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Sample records for kw free-piston stirling

  1. Assessment of 25 kW free-piston Stirling technology alternatives for solar applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erbeznik, Raymond M.; White, Maurice A.; Penswick, L. B.; Neely, Ronald E.; Ritter, Darren C.; Wallace, David A.

    1992-01-01

    The final design, construction, and testing of a 25-kW free-piston advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) are examined. The final design of the free-piston hydraulic ASCS consists of five subsystems: heat transport subsystem (solar receiver and pool boiler), free-piston hydraulic Stirling engine, hydraulic subsystem, cooling subsystem, and electrical and control subsystem. Advantages and disadvantages are identified for each technology alternative. Technology alternatives considered are gas bearings vs flexure bearings, stationary magnet linear alternator vs moving magnetic linear alternator, and seven different control options. Component designs are generated using available in-house procedures to meet the requirements of the free-piston Stirling convertor configurations.

  2. Assessment of 25 kW free-piston Stirling technology alternatives for solar applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbeznik, Raymond M.; White, Maurice A.; Penswick, L. B.; Neely, Ronald E.; Ritter, Darren C.; Wallace, David A.

    The final design, construction, and testing of a 25-kW free-piston advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) are examined. The final design of the free-piston hydraulic ASCS consists of five subsystems: heat transport subsystem (solar receiver and pool boiler), free-piston hydraulic Stirling engine, hydraulic subsystem, cooling subsystem, and electrical and control subsystem. Advantages and disadvantages are identified for each technology alternative. Technology alternatives considered are gas bearings vs flexure bearings, stationary magnet linear alternator vs moving magnetic linear alternator, and seven different control options. Component designs are generated using available in-house procedures to meet the requirements of the free-piston Stirling convertor configurations.

  3. Free piston stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, C.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents a basic introduction to free piston Stirling engine technology through a review of specialized background material. It also includes information based on actual construction and operation experience with these machines, as well as theoretical and analytical insights into free piston Stirling engine technology.

  4. Testing and performance characteristics of a 1-kW free piston Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, J.

    1983-01-01

    A 1 kW single cylinder free piston Stirling engine, configured as a research engine, was tested with helium working gas. The engine features a posted displacer and dashpot load. The test results show the engine power output and efficiency to be lower than those observed during acceptance tests by the manufacturer. Engine tests results are presented for operation at the two heater head temperatures and with two regenerator porosities, along with flow test results for the heat exchangers.

  5. Design study of a 15 kW free-piston Stirling engine-linear alternator for dispersed solar electric power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, G. R.; Chen, H. S.; Bhate, S.; Marusak, T.

    1979-01-01

    A conceptual design of a free piston solar Stirling engine-linear alternator which can be designed and developed to meet the requirements of a near-term solar test bed engine with minimum risks was developed. The conceptual design was calculated to have an overall system efficiency of 38% and provide 15kW electric output. The free piston engine design incorporates features such as gas bearings, close clearance seals, and gas springs. This design is hermetically sealed to provide long life, reliability, and maintenance free operation. An implementation assessment study performed indicates that the free piston solar Stirling engine-linear alternator can be manufactured at a reasonable price cost (direct labor plus material) of $2,500 per engine in production quantities of 25,000 units per year. Opportunity for significant reduction of cost was also identified.

  6. Test results and description of a 1-kW free-piston Stirling engine with a dashpot load

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, J.

    1983-01-01

    A 1 kW (1.33 hp) single cylinder free piston Stirling engine was installed in the test facilities at the Lewis laboratory. The engine was designed specifically for research of the dynamics of its operation. A more complete description of the engine and its instrumentation is provided in a prior NASA paper TM-82999 by J. G. Schreiber. Initial tests at Lewis showed the power level and efficiency of the engine to be below design level. Tests were performed to help determine the specific problems in the engine causing the below design level performance. Modifications to engine hardware and to the facility where performed in an effort to bring the power output and efficiency to their design values. As finally configured the engine generated more than 1250 watts of output power at an engine efficiency greater than 32 percent. This report presents the tests performed to help determine the specific problems, the results if the problem was eliminated, the fix performed to the hardware, and the test results after the engine was tested. In cases where the fix did not cause the anticipated effects, a possible explanation is given.

  7. Test results and description of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine with a dashpot load

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, J.

    1983-01-01

    A 1 kW (1.33 hp) single cylinder free piston Stirling engine was installed in the test facilities at the Lewis laboratory. The engine was designed specifically for research of the dynamics of its operation. A more complete description of the engine and its instrumentation is provided in a prior NASA paper TM-82999 by J. G. Schreiber. Initial tests at Lewis showed the power level and efficiency of the engine to be below design level. Tests were performed to help determine the specific problems in the engine causing the below design level performance. Modifications to engine hardware and to the facility where performed in an effort to bring the power output and efficiency to their design values. As finally configured the engine generated more than 1250 watts of output power at an engine efficiency greater than 32 percent. This report presents the tests performed to help determine the specific problems, the results if the problem was eliminated, the fix performed to the hardware, and the test results after the engine was tested. In cases where the fix did not cause the anticipated effects, a possible explanation is given. Previously announced in STAR as N83-27346

  8. Conceptual design and cost analysis of hydraulic output unit for 15 kW free-piston Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    A long-life hydraulic converter with unique features was conceptually designed to interface with a specified 15 kW(e) free-piston Stirling engine in a solar thermal dish application. Hydraulic fluid at 34.5 MPa (5000 psi) is produced to drive a conventional hydraulic motor and rotary alternator. Efficiency of the low-maintenance converter design was calculated at 93.5% for a counterbalanced version and 97.0% without the counterbalance feature. If the converter were coupled to a Stirling engine with design parameters more typcial of high-technology Stirling engines, counterbalanced converter efficiency could be increased to 99.6%. Dynamic computer simulation studies were conducted to evaluate performance and system sensitivities. Production costs of the complete Stirling hydraulic/electric power system were evaluated at $6506 which compared with $8746 for an alternative Stirling engine/linear alternator system.

  9. New 5 Kilowatt Free-piston Stirling Space Convertor Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.; Chapman, Peter A., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Vision for Exploration of the moon may someday require a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kW. In the 1990s, Mechanical Technology Inc. s Stirling Engine Systems Division (some of whose Stirling personnel are now at Foster-Miller, Inc.) developed a 25 kW free piston Stirling Space Power Demonstrator Engine under the SP-100 program. This system consisted of two 12.5 kW engines connected at their hot ends and mounted in tandem to cancel vibration. Recently, NASA and DoE have been developing dual 55 W and 80 W Stirling convertor systems for potential use with radioisotope heat sources. Total test times of all convertors in this effort exceed 120,000 hours. Recently, NASA began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kW, single convertor for potential use in a lunar surface reactor power system. Goals of this development program include a specific power in excess of 140 W/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and a control system that will safely manage the convertors in case of an emergency. Auburn University awarded a subcontract to Foster-Miller, Inc. to undertake development of the 5 kW Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  10. Free-Piston Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1989-01-01

    Engines promise cost-effective solar-power generation. Report describes two concepts for Stirling-engine systems for conversion of solar heat to electrical energy. Recognized most promising technologies for meeting U.S. Department of Energy goals for performance and cost for terrestrial electrical-energy sources.

  11. Stability analysis of free piston Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bégot, Sylvie; Layes, Guillaume; Lanzetta, François; Nika, Philippe

    2013-03-01

    This paper presents a stability analysis of a free piston Stirling engine. The model and the detailed calculation of pressures losses are exposed. Stability of the machine is studied by the observation of the eigenvalues of the model matrix. Model validation based on the comparison with NASA experimental results is described. The influence of operational and construction parameters on performance and stability issues is exposed. The results show that most parameters that are beneficial for machine power seem to induce irregular mechanical characteristics with load, suggesting that self-sustained oscillations could be difficult to maintain and control.

  12. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1984-01-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These include (1) a generic free-piston Stirling technology project being conducted to develop technologies generic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, cost-shared effort with the Department of Energy (DOE)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); and (2) a free-piston Stirling space power technology feasibility demonstration project being conducted in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), DOE, NASA, SP-100 project. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, design and fabrication under contract of a hydraulic output modification for RE-1000 engine tests, and a 1000-hour endurance test, under contract, of a 3 kWe free-piston Stirling/alternator engine. The newly initiated space power technology feasibility demonstration effort addresses the capability of scaling a free-piston Stirling/alternator system to about 25 kWe; developing thermodynamic cycle efficiency greater than or equal to 70 percent of Carnot at temperature ratios in the order of 1.5 to 2.0; achieving a power conversion unit specific weight of 6 kg/kWe; operating with noncontacting gas bearings; and dynamically balancing the system. Planned engine and component design and test efforts are described.

  13. New 5 Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Space Convertor Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W.

    2007-01-01

    NASA has recently funded development of a 5 kW (or greater) free-piston Stirling conversion system for reactor power systems. A nominal 5 kW convertor allows two of these units to be dynamically balanced. A group of three dual-convertor combinations would yield the desired 30 kW. The status of this program will be presented. Goals include a specific power in excess of 140 W/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and AC output. The initial step is the design and development of a nominal 5 kW per cylinder Stirling convertor assembly (SCA) which will serve as a prototype of one or more SCAs that will make up the final 30 kW Stirling Convertor Power System. Assumed requirements for this new convertor for lunar fission power systems will be presented. The primary objective of this development effort will be to demonstrate a 5 kW SCA that can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems.

  14. Free-piston Stirling technology for space power

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1994-09-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space power. This work is being carried out under NASA`s new Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The overall goal of CSTI`s High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The Stirling cycle offers an attractive power conversion concept for space power needs. Discussed in this paper is the completion of the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) testing - culminating in the generation of 25 kW of engine power from a dynamically-balanced opposed-piston Stirling engine at a temperature ratio of 2.0. Engine efficiency was approximately 22 percent. The SPDE recently has been divided into two separate single-cylinder engines, called Space Power Research Engines (SPRE), that now serve as test beds for the evaluation of key technology disciplines. These disciplines include hydrodynamic gas bearings, high-efficiency linear alternators, space qualified heat pipe heat exchangers, oscillating flow code validation, and engine loss understanding. The success of the SPDE at 650 K has resulted in a more ambitious Stirling endeavor - the design, fabrication, test and evaluation of a designed-for-space 25 kW per cylinder Stirling Space Engine (SSE). The SSE will operate at a hot metal temperature of 1050 K using superalloy materials. This design is a low temperature confirmation of the 1300 K design. It is the 1300 K free-piston Stirling power conversion system that is the ultimate goal; to be used in conjunction with the SP-100 reactor. The approach to this goal is in three temperature steps. However, this paper concentrates on the first two phases of this program - the 650 K SPDE and the 1050 K SSE.

  15. Overview of free-piston Stirling technology at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1985-01-01

    The activities include: (1) a generic free-piston Stirling technology project being conducted to develop technologies synergistic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, cost-shared effort with the Department of Energy (DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)), and (2) a free-piston Stirling space power technology demonstration project as part of the SP-100 program being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), DOE, and NASA/Lewis. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development and validation of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, and fabrication and initial testing of an hydraulic output modification for the RE-1000 engine. The space power technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) including early test results.

  16. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1984-08-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These include (1) a generic free-piston Stirling technology project being conducted to develop technologies generic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, costshared effort with the Department of Energy (DOE)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL); and (2) a free-piston Stirling space power technology feasibility demonstration project being conducted in support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), DOE, NASA, SP-100 project. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, design and fabrication under contract of a hydraulic output modification for RE-1000 engine tests, and a 1000-hour endurance test, under contract, of a 3 kWe free-piston Stirling/alternator engine. The newly initiated space power technology feasibility demonstration effort addresses the capability of scaling a freepiston Stirling/alternator system to about 25 kWe; developing thermodynamic cycle efficiency greater than or equal to70 percent of Carnot at temperature ratios in the order of 1.5 to 2.0; achieving a power conversion unit specific weight of 6 kg/kWe; operating with noncontacting gas bearings; and dynamically balancing the system. Planned engine and component design and test efforts are described.

  17. Continuing Development for Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Allen A.; Qiu, Songgang; Redinger, Darin L.; Augenblick, John E.; Petersen, Stephen L.

    2004-02-01

    Long-life radioisotope power generators based on free-piston Stirling engines are an energy-conversion solution for future space applications. The high efficiency of Stirling machines makes them more attractive than the thermoelectric generators currently used in space. Stirling Technology Company (STC) has been developing free-piston Stirling machines for over 30 years, and its family of Stirling generators is ideally suited for reliable, maintenance-free operation. This paper describes recent progress and status of the STC RemoteGen™ 55 W-class Stirling generator (RG-55), presents an overview of recent testing, and discusses how the technology demonstration design has evolved toward space-qualified hardware.

  18. Loss terms in free-piston Stirling engine models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, Lloyd B.

    1992-01-01

    Various models for free piston Stirling engines are reviewed. Initial models were developed primarily for design purposes and to predict operating parameters, especially efficiency. More recently, however, such models have been used to predict engine stability. Free piston Stirling engines have no kinematic constraints and stability may not only be sensitive to the load, but also to various nonlinear loss and spring constraints. The present understanding is reviewed of various loss mechanisms for free piston Stirling engines and how they have been incorporated into engine models is discussed.

  19. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine sensitivity test results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Geng, Steven M.; Lorenz, Gary V.

    1986-10-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center has been testing a 1 kW (1.33 hp) free-piston Stirling engine. The tests performed over the past several years have been on a single cylinder machine known as the RE-1000. The data recorded were to aid in the investigation of the dynamics and thermo-dynamics of the free-piston Stirling engine. The data are intended to be used primarily for computer code validation. NASA reports TM-82999, TM-83407, and TM-87126 give initial results of the engine tests. The tests were designed to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations on the mean pressure of the working space, the working fluid used, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics. These tests have now been completed. Some of the data collected in the sensitivity tests are presented. In all, 781 data points were recorded. A completed description of the engine and test facility is given. Many of the data can be found in tabular form, and a microfiche containing all of the data points can be requested from the NASA Lewis.

  20. Overview of free-piston Stirling technology at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1985-01-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (Lewis) free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These activities include: (1) a generic free-piston Stirling technology project being conducted to develop technologies synergistic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, cost-shared effort with the Department of Energy (DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ONRL)), and (2) a free-piston Stirling space-power technology demonstration project as part of the SP-100 program being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), DOE, and NASA/Lewis. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kw free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development and validation of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, and fabrication and initial testing of an hydraulic output modification for the RE-1000 engine. The space power technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) including early test results.

  1. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1984-01-01

    A generic free-piston Stirling technology project is being conducted to develop technologies generic to both space power and terrestrial heat pump applications in a cooperative, cost-shared effort. The generic technology effort includes extensive parametric testing of a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine (RE-1000), development of a free-piston Stirling performance computer code, design and fabrication under contract of a hydraulic output modification for RE-1000 engine tests, and a 1000-hour endurance test, under contract, of a 3 kWe free-piston Stirling/alternator engine. A newly initiated space power technology feasibility demonstration effort addresses the capability of scaling a free-piston Stirling/alternator system to about 25 kWe; developing thermodynamic cycle efficiency or equal to 70 percent of Carnot at temperature ratios in the order of 1.5 to 2.0; achieving a power conversion unit specific weight of 6 kg/kWe; operating with noncontacting gas bearings; and dynamically balancing the system. Planned engine and component design and test efforts are described.

  2. Final design of a free-piston hydraulic advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wallace, D. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    Under the US Department of Energy's (DOEs) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for solar distributed receiver systems. The final design is described of an engineering prototype advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) with a free-piston hydraulic engine output capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, has noncontacting bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar input with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The system includes a liquid Nak pool boiler heat transport system and a free-piston Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator.

  3. Final design of a free-piston hydraulic advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, D. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    1991-01-01

    Under the US Department of Energy's (DOEs) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for solar distributed receiver systems. The final design is described of an engineering prototype advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) with a free-piston hydraulic engine output capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, has noncontacting bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar input with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The system includes a liquid Nak pool boiler heat transport system and a free-piston Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator.

  4. Free-piston Stirling technology for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1989-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space power. This work is being carried out under NASA's new Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The overall goal of CSTI's High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The Stirling cycle offers an attractive power conversion concept for space power needs. Discussed here is the completion of the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) testing-culminating in the generation of 25 kW of engine power from a dynamically-balanced opposed-piston Stirling engine at a temperature ratio of 2.0. Engine efficiency was approximately 22 percent. The SPDE recently has been divided into two separate single-cylinder engines, called Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), that now serve as test beds for the evaluation of key technology disciplines. These disciplines include hydrodynamic gas bearings, high-efficiency linear alternators, space qualified heat pipe heat exchangers, oscillating flow code validation, and engine loss understanding.

  5. Structural design of Stirling engine with free pistons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matusov, Jozef; Gavlas, Stanislav; Malcho, Milan

    2014-08-01

    Stirling engine is a device that converts thermal energy to mechanical work, which is mostly used to drive a generator of electricity. Advantage of Stirling engine is that it works with closed-cycle, where working medium is regularly cooled and heated, which acts on the working piston. This engine can be made in three modifications - alpha, beta, gamma. This paper discusses the design of the gamma Stirling engine with free pistons.

  6. Linear harmonic analysis of free-piston Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, N.C.J.; Griffin, F.P.

    1986-06-01

    The equations that govern the behavior of free-piston Stirling engines are nonlinear differential equations. Traditional solution methods have been time-stepping integrations that can be plagued by numerical instabilities and can use large amounts of computer time. Closed-form analytical solutions are possible if the working gas behaves isothermally or if the nonlinear terms in the governing equations are replaced with accurate approximations. An almost closed-form solution method, called the linear harmonic analysis (LHA), has been developed for free-piston Stirling engine applications by representing all of the periodic variables with harmonic functions. The solution method accounts for the important thermodynamic losses that are coupled together in free-piston engines, yet it is efficient enough for optimization studies. The LHA method was compared with a standard numerical integration method to verify its mathematical accuracy. The LHA and numerical predictions for a sample free-piston Stirling engine configuration differed by <5% for all important parameters. Sensitivity studies using the LHA method have also shown that the thermodynamic loss assumptions used in an analysis can have a significant impact on the predicted dynamic behavior of a free-piston Stirling engine.

  7. Free-piston Stirling coolers for intermediate lift temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berchowitz, David M.

    Irreversibilities in Stirling cycle coolers are discussed with reference to designing machines for operation at warmer temperatures rather than cryogenic applications. It is shown that the sensitivity of the cycle to some losses is dependent on the temperature ratio. The free-piston configuration employs a linear motor which greatly reduces side loads and facilitates the implementation of noncontact gas bearings. Mechanism efficiencies are therefore much higher than in crank machines which leads to an overall performance advantage. It is expected that an optimized free-piston Stirling refrigerator cooler could exceed 60 percent of Carnot overall.

  8. Development free-piston Stirling test-bed engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, G. R.; Vitale, N. G.; Moynihan, T. M.

    The free-piston Stirling Technology Demonstrator Engine (TDE) designed and instrumented to provide data to aid in understanding free-piston Stirling engine operation and performance, is described. It is noted that the system includes instrumentation to measure the internal thermodynamic operation and to permit calculation of system power flows. Near-term testing of the engine will assess three mechanisms for engine loss. It is pointed out that recent testing has demonstrated that the power and efficiency are strong functions of heater head temperature. A maximum power output of 1,800 watts and a thermodynamic efficiency of 30% have been demonstrated at 450 C and 40 bar.

  9. Overview of Multi-Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center (GRC). Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  10. Overview of Multi-Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center. Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October, 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  11. Overview of Multi-kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center. Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October, 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  12. Overview of Multi-Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-21

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center. Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October, 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  13. Progress in High Power Free-Piston Stirling Convertor Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.; Kirby, Raymond L.; Chapman, Peter A.; Walter, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Space Exploration Policy has established a vision for human exploration of the moon and Mars. One option for power for future outposts on the lunar and Martian surfaces is a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kWe. A 25 kW convertor was developed in the 1990s under the SP-100 program. This system consisted of two 12.5 kWe engines connected at their hot ends and mounted in tandem to cancel vibration. Recently, NASA began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kWe, single convertor for use in such a possible lunar power system. Goals of this development program include a specific power in excess of 140 We/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and a control system that will safely manage the convertors in case of an emergency. Foster-Miller, Inc. is developing the 5 kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  14. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, J. G.

    1985-01-01

    A free piston Stirling engine was tested. The tests performed over the past several years on the single cylinder engine were designed to investigate the dynamics of a free piston Stirling engine. The data are intended to be used primarily for computer code validation. The tests designed to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations in working space pressure, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics were completed. In addition, some data were recorded with alternate working fluids. A novel resonant balance system for the engine was also tested. Some preliminary test results of the tests performed are presented along with an outline of future tests to be run with the engine coupled to a hydraulic output unit. A description of the hydraulic output unit is given.

  15. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine update

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiber, J.G.

    1985-01-01

    A free-piston Stirling engine has been under test at the NASA Lewis Research Center test facilities. The tests performed over the past several years on the single cylinder engine were designed to investigate the dynamics of a free-piston Stirling engine. The data are intended to be used primarily for computer code validation. The tests designed to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations in working space pressure, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics have been completed at Lewis. In addition, some data were recorded with alternate working fluids. A novel resonant balance system for the engine was also tested. This report presents some preliminary test results of the tests performed at the NASA Lewis facility along with an outline of future tests to be run with the engine coupled to a hydraulic output unit. A description of the hydraulic output unit is given.

  16. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, J. G.

    1985-05-01

    A free piston Stirling engine was tested. The tests performed over the past several years on the single cylinder engine were designed to investigate the dynamics of a free piston Stirling engine. The data are intended to be used primarily for computer code validation. The tests designed to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations in working space pressure, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics were completed. In addition, some data were recorded with alternate working fluids. A novel resonant balance system for the engine was also tested. Some preliminary test results of the tests performed are presented along with an outline of future tests to be run with the engine coupled to a hydraulic output unit. A description of the hydraulic output unit is given.

  17. Overview of the 1986 free-piston Stirling SP-100 activities at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1986-01-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These activities include a free-piston Stirling space-power technology feasibility demonstration project as part of the SP-100 program being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA. The space-power Stirling advanced technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) including test results. Future space-power projections are presented along with a description of a study that will investigate the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power module to the 150 kW power range. Design parameters and conceptual design features will be presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. A description of a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept will be presented whereby the displacer of a 1 kWe free-piston Stirling engine is modified to demonstrate the bearing concept. And finally the goals of a conceptual design for a 25 kWe Solar Advanced Stirling Conversion System capable of delivering electric power to an electric utility grid will be discussed. The solar work is under an interagency agreement between DOE/Sandia National Laboratory and NASA Lewis.

  18. Overview of the 1986 free-piston Stirling SP-100 activities at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    An overview of the NASA Lewis Research Center SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These activities include a free-piston Stirling space-power technology feasibility demonstration project as part of the SP-100 program being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA. The space-power Stirling advanced technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) including test results. Future space-power projections are presented along with a description of a study that will investigate the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power module to the 150 kW power range. Design parameters and conceptual design features will be presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. A description of a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept is presented whereby the displacer of a 1 kWe free-piston Stirling engine is modified to demonstrate the bearing concept. And finally the goals of a conceptual design for a 25 kWe Solar Advanced Stirling Conversion System capable of delivering electric power to an electric utility grid are discussed.

  19. Accomplishments in free-piston stirling tests at NASA GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Skupinski, Robert C.

