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Expanding the Role of Stirling Engines

[+] Author Affiliations
Eugene Beach, Martin F. Karchnak

Epoch Engineering, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD

John Ball

Goal Technical, Barboursville, WV

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56875, pp. 1051-1058; 8 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 1
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4690-3 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Stirling engines are being used more and more frequently in applications such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Federal projects have a history of employing Stirling technology to address critical needs. Exploitation of certain alternative energy approaches such as the increased reliance on Bio-Mass energy inherently argues the Stirling case. This paper examines this expanded role for Stirling technology, while also examining the potential impacts achievable from the application of modern technologies. Examples of modern technologies include improved control technologies, new materials and new design approaches. Specific examples of successes are documented, and typical future choices are identified and appraised. The functional advantages of Stirling technology are likewise enumerated and discussed. They range from a variety of economic and technical advantages (fuel diversity, quietness, pristine environmental character, lubrication friendliness,...), through the most basic advantage that Stirling engines possess relative to many competing technologies, namely the fact that there are ‘no showstoppers’ with Stirling engine technology (implemented since 1816). An assessment is provided relative to some of the limitations of previous Stirling engine design approaches, and suggestions are provided regarding how such limitations and concerns can be addressed with the expanding role of Stirling engines.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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