Following a history of the Stirling engine, the Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored program to develop this engine into a fuel-efficient, economical replacement for the internal combustion (IC) engine is described. Present development work is part of a DOE automotive heat-engine program begun in 1978 in which both Stirling and gas turbine engines are being considered. Both engines are to have the following capabilities: fuel economy at least 30% better than a production IC engine of the same class and performance, emission levels meeting or exceeding the most stringent standards, and use of fuels derived from petroleum as well as coal and other sources. Secondary objectives require that the Stirling-powered vehicle have reliability, life-span, cost, acceleration, noise, and safety features comparable to those of IC-powered cars. The Stirling program is being conducted by Mechanical Technology Inc., United Stirling of Sweden (USS), and AM General (a subsidiary of American Motors Corporation. The first of three program phases involves the establishment of a data base through a technology review and extensive testing of existing Stirling engines. Phase 2 is to result in an operational engine with improved power density and performance by 1982, when design of a second engine will begin; in 1984, the engine will be mated to a vehicle meeting program specifications. The final step will be to transfer the technology to a U.S. manufacturer for mass production. Separate sections illustrate and explain the basic Stirling cycle; the Stirling seal problem; the P-40 engine from USS, the baseline for the automotive program; and the four-cylinder Rinia engine. Another separate note outlines the advantages and the remaining design problems of the Stirling engine.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Based on material supplied by NASA's Lewis Research Center and Mechanical Technology Incorporated.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Penton Publishing Company

    Penton Building, 1111 Chester Avenue
    Cleveland, OH  United States  44113
  • Authors:
    • Aronson, R B
  • Publication Date: 1980-4-24

Media Info

  • Pagination: 6 p.
  • Serial:
    • Machine Design
    • Volume: 52
    • Issue Number: 9
    • Publisher: Penton Media, Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0024-9114

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00393062
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-028 971
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1985 12:00AM