    2002-01-01

    A power system based on the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) has been identified for potential use on deep space missions, as well as for Mars rovers that may benefit from extended operation. The Department of Energy (DOE) has responsibility for developing the generator and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is supporting DOE in this effort. The generator is based on a free-piston Stirling power convertor that has been developed by the Stirling Technology Company (STC) under contract to DOE. The generator would be used as a high-efficiency alternative to the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that have been used on many previous missions. The increased efficiency leads to a factor of 3 to 4 reduction in the inventory of plutonium required to heat the generator. GRC has been involved in the development of Stirling power conversion technology for over 25 years. The support provided to this project by GRC has many facets and draws upon the lab's scientists and engineers that have gained experience in applying their skills to the previous Stirling projects. This has created a staff with an understanding of the subtleties involved in applying their expertise to Stirling systems. Areas include materials, structures, tribology, controls, electromagnetic interference, permanent magnets, alternator analysis, structural dynamics, and cycle performance. One of the key areas of support to the project is in the performance testing of the free-piston Stirling convertors. Since these power convertors are the smallest, lowest power Stirling machines that have been tested at GRC, a new laboratory was equipped for this project. Procedures and test plans have been created, instrumentation and data systems developed, and Stirling convertors have been tested. This paper will describe the GRC test facility, the test procedures that are used, present some of the test results and outline plans for the future. .

  20. Multiple Cylinder Free-Piston Stirling Machinery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berchowitz, David M.; Kwon, Yong-Rak

    In order to improve the specific power of piston-cylinder type machinery, there is a point in capacity or power where an advantage accrues with increasing number of piston-cylinder assemblies. In the case of Stirling machinery where primary energy is transferred across the casing wall of the machine, this consideration is even more important. This is due primarily to the difference in scaling of basic power and the required heat transfer. Heat transfer is found to be progressively limited as the size of the machine increases. Multiple cylinder machines tend to preserve the surface area to volume ratio at more favorable levels. In addition, the spring effect of the working gas in the so-called alpha configuration is often sufficient to provide a high frequency resonance point that improves the specific power. There are a number of possible multiple cylinder configurations. The simplest is an opposed pair of piston-displacer machines (beta configuration). A three-cylinder machine requires stepped pistons to obtain proper volume phase relationships. Four to six cylinder configurations are also possible. A small demonstrator inline four cylinder alpha machine has been built to demonstrate both cooling operation and power generation. Data from this machine verifies theoretical expectations and is used to extrapolate the performance of future machines. Vibration levels are discussed and it is argued that some multiple cylinder machines have no linear component to the casing vibration but may have a nutating couple. Example applications are discussed ranging from general purpose coolers, computer cooling, exhaust heat power extraction and some high power engines.

  1. Prototype of Free Piston Stirling Converter for Household Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoshino, Takeshi; Yoshihara, Shoichi; Akazawa, Teruyuki; Murao, Keiji

    A test model of a free piston Stirling engine (FPSE) converter was developed as a heat-to-electricity power converter for a demonstration of solar heat energy utilization at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, for future aerospace applications. The target performance of the converter was 200 W electrical power output and 20% overall efficiency. A bench test of the converter was conducted to evaluate performance. The converter showed good performance as expected. In addition, the characteristics of the FPSE were investigated. Based on these achievements, prototype models of the FPSE for household use were designed and tested as part of a project supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization.

  2. Free-Piston Stirling Machine for Extreme Temperatures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, James Gary (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    A free piston Stirling machine including a thermal buffer tube extending from the machine's expansion space and surrounded by its heat rejector and its regenerator, a displacer cylinder extending from the thermal buffer tube to the compression space and surrounded by the heat rejecting heat exchanger, and a displacer that reciprocates within an excursion limit that extends into the regenerator by no more than 20% of the length of the regenerator during normal operation and preferably within excursion limits that are substantially the length of the heat rejector.

  3. Initial results of sensitivity tests performed on the RE-1000 free-piston stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiber, J.G.

    1984-08-01

    A 1 kW (1.33hp) single cylinder free-piston Stirling engine has been tested in the test facilities at the Lewis laboratory. Tests have been performed over the past several years on an engine designed to investigate the dynamics of a free-piston Stirling engine for the purpose of computer code validation. A description of the engine and its instrumentation is given in a prior NASA report TM-82999. Some initial test results are given in NASA Report TM-83407. Tests to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations in working space pressure, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics have been initiated at Lewis. Maps of engine performance have been recorded with the use of an 81.2% porosity regenerator; both a high efficiency displacer and a high power displacer were tested; efficiencies up to 33% were recorded and power output of approximately 1500 watts was recorded. This report presents preliminary results from the Lewis sensitivity tests being performed on the RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine. Descriptions of future tests are also given.

  4. Gas-fired duplex free-piston Stirling refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urieli, L.

    1984-03-01

    The duplex free-piston Stirling refrigerator is a potentially high efficiency, high reliability device which is ideally suited to the home appliance field, in particular as a gas-fired refrigerator. It has significant advantages over other equivalent devices including freedom from halogenated hydrocarbons, extremely low temperatures available at a high efficiency, integrated water heating, and simple burner system control. The design and development of a portable working demonstration gas-fired duplex Stirling refrigeration unit is described. A unique combination of computer aided development and experimental development was used, enabling a continued interaction between the theoretical analysis and practical testing and evaluation. A universal test rig was developed in order to separately test and evaluate major subunits, enabling a smooth system integration phase.

  5. Advanced Controller for the Free-Piston Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerber, Scott S.; Jamison, Mike; Roth, Mary Ellen; Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling power convertor is being considered as an advanced power conversion technology to be used for future NASA deep space missions requiring long life radioisotope power systems. This technology has a conversion efficiency of over 25%, which is significantly higher than the efficiency of the Radioisotope Thermal-electric Generators (RTG) now in use. The NASA Glenn Research Center has long been recognized as a leader in Stirling technology and is responsible for the development of advanced technologies that are intended to significantly improve key characteristics of the Stirling convertor. The advanced technologies identified for development also consider the requirements of potential future missions and the new capabilities that have become available in the associated technical areas. One of the key areas identified for technology development is the engine controller. To support this activity, an advanced controller is being developed for the Stirling power convertor. This controller utilizes active power factor correction electronics and microcontroller-based controls. The object of this paper is to present an overview of the advanced controller concept with modeling, simulation and hardware test data.

  6. Free-piston stirling engine endurance test program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, G.; Rauch, J.; Antonelli, G.

    1983-01-01

    The Free-Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) has the potential to be a long-lived, highly reliable, power conversion device attractive for many product applications such as space, residential, or remote-site power. The purpose of endurance testing the FPSE is to demonstrate its potential for long life. The endurance program was directed at obtaining 1000 operational hours under various test conditions: low power, full stroke, duty cycle, and stop/start. Critical performance parameters were measured to note any change and/or trend. Inspections were conducted to measure and compare critical seal/bearing clearance. The engine performed well throughout the program, completing the 1000 hours. Hardware inspection, including the critical clearances, showed no significant change in hardware or clearance dimensions. The performance parameters did not exhibit any increasing or decreasing trends. The test program confirms the potential for long-life FPSE applications. Additional testing is planned to increase the test hours to 10,000.

  7. Palm Power Free-Piston Stirling Engine Control Electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keiter, Douglas E.; Holliday, Ezekiel

    2007-01-01

    A prototype 35We, JP-8 fueled, soldier-wearable power system for the DARPA Palm Power program has been developed and tested by Sunpower. A hermetically-sealed 42We Sunpower Free-Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) with integral linear alternator is the prime mover for this system. To maximize system efficiency over a broad range of output power, a non-dissipative, highly efficient electronic control system which modulates engine output power by varying piston stroke and converts the AC output voltage of the FPSE into 28Vdc for the Palm Power end user, has been designed and demonstrated as an integral component of the Palm Power system. This paper reviews the current status and progress made in developing the control electronics for the Palm Power system, in addition to describing the operation and demonstrated performance of the engine controller in the context of the current JP-8 fueled Palm Power system.

  8. Component improvement of free-piston Stirling engine key technology for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1988-01-01

    The successful performance of the 25 kW Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine during an extensive testing period has provided a baseline of free piston Stirling engine technology from which future space Stirling engines may evolve. Much of the success of the engine was due to the initial careful selection of engine materials, fabrication and joining processes, and inspection procedures. Resolution of the few SPD engine problem areas that did occur has resulted in the technological advancement of certain key free piston Stirling engine components. Derivation of two half-SPD, single piston engines from the axially opposed piston SPD engine, designated as Space Power Research (SPR) engines, has made possible the continued improvement of these engine components. The two SPR engines serve as test bed engines for testing of engine components. Some important fabrication and joining processes are reviewed. Also, some component deficiencies that were discovered during SPD engine testing are described and approaches that were taken to correct these deficiencies are discussed. Potential component design modifications, based upon the SPD and SPR engine testing, are also reported.

  9. Space Power Free-Piston Stirling Engine Scaling Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, D.

    1989-01-01

    The design feasibility study is documented of a single cylinder, free piston Stirling engine/linear alternator (FPSE/LA) power module generating 150 kW-electric (kW sub e), and the determination of the module's maximum feasible power level. The power module configuration was specified to be a single cylinder (single piston, single displacer) FPSE/LA, with tuning capacitors if required. The design requirements were as follows: (1) Maximum electrical power output; (2) Power module thermal efficiency equal to or greater than 20 percent at a specific mass of 5 to 8 kg/kW(sub e); (3) Heater wall temperature/cooler wall temperature = 1050 K/525 K; (4) Sodium heat-pipe heat transport system, pumped loop NaK (sodium-potassium eutectic mixture) rejection system; (5) Maximum power module vibration amplitude = 0.0038 cm; and (6) Design life = 7 years (60,000 hr). The results show that a single cylinder FPSE/LA is capable of meeting program goals and has attractive scaling attributes over the power range from 25 to 150 kW(sub e). Scaling beyond the 150 kW(sub e) power level, the power module efficiency falls and the power module specific mass reaches 10 kg/kW(sub e) at a power output of 500 kW(sub e). A discussion of scaling rules for the engine, alternator, and heat transport systems is presented, along with a detailed description of the conceptual design of a 150 kW(sub e) power module that meets the requirements. Included is a discussion of the design of a dynamic balance system. A parametric study of power module performance conducted over the power output range of 25 to 150 kW(sub e) for temperature ratios of 1.7, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 is presented and discussed. The results show that as the temperature ratio decreases, the efficiency falls and specific mass increases. At a temperature ratio of 1.7, the 150 kW(sub e) power module cannot satisfy both efficiency and specific mass goals. As the power level increases from 25 to 150 kW(sub e) at a fixed temperature ratio, power

  10. Magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curwen, P. W.; Fleming, D. P.; Rao, D. K.; Wilson, D. S.

    1992-01-01

    The feasibility and efficacy of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery currently being developed for long-term space missions are assessed. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) which currently uses hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are feasible for the RSSPC power piston. Magnetic support of the displacer assembly would require unacceptable changes to the design of the current RSSPC. However, magnetic suspension of both displacer and power piston is feasible for a relative-displacer version of the RSSPC. Magnetic suspension of the RSSPC power piston can potentially increase overall efficiency by 0.5 to 1 percent (0.1 to 0.3 efficiency points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. These advantages, however, are accompanied by a 5 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC.

  11. Magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curwen, P. W.; Flemig, D. P.; Rao, D. K.; Wilson, D. S.

    1992-01-01

    The feasibility and efficiency of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery currently being developed for long-term space missions are assessed. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) which currently uses hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are feasible for the RSSPC power piston. Magnetic support of the displacer assembly would require unacceptable changes to the design of the current RSSPC. However, magnetic suspension of both displacer and power piston is feasible for a relative-displacer version of the RSSPC. Magnetic suspension of the RSSPC power piston can potentially increase overall efficiency by 0.5 to 1 percent (0.1 to 0.3 efficieny points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. These advantages, however, are accompanied by a 5 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC.

  12. Magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curwen, P. W.; Flemig, D. P.; Rao, D. K.; Wilson, D. S.

    The feasibility and efficiency of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery currently being developed for long-term space missions are assessed. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) which currently uses hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are feasible for the RSSPC power piston. Magnetic support of the displacer assembly would require unacceptable changes to the design of the current RSSPC. However, magnetic suspension of both displacer and power piston is feasible for a relative-displacer version of the RSSPC. Magnetic suspension of the RSSPC power piston can potentially increase overall efficiency by 0.5 to 1 percent (0.1 to 0.3 efficieny points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. These advantages, however, are accompanied by a 5 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC.

  13. Magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curwen, P. W.; Fleming, D. P.; Rao, D. K.; Wilson, D. S.

    1992-08-01

    The feasibility and efficacy of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery currently being developed for long-term space missions are assessed. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) which currently uses hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are feasible for the RSSPC power piston. Magnetic support of the displacer assembly would require unacceptable changes to the design of the current RSSPC. However, magnetic suspension of both displacer and power piston is feasible for a relative-displacer version of the RSSPC. Magnetic suspension of the RSSPC power piston can potentially increase overall efficiency by 0.5 to 1 percent (0.1 to 0.3 efficiency points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. These advantages, however, are accompanied by a 5 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC.

  14. Loss terms in free-piston Stirling-engine models. Final Technical Report

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon, L.B.

    1992-01-01

    Various models for free piston Stirling engines are reviewed. Initial models were developed primarily for design purposes and to predict operating parameters, especially efficiency. More recently, however, such models have been used to predict engine stability. Free piston Stirling engines have no kinematic constraints and stability may not only be sensitive to the load, but also to various nonlinear loss and spring constraints. The present understanding is reviewed of various loss mechanisms for free piston Stirling engines and how they have been incorporated into engine models is discussed.

  15. Comparison of measured and calculated forces on the RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine displacer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1987-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center has tested a 1 kW free-piston Stirling engine at the NASA Lewis test facilities. The tests performed over the past several years on the RE-1000 single cylinder engine are known as the sensitivity tests. This report presents an analysis of some of the data published in the sensitivity test report. A basic investigation into the measured forces acting on the unconstrained displacer of the engine is presented. These measured forces are then correlated with the values predicted by the NASA Lewis Stirling engine computer simulation. The results of the investigation are presented in the form of phasor diagrams. Possible future work resulting from this investigation is outlined.

  16. Developmental Considerations on the Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor for Use in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines with rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were proposed with lightly loaded linkages to achieve the necessary life. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: demonstration of life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in flight, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both flight and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  17. Developmental Considerations on the Free-piston Stirling Power Convertor for Use in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines with rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were proposed with lightly loaded linkages to achieve the necessary life. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: demonstration of life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in flight, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both flight and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  18. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine sensitivity test results. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiber, J.G.; Geng, S.M.; Lorenz, G.V.

    1986-10-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center has been testing a 1 kW (1.33 hp) free-piston Stirling engine at the NASA Lewis test facilities. The tests performed over the past several years have been on a single cylinder machine known as the RE-1000. The data recorded were to aid in the investigation of the dynamics and thermodynamics of the free-piston Stirling engine. The data are intended to be used primarily for computer code validation. NASA reports TM-82999, TM-83407, and TM-87126 give initial results of the engine tests. The tests were designed to investigate the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations on the mean pressure of the working space, the working fluid used, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass and displacer dynamics. These tests have now been completed at NASA Lewis. This report presents some of the detailed data collected in the sensitivity tests. In all, 781 data points were recorded. A complete description of the engine and test facility is given. Many of the data can be found in tabular form, while a microfiche containing all of the data points can be requested from NASA Lewis.

  19. 5-kWe Free-piston Stirling Engine Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, Peter A.; Vitale, Nicholas A.; Walter, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The high reliability, long life, and efficient operation of Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSEs) make them an attractive power system to meet future space power requirements with less mass, better efficiency, and less total heat exchanger area than other power convertor options. FPSEs are also flexible in configuration as they can be coupled with many potential heat sources and various heat input systems, heat rejection systems, and power management and distribution systems. Development of a 5-kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly (SCA) is underway to demonstrate the viability of an FPSE for space power. The design is a scaled-down version of the successful 12.5-kWe Component Test Power Converter (CTPC) developed under NAS3-25463. The ultimate efficiency target is 25% overall convertor efficiency (electrical power out over heat in). For the single cylinder prototype now in development, cost and time constraints required use of economical and readily available materials (steel versus beryllium) and components (a commercially available linear alternator) and thus lower efficiency. The working gas is helium at 150 bar mean pressure. The design consists of a displacer suspended on internally pumped gas bearings and a power piston/alternator supported on flexures. Non-contacting clearance seals are used between internal volumes. Heat to and from the prototype convertor is done via pumped liquid loops passing through shell and tube heat exchangers. The preliminary and detail designs of the convertor, controller, and support systems (heating loop, cooling loop, and helium supply system) are complete and all hardware is on order. Assembly and test of the prototype at Foster- Miller is planned for early 2008, when work will focus on characterizing convertor dynamics and steady-state operation to determine maximum power output and system efficiency. The device will then be delivered to Auburn University where assessments will include start-up and shutdown characterization and

  20. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine technology activities applicable to space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1987-01-01

    A brief overview is presented of the development and technological activities of the free-piston Stirling engine. The engine started as a small scale fractional horsepower engine which demonstrated basic engine operating principles and the advantages of being hermetically sealed, highly efficient, and simple. It eventually developed into the free piston Stirling engine driven heat pump, and then into the SP-100 Space Reactor Power Program from which came the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE). The SPDE successfully operated for over 300 hr and delivered 20 kW of PV power to an alternator plunger. The SPDE demonstrated that a dynamic power conversion system can, with proper design, be balanced; and the engine performed well with externally pumped hydrostatic gas bearings.

  1. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine technology activities applicable to space power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    A brief overview is presented of the development and technological activities of the free-piston Stirling engine. The engine started as a small scale fractional horsepower engine which demonstrated basic engine operating principles and the advantages of being hermetically sealed, highly efficient, and simple. It eventually developed into the free piston Stirling engine driven heat pump, and then into the SP-100 Space Reactor Power Program from which came the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE). The SPDE successfully operated for over 300 hr and delivered 20 kW of PV power to an alternator plunger. The SPDE demonstrated that a dynamic power conversion system can, with proper design, be balanced; and the engine performed well with externally pumped hydrostatic gas bearings.

  2. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Engine Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, Nick

    2008-01-01

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled "Affordable Fission Surface Power Study" recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling convertors for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW convertors allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-convertor combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

  3. Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Unit for Fission Surface Power, Phase I Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Buffalino, Andrew; Holliday, Ezekiel; Penswick, Barry; Gedeon, David

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes the design of a 12 kW dual opposed free-piston Stirling convertor and controller for potential future use in space missions. The convertor is heated via a pumped NaK loop and cooling is provided by a pumped water circuit. Convertor efficiency is projected at 27 percent (AC electrical out/heat in). The controller converts the AC electrical output to 120 Vdc and is projected at 91 percent efficiency. A mechanically simple arrangement, based on proven technology, was selected in which the piston is resonated almost entirely by the working space pressure swing, while the displacer is resonated by planar mechanical springs in the bounce space.

  4. Initial results of sensitivity tests - Performed on the RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, J. G.

    1984-01-01

    Tests have been performed over several years to investigate the dynamics of a free-piston Stirling engine for the purpose of computer code validation. Tests on the 1 kW (1.33 hp) single cylinder engine have involved the determination of the sensitivity of the engine performance to variations in working space pressure, heater and cooler temperatures, regenerator porosity, power piston mass, and displacer dynamics. Maps of engine performance have been recorded with the use of an 81.2 percent porosity regenerator. Both a high-efficiency displacer and a high-power displacer were tested; efficiencies up to 33 percent were recorded, and power output of approximately 1500 W was obtained. Preliminary results of the sensitivity tests are presented, and descriptions of future tests are given.

  5. Advanced Small Free-Piston Stirling Convertors for Space Power Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Lane, Neill

    2004-02-01

    This paper reports on the current status of an advanced 35 We free-piston Stirling convertor currently being developed under NASA SBIR Phase II funding. Also described is a further advanced and higher performance ~80 watt free-piston convertor being developed by Sunpower and Boeing/Rocketdyne for NASA under NRA funding. Exceptional overall convertor (engine plus linear alternator) thermodynamic performance (greater than 50% of Carnot) with specific powers around 100 We /kg appear reasonable at these low power levels.

  6. Development of Electronic Load Controllers for Free-Piston Stirling Convertors Aided by Stirling Simulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling convertor end-to-end modeling effort at the NASA Glenn Research Center has produced a software-based test bed in which free-piston Stirling convertors can be simulated and evaluated. The simulation model includes all the components of the convertor: the Stirling cycle engine, heat source, linear alternator, controller, and load. So far, it has been used in evaluating the performance of electronic controller designs. Three different controller design concepts were simulated using the model: 1) Controllers with parasitic direct current loading. 2) Controllers with parasitic alternating current loading. 3) Controllers that maintain a reference current. The free-piston Stirling convertor is an electromechanical device that operates at resonance. It is the function of the electronic load controller to ensure that the electrical load seen by the machine is always great enough to keep the amplitude of the piston and alternator oscillation at the rated value. This is done by regulating the load on the output bus. The controller monitors the instantaneous voltage, regulating it by switching loads called parasitic loads onto the bus whenever the bus voltage is too high and removing them whenever the voltage is too low. In the first type of controller, the monitor-ing and switching are done on the direct-current (dc) bus. In the second type, the alternating current bus is used. The model allows designers to test a controller concept before investing time in hardware. The simulation code used to develop the model also offers detailed models of digital and analog electronic components so that the resulting designs are realistic enough to translate directly into hardware circuits.

  7. A feasibility assessment of magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling space power converters

    SciTech Connect

    Curwen, P.W.; Rao, D.K.; Wilson, D.S.

    1992-06-01

    This report describes work performed by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) under NASA Contract NAS3-26061, {open_quotes}A Feasibility Assessment of Magnetic Bearings for Free-Piston Stirling Space Engines.{close_quotes} The work was performed over the period from July 1990 through August 1991. The objective of the effort was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery of the type currently being evaluated for possible use in future long-term space missions.

  8. Overview of the 1985 NASA Lewis Research Center SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J.

    1985-01-01

    This effort is keyed on the design, fabrication, assembly, and testing of a 25 kWe Stirling space-power technology-feasibility demonstrator engine. Another facet of the SP-100 project covers the status of a 9000-hr endurance test conducted on a 2 kWe free-piston Stirling/linear alternator system employing hydrostatic gas bearings. Dynamic balancing of the RE-1000 engine (a 1 kWe free-piston Stirling engine) using a passive dynamic absorber will be discussed along with the results of a parametric study showing the relationships of Stirling power converter specific weight and efficiency as functions of Stirling engine heater to cooler temperature ratio. Planned tests will be described covering a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept for potential SP-100 application.

  9. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Specific Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell Henry

    2014-01-01

    This work uses analytical methods to demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and/or displacer motion in a Stirling Engine. Isothermal analysis was used to show the potential benefits of ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. Nodal analysis is used to show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal in real Stirling engines. Constrained optimization was used to identify piston and displacer waveforms that increase Stirling engine specific power.

  10. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Specific Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2015-01-01

    This work uses analytical methods to demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and/or displacer motion in a Stirling engine. Isothermal analysis was used to show the potential benefits of ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. Nodal analysis is used to show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal in real Stirling engines. Constrained optimization was used to identify piston and displacer waveforms that increase Stirling engine specific power.

  11. Assessment of the Free-piston Stirling Convertor as a Long Life Power Convertor for Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2001-01-01

    There is currently a renewed interest in the use of free-piston Stirling power convertors for space power applications. More specifically, the Stirling convertor is being developed to be part of the Stirling Radioisotope Power System to supply electric power to spacecraft for NASA deep space science missions. The current development effort involves the Department of Energy, Germantown, MD, the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, and the Stirling Technology Company, Kennewick, WA. The Stirling convertor will absorb heat supplied from the decay of plutonium dioxide contained in the General Purpose Heat Source modules and convert it into electricity to power the spacecraft. For many years the "potentials" of the free-piston Stirling convertor have been publicized by it's developers. Among these "potentials" were long life and high reliability. This paper will present an overview of the critical areas that enable long life of the free-piston Stirling power convertor, and present some of the techniques that have been used when long life has been achieved.

