The purpose of the design manual presented is to provide an introduction to Stirling cycle heat engines, to organize and identify the available Stirling engine literature, and to identify, organize, evaluate and, in so far as possible, compare non proprietary Stirling engine design methodologies. As such, the manual then represents a first step in the long process of making available comprehensive, well verified, economic-to-use, Stirling engine analytic programs. The basic principles of heat engines are explained. A Stirling engine is defined as a heat engine that moves a body of gas around in such a way as to compress the gas principally in the cold part of the engine and expand it principally in the hot part of the engine. Heat is supplied and removed through the walls of the engine. In introducing Stirling engines, the variety of Stirling engine types and their utility in comparison to other machines are discussed. Useful Stirling engines are or can be built from an output of a few watts to a megawatt. Power density is usually as high as a diesel engine and can approach a gasoline automobile engine. Efficiencies 30 percent higher than an automobile engine are projected. The theory of Stirling engine is presented starting from simple cycle analysis. Important conclusions from cycle analysis are: (1) compared to an engine with zero unswept gas volume (dead volume), the power available from an engine with dead volume is reduced proportional to the ratio of the dead volume to the maximum gas volume; and (2) at the usual dead volume ratios of greater than 50 percent used in Stirling engines the error in computing the work per cycle using the easy to compute isothermal spaces instead of the more realistic but more difficult to compute adiabatic spaces is 1 to 2 percent. Engine design methods are organized as first order, second order and third order with increased order number indicating increased complexity. (ERA citation 03:048266)

  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Washington, Richland

    Joint Center for Graduate Study
    Richland, WA  United States 

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20585
  • Authors:
    • Martini, W R
  • Publication Date: 1978-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: 370 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00186417
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NASA-CR-135382
  • Contract Numbers: EX-76-A-28-3152
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 27 1979 12:00AM