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Design and Performance of a Diaphragm Free-Piston Stirling Engine for Power Production From Low-Temperature Heat Sources

[+] Author Affiliations
Anas Nawafleh, Khaled R. Asfar

Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Paper No. POWER2018-7396, pp. V002T12A010; 12 pages
  • ASME 2018 Power Conference collocated with the ASME 2018 12th International Conference on Energy Sustainability and the ASME 2018 Nuclear Forum
  • Volume 2: Heat Exchanger Technologies; Plant Performance; Thermal Hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics; Water Management for Power Systems; Student Competition
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, June 24–28, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Power Division, Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division, Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5140-1
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


This paper addresses modeling, design, and experimental assessment of a Gamma type low-temperature differential free-piston Stirling engine. The most advanced third-order design analysis method is used to model, simulate and optimize the engine. Moreover, the paper provides an experimental parametric investigation of engine physical parameters and operating conditions on the engine performance. The experimental test results are presented for a model validation, which shows about a 5% to 10% difference in the simulation results. The aim of this study is to design a Stirling engine capable of harvesting low-temperature waste heat effectively and economically and convert it to power. The engine prototype is designed to increase the engine performance by eliminating the main losses occurred in conventional Kinematic engines. Thus, elastic diaphragm pistons are used in this prototype to eliminate the surface friction of the moving parts, the use of lubricant, and to provide appropriate seals. In addition, flat plate heat exchangers, linear flexure bearing, a stainless-steel regenerator and a polyurethane displacer are outlined as the main components of the engine. Experiments successfully confirm the design models for output power and efficiency. Furthermore, it is revealed that the displacer-to-piston natural frequency ratio is an important design point for free-piston Stirling engines and should be addressed in the design for optimum power output.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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