  12. The development of a free-piston Stirling engine power conversion system for multiple applications utilizing alternative fuel sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marusak, T. J.

    The thermodynamic and mechanical advantages of free-piston Stirling engines developed to date by NASA, and their future potential as small powerplants, are discussed. Applications include heat-pumps, mobile electric power systems, solar thermal electric power generation and multiple heat source-capability power systems. Existing prototypes have demonstrated engine efficiencies of 33% even at low output levels, and an advanced design capable of 40% efficiency and an output power of more than 3 kW is currently undergoing extensive testing.

  13. 1987 overview of free-piston Stirling technology for space power application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.; Alger, Donald L.

    1987-01-01

    The Lewis Research Center program concerned with the development of a free-piston Stirling engine for space-power applications is examined. The system mass of a Stirling system is compared to that of a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power; the advantages of the Stirling system are discussed. The predicted and experimental performances of the 25 kWe opposed-piston space power demonstrator engine are evaluated. It is determined that in order to enhance performance the regenerator needs to be modified, and the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston needs to be isolated in order to increase the operating stroke. Identification and correction of the energy losses, the design and operation of the linear alternator, and heat exchange concepts are considered. The design parameters and conceptual design characteristics for a 25 kWe single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter are described.

  14. Simulation of the instantaneous free piston Stirling engine-electrical load interaction

    SciTech Connect

    Mehdizadeh, N.S.; Stouffs, P.

    1998-07-01

    In this paper the authors consider a gamma type free piston engine (that is, a configuration with a power piston cylinder and a separate displacer cylinder) with the MARTINI configuration (that is, with a free piston but a kinematically driven displacer). In the modeled engine, the displacer is driven by an electrical motor and there are two symmetrical, free, power pistons. This configuration ensures a complete balancing of the engine. The free pistons bear the moving parts of the linear electric alternators. This engine may be considered for solar to electrical energy conversion for land or space applications, for instance. A dynamic simulation of this engine has been developed using a decoupled analysis. The motion equation of the free piston induces a strong coupling between the electrical load and the thermodynamics inside the free piston Stirling engine. From the thermodynamics point of view, the piston-displacer phase lag is an important parameter. It is shown that if the electrical circuit elements (R-L-C) are constants, the phase lag between the free pistons and displacer motions is far from the optimum. However this phase lag can be controlled by means of a variable electrical resistance. For both cases of stand-alone engine with an independent electrical load, or grid-connected engine, it is shown how one can in a very simple way multiply the net electrical power by a factor 4 to 10 and the efficiency by a factor 1.25 to 2 without any engine geometry modification.

  15. Overview of the 1985 NASA Lewis Research Center SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1985-01-01

    An overview of the 1985 (NASA) Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities in support of the SP-100 Program is presented. The SP-100 program is being conducted in support of the Department of Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA. This effort is keyed on the design, fabrication, assembly, and testing of a 25 kW(e) Stirling space-power technology-feasibility demonstrator engine. Another facet of the SP-100 project covers the status of a 9000-h goal endurance test conducted on a 2 kW(e) free-piston Stirling/linear alternator system employing hydrostatic gas bearings. Dynamic balancing of the RE-1000 engine (a 1 kW(e) free-piston Stirling engine) using a passive dynamic absorber is discussed, along with the results of a parametric study showing the relationships of Stirling power converter specific weight and efficiency as functions of Stirling engine heater to cooler temperature ratio. Planned tests are described covering a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept for potential SP-100 application.

  16. Free-Piston Stirling Convertor Controller Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling convertor end-to-end modeling effort at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has produced a software-based test bed in which free-piston Stirling convertors can be simulated and evaluated. The simulation model includes all the components of the convertor - the Stirling cycle engine, linear alternator, controller, and load. This paper is concerned with controllers. It discusses three controllers that have been studied using this model. Case motion has been added to the model recently so that effects of differences between convertor components can be simulated and ameliorative control engineering techniques can be developed. One concern when applying a system comprised of interconnected mass-spring-damper components is to prevent operation in any but the intended mode. The design mode is the only desired mode of operation, but all other modes are considered in controller design.

  17. Overview of free-piston Stirling SP-100 activities at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These activities are being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA. The space-power technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE). Another facet of the SP-100 project covers the status of an endurance test. Dynamic balancing of the SPDE engine is discussed along with a summary covering the parametric results of a study showing the relationship between power-converter specific weight and efficiency both as a function of Stirling engine heater to cooler temperature ratio. Design parameters and conceptual design features are presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. And finally, a description of a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept is presented.

  18. Overview of free-piston Stirling engine technology for space power application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of free-piston Stirling engine activities, directed toward space power applications. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators are discussed. Technology work was conducted on heat-exchanger concepts to minimize the number of joints as well as to enhance the heat transfer in the heater. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space power converter. Projections are made for future space power requirements over the next few decades along with a recommendation to consider the use of dynamic power conversion systems, either solar or nuclear. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits of a Stirling system over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power. A description of a study to investigate the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space power module to the 150 kWe power range is presented.

  19. Overview of free-piston Stirling engine technology for space power application

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion of which the Stirling cycle is a viable candidate. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Technology work is also conducted on heat-exchanger concepts, both design and fabrication, to minimize the number of joints as well as to enhance the heat transfer in the heater. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. Projections are made for future space-power requirements over the next few decades along with a recommendation to consider the use of dynamic power-conversion systems - either solar or nuclear. A description of a study to investigate the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power module to the 150 kWe power range is presented.

  20. Conceptual study of the potential for automotive-derived and free-piston Stirling engines in 30- to 400-kilowatt stationary power applications. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Vatsky, A.; Chen, H.S.; Dineen, J.

    1982-05-01

    The technical feasibility of applying automotive-derived kinematic and free-piston Stirling engine concepts for stationary applications was explored. Automotive-derived engines offer cost advantages by providing a mature and developed engine technology base with downrating and parts commonality options for specific applications. Two engine sizes (30 and 400 kW), two Stirling engine configurations (kinematic and free-piston), and two output systems (crankshaft and hydraulic pump) were studied. The study includes the influences of using either hydrogen or helium as the working gas. The first kinematic configuration selects an existing Stirling engine design from an automotive application and adapts it to stationary requirements. A 50,000-hour life requirement was established by downrating the engine to 40 kW and reducing auxiliary loads. Efficiency improvements were gained by selective material and geometric variations and peak brake efficiency of 36.8 percent using helium gas was achieved. The second design was a four-cylinder, 400 kW engine, utilizing a new output drive system known as the z-crank, which provides lower friction losses and variable stroke power control. Three different material and working gas combinations were considered. Brake efficiency levels varied from 40.5 percent to 45.6 percent. A 37.5 kW single-cycle, free-piston hydraulic output design was generated by scaling one cylinder of the original automotive engine and mating it to a counterbalanced reciprocal hydraulic pump. Metallic diaphragms were utilized to transmit power.

  1. A conceptual study of the potential for automotive-derived and free-piston Stirling engines in 30- to 400-kilowatt stationary power applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vatsky, A.; Chen, H. S.; Dineen, J.

    1982-01-01

    The technical feasibility of applying automotive-derived kinematic and free-piston Stirling engine concepts for stationary applications was explored. Automotive-derived engines offer cost advantages by providing a mature and developd engine technology base with downrating and parts commonality options for specific applications. Two engine sizes (30 and 400 kW), two Stirling engine configurations (kinematic and free-piston), and two output systems (crankshaft and hydraulic pump) were studied. The study includes the influences of using either hydrogen or helium as the working gas. The first kinematic configuration selects an existing Stirling engine design from an automotive application and adapts it to stationary requirements. A 50,000-hour life requirement was established by downrating the engine to 40 kW and reducing auxiliary loads. Efficiency improvements were gained by selective material and geometric variations and peak brake efficiency of 36.8 percent using helium gas was achieved. The second design was a four-cylinder, 400 kW engine, utilizing a new output drive system known as the z-crank, which provides lower friction losses and variable stroke power control. Three different material and working gas combinations were considered. Brake efficiency levels varied from 40.5 percent to 45.6 percent. A 37.5 kW single-cycle, free-piston hydraulic output design was generated by scaling one cylinder of the original automotive engine and mating it to a counterbalanced reciprocal hydraulic pump. Metallic diaphragms were utilized to transmit power.

  2. A conceptual study of the potential for automotive-derived and free-piston Stirling engines in 30- to 400-kilowatt stationary power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vatsky, A.; Chen, H. S.; Dineen, J.

    1982-05-01

    The technical feasibility of applying automotive-derived kinematic and free-piston Stirling engine concepts for stationary applications was explored. Automotive-derived engines offer cost advantages by providing a mature and developd engine technology base with downrating and parts commonality options for specific applications. Two engine sizes (30 and 400 kW), two Stirling engine configurations (kinematic and free-piston), and two output systems (crankshaft and hydraulic pump) were studied. The study includes the influences of using either hydrogen or helium as the working gas. The first kinematic configuration selects an existing Stirling engine design from an automotive application and adapts it to stationary requirements. A 50,000-hour life requirement was established by downrating the engine to 40 kW and reducing auxiliary loads. Efficiency improvements were gained by selective material and geometric variations and peak brake efficiency of 36.8 percent using helium gas was achieved. The second design was a four-cylinder, 400 kW engine, utilizing a new output drive system known as the z-crank, which provides lower friction losses and variable stroke power control. Three different material and working gas combinations were considered. Brake efficiency levels varied from 40.5 percent to 45.6 percent. A 37.5 kW single-cycle, free-piston hydraulic output design was generated by scaling one cylinder of the original automotive engine and mating it to a counterbalanced reciprocal hydraulic pump. Metallic diaphragms were utilized to transmit power.

  3. Update on the advanced Stirling conversion system project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Wong, Wayne A.

    1992-01-01

    Technology development for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications is examined. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for both solar and nuclear space power applications. Two parallel design directions feature a solar receiver/liquid metal heat transport system, and a free-piston Stirling convertor which incorporates a linear alternator to directly provide the electrical output of about 25 kW to a utility grid. The Cummins Engine Company (CEC) free-piston Stirling convertor incorporates a linear alternator along with hydrodynamic gas bearings to provide noncontacting, wear-free support to the pistons. The Stirling Technology Company design incorporates linear alternator technology with flexures that provide noncontacting support while also supplying much of the spring stiffness needed to obtain proper resonance.

  4. Free-piston Stirling engine conceptual design and technologies for space power, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penswick, L. Barry; Beale, William T.; Wood, J. Gary

    1990-01-01

    As part of the SP-100 program, a phase 1 effort to design a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) for a space dynamic power conversion system was completed. SP-100 is a combined DOD/DOE/NASA program to develop nuclear power for space. This work was completed in the initial phases of the SP-100 program prior to the power conversion concept selection for the Ground Engineering System (GES). Stirling engine technology development as a growth option for SP-100 is continuing after this phase 1 effort. Following a review of various engine concepts, a single-cylinder engine with a linear alternator was selected for the remainder of the study. The relationships of specific mass and efficiency versus temperature ratio were determined for a power output of 25 kWe. This parametric study was done for a temperature ratio range of 1.5 to 2.0 and for hot-end temperatures of 875 K and 1075 K. A conceptual design of a 1080 K FPSE with a linear alternator producing 25 kWe output was completed. This was a single-cylinder engine designed for a 62,000 hour life and a temperature ratio of 2.0. The heat transport systems were pumped liquid-metal loops on both the hot and cold ends. These specifications were selected to match the SP-100 power system designs that were being evaluated at that time. The hot end of the engine used both refractory and superalloy materials; the hot-end pressure vessel featured an insulated design that allowed use of the superalloy material. The design was supported by the hardware demonstration of two of the component concepts - the hydrodynamic gas bearing for the displacer and the dynamic balance system. The hydrodynamic gas bearing was demonstrated on a test rig. The dynamic balance system was tested on the 1 kW RE-1000 engine at NASA Lewis.

  5. An update of free-piston Stirling engine heat pump development

    SciTech Connect

    Ackermann, R.A.; Clinch, J.M.; Privon, G.T.

    1986-01-01

    A Free-Piston Stirling Engine Heat Pump (FPSE/HP) for residential applications has been under development for the past five years. The system consists of a natural gas combustor, free-piston Stirling engine, and a variable-stroke resonant piston refrigerant compressor. The compressor is linked to the engine via a unique hydraulic transmission that provides for both efficient power transfer and hermetic sealing between the engine working fluid (helium) and the compressor refrigerant. This development effort has led to a breadboard heat pump power module, engine/transmission/compressor, that has undergone a comprehensive test program to evaluate the performance of an FPSE/HP and to judge its potential for further development. The results obtained from this testing are presented in this paper.

  6. Free-piston Stirling Engine system considerations for various space power applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, George R.; Dhar, Manmohan

    1991-01-01

    Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE) have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, and efficient operation. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for the dynamic power conversion module of a space-based, power-generating system. FPSE can be coupled with many potential heat sources (radioisotope, solar, or nuclear reactor), various heat input systems (pumped loop, heat pipe), heat rejection (pumped loop or heat pipe), and various power management and distribution systems (ac, dc, high or low voltage, and fixed or variable load). This paper reviews potential space missions that can be met using free-piston Stirling engines and discusses options of various system integration approaches. This paper briefly outlines the program and recent progress.

  7. Free-piston Stirling engine development. Annual report, December 1, 1984-December 31, 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Ackermann, R.A.

    1986-04-01

    The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) is being developed as a potential gas-fired prime mover for heat-pump applications in the residential market. The heat pump features an advanced FPSE coupled to a Rankine refrigerant compressor through a hermetically sealed diaphragm-activated hydraulic transmission. During the past year, the program has concentrated on developing the engine and compressor component improvement in performance and realiability. The report presents the progress made.

  8. Comparative survey of dynamic analyses of free-piston stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Kankam, M.D.; Rauch, J.S.

    1994-09-01

    This paper compares reported dynamic analyses for evaluating the steady-state response and stability of free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) systems. Various analytical approaches are discussed to provide guidance on their salient features. Recommendations are made in the recommendations remarks for an approach which captures most of the inherent properties of the engine. Such an approach has the potential for yielding results which will closely match practical FPSE-load systems.

  9. Comparative survey of dynamic analyses of free-piston Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kankam, M. David; Rauch, Jeffrey S.

    1991-01-01

    Reported dynamics analyses for evaluating the steady-state response and stability of free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) systems are compared. Various analytical approaches are discussed to provide guidance on their salient features. Recommendations are made in the recommendations remarks for an approach which captures most of the inherent properties of the engine. Such an approach has the potential for yielding results which will closely match practical FPSE-load systems.

  10. Preliminary assessment of a magnetically coupled free-piston Stirling engine heat pump compressor

    SciTech Connect

    Beale, W.T.; Chen, G.

    1988-01-01

    The potential advantages of direct magnetic coupling of a free-piston Stirling engine with a vapor compressor are being investigated experimentally. Results to date indicate no problems with dynamics, mechanical arrangements, efficiency or deterioration. The problems of size and cost remain, but these are determined by the properties of the magnetic material, which are improving rapidly. If the magnet material becomes available at a satisfactory price, the work undertaken here will facilitate a commercially attractive magnet drive system. 4 figs.

  11. Advanced 35 W Free-Piston Stirling Engine for Space Power Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Lane, Neill

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents the projected performance and overall design characteristics of a high efficiency, low mass 35 W free-piston Stirling engine design. Overall (engine plus linear alternator) thermodynamic performance greater than 50% of Carnot, with a specific power close to 100 W/kg appears to be a reasonable goal at this small power level. Supporting test data and analysis results from exiting engines are presented. Design implications of high specific power in relatively low power engines is presented and discussed.

  12. Control scheme for power modulation of a free piston Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    Dhar, Manmohan

    1989-01-01

    The present invention relates to a control scheme for power modulation of a free-piston Stirling engine-linear alternator power generator system. The present invention includes connecting an autotransformer in series with a tuning capacitance between a linear alternator and a utility grid to maintain a constant displacement to piston stroke ratio and their relative phase angle over a wide range of operating conditions.

  13. The 1988 overview of free-piston Stirling technology for space power at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1988-01-01

    The completion of the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) testing is discussed, terminating with the generation of 25 kW of engine power from a dynamically-balanced opposed-piston Stirling engine at a temperature ratio of 2.0. Engine efficiency was greater than 22 percent. The SPDE recently was divided into 2 separate single cylinder engines, Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), that serves as test beds for the evaluation of key technology disciplines, which include hydrodynamic gas bearings, high efficiency linear alternators, space qualified heat pipe heat exchangers, oscillating flow code validation, and engine loss understanding. The success of the SPDE at 650 K has resulted in a more ambitious Stirling endeavor, the design, fabrication, test, and evaluation of a designed-for-space 25 kW per cylinder Stirling Space Engine (SSE) to operate at a hot metal temperature of 1050 K using superalloy materials. This design is a low temperature confirmation of the 1300 K design. It is the 1300 K free-piston Stirling power conversion system that is the ultimate goal. The first two phases of this program, the 650 K SPDE and the 1050 K SSE are emphasized.

  14. On the dynamic response of pressure transmission lines in the research of helium-charged free piston Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Eric L.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1989-01-01

    The signal distortion inherent to pressure transmission lines in free-piston Stirling engine research is discussed. Based on results from classical analysis, guidelines are formulated to describe the dynamic response properties of a volume-terminated transmission tube for applications involving the helium-charged free-piston Stirling engines. The underdamped flow regime is described, the primary resonance frequency is derived, and the pressure phase and amplitude distortion are discussed. The scope and limitation of the dynamic response analysis are considered.

  15. Free-piston Stirling engine system considerations for various space power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Dochat, G.R.; Dhar, M. )

    1991-01-05

    The U.S. Government is evaluating power requirements for future space applications. As power requirements increase solar or nuclear dynamic systems become increasingly attractive. Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE) have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, and efficient operation. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for the dynamic power conversion module of a space-based, power-generating system. FPSE can be coupled with many potential heat sources (radioisotope, solar, or nuclear reactor), various heat input systems (pumped loop, heat pipe), heat rejection (pumped loop or heat pipe), and various power management and distribution systems (AC, DC, high or low voltage, and fixed or variable load). This paper will review potential space missions that can be met using free-piston Stirling engines and discusses options of various system integration approaches. Currently free-piston Stirling engine technology for space power applications is being developed under contract with NASA-Lewis Research Center. This paper will also briefly outline the program and recent progress.

  16. Progress in Developing a New 5 Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    SciTech Connect

    Brandhorst, Henry W. Jr.; Kirby, Raymond L.; Chapman, Peter A.

    2008-01-21

    The NASA Vision for Exploration of the Moon envisions a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kWe. In the 1990s, Mechanical Technology, Inc.'s Stirling Engine Systems Division (now a part of Foster-Miller, Inc.) developed a 25 kWe free piston Stirling Space Power Demonstrator Engine under the SP-100 program. This system consisted of two 12.5 kWe engines connected at their hot ends and mounted in tandem to cancel vibration. Recently, NASA and DoE have been developing dual 55 We and 80 We Stirling convertor systems for use with radioisotope heat sources. Total test times of all convertors in this effort exceed 120,000 hours. Recently, NASA began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kWe, single convertor for use in the Lunar power system. Goals of this development program include a specific power in excess of 140 We/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and a control system that will safely manage the convertors in case of an emergency. Auburn University awarded a subcontract to Foster-Miller, Inc. to undertake development of the 5 kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  17. 1987 Overview of the free-piston Stirling technology for space power application

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.; Alger, D.L.

    1994-09-01

    An overview is presented of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. Free-piston Stirling technology is applicable for both solar and nuclear powered systems. As such, NASA Lewis serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated NASA SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. This 5-yr program provides the technology thrust for providing significant component and subsystem options for increased efficiency, reliability and survivability, and power output growth at reduced specific mass. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable growth candidate. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are comparisons between predicted and experimental engine performance, enhanced performance resulting from regenerator modification, increased operating stroke brought about by isolating the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston, identifying excessive energy losses and recommending corrective action, and a better understanding of linear alternator design and operation. Technology work is also conducted on heat exchanger concepts, both design and fabrication, to minimize the number of joints as well as to enhance performance. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

  18. Start-up and control method and apparatus for resonant free piston Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    Walsh, Michael M.

    1984-01-01

    A resonant free-piston Stirling engine having a new and improved start-up and control method and system. A displacer linear electrodynamic machine is provided having an armature secured to and movable with the displacer and having a stator supported by the Stirling engine housing in juxtaposition to the armature. A control excitation circuit is provided for electrically exciting the displacer linear electrodynamic machine with electrical excitation signals having substantially the same frequency as the desired frequency of operation of the Stirling engine. The excitation control circuit is designed so that it selectively and controllably causes the displacer electrodynamic machine to function either as a generator load to extract power from the displacer or the control circuit selectively can be operated to cause the displacer electrodynamic machine to operate as an electric drive motor to apply additional input power to the displacer in addition to the thermodynamic power feedback to the displacer whereby the displacer linear electrodynamic machine also is used in the electric drive motor mode as a means for initially starting the resonant free-piston Stirling engine.

  19. Calibration and comparison of the NASA Lewis free-piston Stirling engine model predictions with RE-1000 test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.

    1987-01-01

    A free-piston Stirling engine performance code is being upgraded and validated at the NASA Lewis Research Center under an interagency agreement between the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA Lewis. Many modifications were made to the free-piston code in an attempt to decrease the calibration effort. A procedure was developed that made the code calibration process more systematic. Engine-specific calibration parameters are often used to bring predictions and experimental data into better agreement. The code was calibrated to a matrix of six experimental data points. Predictions of the calibrated free-piston code are compared with RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine sensitivity test data taken at NASA Lewis. Resonable agreement was obtained between the code predictions and the experimental data over a wide range of engine operating conditions.

  20. A 1987 overview of free-piston Stirling technology for space power application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.; Alger, Donald L.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. NASA Lewis serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated NASA SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. One of the major elements of this five-year program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable growth candidate. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are comparisons between predicted and experimental engine performance, enhanced performance resulting from regenerator modification, increased operating stroke brought about by isolating the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston, identifying excessive energy losses and recommending corrective action, and a better understanding of linear alternator design and operation. Technology work is also conducted on heat exchanger concepts, both design and fabrication. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter.

  1. Free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine and drive system for automobiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beremand, D. G.; Slaby, J. G.; Nussle, R. C.; Miao, D.

    1982-01-01

    The calculated fuel economy for an automotive free piston Stirling hydraulic engine and drive system using a pneumatic accumulator with the fuel economy of both a conventional 1980 spark ignition engine in an X body class vehicle and the estimated fuel economy of a 1984 spark ignition vehicle system are compared. The results show that the free piston Stirling hydraulic system with a two speed transmission has a combined fuel economy nearly twice that of the 1980 spark ignition engine - 21.5 versus 10.9 km/liter (50.7 versus 25.6 mpg) under comparable conditions. The fuel economy improvement over the 1984 spark ignition engine was 81 percent. The fuel economy sensitivity of the Stirling hydraulic system to system weight, number of transmission shifts, accumulator pressure ratio and maximum pressure, auxiliary power requirements, braking energy recovery, and varying vehicle performance requirements are considered. An important finding is that a multispeed transmission is not required. The penalty for a single speed versus a two speed transmission is about a 12 percent drop in combined fuel economy to 19.0 km/liter (44.7 mpg). This is still a 60 percent improvement in combined fuel economy over the projected 1984 spark ignition vehicle.

  2. Overview of free-piston Stirling SP-100 activities at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1986-01-01

    An overview of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) SP-100 free-piston Stirling engine activities is presented. These activities are being conducted in support of the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA. The space-power technology effort, under SP-100, addresses the status of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE). Another facet of the SP-100 project covers the status of an endurance test. Dynamic balancing of the SPDE engine will be discussed along with a summary covering the parametric results of a study showing the relationship between power-converter specific weight and efficiency both as a function of Stirling engine heater to cooler temperature ratio. Design parameters and conceptual design features will be presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. And finally, a description of a hydrodynamic gas bearing concept will be presented.

