionally manufactured macro-scale engine. A peak-to-peak voltage of .84 volts, and power output of 1.5 microwatts have been realized at operating speeds of 10 Hz. Measurements are also presented for the engine operating at resonant conditions. Cycle speeds up to 240 Hz have been obtained, with peak-to-peak voltages of 70 millivolts.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME
Topics: Heat engines



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