  3. Development of the Sunpower 35 We Free-Piston Stirling Convertor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Lane, Neill

    2005-02-01

    This paper describes the development and performance of the Sunpower 35 We free-piston Stirling convertor. Exceptional thermodynamic performance has been achieved in a small lightweight machine. Efficiency of over 30 percent, at a temperature ratio of 2.6 has been achieved. Specific power of the convertor in final low mass hermetically-sealed form is projected to exceed 90 watts/Kg. This convertor was developed under NASA SBIR funding. Potential applications for this convertor include highly efficient and low mass radioisotope fueled space power systems, as well as terrestrial use as a fuel fired battery replacement.

  4. Free-piston Stirling engine development. Annual report, December 1, 1983-December 31, 1984

    SciTech Connect

    Marusak, T.J.; Ackerman, R.A.

    1985-07-01

    The FPSE/HP is a heat-actuated heat pump that is being developed for residential applications. The system features an advanced free-piston Stirling engine coupled to a Rankine refrigerant compressor through a unique and highly efficient diaphragm-actuated hydraulic transmission. During the past year the program has concentrated on developing the performance of the individual components, and this report presents the progress made. The engine development is being funded by the Gas Research Institute, with the main technical goal of integrating the most advanced, reliable system components into a prototype FPSE heat pump module for laboratory testing and evaluation.

  5. The influence of thermodynamic losses on free-piston Stirling engine performance

    SciTech Connect

    Benvenuto, G.; Monte, F. de; Galli, G.

    1995-12-31

    In order to improve the performance of a free-piston Stirling engine by means of a thermodynamic design optimization, it is important to quantify the entropy productions related to the different causes of irreversibility typical of these machines. This is done in the present paper, where the entropy generated in the various engine components is calculated applying the energy and entropy balance equations and assuming for the engine behavior description a mathematical model presented in past studies. The developed methodology is applied to the Sunpower RE-1000 engine for which it allows the most important causes of energy loss to be singled out.

  6. A free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator controls and load interaction test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rauch, Jeffrey S.; Kankam, M. David; Santiago, Walter; Madi, Frank J.

    1992-01-01

    A test facility at LeRC was assembled for evaluating free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator control options, and interaction with various electrical loads. This facility is based on a 'SPIKE' engine/alternator. The engine/alternator, a multi-purpose load system, a digital computer based load and facility control, and a data acquisition system with both steady-periodic and transient capability are described. Preliminary steady-periodic results are included for several operating modes of a digital AC parasitic load control. Preliminary results on the transient response to switching a resistive AC user load are discussed.

  7. A free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator controls and load interaction test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Rauch, J.S.; Kankam, M.D.; Santiago, W.; Madi, F.J.

    1992-08-01

    A test facility at LeRC was assembled for evaluating free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator control options, and interaction with various electrical loads. This facility is based on a 'SPIKE' engine/alternator. The engine/alternator, a multi-purpose load system, a digital computer based load and facility control, and a data acquisition system with both steady-periodic and transient capability are described. Preliminary steady-periodic results are included for several operating modes of a digital AC parasitic load control. Preliminary results on the transient response to switching a resistive AC user load are discussed.

  8. On the dynamic response of pressure transmission lines in the research of helium-charged free piston Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Eric L.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1989-01-01

    In free piston Stirling engine research the integrity of both amplitude and phase of the dynamic pressure measurements is critical to the characterization of cycle dynamics and thermodynamics. It is therefore necessary to appreciate all possible sources of signal distortion when designing pressure measurement systems for this type of research. The signal distortion inherent to pressure transmission lines is discussed. Based on results from classical analysis, guidelines are formulated to describe the dynamic response properties of a volume-terminated transmission tube for applications involving helium-charged free piston Stirling engines. The scope and limitations of the dynamic response analysis are considered.

  9. Technology demonstration of a free-piston stirling advanced radioisotope space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Olan, Ronald W.; Erbeznik, Raymond M.

    1999-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors (Stirling engine with integral linear alternator) are a mature technology with demonstrated long-life, maintenance-free, degradation-free operation exceeding 46,000 hours (5+ years) on one unit. Tens of thousands of hours have been accumulated on numerous systems in beta trials, plus more than 8 million flexure-hours (900 flexure-years) on the most critical component (flexure bearings), all with no failures when operated within specifications. Vibration is a key concern for Stirling convertors in space. Recent tests have demonstrated a factor of 50 reduction in vibration, relative to a single convertor, by coupling two convertors mechanically and electrically. Even though the measured vibration level is below Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specified vibration objectives, demonstration of an additional factor of 10 vibration reduction is pending with an active vibration reduction system. Stirling cycle efficiency is well established. A four-convertor 150-W(e) end of mission (EOM) power system for deep space missions is projected to require only three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules with conservative Inconel 718 heater heads, leaving significant efficiency improvement potential when used with higher temperature materials. Even in the unlikely scenario of one inoperative convertor, the other three convertors ramp up to provide full output. A two-convertor demonstration system, representative of one-half of a 150-W(e) power system, is described in this paper and scheduled to become operational in December 1998.

  10. Summary of Test Results From a 1 kW(sub e)-Class Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors was modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The tests included performance mapping the convertors over various hot and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes and NaK flow rates; and transient test conditions to simulate various start-up and fault scenarios. Performance maps of the convertors generated using the pumped NaK loop for thermal input show increases in power output over those measured during baseline testing using electric heating. Transient testing showed that the Stirling convertors can be successfully started in a variety of different scenarios and that the convertors can recover from a variety of fault scenarios.

  11. Summary of Test Results From a 1 kWe-Class Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors was modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The tests included performance mapping the convertors over various hot and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes and NaK flow rates; and transient test conditions to simulate various start-up and fault scenarios. Performance maps of the convertors generated using the pumped NaK loop for thermal input show increases in power output over those measured during baseline testing using electric heating. Transient testing showed that the Stirling convertors can be successfully started in a variety of different scenarios and that the convertors can recover from a variety of fault scenarios.

  12. Comparison of free-piston Stirling engine model predictions with RE1000 engine test data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, R. C., Jr.

    1984-01-01

    Predictions of a free-piston Stirling engine model are compared with RE1000 engine test data taken at NASA-Lewis Research Center. The model validation and the engine testing are being done under a joint interagency agreement between the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and NASA-Lewis. A kinematic code developed at Lewis was upgraded to permit simulation of free-piston engine performance; it was further upgraded and modified at Lewis and is currently being validated. The model predicts engine performance by numerical integration of equations for each control volume in the working space. Piston motions are determined by numerical integration of the force balance on each piston or can be specified as Fourier series. In addition, the model Fourier analyzes the various piston forces to permit the construction of phasor force diagrams. The paper compares predicted and experimental values of power and efficiency and shows phasor force diagrams for the RE1000 engine displacer and piston. Further development plans for the model are also discussed.

  13. Status of the advanced Stirling conversion system project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1991-01-01

    Technology development for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications is discussed. Space power requirements include high reliability with very long life, low vibration, and high system efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although these applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. The advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) project at NASA Lewis Research Center is described. Each system design features a solar receiver/liquid metal heat transport system and a free-piston Stirling convertor with a means to provide nominally 25 kW of electric power to utility grid while meeting the US Department of Energy (DOE) performance and long term cost goals. The design is compared with other ASCS designs.

  14. A feasibility assessment of magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling space power converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curwen, Peter W.; Rao, Dantam K.; Wilson, Donald R.

    1992-06-01

    This report describes a design and analysis study performed by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) under NASA Contract NAS3-26061. The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery of the type currently being evaluated for possible use in long-term space missions. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) system consisting of two 25-kWe free-piston Stirling engine modules. Two different versions of the RSSPC engine modules have been defined under NASA Contract NAS3-25463. These modules currently use hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Results of this study show that active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are technically feasible for RSSPC application provided that wire insulation with 60,000-hr life capability at 300 C can be developed for the bearing coils. From a design integration standpoint, both versions of the RSSPC were found to be conceptually amenable to magnetic support of the power piston assembly. However, only one version of the RSSPC was found to be amendable to magnetic support of the displacer assembly. Unacceptable changes to the basic engine design would be required to incorporate magnetic displacer bearings into the second version. Complete magnetic suspension of the RSSPC can potentially increase overall efficiency of the Stirling cycle power converter by 0.53 to 1.4 percent (0.15 to 0.4 efficiency points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. However, these advantages are accompanied by a 5 to 8 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC, depending on the RSSPC version employed. Additionally, magnetic bearings are much more complex, both mechanically and particularly electronically, than hydrostatic bearings. Accordingly, long

  15. A feasibility assessment of magnetic bearings for free-piston Stirling space power converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curwen, Peter W.; Rao, Dantam K.; Wilson, Donald R.

    1992-01-01

    This report describes a design and analysis study performed by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) under NASA Contract NAS3-26061. The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility and efficacy of applying magnetic bearings to free-piston Stirling-cycle power conversion machinery of the type currently being evaluated for possible use in long-term space missions. The study was performed for a 50-kWe Reference Stirling Space Power Converter (RSSPC) system consisting of two 25-kWe free-piston Stirling engine modules. Two different versions of the RSSPC engine modules have been defined under NASA Contract NAS3-25463. These modules currently use hydrostatic gas bearings to support the reciprocating displacer and power piston assemblies. Results of this study show that active magnetic bearings of the attractive electromagnetic type are technically feasible for RSSPC application provided that wire insulation with 60,000-hr life capability at 300 C can be developed for the bearing coils. From a design integration standpoint, both versions of the RSSPC were found to be conceptually amenable to magnetic support of the power piston assembly. However, only one version of the RSSPC was found to be amendable to magnetic support of the displacer assembly. Unacceptable changes to the basic engine design would be required to incorporate magnetic displacer bearings into the second version. Complete magnetic suspension of the RSSPC can potentially increase overall efficiency of the Stirling cycle power converter by 0.53 to 1.4 percent (0.15 to 0.4 efficiency points). Magnetic bearings will also overcome several operational concerns associated with hydrostatic gas bearing systems. However, these advantages are accompanied by a 5 to 8 percent increase in specific mass of the RSSPC, depending on the RSSPC version employed. Additionally, magnetic bearings are much more complex, both mechanically and particularly electronically, than hydrostatic bearings. Accordingly, long

  16. Dynamic analysis of free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator-load system - Experimentally validated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kankam, M. D.; Rauch, Jeffrey S.; Santiago, Walter

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the effects of a variations in system parameters on the dynamic behavior of a Free-Piston Stirling Engine/Linear Alternator (FPSE/LA)-load system. The mathematical formulations incorporates both the mechanical and thermodynamic properties of the FPSE, as well as the electrical equations of the connected load. State-space technique in the frequency domain is applied to the resulting system of equations to facilitate the evaluation of parametric impacts on the system dynamic stability. Also included is a discussion on the system transient stability as affected by sudden changes in some key operating conditions. Some representative results are correlated with experimental data to verify the model and analytic formulation accuracies. Guidelines are given for ranges of the system parameters which will ensure an overall stable operation.

  17. Free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator 1000-hour endurance test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rauch, J.; Dochat, G.

    1985-03-01

    The Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) has the potential to be a long lived, highly reliable, power conversion device attractive for many product applications such as space, residential or remote site power. The purpose of endurance testing the FPSE was to demonstrate its potential for long life. The endurance program was directed at obtaining 1000 operational hours under various test conditions: low power, full stroke, duty cycle and stop/start. Critical performance parameters were measured to note any change and/or trend. Inspections were conducted to measure and compare critical seal/bearing clearances. The engine performed well throughout the program, completing more than 1100 hours. Hardware inspection, including the critical clearances, showed no significant change in hardware or clearance dimensions. The performance parameters did not exhibit any increasing or decreasing trends. The test program confirms the potential for long life FPSE applications.

  18. Free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator 1000-hour endurance test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rauch, J.; Dochat, G.

    1985-01-01

    The Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) has the potential to be a long lived, highly reliable, power conversion device attractive for many product applications such as space, residential or remote site power. The purpose of endurance testing the FPSE was to demonstrate its potential for long life. The endurance program was directed at obtaining 1000 operational hours under various test conditions: low power, full stroke, duty cycle and stop/start. Critical performance parameters were measured to note any change and/or trend. Inspections were conducted to measure and compare critical seal/bearing clearances. The engine performed well throughout the program, completing more than 1100 hours. Hardware inspection, including the critical clearances, showed no significant change in hardware or clearance dimensions. The performance parameters did not exhibit any increasing or decreasing trends. The test program confirms the potential for long life FPSE applications.

  19. Development of a Dynamic, End-to-End Free Piston Stirling Convertor Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Gerber, Scott S.; Roth, Mary Ellen

    2004-01-01

    A dynamic model for a free-piston Stirling convertor is being developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The model is an end-to-end system model that includes the cycle thermodynamics, the dynamics, and electrical aspects of the system. The subsystems of interest are the heat source, the springs, the moving masses, the linear alternator, the controller, and the end-user load. The envisioned use of the model will be in evaluating how changes in a subsystem could affect the operation of the convertor. The model under development will speed the evaluation of improvements to a subsystem and aid in determining areas in which most significant improvements may be found. One of the first uses of the end-toend model will be in the development of controller architectures. Another related area is in evaluating changes to details in the linear alternator.

  20. Controllability of Free-piston Stirling Engine/linear Alternator Driving a Dynamic Load

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kankam, M. David; Rauch, Jeffrey S.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents the dynamic behavior of a Free-Piston Stirling Engine/linear alternator (FPSE/LA) driving a single-phase fractional horse-power induction motor. The controllability and dynamic stability of the system are discussed by means of sensitivity effects of variations in system parameters, engine controller, operating conditions, and mechanical loading on the induction motor. The approach used expands on a combined mechanical and thermodynamic formulation employed in a previous paper. The application of state-space technique and frequency domain analysis enhances understanding of the dynamic interactions. Engine-alternator parametric sensitivity studies, similar to those of the previous paper, are summarized. Detailed discussions are provided for parametric variations which relate to the engine controller and system operating conditions. The results suggest that the controllability of a FPSE-based power system is enhanced by proper operating conditions and built-in controls.

  1. Status of an advanced radioisotope space power system using free-piston Stirling technology

    SciTech Connect

    White, M.A,; Qiu, S.; Erbeznik, R.M.; Olan, R.W.; Welty, S.C.

    1998-07-01

    This paper describes a free-piston Stirling engine technology project to demonstrate a high efficiency power system capable of being further developed for deep space missions using a radioisotope (RI) heat source. The key objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for 10 years or longer on deep space missions. Primary issues being addressed for Stirling space power systems are weight and the vibration associated with reciprocating pistons. Similar weight and vibration issues have been successfully addressed with Stirling cryocoolers, which are the accepted standard for cryogenic cooling in space. Integrated long-life Stirling engine-generator (or convertor) operation has been demonstrated by the terrestrial Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) and other Stirling Technology Company (STC) programs. Extensive RSG endurance testing includes more than 40,000 maintenance-free, degradation-free hours for the complete convertor, in addition to several critical component and subsystem endurance tests. The Stirling space power convertor project is being conducted by STC under DOE Contract, and NASA SBIR Phase II contracts. The DOE contract objective is to demonstrate a two-convertor module that represents half of a nominal 150-W(e) power system. Each convertor is referred to as a Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). The ultimate Stirling power system would be fueled by three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules, and is projected to produce substantially more electric power than the 150-watt target. The system is capable of full power output with one failed convertor. One NASA contract, nearing completion, uses existing 350-W(e) RG-350 convertors to evaluate interactivity of two back-to-back balanced convertors with various degrees of electrical and mechanical interaction. This effort has recently provided the first successful synchronization of two convertors by means of parallel

  2. Recent Advances in Design of Low Cost Film Concentrator and Low Pressure Free Piston Stirling Engines for Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleinwaechter, J.; Kleinwaechter, H.; Beale, W.

    1984-01-01

    The free piston Stirling-linear alternator was shown to be scalable to power levels of tens of kilowatts in a form which is simple, efficient, long lived and relatively inexpensive. It avoids entirely the vexing problem of high pressure shaft, and its control requirements are not severe nor do they represent a significant threat to durability. Linear alternators have demonstrated high efficiency and moderate weight, and are capable of delivering 3 phase power from single machines without great increases of cost or complexity. There remains no apparent impediments to the commercial exploitation of the free piston engine for solar electric power generation.

  3. Status update of a free-piston Stirling convertor for radioisotope space power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice; Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, Jack; Peterson, Allen; Faultersack, Frank

    2001-02-01

    Free-piston Stirling engines offer a relatively mature technology that is well-suited for advanced, high-efficiency radioisotope space power systems. This paper updates results from a combination of DOE and NASA contracts with Stirling Technology Company (STC). These contracts have demonstrated STC's Stirling convertor technology in a configuration and power level representative of a space power system. Based on demonstrated performance, long-life maintenance-free technology heritage, and success with aggressively imposed vibration testing. DOE has awarded system integration contracts to Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Teledyne Energy Systems. The objectives of these competitive Phase I contracts are to develop complete spacecraft power system conceptual designs based on the STC Stirling convertor, and to plan subsequent phases for two launches. Performance results for the DOE 55-W(e) Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) have met original projections. Although the TDC's were intended only for technology demonstration, they have achieved very aggressive efficiency goals, demonstrated convertor-induced vibration levels below the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specifications, passed a simulated launch load vibration test at 0.2 g2/Hz (12.3 g rms), and met EMI/EMC goals for most contemplated missions. No consideration for EMI reduction was included in the TDC design. Minor changes are underway to reduce EMI levels, with a goal of meeting specifications for missions such as Solar Probe with highly sensitive instrumentation. The long-term objective for DOE is to develop a power system with a system efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for 10 years and longer on deep space missions. .

  4. Progress update of NASA's free-piston Stirling space power converter technology project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.; Alger, Donald

    1992-01-01

    A progress update is presented of the NASA LeRC Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Converter Technology Project. This work is being conducted under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The goal of the CSTI High Capacity Power Element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system power output and system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least five fold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. This paper will discuss progress toward 1050 K Stirling Space Power Converters. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converter (CTPC); results of motoring tests of the cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing, and predictive methodologies. This paper will compare progress in significant areas of component development from the start of the program with the Space Power Development Engine (SPDE) to the present work on CTPC.

  5. Dynamically balanced, hydraulically driven compressor/pump apparatus for resonant free piston Stirling engines

    DOEpatents

    Corey, John A.

    1984-05-29

    A compressor, pump, or alternator apparatus is designed for use with a resonant free piston Stirling engine so as to isolate apparatus fluid from the periodically pressurized working fluid of the Stirling engine. The apparatus housing has a first side closed by a power coupling flexible diaphragm (the engine working member) and a second side closed by a flexible diaphragm gas spring. A reciprocally movable piston is disposed in a transverse cylinder in the housing and moves substantially at right angles relative to the flexible diaphragms. An incompressible fluid fills the housing which is divided into two separate chambers by suitable ports. One chamber provides fluid coupling between the power diaphragm of the RFPSE and the piston and the second chamber provides fluid coupling between the gas spring diaphragm and the opposite side of the piston. The working members of a gas compressor, pump, or alternator are driven by the piston. Sealing and wearing parts of the apparatus are mounted at the external ends of the transverse cylinder in a double acting arrangement for accessibility. An annular counterweight is mounted externally of the reciprocally movable piston and is driven by incompressible fluid coupling in a direction opposite to the piston so as to damp out transverse vibrations.

  6. Progress update of NASA's free-piston Stirling space power converter technology project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.; Alger, Donald

    1992-08-01

    A progress update is presented of the NASA LeRC Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Converter Technology Project. This work is being conducted under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The goal of the CSTI High Capacity Power Element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system power output and system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least five fold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. This paper will discuss progress toward 1050 K Stirling Space Power Converters. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converter (CTPC); results of motoring tests of the cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing, and predictive methodologies. This paper will compare progress in significant areas of component development from the start of the program with the Space Power Development Engine (SPDE) to the present work on CTPC.

  7. Free-piston Stirling engine diaphragm-coupled Heat-Actuated Heat Pump component technology program. Volume 1: Technical discussion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackermann, R. A.

    1988-01-01

    This report presents the results of an effort to develop and demonstrate the technical feasibility of a residential size Stirling-engine-driven diaphragm-coupled compressor for a heat pump application. The heat pump module consists of a 3-kW free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), an efficient hydraulic transmission, and a nominal 3-ton capacity refrigerant (R-22) reciprocating compressor. During earlier Phase 1 activity, the lower end (hydraulic transmission and compressor) was designed, fabricated, mated to an existing Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) FPSE, and tested. After several years of development, this heat pump module achieved a capacity of 2.5 refrigeration tons at 95 F ambient conditions. While this was below the module's rated 3.0-ton capacity, it demonstrated the potential of the FPSE heat pump (FPSE/HP) and identified a lack of engine power as the main reason for the low capacity. During a companion engine development program sponsored by the Gas Research Institute, the engine was improved by developing a new displacer drive that increased the FPSE's power capability. During Phase 2, the new engine, the Mark I, was mated to the lower end (transmission/compressor) and tested. The testing of the Mark I FPSE/HP module was very successful, with the system achieving its 3.0-ton capacity goal and all other proof-of-concepts targets. Included herein is a discussion of the Phase 2 activity, including the results of the Mark I FPSE/HP module testing, a component design effort of several key lower end components that was performed to optimize the design, and the Lennox evaluation.

  8. Conceptual design of free-piston Stirling conversion system for solar power units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loktionov, Iu. V.

    A conversion system has been conceptually designed for solar power units of the dish-Stirling type. The main design objectives were to demonstrate the possibility of attaining such performance characteristics as low manufacturing and life cycle costs, high reliability, long life, high efficiency, power output stability, self-balance, automatic (or self-) start-up, and easy maintenance. The system design includes a heat transfer and utilization subsystem with a solar receiver, a free-piston engine, an electric power generation subsystem, and a control subsystem. The working fluid is helium. The structural material is stainless steel for hot elements, aluminum alloys and plastics for others. The electric generation subunit can be fabricated in three options: with an induction linear alternator, with a permanent magnet linear alternator, and with a serial rotated induction generator and a hydraulic drive subsystem. The heat transfer system is based on heat pipes or the reflux boiler principle. Several models of heat transfer units using a liquid metal (Na or Na-K) have been created and demonstrated.

  9. Free-piston stirling component test power converter test results of the initial test phase

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, George R.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1992-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—Lewis Research Center (LeRC) has the responsibility to develop power technologies that have the potential of satisfying anticipated future space mission power requirements. The Free-Piston Stirling Power Converter (FPSC) is one of the many power technologies being evaluated and developed by NASA. FPSPCs have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, efficient operation; and they can be coupled with all potential heat sources, nuclear, radioisotope and solar, various heat input, heat rejection systems, and various power management and distribution systems. FPSPCs can complete favorably with alternative power conversion systems over a range of hundreds of watts to hundreds of kilowatts and to megawatts. Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) is developed FPSPC technology under contract to NASA-LeRC and will demonstrate this technology in two full-scale power converters. The first of these, the Component Test Power Converter (CTPC), initiated testing in Spring 1991 to evaluate mechanical operation at space operating temperatures. This paper reviews the testing of the CTPC at MTI and the companion testing of the earlier technology engine, the Space Power Research Engine (SPRE) at NASA-LeRC.

  10. Design and Fabrication of a 5-kWe Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, Peter A.; Walter, Thomas J.; Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Progress in the design and fabrication of a 5-kWe free-piston Stirling power conversion system is described. A scaled-down version of the successful 12.5-kWe Component Test Power Converter (CTPC) developed under NAS3-25463, this single cylinder prototype incorporates cost effective and readily available materials (steel versus beryllium) and components (a commercial linear alternator). The design consists of a displacer suspended on internally pumped gas bearings and a power piston/alternator supported on flexures. Non-contacting clearance seals are used between internal volumes. Heat to and from the prototype is supplied via pumped liquid loops passing through shell and tube heat exchangers. The control system incorporates several novel ideas such as a pulse start capability and a piston stroke set point control strategy that provides the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power. It also ensures stable response to various disturbances such as electrical load variations while providing useful data regarding the position of both power piston and displacer. All design and analysis activities are complete and fabrication is underway. Prototype test is planned for summer 2008 at Foster-Miller to characterize the dynamics and steady-state operation of the prototype and determine maximum power output and system efficiency. Further tests will then be performed at Auburn University to determine start-up and shutdown characteristics and assess transient response to temperature and load variations.

  11. Development of free-piston Stirling engine performance and optimization codes based on Martini simulation technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martini, William R.

    1989-01-01

    A FORTRAN computer code is described that could be used to design and optimize a free-displacer, free-piston Stirling engine similar to the RE-1000 engine made by Sunpower. The code contains options for specifying displacer and power piston motion or for allowing these motions to be calculated by a force balance. The engine load may be a dashpot, inertial compressor, hydraulic pump or linear alternator. Cycle analysis may be done by isothermal analysis or adiabatic analysis. Adiabatic analysis may be done using the Martini moving gas node analysis or the Rios second-order Runge-Kutta analysis. Flow loss and heat loss equations are included. Graphical display of engine motions and pressures and temperatures are included. Programming for optimizing up to 15 independent dimensions is included. Sample performance results are shown for both specified and unconstrained piston motions; these results are shown as generated by each of the two Martini analyses. Two sample optimization searches are shown using specified piston motion isothermal analysis. One is for three adjustable input and one is for four. Also, two optimization searches for calculated piston motion are presented for three and for four adjustable inputs. The effect of leakage is evaluated. Suggestions for further work are given.

  12. RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine hydraulic output system description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Geng, Steven M.

    1987-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center was involved in free-piston Stirling engine research since 1976. Most of the work performed in-house was related to characterization of the RE-1000 engine. The data collected from the RE-1000 tests were intended to provide a data base for the validation of Stirling cycle simulations. The RE-1000 was originally build with a dashpot load system which did not convert the output of the engine into useful power, but was merely used as a load for the engine to work against during testing. As part of the interagency program between NASA Lewis and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (ORNL), the RE-1000 was converted into a configuration that produces useable hydraulic power. A goal of the hydraulic output conversion effort was to retain the same thermodynamic cycle that existed with the dashpot loaded engine. It was required that the design must provide a hermetic seal between the hydraulic fluid and the working gas of the engine. The design was completed and the hardware was fabricated. The RE-1000 was modified in 1985 to the hydraulic output configuration. The early part of the RE-1000 hydraulic output program consisted of modifying hardware and software to allow the engine to run at steady-state conditions. A complete description of the engine is presented in sufficient detail so that the device can be simulated on a computer. Tables are presented showing the masses of the oscillating components and key dimensions needed for modeling purposes. Graphs are used to indicate the spring rate of the diaphragms used to separate the helium of the working and bounce space from the hydraulic fluid.

  13. Preliminary test results from a free-piston Stirling engine technology demonstration program to support advanced radioisotope space power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, Jack E.

    2000-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling engines offer a relatively mature, proven, long-life technology that is well-suited for advanced, high-efficiency radioisotope space power systems. Contracts from DOE and NASA are being conducted by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for the purpose of demonstrating the Stirling technology in a configuration and power level that is representative of an eventual space power system. The long-term objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for up to 15 years on deep space missions. The current technology demonstration convertors (TDC's) are completing shakedown testing and have recently demonstrated performance levels that are virtually identical to projections made during the preliminary design phase. This paper describes preliminary test results for power output, efficiency, and vibration levels. These early results demonstrate the ability of the free-piston Stirling technology to exceed objectives by approximately quadrupling the efficiency of conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). .

  14. Status of the Advanced Stirling Conversion System Project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.; Schreiber, J.G.

    1991-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising heat engines for terrestrial applications. The Stirling engine also has the potential to meet DOE's performance and cost goals. The NASA Lewis Research Center is conducting technology development for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power requirements include high reliability with very long life, low vibration and high system efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. NASA Lewis is providing management of the Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project through an Interagency Agreement (IAA) with the DOE. Parallel contracts continue with both Cummins Engine Company (CEC), Columbus, Indiana, and Stirling Technology Company (STC), Richland, Washington for the designs of an ASCS. Each system'' design features a solar receiver/liquid metal heat transport system, and a free-piston Stirling convertor with a means to provide nominally 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long-term'' cost goals. The Cummins free- piston Stirling convertor incorporates a linear alternator to directly provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both the Cummins and STC ASCS designs will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's. 17 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  15. Investigation of a 7-pole/6-slot Halbach-magnetized permanent-magnet linear alternator used for free-piston stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Ping; Tong, Chengde; Zhao, Jing; Yu, Bin; Li, Lin; Bai, Jingang; Zhang, Lu

    2012-04-01

    This paper investigates a 7-pole/6-slot Halbach-magnetized permanent-magnet linear alternator used for free piston Stirling engines (FPSEs). Taking the advantages of Halbach array, a 1 kW prototype alternator is designed. Considering the rms value of electromotive force (EMF) and harmonic distortion, the optimal length ratio of the axial- and radial-magnetized permanent magnets and thicknesses of the permanent magnets are optimized by 2D finite element method. The alternator detent force, which is an important factor for smooth operation of FPSEs, is studied by optimizing slot tip and end tooth. The load and thermal performances of the final design are simulated. A prototype alternator was designed, built and tested. Experimental data indicated satisfactory design.

  16. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine technology activities applicable to space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable candidate. Under this program the research findings of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) are presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators. Projections are made for future space-power requirements over the next few decades. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

  17. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled "Affordable Fission Surface Power Study" recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling conversion for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW converters allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-converter combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the FSPE convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

  18. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    SciTech Connect

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, N.

    2008-01-21

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled 'Affordable Fission Surface Power Study' recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling conversion for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW converters allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-converter combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the FSPE convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

  19. Energy-state formulation of lumped volume dynamic equations with application to a simplified free piston Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daniele, C. J.; Lorenzo, C. F.

    1979-01-01

    Lumped volume dynamic equations are derived using an energy state formulation. This technique requires that kinetic and potential energy state functions be written for the physical system being investigated. To account for losses in the system, a Rayleigh dissipation function is formed. Using these functions, a Lagrangian is formed and using Lagrange's equation, the equations of motion for the system are derived. The results of the application of this technique to a lumped volume are used to derive a model for the free piston Stirling engine. The model was simplified and programmed on an analog computer. Results are given comparing the model response with experimental data.

  20. Energy-state formulation of lumped volume dynamic equations with application to a simplified free piston Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Daniele, C. J.; Lorenzo, C. F.

    1979-01-01

    Lumped volume dynamic equations are derived using an energy-state formulation. This technique requires that kinetic and potential energy state functions be written for the physical system being investigated. To account for losses in the system, a Rayleigh dissipation function is also formed. Using these functions, a Lagrangian is formed and using Lagrange's equation, the equations of motion for the system are derived. The results of the application of this technique to a lumped volume are used to derive a model for the free-piston Stirling engine. The model was simplified and programmed on an analog computer. Results are given comparing the model response with experimental data.

  1. SPRE 1 free-piston Stirling engine testing at NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cairelli, J. E.

    1988-01-01

    As part of the NASA funded portion of the SP-100 Advanced Technology Program the Space Power Research Engine (SPRE 1) was designed and built to serve as a research tool for evaluation and development of advanced Stirling engine concepts. The SPRE 1 is designed to produce 12.5 kW electrical power when operated with helium at 15 MPa and with an absolute temperature ratio of two. The engine is now under test in a new test facility which was designed and built at NASA Lewis specifically to test the SPRE 1. The SPRE 1, the NASA facility, the initial SPRE 1 test results, and future SPRE 1 test plans are described.

  2. Further developments in the design of a free-piston Stirling engine heat pump for residential applications

    SciTech Connect

    Ackermann, R.A.; Clinch, J.M.; Privon, G.T.

    1987-01-01

    During the past year (1986/1987), the development of an improved Stirling engine driver for the Free-Piston Stirling Engine Heat Pump (FPSE/HP) has led to a significant increase in heat pump performance. With the improved engine, named the MARK I, the FPSE/HP has achieved its two critical milestones of producing 3.0 refrigeration tons (RT) at the 35/sup 0/C (95/sup 0/F) ambient temperature conditions and an engine efficiency of 25%, as measured from the fuel input energy, based on the higher heating value of the natural gas and mechanical power developed by the engine. This paper describes the latest configuration of the FPSE/HP module and presents measured performance data. Performance has been measured over a broad range of ambient temperature conditions and engine operating parameters. The results obtained from this testing are presented.

  3. Further developments in the design of a free-piston Stirling engine heat pump for residential applications

    SciTech Connect

    Ackerman, R.A.; Clinch, J.M.; Privon, G.

    1987-06-01

    During the past year (1986/1987), the development of an improved Stirling engine driver for the Free-Piston Stirling Engine Heat Pump (FPSE/HP) has led to a significant increase in heat pump performance. With the improved engine, the MARK I, the FPSE/HP has achieved its two critical milestones of producing 3.0 refrigeration tons (RT) at the 95 F (35/sup 0/C) ambient temperature conditions and an engine efficiency of 25%, as measured from the fuel input energy, based on the higher heating value of the natural gas and mechanical power developed by the engine. This paper describes the latest configuration of the FPSE/HP module and presents measured performance data. Performance has been measured over a broad range of ambient temperature conditions and engine operating parameters. The results obtained from this testing are presented.

  4. Dynamic analysis of Free-Piston Stirling Engine/Linear Alternator-load system-experimentally validated

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kankam, M. David; Rauch, Jeffrey S.; Santiago, Walter

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the effects of variations in system parameters on the dynamic behavior of the Free-Piston Stirling Engine/Linear Alternator (FPSE/LA)-load system. The mathematical formulations incorporate both the mechanical and thermodynamic properties of the FPSE, as well as the electrical equations of the connected load. A state-space technique in the frequency domain is applied to the resulting system of equations to facilitate the evaluation of parametric impacts on the system dynamic stability. Also included is a discussion on the system transient stability as affected by sudden changes in some key operating conditions. Some representative results are correlated with experimental data to verify the model and analytic formulation accuracies. Guidelines are given for ranges of the system parameters which will ensure an overall stable operation.

  5. A novel single-phase flux-switching permanent magnet linear generator used for free-piston Stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Ping; Sui, Yi; Tong, Chengde; Bai, Jingang; Yu, Bin; Lin, Fei

    2014-05-01

    This paper investigates a novel single-phase flux-switching permanent-magnet (PM) linear machine used for free-piston Stirling engines. The machine topology and operating principle are studied. A flux-switching PM linear machine is designed based on the quasi-sinusoidal speed characteristic of the resonant piston. Considering the performance of back electromotive force and thrust capability, some leading structural parameters, including the air gap length, the PM thickness, the ratio of the outer radius of mover to that of stator, the mover tooth width, the stator tooth width, etc., are optimized by finite element analysis. Compared with conventional three-phase moving-magnet linear machine, the proposed single-phase flux-switching topology shows advantages in less PM use, lighter mover, and higher volume power density.

  6. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine technology activities applicable to space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    Free piston Stirling technology is applicable for both solar and nuclear powered systems. As such, the Lewis Research Center serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. This five year program provides the technology push for providing significant component and subsystem options for increased efficiency, reliability and survivability, and power output growth at reduced specific mass. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable candidate. Under this program the research findings of the 25 kWe opposed piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) are presented. Included in the SPDE discussions are initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators. Projections are made for future space power requirements over the next few decades. And a cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

  7. Multi-d CFD Modeling of a Free-piston Stirling Convertor at NASA Glenn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Tew, Roy C.; Ibrahim, Mounir B.

    2004-01-01

    A high efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is being developed for possible use in long duration space science missions. NASA s advanced technology goals for next generation Stirling convertors include increasing the Carnot efficiency and percent of Carnot efficiency. To help achieve these goals, a multidimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code is being developed to numerically model unsteady fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena of the oscillating working gas inside Stirling convertors. Simulations of the Stirling convertors for the SRG will help characterize the thermodynamic losses resulting from fluid flow and heat transfer between the working gas and solid walls. The current CFD simulation represents approximated 2-dimensional convertor geometry. The simulation solves the Navier Stokes equations for an ideal helium gas oscillating at low speeds. The current simulation results are discussed.

  8. Free-piston Stirling engine-driven heat pump program plan

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, B.A.; Hutchinson, R.A.; Chen, F.C.

    1988-07-01

    Stirling engine driven heat pumps are one of the most attractive potential products based on Stirling engines. Their many advantages in efficiency, fuel adaptability, quietness, compactness, controllability and potential for high reliability are well known. This paper briefly reviews these advantages, then turns to key technical concerns in Sterling engine driven heat pump development. These have been organized into an effective development program that will require about $4 million per year for 8 years to complete basic research, component development, and an estimated 3 generations of system hardware. The planning effort was directed by the Building Equipment Division of the DOE Office of Buildings and Communities Systems. 7 refs., 2 figs.

  9. Free-piston Stirling engine development. Annual report 1 December 1982-31 December 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Marusak, T.J.; Gilles, T.

    1984-04-01

    The FPSE is an important prime mover option in developing a viable gas-fueled heat pump for residential applications. The Stirling engine, while potentially attractive from a performance, life, and cost standpoint, is on a long-term development track. The reported results show that progress has been made in improving engine performance and reliability. The engine development is being funded by the Gas Research Institute, with the main technical goal of integrating the most advanced, reliable system components into a prototype FPSE heat pump module for laboratory testing and evaluation. Development of the compressor for the FPSE-driven heat pump is being supported by a coordinated and parallel DOE-sponsored program.

  10. Comparison of Stirling engines for use with a 25-kW disk-electric conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1987-01-01

    Heat engines were evaluated for terrestrial solar heat receivers. The Stirling Engine was identified as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The potential to meet the Department of Energy (DOE) goals for performance and cost can be met by the free-piston Stirling engine. NASA Lewis is providing technical management for an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Parallel contracts were awarded for conceptual designs of an ASCS. Each design will feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid-metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting long-term performance and goals. The Mechanical Technology, Ins. (MTI) design incorporates a linear alternator to directly convert the solar energy to electricity while the Stirling Technology Company (STC) generates electrical power indirectly by using a hydraulic output to a ground-bases hydraulic pump/motor coupled to a rotating alternator. Both designs use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the 1980's. The ASCS designs using a free-piston Stirling engine, a heat transport system, a receiver, and the methods of providing electricity to the utility grid will be discussed.

  11. Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Unit for Fission Power System, Phase II Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Stanley, John

    2016-01-01

    In Phase II, the manufacture and testing of two 6-kW(sub e)Stirling engines was completed. The engines were delivered in an opposed 12-kW(sub e) arrangement with a common expansion space heater head. As described in the Phase I report, the engines were designed to be sealed both hermetically and with a bolted O-ring seal. The completed Phase II convertor is in the bolted configuration to allow future disassembly. By the end of Phase II, the convertor had passed all of the final testing requirements in preparation for delivery to the NASA Glenn Research Center. The electronic controller also was fabricated and tested during Phase II. The controller sets both piston amplitudes and maintains the phasing between them. It also sets the operating frequency of the machine. Details of the controller are described in the Phase I final report. Fabrication of the direct-current to direct-current (DC-DC) output stage, which would have stepped down the main controller output voltage from 700 to 120 V(sub DC), was omitted from this phase of the project for budgetary reasons. However, the main controller was successfully built, tested with the engines, and delivered. We experienced very few development issues with this high-power controller. The project extended significantly longer than originally planned because of yearly funding delays. The team also experienced several hardware difficulties along the development path. Most of these were related to the different thermal expansions of adjacent parts constructed of different materials. This issue was made worse by the large size of the machine. Thermal expansion problems also caused difficulties in the brazing of the opposed stainless steel sodium-potassium (NaK) heater head. Despite repeated attempts Sunpower was not able to successfully braze the opposed head under this project. Near the end of the project, Glenn fabricated an opposed Inconel NaK head, which was installed prior to delivery for testing at Glenn. Engine

  12. Test Results From a Pair of 1-kWe Dual-Opposed Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertors Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Penswick, L. Barry; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1-kW-class free-piston Stirling convertors were modified to operate with a NaK (sodium (Na) and potassium (K)) liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The convertors were successfully tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from June 6 through July 14, 2009. The convertors were operated for a total test time of 66 hr and 16 min. The tests included (a) performance mapping the convertors over various hot- and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes, and NaK flow rates and (b) transient test conditions to simulate various startup (i.e., low-, medium-, and high-temperature startups) and fault scenarios (i.e., loss of heat source, loss of NaK pump, convertor stall, etc.). This report documents the results of this testing

  13. Comparison of Stirling engines for use with a 25-kW dish-electric conversion system

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.

    1987-01-01

    The Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA), is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial solar distributed heat receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by SNLA as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The potential to meet DOE's goals for performance and cost can be met by the free-piston Stirling engine. NASA Lewis is providing technical management for an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) through a cooperative Interagency Agreement with DOE. Parallel contracts have been awarded to Mechanical Technology, Inc. (MIT) of Latham, New York, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, Washington, for the conceptual designs of an ASCS. Each design will feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid-metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long-term performance and cost goals. The MTI design incorporates a linear alternator to directly convert the solar energy to electricity while STC generates electrical power indirectly by using a hydraulic output to a ground-based hydraulic pump/motor coupled to a rotating alternator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the 1980's. Both the MTI and STC concepts will be evaluated by the same, but independent, contractor to provide a manufacturing and cost analysis including life cycle cost. The ASCS designs using a free-piston Stirling engine, a heat transport system, a receiver, and the methods of providing electricity to the utility grid will be discussed.

  14. Status of the advanced Stirling conversion system project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1991-01-01

    Heat engines were evaluated for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine was identified as one of the most promising heat engines for terrestrial applications. Technology development is also conducted for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power requirements include high reliability with very long life, low vibration, and high system efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other.

  15. A comparison of Stirling engines for use with a 25 kW dish-electric conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1987-01-01

    Two designs for an advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) are described. The objective of the ASCS is to generate about 25 kW of electric power to an electric utility grid at an engine/alternator target cost of $300.00/kW at the manufacturing rate of 10,000 unit/yr. Both designs contain a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), a heat transport system, solar receiver, a means to generate electric power, the necessary auxiliaries, and a control system. The major differences between the two concepts are: one uses a 25 kWe single-piston FPSE which incorporates a linear alternator to directly convert the energy to electricity on the utility grid; and in the second design, electrical power is generated indirectly using a hydraulic output to a ground based hydraulic motor coupled to a rotating alternator. Diagrams of the two designs are presented.

  16. Linear Motor Free Piston Compressor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bloomfield, David P.

    1995-02-01

    A Linear Motor Free Piston Compressor (LMFPC), a free piston pressure recovery system for fuel cell powerplants was developed. The LMFPC consists of a reciprocating compressor and a reciprocating expander which are separated by a piston. In the past energy efficient turbochargers have been used for pressure large (over 50 kW) fuel cell powerplants by recovering pressure energy from the powerplant exhaust. A free piston compressor allows pressurizing 3 - 5 kW sized fuel cell powerplants. The motivation for pressurizing PEM fuel cell powerplants is to improve fuel cell performance. Pressurization of direct methanol fuel cells will be required if PEM membranes are to be used Direct methanol oxidation anode catalysts require high temperatures to operate at reasonable power densities. The elevated temperatures above 80 C will cause high water loss from conventional PEM membranes unless pressurization is employed. Because pressurization is an energy intensive process, recovery of the pressure energy is required to permit high efficiency in fuel cell powerplants. A complete LMFPC which can pressurize a 3 kW fuel cell stack was built. This unit is one of several that were constructed during the course of the program.

  17. The 1-kW solar Stirling experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giandomenico, A.

    1981-01-01

    The objective of this experiment was to demonstrate electrical power generation using a small free-piston Stirling engine and linear alternator in conjunction with a parabolic solar collector. A test bed collector, formerly used at the JPL Table Mountain Observatory, was renovated and used to obtain practical experience and to determine test receiver performance. The collector was mounted on a two-axis tracker, with a cold water calorimeter mounted on the collector to measure its efficiency, while a separate, independently tracking radiometer was used to measure solar insolation. The solar receiver was designed to absorb energy from the collector, then transfer the resulting thermal energy to the Stirling engine. Successful testing of receiver/collector assembly yielded valuable inputs for design of the Stirling engine heater head.

  18. System design and performance prediction of a free-piston Stirling engine/magnetic coupling/compressor assembly in a gas residential heat pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, G.; Beale, W. T.

    Based on the previous evaluation of a magnetic coupling and the described system-design targets, a gas fired free piston Stirling engine/magnetic coupling/compressor (FPSE/MC/C) assembly as a power module for a residential heat pump application was designed and analyzed. A porous combustor/FPSE/magnetic coupling/variable gas control spring/reciprocating compressor assembly was the design selected. Based on the system characteristics, design efforts are described on the following issues: (1) design of a combustor allowing low pressure of natural gas supply; (2) the means to achieve engine power-load matching; (3) the method to maintain the assembly as a resonant system tuning over a wide range of operating conditions; (4) the design of an engine/coupling structure to minimize the magnet mass without sacrificing its mechanical properties; and (5) compressor load capacity modulation. The system analysis and the system performance, which is analytically predicted and described, indicate all the system design goals can be met leading to a strong recommendation for further development.

  19. Free-piston engine

    DOEpatents

    Van Blarigan, Peter

    2001-01-01

    A combustion system which can utilize high compression ratios, short burn durations, and homogeneous fuel/air mixtures in conjunction with low equivalence ratios. In particular, a free-piston, two-stroke autoignition internal combustion engine including an electrical generator having a linear alternator with a double-ended free piston that oscillates inside a closed cylinder is provided. Fuel and air are introduced in a two-stroke cycle fashion on each end, where the cylinder charge is compressed to the point of autoignition without spark plugs. The piston is driven in an oscillating motion as combustion occurs successively on each end. This leads to rapid combustion at almost constant volume for any fuel/air equivalence ratio mixture at very high compression ratios. The engine is characterized by high thermal efficiency and low NO.sub.x emissions. The engine is particularly suited for generating electrical current in a hybrid automobile.

  20. Linear motor free piston compressor. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Bloomfield, D.P.

    1995-02-17

    A Linear Motor Free Piston Compressor (LMFPC), a free piston pressure recovery system for fuel cell powerplants was developed. The LMFPC consists of a reciprocating compressor and a reciprocating expander which are separated by a piston. In the past energy efficient turbochargers have been used for pressure large (over 50 kW) fuel cell powerplants by recovering pressure energy from the powerplant exhaust. A free piston compressor allows pressurizing 3 - 5 kW sized fuel cell powerplants. The motivation for pressurizing PEM fuel cell powerplants is to improve fuel cell performance. Pressurization of direct methanol fuel cells will IC required if PEM membranes are to be used. Direct methanol oxidation anode catalysts require high temperatures to operate at reasonable power densities. The elevated temperatures above 80 deg C will cause high water loss from conventional PEM membranes unless pressurization is employed. Because pressurization is an energy intensive process, recovery of the pressure energy is required to permit high efficiency in fuel cell powerplants. A complete LMFPC which can pressurize a 3 kW fuel cell stack was built. This unit is one of several that were constructed during the course of the program.

  1. Free piston inertia compressor

    DOEpatents

    Richards, William D. C.; Bilodeau, Denis; Marusak, Thomas; Dutram, Jr., Leonard; Brady, Joseph

    1981-01-01

    A free piston inertia compressor comprises a piston assembly including a connecting rod having pistons on both ends, the cylinder being split into two substantially identical portions by a seal through which the connecting rod passes. Vents in the cylinder wall are provided near the seal to permit gas to excape the cylinder until the piston covers the vent whereupon the remaining gas in the cylinder functions as a gas spring and cushions the piston against impact on the seal. The connecting rod has a central portion of relatively small diameter providing free play of the connecting rod through the seal and end portions of relatively large diameter providing a limited tolerance between the connecting rod and the seal. Finally, the seal comprises a seal ring assembly consisting of a dampener plate, a free floating seal at the center of the dampener plate and a seal retainer plate in one face of the dampener plate.

  2. Free piston inertia compressor

    DOEpatents

    Richards, W.D.C.; Bilodeau, D.; Marusak, T.; Dutram, L. Jr.; Brady, J.

    A free piston inertia compressor comprises a piston assembly including a connecting rod having pistons on both ends, the cylinder being split into two substantially identical portions by a seal through which the connecting rod passes. Vents in the cylinder wall are provided near the seal to permit gas to escape the cylinder until the piston covers the vent whereupon the remaining gas in the cylinder functions as a gas spring and cushions the piston against impact on the seal. The connecting rod has a central portion of relatively small diameter providing free play of the connecting rod through the seal and end portions of relatively large diameter providing a limited tolerance between the connecting rod and the seal. Finally, the seal comprises a seal ring assembly consisting of a dampener plate, a free floating seal at the center of the dampener plate and a seal retainer plate in one face of the dampener plate.

  3. 40 kW Stirling engine for solid fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Carlsen, H.; Ammundsen, N.; Traerup, J.

    1996-12-31

    The external combustion in a Stirling engine makes it very attractive for utilization of solid fuels in decentralized combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Only few projects have concentrated on the development of Stirling engines specifically for biomass. In this project a Stirling engine has been designed primarily for utilization of wood chips. Maximum shaft power is 40 kW corresponding to an electric output of 36 kW. Biomass needs more space in the combustion chamber compared to gas and liquid fuels, and a large heat transfer area is necessary. The design of the new Stirling engine has been adapted to the special demands of combustion of wood chips, resulting in a large engine compared to engines for gas or liquid fuels. The engine has four-cylinders arranged in a square. The design is made as a hermetic unit, where the alternator is built into the pressurized crankcase so that dynamic seals are avoided. Grease lubricated bearings are used in a special designed crank mechanism, which eliminates guiding forces on the pistons Helium is used as working gas at 4 MPa mean pressure. The first test of the 40 kW engine with natural gas as fuel has been made in the laboratory, and the results are in agreement with predicted results from simulation programs. The wood chips combustion system has been tested for some time with very promising results. When the laboratory test of the engine is finished, the test of the complete system will be initiated. The paper describes the engine and results from the test program. Expectations to maintenance and operation problems are also discussed.

  4. Solar powered Stirling cycle electrical generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1991-03-01

    Under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI), the NASA Lewis Research Center is developing the technology needed for free-piston Stirling engines as a candidate power source for space systems in the late 1990's and into the next century. Space power requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability, and low vibration. Furthermore, system weight and operating temperature are important. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, non-contacting gas bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. These attributes of the free-piston Stirling engine also make it a viable candidate for terrestrial applications. In cooperation with the Department of Energy, system designs are currently being completed that feature the free-piston Stirling engine for terrestrial applications. Industry teams were assembled and are currently completing designs for two Advanced Stirling Conversion Systems utilizing technology being developed under the NASA CSTI Program. These systems, when coupled with a parabolic mirror to collect the solar energy, are capable of producing about 25 kW of electricity to a utility grid. Industry has identified a niche market for dish Stirling systems for worldwide remote power application. They believe that these niche markets may play a major role in the introduction of Stirling products into the commercial market.

  5. Solar powered Stirling cycle electrical generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1991-01-01

    Under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI), the NASA Lewis Research Center is developing the technology needed for free-piston Stirling engines as a candidate power source for space systems in the late 1990's and into the next century. Space power requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability, and low vibration. Furthermore, system weight and operating temperature are important. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, non-contacting gas bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. These attributes of the free-piston Stirling engine also make it a viable candidate for terrestrial applications. In cooperation with the Department of Energy, system designs are currently being completed that feature the free-piston Stirling engine for terrestrial applications. Industry teams were assembled and are currently completing designs for two Advanced Stirling Conversion Systems utilizing technology being developed under the NASA CSTI Program. These systems, when coupled with a parabolic mirror to collect the solar energy, are capable of producing about 25 kW of electricity to a utility grid. Industry has identified a niche market for dish Stirling systems for worldwide remote power application. They believe that these niche markets may play a major role in the introduction of Stirling products into the commercial market.

  6. Internal position and limit sensor for free piston machines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holliday, Ezekiel S. (Inventor); Wood, James Gary (Inventor)

    2012-01-01

    A sensor for sensing the position of a reciprocating free piston in a free piston Stirling machine. The sensor has a disk mounted to an end face of the power piston coaxially with its cylinder and reciprocating with the piston The disk includes a rim around its outer perimeter formed of an electrically conductive material A coil is wound coaxially with the cylinder, spaced outwardly from the outer perimeter of the disk and mounted in fixed position relative to the pressure vessel, preferably on the exterior of the pressure vessel wall.

  7. Design of a transverse-flux permanent-magnet linear generator and controller for use with a free-piston stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jigui; Huang, Yuping; Wu, Hongxing; Zheng, Ping

    2016-06-01

    Transverse-flux with high efficiency has been applied in Stirling engine and permanent magnet synchronous linear generator system, however it is restricted for large application because of low and complex process. A novel type of cylindrical, non-overlapping, transverse-flux, and permanent-magnet linear motor(TFPLM) is investigated, furthermore, a high power factor and less process complexity structure research is developed. The impact of magnetic leakage factor on power factor is discussed, by using the Finite Element Analysis(FEA) model of stirling engine and TFPLM, an optimization method for electro-magnetic design of TFPLM is proposed based on magnetic leakage factor. The relation between power factor and structure parameter is investigated, and a structure parameter optimization method is proposed taking power factor maximum as a goal. At last, the test bench is founded, starting experimental and generating experimental are performed, and a good agreement of simulation and experimental is achieved. The power factor is improved and the process complexity is decreased. This research provides the instruction to design high-power factor permanent-magnet linear generator.

  8. Advanced Stirling conversion systems for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.

    1987-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA) is developing heat engines for terrestrial Solar distributed Heat Receivers. SNLA has identified the Stirling to be one of the most promising candidates for the terrestrial applications. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) has the potential to meet the DOE goals for both performance and cost. Free-piston Stirling activities which are directed toward a dynamic power source for the space application are being conducted. Space power system requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability and low vibration. The FPSE has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either solar or nuclear powered. Generic free-piston technology is currently being developed for use with a residential heat pump under an Interagency Agreement. Also, an overview is presented of proposed conceptual designs for the Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) using a free-piston Stirling engine and a liquid metal heat pipe receiver. Power extraction includes both a linear alternator and hydraulic output capable of delivering approximately 25 kW of electrical power to the electric utility grid. Target cost of the engine/alternator is 300 dollars per kilowatt at a manufacturing rate of 10,000 units per year. The design life of the ASCS is 60,000 h (30 y) with an engine overhaul at 40,000 h (20 y). Also discussed are the key features and characteristics of the ASCS conceptual designs.

  9. Commercialization of dish-Stirling solar terrestrial systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Brad; Penswick, Barry; White, Maury; Cooper, Martin; Farbman, Gerald

    1990-01-01

    The requirements for dish-Stirling commercialization are described. The requirements for practical terrestrial power systems, both technical and economic, are described. Solar energy availability, with seasonal and regional variations, is discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid operation are listed. The two systems described use either a 25-kW free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine or a 5-kW kinematic Stirling engine. Both engines feature long-life characteristics that result from the use of welded metal bellows as hermetic seals between the working gas and the crankcase fluid. The advantages of the systems, the state of the technology, and the challenges that remain are discussed. Technology transfer between solar terrestrial Stirling applications and other Stirling applications is predicted to be important and synergistic.

  10. Commercialization of dish-Stirling solar terrestrial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Brad; Penswick, Barry; White, Maury; Cooper, Martin; Farbman, Gerald

    The requirements for dish-Stirling commercialization are described. The requirements for practical terrestrial power systems, both technical and economic, are described. Solar energy availability, with seasonal and regional variations, is discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid operation are listed. The two systems described use either a 25-kW free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine or a 5-kW kinematic Stirling engine. Both engines feature long-life characteristics that result from the use of welded metal bellows as hermetic seals between the working gas and the crankcase fluid. The advantages of the systems, the state of the technology, and the challenges that remain are discussed. Technology transfer between solar terrestrial Stirling applications and other Stirling applications is predicted to be important and synergistic.

  11. Development of 1 kW Stirling cryocooler using a linear compressor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ko, J.; Kim, H.; Hong, Y. J.; Yeom, H.; In, S.; Park, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Cryogenic cooling systems for HTS electric power devices require a reliable and efficient high-capacity cryocooler. A Striling cryocooler with a linear compressor can be a good candidate. It has advantages of low vibration and long maintenance cycle compared with a kinematic-driven Stirling cryocooler. In this study, we developed a dual-opposed linear compressor of 12 kW electric input power with two 6 kW linear motors. Electrical performance of the fabricated linear compressor is verified by experimental measurement of thrust constant. The developed Stirling cryocooler has a gamma-type configuration. The piston and displacer are supported with a flexure spring. A slit-type heat exchanger is adopted for the cold and warm-end, and the generated heat is rejected by cooling water. In the cooling performance test, waveforms of voltage, current, displacement and pressure are obtained and their amplitude and phase difference are analysed. The developed cryocooler reaches 47.8 K within 23.4 min. with no-load. Heat load tests shows a cooling capacity of 440 W at 78.1 K with 6.45 kW of electric input power and 19.4 of % Carnot COP.

  12. Comparison of conceptual designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project is managed by NASA Lewis Research Center through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Conceptual designs for the ASCS's were completed under parallel contracts in 1987 by Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) of Latham, NY, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, WA. Each design features a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long term performance and cost goals. An independent assessment showed that both designs are manufacturable and have the potential to easily meet DOE's long term cost goals.

  13. Comparison of conceptual designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project is managed by NASA Lewis Research Center through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Conceptual designs for the ASCS's were completed under parallel contracts in 1987 by Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) of Latham, NY, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, WA. Each design features a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long term performance and cost goals. An independent assessment showed that both designs are manufacturable and have the potential to easily meet DOE's long term cost goals.

  14. Stirling-Type Pulse Tube Cryocooler with 1KW of Refrigeration at 77K

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potratz, S. A.; Abbott, T. D.; Johnson, M. C.; Albaugh, K. B.

    2008-03-01

    A large capacity Stirling-type pulse tube cryocooler has been successfully developed by Praxair Inc. Performance testing of both the prototype and initial production models of the pulse tube cryocooler has verified a refrigeration capacity of 1kW at 77K using a 20kW dual-opposed pressure wave generator from CFIC Inc. These results were obtained using nitrogen subcooling test methods. The cryocooler design incorporates sophisticated geometry to successfully minimize streaming other and loss mechanisms which have limited the performance of previous large pulse tube cryocooler designs. The intended application of this unit is for the commercial HTS (High Temperature Superconductivity) market. The current design will be deployed for field testing in Columbus, OH where reliability performance will be measured in an operating HTS application.

  15. Hydraulic generator with free-piston engine

    SciTech Connect

    Bouthers, P.; Breting, O.

    1983-11-15

    A hydraulic generator is disclosed with a free-piston engine and hydropneumatic return cushion and with an associated hydraulic-fluid pumping piston feeding a hydraulic accumulator intended to be charged between two detected levels of pressure. The generator includes a lock device for the free piston at the power-stroke dead center with voluntary control, and servo-control means for this lock device with means for detection of the aforementioned two pressure levels, to assure locking the piston in response to detection of the aforementioned highest pressure level and to assure its unlocking in response to detection of the aforementioned lowest pressure level, and thus an automatic intermittent running of said engine.

  16. 3kW Stirling engine for power and heat production

    SciTech Connect

    Thorsen, J.E.; Bovin, J.; Carlsen, H.

    1996-12-31

    A new 3 kW Beta type Stirling engine has been developed. The engine uses Natural gas as fuel, and it is designed for use as a small combined heat and power plant for single family houses. The electrical power is supplied to the grid. The engine is made as a hermetic device, where the crank mechanism and the alternator are built into a pressurized crank casing. The engine produce 3 kW of shaft power corresponding to 2.4 kW of electric power. The heat input is 10 kW corresponding to a shaft efficiency of 30%, and an electric efficiency of 24%. Helium at 8 MPa mean pressure is used as working gas. The crank mechanism is a combination of an upper- and lower yoke, each forming the half of a Ross mechanism. The upper yoke is linked to the displacer piston and the lower yoke is linked to the working piston. The design gives an approximately linear couple point curve, which eliminates guiding forces on the pistons and the need for X-heads. Grease lubricated needle and ball bearings are used in the kinematic crank mechanism. The burner includes an air preheater and a water jacket, which makes it possible to utilize nearly all of the heat from the combustion gases. The performance of the engine has been tested as a function of mean pressure and hot and cold temperature, and emissions and noise have been measured.

  17. Design of hydraulic output Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toscano, W. M.; Harvey, A. C.; Lee, K.

    1983-01-01

    A hydraulic output system for the RE-1000 free piston stirling engine (FPSE) was designed. The hydraulic output system can be readily integrated with the existing hot section of RE-1000 FPSE. The system has two simply supported diaphragms which separate the engine gas from the hydraulic fluid, a dynamic balance mechanism, and a novel, null center band hydraulic pump. The diaphragms are designed to endure more than 10 billion cycles, and to withstand the differential pressure load as high as 14 MPa. The projected thermodynamic performance of the hydraulic output version of RE-1000 FPSE is 1.87 kW at 29/7 percent brake efficiency.

  18. Stirling engine alternatives for the terrestrial solar application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J.

    1985-01-01

    The first phase of the present study of Stirling engine alternatives for solar thermal-electric generation has been completed. Development risk levels are considered to be high for all engines evaluated. Free-piston type and Ringbom-type Stirling engine-alternators are not yet developed for the 25 to 50-kW electrical power range, although smaller machines have demonstrated the inherent robustness of the machines. Kinematic-type Stirling engines are presently achieving a 3500 hr lifetime or longer on critical components, and lifetime must still be further extended for the solar application. Operational and technical characteristics of all types of Stirling engines have been reviewed with engine developers. Technical work of merit in progress in each engine development organization should be recognized and supported in an appropriate manner.

  19. Design of a 1 kW class gamma type Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Raggi, L.; Katsuta, Masafumi; Sekiya, Hiroshi

    1997-12-31

    The study for a design on a kinematic drive gamma type Stirling engine is reported. This unit enters in the 1kW class and it is conceived to move a portable electric generator. The peculiarity of this unit is basically to use components taken from the line production, and also for the parts designed specifically for this application all the efforts are directed to simplicity in terms of material and manufacture. At first the engine performance targets are defined in compatibility with the components taken from a large scale production compressor and then the new components like the heat exchangers and the crank mechanism are designed. Two pre-tests are effected: one to define the performances of the induction motor in the electric regenerative mode and another running the machine as a refrigerator.

  20. Stirling engines for solar power generation in the 50 to 500 kW range

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wells, D.; Percival, W.; Bratt, C.; Rosenqvist, K.; Berntell, J.

    Qualitative analyses are presented of solar Stirling power modules in terms of the engines, the concentrators, and the interaction between the size and efficiency of the modules with the cost of the system. A test unit with a parabolic dish concentrator has furnished 31.6 kWe using an 1800 rpm, 93% efficient permanent magnet alternator. Operating temperatures were 750 C, and engine efficiencies reached 38%. Point focus parabolic dishes, tracking heliostats, and stationary concentrators with tracking receivers are being examined. The engine cost has been projected to be only a small part of the total unit cost in mass production, and parabolic dishes are the lowest-cost configuration for manufacturing. Enclosing the dishes in greenhouses can lessen erosion of the surfaces. Foamglass has been identified as the most cost-effective concentrator material. Design alternatives for a 50-500 kW power array are described.

  1. CFD Modeling of Free-Piston Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Zhang, Zhi-Guo; Tew, Roy C., Jr.; Gedeon, David; Simon, Terrence W.

    2001-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is funding Cleveland State University (CSU) to develop a reliable Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code that can predict engine performance with the goal of significant improvements in accuracy when compared to one-dimensional (1-D) design code predictions. The funding also includes conducting code validation experiments at both the University of Minnesota (UMN) and CSU. In this paper a brief description of the work-in-progress is provided in the two areas (CFD and Experiments). Also, previous test results are compared with computational data obtained using (1) a 2-D CFD code obtained from Dr. Georg Scheuerer and further developed at CSU and (2) a multidimensional commercial code CFD-ACE+. The test data and computational results are for (1) a gas spring and (2) a single piston/cylinder with attached annular heat exchanger. The comparisons among the codes are discussed. The paper also discusses plans for conducting code validation experiments at CSU and UMN.

  2. Preliminary designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1990-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The Stirling engine also has the potential to meet DOE's performance and cost goals. The NASA Lewis Research Center is conducting Stirling engine technology development activities directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power systems requirements include high reliability, very long life, low vibration and high efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. Preliminary designs feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat transport system, and a means to provide nominally 25 kW electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long term cost goals. The Cummins design incorporates a linear alternator to provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's

  3. Preliminary designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1990-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The Stirling engine also has the potential to meet DOE's performance and cost goals. The NASA Lewis Research Center is conducting Stirling engine technology development activities directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power systems requirements include high reliability, very long life, low vibration and high efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. Preliminary designs feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat transport system, and a means to provide nominally 25 kW electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long term cost goals. The Cummins design incorporates a linear alternator to provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's.

  4. Preliminary designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The Stirling engine also has the potential to meet DOE's performance and cost goals. The NASA Lewis Research Center is conducting Stirling engine technology development activities directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power systems requirements include high reliability, very long life, low vibration and high efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. Preliminary designs feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat transport system, and a means to provide nominally 25 kW electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long term cost goals. The Cummins design incorporates a linear alternator to provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's.

  5. Status of Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion Using a Pumped NaK Loop for Thermal Input

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Robbie, Malcolm G.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been identified as a viable option for potential Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems on the Moon and Mars. Proposed systems consist of two or more Stirling convertors, in a dual-opposed configuration, coupled to a low-temperature uranium-dioxide-fueled, liquid-metal-cooled reactor. To reduce developmental risks associated with liquid-metal loop integration, a test rig has been built to evaluate the performance of a pair of 1-kW free-piston Stirling convertors using a pumped sodium-potassium (NaK) loop for thermal energy input. Baseline performance maps have been generated at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) for these 1-kW convertors operating with an electric heat source. Each convertor was then retrofitted with a custom-made NaK heater head and integrated into a pumped NaK system at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). This paper documents baseline testing at GRC as well as the progress made in integrating the Stirling convertors into the pumped NaK loop.

  6. 25 kWe solar thermal stirling hydraulic engine system: Final conceptual design report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

    This report documents the conceptual design and analysis of a solar thermal free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine system designed to deliver 25 kWe when coupled to the 11-meter Test Bed Concentrator at Sandia National Laboratories. A manufacturing cost assessment for 10,000 units per year was made by Pioneer Engineering and Manufacturing. The design meets all program objectives including a 60,000-hr design life, dynamic balancing, fully automated control, >33.3% overall system efficiency, properly conditioned power, maximum utilization of annualized insolation, and projected production costs of $300/kW. The system incorporates a simple, rugged, reliable pool boiler reflux heat pipe to transfer heat from the solar receiver to the Stirling engine. The free-piston engine produces high-pressure hydraulic flow which powers a commercial hydraulic motor that, in turn, drives a commercial rotary induction generator. The Stirling hydraulic engine uses hermetic bellows seals to separate helium working gas from hydraulic fluid which provides hydrodynamic lubrication to all moving parts. Maximum utilization of highly refined, field proven commercial components for electric power generation minimizes development cost and risk. The engine design is based on a highly refined Stirling hydraulic engine developed over 20 years as a fully implantable artificial heart power source. 4 refs., 19 figs., 3 tabs.

  7. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition Free Piston Linear Alternator

    SciTech Connect

    Janson Wu; Nicholas Paradiso; Peter Van Blarigan; Scott Goldsborough

    1998-11-01

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) free piston powered linear alternator has been conducted to determine if improvements can be made in the thermal and conversion efficiencies of modern electrical generator systems. Performance of a free piston engine was investigated using a rapid compression expansion machine and a full cycle thermodynamic model. Linear alternator performance was investigated with a computer model. In addition linear alternator testing and permanent magnet characterization hardware were developed. The development of the two-stroke cycle scavenging process has begun.

  8. Initial experiments with a laser driven Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byer, R. L.

    1976-01-01

    Operation of a Beale free piston Stirling engine with a 40-W CO2 laser is described. Advantages of such a system include: closed-cycle operation, long life, inexpensive construction, and size scalability to 100 MW.

  9. Comparison of conceptual designs for 25 kWe Advanced Stirling Conversion Systems for dish electric applications

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.; Schreiber, J.G.

    1989-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project is managed by NASA Lewis Research Center through a cooperative Interagency Agreement with DOE. Conceptual designs for the ASCS's were completed under parallel contracts in 1987 by Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) of Latham, NY, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, WA. Each design features a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long term performance and cost goals. An independent assessment showed that both designs are manufacturable and have the potential to easily meet DOE's long term cost goals. 9 refs., 12 figs., 4 tabs.

  10. Free piston variable-stroke linear-alternator generator

    DOEpatents

    Haaland, C.M.

    1998-12-15

    A free-piston variable stroke linear-alternator AC power generator for a combustion engine is described. An alternator mechanism and oscillator system generates AC current. The oscillation system includes two oscillation devices each having a combustion cylinder and a flying turnbuckle. The flying turnbuckle moves in accordance with the oscillation device. The alternator system is a linear alternator coupled between the two oscillation devices by a slotted connecting rod. 8 figs.

  11. Free piston variable-stroke linear-alternator generator

    DOEpatents

    Haaland, Carsten M.

    1998-01-01

    A free-piston variable stroke linear-alternator AC power generator for a combustion engine. An alternator mechanism and oscillator system generates AC current. The oscillation system includes two oscillation devices each having a combustion cylinder and a flying turnbuckle. The flying turnbuckle moves in accordance with the oscillation device. The alternator system is a linear alternator coupled between the two oscillation devices by a slotted connecting rod.

  12. Status of the NASA Stirling Radioisotope Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines that used linkages and rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were able to achieve long life by lightly loading the linkages; however, the live was nonetheless limited. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability based on wear-free operation. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope space power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: hardware that has demonstrated long-life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in space, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both space and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for space power, and for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status of development with regard to space power, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  13. Design of a Two-stage High-capacity Stirling Cryocooler Operating below 30K

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaotao; Dai, Wei; Zhu, Jian; Chen, Shuai; Li, Haibing; Luo, Ercang

    The high capacity cryocooler working below 30K can find many applications such as superconducting motors, superconducting cables and cryopump. Compared to the GM cryocooler, the Stirling cryocooler can achieve higher efficiency and more compact structure. Because of these obvious advantages, we have designed a two stage free piston Stirling cryocooler system, which is driven by a moving magnet linear compressor with an operating frequency of 40 Hz and a maximum 5 kW input electric power. The first stage of the cryocooler is designed to operate in the liquid nitrogen temperature and output a cooling power of 100 W. And the second stage is expected to simultaneously provide a cooling power of 50 W below the temperature of 30 K. In order to achieve the best system efficiency, a numerical model based on the thermoacoustic model was developed to optimize the system operating and structure parameters.

  14. Investigation of a tubular dual-stator flux-switching permanent-magnet linear generator for free-piston energy converter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sui, Yi; Zheng, Ping; Tong, Chengde; Yu, Bin; Zhu, Shaohong; Zhu, Jianguo

    2015-05-01

    This paper describes a tubular dual-stator flux-switching permanent-magnet (PM) linear generator for free-piston energy converter. The operating principle, topology, and design considerations of the machine are investigated. Combining the motion characteristic of free-piston Stirling engine, a tubular dual-stator PM linear generator is designed by finite element method. Some major structural parameters, such as the outer and inner radii of the mover, PM thickness, mover tooth width, tooth width of the outer and inner stators, etc., are optimized to improve the machine performances like thrust capability and power density. In comparison with conventional single-stator PM machines like moving-magnet linear machine and flux-switching linear machine, the proposed dual-stator flux-switching PM machine shows advantages in higher mass power density, higher volume power density, and lighter mover.

  15. Transient Characteristics of Free Piston Vuilleurnier Cycle Heat Pumps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsue, Junji; Fujimoto, Norioki; Shirai, Hiroyuki

    A dynamic analysis of a free piston Vuilleumier cycle heat pump was performed using a time-stepping integration method to investigate transient characteristics under power controlling. The nonlinear relationship between displacement and force for pistons was taken into account for the motion of reciprocating components. The force for pistons is mainly caused by the pressure change of working gas varying with piston displacements; moreover nonlinear viscous dissipative force due to the oscillating flow of working gas in heat exchangers and discontinuous damping force caused by solid friction at piston seals and rod seals are included. The displacements of pistons and pressure changes in the Vuilleumier cycle heat pump were integrated by an ideal isothermal thermodynamic relationship. It was assumed that the flow friction was proportional to the kinematic pressure of working gas, and that the solid friction at the seals was due to the functions of the working gas pressure and the tension of seal springs. In order to investigate the transient characteristics of a proposed free piston Vuilleumier cycle heat pump machine when hot-side working gas temperatures and alternate force were changed, some calculations were performed and discussed. These calculation results make clear transient characteristics at starting and power controlling. It was further found that only a small amount of starter power is required in particular conditions. During controlling, the machine becomes unstable when there is ar elatively large reduction in cooling or heating power. Therefore, an auxiliary device is additionally needed to obtain stable operation, such as al inear motor.

  16. Tests Of A Stirling-Engine Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, George

    1995-01-01

    Report describes acceptance tests of power converter consisting of pair of opposed free-piston Stirling engines driving linear alternators. Stirling engines offer potential for extremely long life, high reliability, high efficiency at low hot-to-cold temperature ratios, and relatively low heater-head temperatures.

  17. Advanced Stirling conversion systems for terrestrial applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, R. K.

    1987-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA) is developing heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. SNLA has identified the Stirling to be one of the most promising candidates for the terrestrial applications. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) has the potential to meet the DOE goals for both performance and cost. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) is conducting free-piston Stirling activities which are directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power system requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability and low vibration. The FPSE has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either solar or nuclear. Generic free-piston technology is currently being developed by LeRC for DOE/ORNL for use with a residential heat pump under an Interagency Agreement. Since 1983, the SP-100 Program (DOD/NASA/DOE) is developing dynamic power sources for space. Although both applications (heat pump and space power) appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. A cooperative Interagency Agreement (IAA) was signed in 1985 with NASA Lewis to provide technical management for an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) for SNLA. Conceptual design(s) using a free-piston Stirling (FPSE), and a heat pipe will be discussed. The ASCS will be designed using technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the 1980's.

  18. Experimental Evaluation of the Free Piston Engine - Linear Alternator (FPLA).

    SciTech Connect

    Leick, Michael T.; Moses, Ronald W.

    2015-03-01

    This report describes the experimental evaluation of a prototype free piston engine - linear alternator (FPLA) system developed at Sandia National Laboratories. The opposed piston design wa developed to investigate its potential for use in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The system is mechanically simple with two - stroke uniflow scavenging for gas exchange and timed port fuel injection for fuel delivery, i.e. no complex valving. Electrical power is extracted from piston motion through linear alternators wh ich also provide a means for passive piston synchronization through electromagnetic coupling. In an HEV application, this electrical power would be used to charge the batteries. The engine - alternator system was designed, assembled and operated over a 2 - year period at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA. This report primarily contains a description of the as - built system, modifications to the system to enable better performance, and experimental results from start - up, motoring, and hydrogen combus tion tests.

  19. Free-piston regenerative hot gas hydraulic engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beremand, D. G. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    A displacer piston which is driven pneumatically by a high-pressure or low-pressure gas is included in a free-piston regenerative hydraulic engine. Actuation of the displacer piston circulates the working fluid through a heater, a regenerator and a cooler. The present invention includes an inertial mass such as a piston or a hydraulic fluid column to effectively store and supply energy during portions of the cycle. Power is transmitted from the working fluid to a hydraulic fluid across a diaphragm or lightweight piston to achieve a hydraulic power out-put. The displacer piston of the present invention may be driven pneumatically, hydraulically or electromagnetically. In addition, the displacer piston and the inertial mass of the present invention may be positioned on the same side of the diaphragm member or may be separated by the diaphragm member.

  20. Drift stabilizer for reciprocating free-piston devices

    DOEpatents

    Ward, William C.; Corey, John A.; Swift, Gregory W.

    2003-05-20

    A free-piston device has a stabilized piston drift. A piston having a frequency of reciprocation over a stroke length and with first and second sides facing first and second variable volumes, respectively, for containing a working fluid defining an acoustic wavelength at the frequency of reciprocation. A bypass tube waveguide connects the first and second variable volumes at all times during reciprocation of the piston. The waveguide has a relatively low impedance for steady flow and a relatively high impedance for oscillating flow at the frequency of reciprocation of the piston, so that steady flow returns fluid leakage from about the piston between the first and second volumes while oscillating flow is not diverted through the waveguide. Thus, net leakage about the piston is returned during each stroke of the piston while oscillating leakage is not allowed and pressure buildup on either the first or second side of the piston is avoided to provide a stable piston location.

  1. Stirling technology development status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, George R.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1993-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power converters have the potential to meet the many future space power requirements for a wide variety of applications with less mass, better efficiency, and less total area (collector and radiator) than other power converter options. These benefits result in significant dollar savings over the projected mission lifetime. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—Lewis Research Center (LeRC), which has the responsibility to evaluate and develop power technologies that can satisfy anticipated future space mission power requirements, has been developing free-piston Stirling power converters and is bringing the Stirling technology to readiness. As the principal contractor to NASA-LeRC, Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) is under contract to develop the necessary space Stirling technology but also demonstrate the readiness of the technology in two generations of full-scale power converters. The first generation Stirling power converter, the component test power converter (CTPC), initiated cold end testing at the end of 1991, with hot testing scheduled during 1992. This paper reviews test progress of the CTPC including the initial hot engine test results. Modifications incorporated into the CTPC from the earlier space power demonstrator engine are reviewed as well.

  2. Stirling technology development status

    SciTech Connect

    Dochat, G.R. ); Dudenhoefer, J.E. )

    1993-01-15

    Free-piston Stirling power converters have the potential to meet the many future space power requirements for a wide variety of applications with less mass, better efficiency, and less total area (collector and radiator) than other power converter options. These benefits result in significant dollar savings over the projected mission lifetime. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)---Lewis Research Center (LeRC), which has the responsibility to evaluate and develop power technologies that can satisfy anticipated future space mission power requirements, has been developing free-piston Stirling power converters and is bringing the Stirling technology to readiness. As the principal contractor to NASA-LeRC, Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) is under contract to develop the necessary space Stirling technology but also demonstrate the readiness of the technology in two generations of full-scale power converters. The first generation Stirling power converter, the component test power converter (CTPC), initiated cold end testing at the end of 1991, with hot testing scheduled during 1992. This paper reviews test progress of the CTPC including the initial hot engine test results. Modifications incorporated into the CTPC from the earlier space power demonstrator engine are reviewed as well.

  3. Stirling machine operating experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Brad; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1991-01-01

    Numerous Stirling machines have been built and operated, but the operating experience of these machines is not well known. It is important to examine this operating experience in detail, because it largely substantiates the claim that Stirling machines are capable of reliable and lengthy lives. The amount of data that exists is impressive, considering that many of the machines that have been built are developmental machines intended to show proof of concept, and were not expected to operate for any lengthy period of time. Some Stirling machines (typically free-piston machines) achieve long life through non-contact bearings, while other Stirling machines (typically kinematic) have achieved long operating lives through regular seal and bearing replacements. In addition to engine and system testing, life testing of critical components is also considered.

  4. Practical bellows seals for Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    White, M.A.; Emigh, S.G.; Riggle, P.

    1987-01-01

    Rod seals, and to a lesser extent piston seals, are the primary impediments to long life and high reliability for kinematic Stirling engines. Hermetic metal bellows have been successfully demonstrated for 6.9 years and 4 x 10/sup 9/ cycles in a free-piston Stirling engine. A totally different radioisotope fueled free-piston Stirling engine with a flexing metal diaphragm was still operating at last report after more than 12 years and 3 x 10/sup 10/ cycles. A concept for implementing logn life bellows to function as rod seals and piston seals in kinematic Stirling engines has been developed and is presented for the first time in this paper.

  5. Dynamics and control of Stirling engines in a 15 kWe solar electric generation concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Das, R. L.; Bahrami, K. A.

    1979-01-01

    This paper discusses the application of kinematic and free piston Stirling engines in a 15 kWe dish-electric approach for solar thermal electric generation. Initially, the principle of operation of Stirling engines in solar thermal electric generation is discussed. Then, under certain simplifying assumptions, mathematical models describing the dynamic operation of the kinematic and free piston Stirling engines are developed. It is found that the engine dynamics may be approximated by second order models. Control mechanisms for both types of Stirling engines are discussed. An approach based on the modulation of the working fluid mean pressure is presented. It is concluded that this approach offers a fast and effective means of control. The free piston Stirling engine, being a thermally driven mechanical oscillator, presents unique control requirements. These are discussed in this paper.

  6. Open Loop Heat Pipe Radiator Having a Free-Piston for Wiping Condensed Working Fluid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstein, Leonard M. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    An open loop heat pipe radiator comprises a radiator tube and a free-piston. The radiator tube has a first end, a second end, and a tube wall, and the tube wall has an inner surface and an outer surface. The free-piston is enclosed within the radiator tube and is capable of movement within the radiator tube between the first and second ends. The free-piston defines a first space between the free-piston, the first end, and the tube wall, and further defines a second space between the free-piston, the second end, and the tube wall. A gaseous-state working fluid, which was evaporated to remove waste heat, alternately enters the first and second spaces, and the free-piston wipes condensed working fluid from the inner surface of the tube wall as the free-piston alternately moves between the first and second ends. The condensed working fluid is then pumped back to the heat source.

  7. The combustion process in a DI diesel hydraulic free piston engine

    SciTech Connect

    Somhorst, J.H.E.; Achten, P.A.J.

    1996-09-01

    In a free piston engine the piston is neither connected to a crankshaft mechanism nor to any other kinematic system. Instead the piston movement is determined by the free forces that act upon it. This difference between the kinematic principle of the crankshaft engine and the free piston principle has a significant influence on the combustion process. In this paper the combustion process in a free piston engine is described on the basis of experiments. The experimental data were obtained from measurements on the free piston engine that has been developed by the Dutch company Innas. This article discusses the influence of the free piston principle on cold start, ignition delay, heat release, heat transfer, indicated efficiency and emissions. In the optimum point the engine has an indicated efficiency of 51%, a NOx emission of 6 gr/kWhi and a soot emission corresponding to a Bosch Filter Number of less than 0.5. The combustion process of the free piston engine is furthermore characterized by a nearly constant volume combustion process.

  8. Conceptual design of a solar electric advanced Stirling power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. A.; Brown, A. T.

    1987-02-01

    The objective is to develop a high confidence conceptual design for a free-piston Stirling engine based system designed to deliver 25 kW of three-phase electric power to a utility grid when coupled to the 11 meter Test Bed Concentrator (TBC) at SNLA. Further objectives include a design life of 60,000 hours, minimum life cycle cost and dynamic balancing. The approach used to achieve these objectives is to utilize a hermetically sealed Stirling hydraulic concept based on technology developed to an advanced level during the past 19 years for an artificial heart power source. Such engines and critical metal bellows components have demonstrated operating times in the desired range. This approach provides full film hydraulic lubrication of all sliding parts, simple construction with conventional manufacturing tolerances, proven hydraulically coupled counterbalancing, and simple but effective power control to follow insolation variations. Other advantages include use of commercially available hydraulic motors and rotary alternators which can be placed on the ground to minimize suspended weight. The output from several engine/concentrator modules can be directed to one large motor/alternator for further cost savings. Three monthly progress reports for the same period, January 1 to January 31, 1987, are compiled within this document.

  9. Test results of a 40-kW Stirling engine and comparison with the NASA Lewis computer code predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, David J.; Cairelli, James E.

    1988-01-01

    A Stirling engine was tested without auxiliaries at Nasa-Lewis. Three different regenerator configurations were tested with hydrogen. The test objectives were: (1) to obtain steady-state and dynamic engine data, including indicated power, for validation of an existing computer model for this engine; and (2) to evaluate structurally the use of silicon carbide regenerators. This paper presents comparisons of the measured brake performance, indicated mean effective pressure, and cyclic pressure variations from those predicted by the code. The silicon carbide foam generators appear to be structurally suitable, but the foam matrix showed severely reduced performance.

  10. Test results of a 40-kW Stirling engine and comparison with the NASA Lewis computer code predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, David J.; Cairelli, James E.

    1988-03-01

    A Stirling engine was tested without auxiliaries at Nasa-Lewis. Three different regenerator configurations were tested with hydrogen. The test objectives were: (1) to obtain steady-state and dynamic engine data, including indicated power, for validation of an existing computer model for this engine; and (2) to evaluate structurally the use of silicon carbide regenerators. This paper presents comparisons of the measured brake performance, indicated mean effective pressure, and cyclic pressure variations from those predicted by the code. The silicon carbide foam generators appear to be structurally suitable, but the foam matrix showed severely reduced performance.

  11. Test results of a 40 kW Stirling engine and comparison with the NASA-Lewis computer code predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, D.; Cairelli, J.

    1985-12-01

    A Stirling engine was tested without auxiliaries at NASA-Lewis. Three different regenerator configurations were tested with hydrogen. The test objectives were (1) to obtain steady-state and dynamic engine data, including indicated power, for validation of an existing computer model for this engine; and (2) to evaluate structurally the use of silicon carbide regenerators. This paper presents comparisons of the measured brake performance, indicated mean effective pressure, and cyclic pressure variations with those predicted by the code. The measured data tended to be lower than the computer code predictions. The silicon carbide foam regenerators appear to be structurally suitable, but the foam matrix tested severely reduced performance.

  12. Test results of a 40 kW Stirling engine and comparison with the NASA-Lewis computer code predictions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, D.; Cairelli, J.

    1985-01-01

    A Stirling engine was tested without auxiliaries at NASA-Lewis. Three different regenerator configurations were tested with hydrogen. The test objectives were (1) to obtain steady-state and dynamic engine data, including indicated power, for validation of an existing computer model for this engine; and (2) to evaluate structurally the use of silicon carbide regenerators. This paper presents comparisons of the measured brake performance, indicated mean effective pressure, and cyclic pressure variations with those predicted by the code. The measured data tended to be lower than the computer code predictions. The silicon carbide foam regenerators appear to be structurally suitable, but the foam matrix tested severely reduced performance.

  13. Design and construction of the X-2 two-stage free piston driven expansion tube

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doolan, Con

    1995-01-01

    This report outlines the design and construction of the X-2 two-stage free piston driven expansion tube. The project has completed its construction phase and the facility has been installed in the new impulsive research laboratory where commissioning is about to take place. The X-2 uses a unique, two-stage driver design which allows a more compact and lower overall cost free piston compressor. The new facility has been constructed in order to examine the performance envelope of the two-stage driver and how well it couple to sub-orbital and super-orbital expansion tubes. Data obtained from these experiments will be used for the design of a much larger facility, X-3, utilizing the same free piston driver concept.

  14. Linear moving magnet motor/generator for Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shtrikman, S.; Urieli, I.

    Free piston Stirling cycle machines have many inherent advantages, however suffer from the difficulties of extracting power output and controllability of the free displacer, which is usually driven by gas pressure forces. Modern rare earth samarium cobalt magnets allow the use of moving magnet linear electrical devices. This paper discusses the development and testing of moving magnet devices designed specifically for use with Stirling engines, both for generating electricity and for driving the displacer piston. The generator was used as an output stage of a free piston Stirling engine, and is capable of delivering a power of 500 watts at an estimated efficiency of about 90%. The motor was used to drive the displacer of the same Stirling engine. It was found to be completely controllable in amplitude, phase, and mean position. The relative merits of moving magnet linear motor/generators are discussed.

  15. Solar-powered Stirling engines - Energy converters on earth and in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinwaechter, H.; Kleinwaechter, J.

    The development of the crankshaft Stirling engine has resulted in a machine suitable for energy conversion on earth and in space, using solar energy. The principle of the Stirling engine is discussed, the realization of the engine in a variety of applications is shown. The advantages of the free-piston design of the Stirling engine are addressed, and the engine's use in a receiver antenna for direct reception from satellites is considered.

  16. Development of High Capacity Split Stirling Cryocooler for HTS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yumoto, Kenta; Nakano, Kyosuke; Hiratsuka, Yoshikatsu

    Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) developed a high-power Stirling-type pulse tube cryocooler for cooling high-temperature superconductor (HTS) devices, such as superconductor motors, superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES), and fault current limiters. The experimental results of a prototype pulse tube cryocooler were reported in September 2013. For a U-type expander, the cooling capacity was 151 W at 70 K with a compressor input power of 4 kW. Correspondingly, the coefficient of performance (COP) was about 0.038. However, the efficiency of the cryocooler is required to be COP > 0.1 and it was found that, theoretically, it is difficult to further improve the efficiency of a pulse tube cryocooler because the workflow generated at the hot end of the pulse tube cannot be recovered. Therefore, it was decided to change the expander to a free-piston type from a pulse tube type. A prototype was developed and preliminary experiments were conducted. A cooling capacity of 120 W at 70 K with a compressor input power of 2.15 kW with corresponding COP of 0.056, was obtained. The detailed results are reported in this paper.

  17. Summary of Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in Support of Stirling Radioisotope Power System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schifer, Nicholas A.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing 100 We class, free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for space science and exploration missions. Free-piston Stirling convertors are capable of achieving a 38% conversion efficiency, making Stirling attractive for meeting future power system needs in light of the shrinking U.S. plutonium fuel supply. Convertors currently on test include four Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs), manufactured by the Stirling Technology Company (STC), and six Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), manufactured by Sunpower, Inc. Total hours of operation is greater than 514,000 hours (59 years). Several tests have been initiated to demonstrate the functionality of Stirling convertors for space applications, including: in-air extended operation, thermal vacuum extended operation. Other tests have also been conducted to characterize Stirling performance in anticipated mission scenarios. Data collected during testing has been used to support life and reliability estimates, drive design changes and improve quality, and plan for expected mission scenarios. This paper will provide a summary of convertors tested at NASA GRC and discuss lessons learned through extended testing.

  18. Novel diaphragm based Stirling cryocooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caughley, Alan; Tucker, Alan; Gschwendtner, Michael; Sellier, Mathieu

    2012-06-01

    Industrial Research Ltd has developed a unique diaphragm-based pressure wave generator technology for employment in pulse tube and Stirling cryocoolers. The system uses a pair of metal diaphragms to separate the clean cryocooler gas circuit from a conventionally lubricated mechanical driver, thus producing a clean pressure wave with a long-life drive. We have now extended the same diaphragm concept to support and seal the displacer in a free piston Stirling expander. The diaphragms allow displacer movement without rubbing or clearance gap seals, hence allowing for the development of costeffective long-life and efficient Stirling cryocoolers. Initial modeling, operating in conjunction with a 200 cc swept volume pressure wave generator, predicted in excess of 300 W cooling at 77 K with a Carnot efficiency of over 25%. A proof-of-concept prototype has achieved cryogenic temperatures. Details of the concept, modeling, and testing will be presented.

  19. Stirling machine operating experience

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, B.; Dudenhoefer, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    Numerous Stirling machines have been built and operated, but the operating experience of these machines is not well known. It is important to examine this operating experience in detail, because it largely substantiates the claim that stirling machines are capable of reliable and lengthy operating lives. The amount of data that exists is impressive, considering that many of the machines that have been built are developmental machines intended to show proof of concept, and are not expected to operate for lengthy periods of time. Some Stirling machines (typically free-piston machines) achieve long life through non-contact bearings, while other Stirling machines (typically kinematic) have achieved long operating lives through regular seal and bearing replacements. In addition to engine and system testing, life testing of critical components is also considered. The record in this paper is not complete, due to the reluctance of some organizations to release operational data and because several organizations were not contacted. The authors intend to repeat this assessment in three years, hoping for even greater participation.

  20. Design and fabrication of a Stirling engine heat exchanger module with an integral heat pipe

    SciTech Connect

    Schreiber, J.G.

    1988-01-01

    The conceptual design of a free-piston Stirling Space Engine (SSE) intended for space power applications has been generated. The engine was designed to produce 25 kW of electric power with heat supplied by a nuclear reactor. A novel heat exchanger module was designed to reduce the number of critical joints in the heat exchanger assembly while also incorporating a heat pipe as the link between the engine and the heat source. Two inexpensive verification tests are proposed. The SSE heat exchanger module is described and the operating conditions for the module are outlined. The design process of the heat exchanger modules, including the sodium heat pipe, is briefly described. Similarities between the proposed SSE heat exchanger modules and the LeRC test modules for two test engines are presented. The benefits and weaknesses of using a sodium heat pipe to transport heat to a Stirling engine are discussed. Similarly, the problems encountered when using a true heat pipe, as opposed to a more simple reflux boiler, are described. The instruments incorporated into the modules and the test program are also outlined.

  1. The design and fabrication of a Stirling engine heat exchanger module with an integral heat pipe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1988-01-01

    The conceptual design of a free-piston Stirling Space Engine (SSE) intended for space power applications has been generated. The engine was designed to produce 25 kW of electric power with heat supplied by a nuclear reactor. A novel heat exchanger module was designed to reduce the number of critical joints in the heat exchanger assembly while also incorporating a heat pipe as the link between the engine and the heat source. Two inexpensive verification tests are proposed. The SSE heat exchanger module is described and the operating conditions for the module are outlined. The design process of the heat exchanger modules, including the sodium heat pipe, is briefly described. Similarities between the proposed SSE heat exchanger modules and the LeRC test modules for two test engines are presented. The benefits and weaknesses of using a sodium heat pipe to transport heat to a Stirling engine are discussed. Similarly, the problems encountered when using a true heat pipe, as opposed to a more simple reflux boiler, are described. The instruments incorporated into the modules and the test program are also outlined.

  2. Status of NASA's Stirling space power converter program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.

    An overview is presented of the NASA free-piston stirling space power converter technology program. The authors discuss Stirling experience in space and progress toward 1050 K and 1300 K Stirling space power converters. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K component test power converter (CTPC); results of motoring tests of the cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing and predictive methodologies. The authors provide an update of progress in some of these technologies.

  3. Review of Computational Stirling Analysis Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear thermal to electric power conversion carries the promise of longer duration missions and higher scientific data transmission rates back to Earth for both Mars rovers and deep space missions. A free-piston Stirling convertor is a candidate technology that is considered an efficient and reliable power conversion device for such purposes. While already very efficient, it is believed that better Stirling engines can be developed if the losses inherent its current designs could be better understood. However, they are difficult to instrument and so efforts are underway to simulate a complete Stirling engine numerically. This has only recently been attempted and a review of the methods leading up to and including such computational analysis is presented. And finally it is proposed that the quality and depth of Stirling loss understanding may be improved by utilizing the higher fidelity and efficiency of recently developed numerical methods. One such method, the Ultra HI-Fl technique is presented in detail.

  4. Assessment Of The Stirling Power Option for Space Science Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2000-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling technology efforts in the past typically were intended to address power needs in the multi-kilowatt range. The Stirling power option was attractive primarily because of the high conversion efficiency and potential for long life. In recent years, several technology efforts have focused on the free-piston Stirling power d convertor for space power applications, however the more recent efforts are intended to provide power at levels far below one kilowatt. Through a variety of projects funded by both NASA and DOE, the free-piston Stirling convertor technology has successfully demonstrated high efficiency and long life. Other areas of concern, such as control of multi-convertor systems, and vibration reduction have also been addressed. Efforts are being initiated to address issues such as electro-magnetic interference (EMI), radiation tolerance of organic materials, and the ability to operate through launch loads and survive with integrity. The status of the technology in these areas will be briefly discussed in this paper.

  5. The NASA Next Generation Stirling Technology Program Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, J. G.; Shaltens, R. K.; Wong, W. A.

    2005-12-01

    NASAs Science Mission Directorate is developing the next generation Stirling technology for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for surface and deep space missions. The next generation Stirling convertor is one of two advanced power conversion technologies currently being developed for future NASA missions, and is capable of operating for both planetary atmospheres and deep space environments. The Stirling convertor (free-piston engine integrated with a linear alternator) produces about 90 We(ac) and has a specific power of about 90 We/kg. Operating conditions of Thot at 850 degree C and Trej at 90 degree C results in the Stirling convertor estimated efficiency of about 40 per cent. Using the next generation Stirling convertor in future RPS, the "system" specific power is estimated at 8 We/kg. The design lifetime is three years on the surface of Mars and fourteen years in deep space missions. Electrical power of about 160 We (BOM) is produced by two (2) free-piston Stirling convertors heated by two (2) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. This development is being performed by Sunpower, Athens, OH with Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, CA under contract to Glenn Research Center (GRC), Cleveland, Ohio. GRC is guiding the independent testing and technology development for the next generation Stirling generator.

  6. Comparison of GLIMPS and HFAST Stirling engine code predictions with experimental data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Tew, Roy C.

    1992-01-01

    Predictions from GLIMPS and HFAST design codes are compared with experimental data for the RE-1000 and SPRE free piston Stirling engines. Engine performance and available power loss predictions are compared. Differences exist between GLIMPS and HFAST loss predictions. Both codes require engine specific calibration to bring predictions and experimental data into agreement.

  7. Comparison of GLIMPS and HFAST Stirling engine code predictions with experimental data

    SciTech Connect

    Geng, S.M.; Tew, R.C.

    1994-09-01

    Predictions from GLIMPS and HFAST design codes are compared with experimental data for the RE-1000 and SPRE free-piston Stirling engines. Engine performance and available power loss predictions are compared. Differences exist between GLIMPS and HFAST loss predictions. Both codes require engine-specific calibration to bring predictions and experimental data into agreement.

  8. A Historical Review of Brayton and Stirling Power Conversion Technologies for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Dynamic power conversion technologies, such as closed Brayton and free-piston Stirling, offer many advantages for space power applications including high efficiency, long life, and attractive scaling characteristics. This paper presents a historical review of Brayton and Stirling power conversion technology for space and discusses on-going development activities in order to illustrate current technology readiness. The paper also presents a forecast of potential future space uses of these power technologies.

  9. Rupture-disk-less shock-tube with compression tube driven by free piston

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abe, T.; Ogura, E.; Sato, S.; Funabiki, K.

    A new technique is proposed for a shock tube driven by a freely moving piston. In a conventional free-piston-driven shock tube, a rupture disk is employed between the compression tube and the shock generation tube. In the present method, however, the conventional rupture disk is replaced by a newly developed fast action valve which is activated by the compressed gas generated in the compression tube. The present method enables us to generate high Mach number shock waves of arbitrary strength with good reproducibility. The performance of the new method is demonstrated experimentally. This also enables us to be carefree to scattering of fragments of the rupture disk.

  10. Performance data of the new free-piston shock tunnel T5 at GALCIT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornung, H.; Sturtevant, B.; Belanger, J.; Sanderson, S.; Brouillette, M.; Jenkins, M.

    1992-01-01

    A new free piston shock tunnel has been constructed at the Graduate Aeronautical Laboratories at Caltec. Compression tube length is 30 m and diameter 300 mm. Shock tube length is 12 m and diameter 90 mm. Piston mass is 150 kg and maximum diaphragm burst pressure is 130 MPa. Special features of this facility are that the pressure in the driver gas is monitored throughout the compression process until well after diaphragm rupture, and that the diaphragm burst pressure can be measured dynamically. An analysis of initial performance data including transient behavior of the flow over models is presented.

  11. Hypervelocity flows of argon produced in a free piston driven expansion tube

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neely, A. J.; Stalker, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    An expansion tube with a free piston driver has been used to generate quasi-steady hypersonic flows in argon at flow velocities in excess of 9 km/s. Irregular test flow unsteadiness has limited the performance of previous expansion tubes. Test section measurements of pitot pressure, static pressure, and flat plate heat transfer rates are used to confirm the presence of quasi-steady flow, and comparisons are made with predictions for the equilibrium flow of an ideal, ionizing, monatomic gas. The results of this work indicate that expansion tubes can be used to generate quasi-steady hypersonic flows in argon at speeds in excess of Earth orbital velocity.

  12. Conceptual design of a solar electric advanced Stirling power system: Monthly progress report, 1 January-31 January 1987

    SciTech Connect

    White, M.A.; Brown, A.T.

    1987-02-09

    The overall objective of this program is to develop a high confidence conceptual design for a free-piston Stirling engine based system designed to deliver 25 kW of three-phase electric power to a utility grid when coupled to the 11 meter Test Bed Concentrator (TBC) at SNLA. Further specific objectives include a design life of 60,000 hours, minimum life cycle cost and dynamic balancing. The approach used to achieve these objectives is to utilize a hermetically sealed Stirling hydraulic concept based on technology developed to an advanced level during the past 19 years for an artificial heart power source. Such engines and critical metal bellows components have demonstrated operating times in the desired range. This approach provides full film hydraulic lubrication of all sliding parts, simple construction with conventional manufacturing tolerances, proven hydraulically coupled counterbalancing, and simple but effective power control to follow insolation variations. Other advantages include use of commercially available hydraulic motors and rotary alternators which can be placed on the ground to minimize suspended weight. The output from several engine/concentrator modules can be directed to one large motor/alternator for further cost savings. Three monthly progress reports for the same period, January 1-January 31, 1987, are compiled within this document.

  13. Free-piston driver performance characterisation using experimental shock speeds through helium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gildfind, D. E.; James, C. M.; Morgan, R. G.

    2015-03-01

    Tuned free-piston driver operation involves configuring the driver to produce a relatively steady blast of driver gas over the critical time scales of the experiment. For the purposes of flow condition development and parametric studies, it is useful to establish some average working values of the driver pressure and temperature for a given driver operating condition. However, in practise, these averaged values need to produce sufficiently accurate estimates of performance. In this study, two tuned driver conditions in the X2 expansion tube have been used to generate shock waves through a helium test gas. The measured shock speeds have then been used to calculate the effective driver gas pressure and temperature after diaphragm rupture. Since the driver gas is typically helium, or a mixture of helium and argon, and the test gas is also helium, ideal gas assumptions can be made without significant loss of accuracy. The technique is applicable to tuned free-piston drivers with a simple area change, as well as those using orifice plates. It is shown that this technique can be quickly used to establish average working driver gas properties which produce very good estimates of actual driven shock speed, across a wide range of operating conditions. The use of orifice plates to control piston dynamics at high driver gas sound speeds is also discussed in the paper, and a simple technique for calculating the restriction required to modify an established safe condition for use with lighter gases, such as pure helium, is presented.

  14. Stirling engines for gas fired micro-cogen and cooling

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, N.W.; Beale, W.T.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes the design and performance of free-piston Stirling engine-alternators particularly suited for use as natural gas fired micro-cogen and cooling devices. Stirling based cogen systems offer significant potential advantages over internal combustion engines in efficiency, to maintain higher efficiencies at lower power levels than than combustion engines significantly expands the potential for micro-cogen. System cost reduction and electric prices higher than the U.S. national average will have a far greater effect on commercial success than any further increase in Stirling engine efficiency. There exist niche markets where Stirling engine efficiency. There exist niche markets where Stirling based cogen systems are competitive. Machines of this design are being considered for production in the near future as gas-fired units for combined heat and power in sufficiently large quantities to assure competitive prices for the final unit.

  15. Development of a Stirling System Dynamic Model With Enhanced Thermodynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2005-01-01

    The Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model developed at NASA Glenn Research Center is a software model developed from first principles that includes the mechanical and mounting dynamics, the thermodynamics, the linear alternator, and the controller of a free-piston Stirling power convertor, along with the end user load. As such it represents the first detailed modeling tool for fully integrated Stirling convertor-based power systems. The thermodynamics of the model were originally a form of the isothermal Stirling cycle. In some situations it may be desirable to improve the accuracy of the Stirling cycle portion of the model. An option under consideration is to enhance the SDM thermodynamics by coupling the model with Gedeon Associates Sage simulation code. The result will be a model that gives a more accurate prediction of the performance and dynamics of the free-piston Stirling convertor. A method of integrating the Sage simulation code with the System Dynamic Model is described. Results of SDM and Sage simulation are compared to test data. Model parameter estimation and model validation are discussed.

  16. Recent Stirling Conversion Technology Developments and Operational Measurements at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2010-01-01

    In support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) project and other potential applications, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has initiated convertor technology development efforts in the areas of acoustic emission, electromagnetic field mitigation, thermoacoustic Stirling conversion, and multiple-cylinder alpha arrangements of Stirling machines. The acoustic emission measurement effort was developed as a health monitoring metric for several Stirling convertors undergoing life testing. While accelerometers have been used in the past to monitor dynamic signature, the acoustic sensors were chosen to monitor cycle events, such gas bearing operation. Several electromagnetic interference (EMI) experiments were performed on a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC). These tests demonstrated that a simple bucking coil was capable of reducing the alternating current (ac) magnetic field below the ASRG system specification. The thermoacoustic Stirling concept eliminates the displacer typically found in Stirling machines by making use of the pressure oscillations of a traveling acoustic wave. A 100 W-class thermoacoustic Stirling prototype manufactured by Northrop Grumman Space and Technology was received and tested. Another thermoacoustic prototype designed and fabricated by Sunpower, Inc., will be tested in the near future. A four cylinder free piston alpha prototype convertor was received from Sunpower, Inc. and has been tested at GRC. This hardware was used as a proof of concept to validate thermodynamic models and demonstrate stable operation of multiple-cylinder free-piston Stirling conversion. This paper will discuss each of these activities and the results they produced.

  17. Stirling technology development at NASA GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) built by STC includes mapping of a second pair of TDC's, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a non-magnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDC's with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. GRC is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at GRC when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss predictions and assist in

  18. Stirling Technology Development at NASA GRC. Revised

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA Glenn) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing, of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) built by STC includes mapping, of a second pair of TDC's, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a nonmagnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDC's with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. NASA Glenn is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at NASA Glenn when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multidimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss

  19. Stirling Technology Development at NASA GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2001-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA Glenn) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) built by STC includes mapping of a second pair of TDCs, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a nonmagnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDCs with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. NASA Glenn is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at NASA Glenn when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multidimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss

  20. Test results of a Stirling engine utilizing heat exchanger modules with an integral heat pipe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Skupinski, Robert C.; Tower, Leonard K.; Madi, Frank J.; Brusk, Kevin D.

    1993-01-01

    The Heat Pipe Stirling Engine (HP-1000), a free-piston Stirling engine incorporating three heat exchanger modules, each having a sodium filled heat pipe, has been tested at the NASA-Lewis Research Center as part of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The heat exchanger modules were designed to reduce the number of potential flow leak paths in the heat exchanger assembly and incorporate a heat pipe as the link between the heat source and the engine. An existing RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine was modified to operate using the heat exchanger modules. This paper describes heat exchanger module and engine performance during baseline testing. Condenser temperature profiles, brake power, and efficiency are presented and discussed.

  1. Test results of a Stirling engine utilizing heat exchanger modules with an integral heat pipe

    SciTech Connect

    Skupinski, R.C.; Tower, L.K.; Madi, F.J.; Brusk, K.D.

    1993-04-01

    The Heat Pipe Stirling Engine (HP-1000), a free-piston Stirling engine incorporating three heat exchanger modules, each having a sodium filled heat pipe, has been tested at the NASA-Lewis Research Center as part of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The heat exchanger modules were designed to reduce the number of potential flow leak paths in the heat exchanger assembly and incorporate a heat pipe as the link between the heat source and the engine. An existing RE-1000 free-piston Stirling engine was modified to operate using the heat exchanger modules. This paper describes heat exchanger module and engine performance during baseline testing. Condenser temperature profiles, brake power, and efficiency are presented and discussed.

  2. Performance data of the new free-piston shock tunnel at GALCIT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornung, Hans G.

    1992-01-01

    The new free-piston shock tunnel has been partially calibrated, and a range of operating conditions has been found. A large number of difficulties were encountered during the shake-down period, of which the ablation of various parts was the most severe. Solutions to these problems were found. The general principles of high-enthalpy simulation are outlined, and the parameter space covered by T5 is given. Examples of the operating data show that, with care, excellent repeatability may be obtained. The temporal uniformity of the reservoir pressure is very good, even at high enthalpy, because it is possible to operate at tailored-interface and tuned-piston conditions over the whole enthalpy range. Examples of heat transfer and Pitot-pressure measurements are also presented.

  3. Evaluation Of Different Power Conditioning Options For Stirling Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrigos, A.; Blanes, J. M.; Carrasco, J. A.; Maset, E.; Montalban, G.; Ejea, J.; Ferreres, A.; Sanchis, E.

    2011-10-01

    Free-piston Stirling engines are an interesting alternative for electrical power systems, especially in deep space missions where photovoltaic systems are not feasible. This kind of power generators contains two main parts, the Stirling machine and the linear alternator that converts the mechanical energy from the piston movement to electrical energy. Since the generated power is in AC form, several aspects should be assessed to use such kind of generators in a spacecraft power system: AC/DC topologies, power factor correction, power regulation techniques, integration into the power system, etc. This paper details power generator operation and explores different power conversion approaches.

  4. Overview of the GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    A Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model has been developed at the Glenn Research Center for controls, dynamics, and systems development of free-piston convertor power systems. It models the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, gas, mechanical, and mounting dynamics, the linear alternator, and the controller. The model's scope extends from the thermal energy input to thermal, mechanical dynamics, and electrical energy out, allowing one to study complex system interactions among subsystems. The model is a non-linear time-domain model containing sub-cycle dynamics, allowing it to simulate transient and dynamic phenomena that other models cannot. The model details and capability are discussed.

  5. Stirling engines and irrigation pumping

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1987-08-01

    This report was prepared in support of the Renewable Energy Applications and Training Project sponsored by the US Agency for International Development for which ORNL provides technical assistance. It briefly outlines the performance that might be achievable from various kinds of Stirling-engine-driven irrigation pumps. Some emphasis is placed on the very simple liquid-piston engines that have been the subject of research in recent years and are suitable for manufacture in less well-developed countries. In addition to the results quoted here (possible limits on M/sup 4/ and pumping head for different-size engines and various operating conditions), the method of calculation is described in sufficient detail for engineers to apply the techniques to other Stirling engine designs for comparison. The liquid-piston Fluidyne is a form of Stirling engine sharing many of the characteristics of conventional kinematic and free-piston Stirling machines. The use of liquid pistons, however, gives it some unique advantages as well as certain problems that are not encountered or are not important in engines with solid pistons. Because the output is naturally available in the form of an oscillating liquid flow or a fluctuating pressure, the Fluidyne is well suited to liquid pumping, but other applications have also been considered. 27 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. A general simulation model for Stirling cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, S.; Schwendig, F.

    1996-01-01

    A mathematical model for the calculation of the Stirling cycle and of similar processes is presented. The model comprises a method to reproduce schematically any kind of process configuration, including free piston engines. The differential balance equations describing the process are solved by a stable integration algorithm. Heat transfer and pressure loss are calculated by using new correlations, which consider the special conditions of the periodic compression/expansion respectively of the oscillating flow. A comparison between experimental data achieved by means of a test apparatus and calculated data shows a good agreement.

  7. Stirling Engine Controller

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaze, Gina M.

    2004-01-01

    and also safely shutdown the engines. The test will last for a period of 8000 to 9000 hours. Other types of tests that have been performed are: performance mapping, controller development, launch environment, and vibration emissions testing. Currently, the thermo-mechanical system branch is housing a RG-350, a stirling convertor. The convertor was used in previous tests such as a Hall Thruster test, world s first integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion. Another test performed was to conclude if free piston stirling convertors can be synchronized for vibration balancing, with no thermodynamic or electrical connections and not cause both to shutdown if one failed. The ability to reduce vibration by synchronizing convertor operation but still be able to operate when one partner fails is pertinent in space and terrestrial applications. The convertor is now being brought back into operation and a controller is in the process of being developed. This convertor will be used as a testbed for new controllers. I worked with Mary Ellen Roth on the electric engineering aspects of the RG-350. My main goal was to enhance the data collection process. I worked on different aspects of the RG-350, with a main focus on the engine controller. I drew a schematic of the wire connections in the engine controller, using PCB Express, so that a plan could be devised to connect the power meter properly between the output of the engine and the engine controller. I measured the power using two different instruments: Valhalla Scientific power meter and Ohio Semitronics power measurement device. The convertor is connected to an Agilent 34970A Data Acquisition/Switch Unit, which allows the user to measure, record, and monitor voltage, current, frequency, and temperature. I assisted in preparing the Data Acquisition for general operation. I also helped test a panel of transducers, which will be placed in the rack that powers and monitors the convertor.

  8. Proof of concept of a magnetically coupled Stirling engine-driven heat pump

    SciTech Connect

    Shonder, J.A. ); Chen, Gong; McEntee, J. )

    1992-01-01

    A prototype magnetically-coupled Stirling engine-driven heat pump module has been designed and fabricated by Sunpower, Inc. under sponsorship of the US Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Preliminary testing indicates that the magnetic coupling is an effective means for transmitting power from a free-piston Stirling engine to a refrigerant compressor. Compared with other power transmission concepts, the magnetic coupling has relatively low cost, and will help make commercial development of Stirling-driven heat pumps more likely in the future.

  9. Proof of concept of a magnetically coupled Stirling engine-driven heat pump

    SciTech Connect

    Shonder, J.A.; Chen, Gong; McEntee, J.

    1992-08-01

    A prototype magnetically-coupled Stirling engine-driven heat pump module has been designed and fabricated by Sunpower, Inc. under sponsorship of the US Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Preliminary testing indicates that the magnetic coupling is an effective means for transmitting power from a free-piston Stirling engine to a refrigerant compressor. Compared with other power transmission concepts, the magnetic coupling has relatively low cost, and will help make commercial development of Stirling-driven heat pumps more likely in the future.

  10. Some considerations of the design of displacers for Ringbom Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Fauvel, O.R.; Kentfield, J.A.C.; Walker, G.

    1984-08-01

    The Ringbom Stirling engine is a hybrid of the kinematic Stirling engine having shaft output power and variable speed and of the free piston engine in which the components are driven by changes in working space pressure. Experiments with Ringbom Stirling engines have led to the suspicion that the 'weak link' of the engine is the free displacer. This paper examines some of the factors which must be addressed in the design of displacers for these engines with reference to the thermal, pressure, and dynamical considerations.

  11. Preliminary Design of a SP-100/Stirling Radiatively Coupled Heat Exchanger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul; Tower, Leonard; Dawson, Ronald; Blue, Brian; Dunn, Pat

    1995-01-01

    Several methods for coupling the SP-100 space nuclear reactor to the NASA Lewis Research Center's Free Piston Stirling Power Convertor (FPSPC) are presented. A 25 kWe, dual opposed Stirling convertor configuration is used in these designs. The concepts use radiative coupling between the SP-100 lithium loop and the sodium heat pipe of the Stirling convertor to transfer the heat from the reactor to the convertor. Four separate configurations are presented. Masses for the four designs vary from 41 to 176 kgs. Each design's structure, heat transfer characteristics, and heat pipe performance are analytically modeled.

  12. A Small Fission Power System with Stirling Power Conversion for NASA Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Carmichael, Chad

    2011-01-01

    In early 2010, a joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Energy (DOE) study team developed a concept for a 1 kWe Fission Power System with a 15-year design life that could be available for a 2020 launch to support future NASA science missions. The baseline concept included a solid block uranium-molybdenum reactor core with embedded heat pipes and distributed thermoelectric converters directly coupled to aluminum radiator fins. A short follow-on study was conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) to evaluate an alternative power conversion approach. The GRC study considered the use of free-piston Stirling power conversion as a substitution to the thermoelectric converters. The resulting concept enables a power increase to 3 kWe with the same reactor design and scalability to 10 kW without changing the reactor technology. This paper presents the configuration layout, system performance, mass summary, and heat transfer analysis resulting from the study.

  13. Fluid dynamic modeling of a free piston engine with labyrinth seals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Larjola, Jaakko; Honkatukia, Juha; Sallinen, Petri; Backman, Jari

    2010-04-01

    Preliminary design and simulation of a free piston engine suitable for small-scale energy production in distributed energy systems is presented in this paper. The properties, particularly the properties of gas seals of the engine are simulated using a simulation program developed for this case, and the results are utilized in preliminary main design parameter selection. The engine simulation program was developed by combining and modifying the source codes of the simulation and calculation programs obtained from Helsinki University of Technology, Tampere University of Technology, and Lappeenranta University of Technology. Because of the contact-free labyrinth seal used in the piston, the efficiency of the motor is lower than the efficiency of a conventional motor with oil lubricated piston rings. On the other hand, the lack of bearing losses, and the lack of losses associated with a crankshaft system and a gearbox, as well as the lack of lubrication oil expenses, compensates this effect. As a net result, this new motor would perform slightly better than the conventional one. Being completely oil-free, it is very environmentally friendly, and its exhaust gases are completely free of oil residuals which are causing problems in normal gas motors.

  14. A Study of Free-Piston Double-Diaphragm Drivers for Expansion Tubes. Report 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kendall, M. A.

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the free-piston double-diaphragm driver has been used to increase the performance of the XI pilot expansion tube to super-orbital test conditions. However, the actual performance of the double-diaphragm driver was found to be considerably less than ideal. An experimental study of the double-diaphragm driver was carried out on the XI facility over a range of conditions with the objective of determining the effect of. heat losses; and the non-ideal rupture of the 'light' secondary diaphragm on the driver performance. The disparity between the theoretical and measured performance envelope are highlighted. A viscous limit for the experiments vas established. Heat transfer behind the primary shock is shown to be the mechanism behind this limit Incident, reflected and transmitted shock trajectories for the secondary diaphragm were experimentally determined and compared with computed trajectories from a one-dimensional diaphragm inertia model. It was found that the diaphragm did influence the unsteady expansion. A good agreement between experimental and computed shock trajectories was obtained using a diaphragm inertia model assuming that the diaphragm mass became negligible 3 microns after shock impact.

  15. Stirling space power demonstrator engine test/analytical comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, George R.

    The U.S. Government is evaluating power requirements for future space applications. As power requirements increase, solar or nuclear dynamic systems become increasingly attractive. Free Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE) have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, and efficient operation at reasonable hot-side temperatures. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for the dynamic power conversion module of a space-based, power-generating system. FPSEs are at an early stage of technological development; however, they are recognized as a potential backup and/or growth version within the SP-100 program, which is developing a space power system utilizing a liquid metal nuclear reactor as a heat source and thermoelectric cells for power generation. As part of the SP-100 technology assessment program and the continuing NASA advanced technology development program, Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) was awarded a contract (managed by NASA/Lewis Research Center) to design, fabricate, test, and demonstrate a 25-kW e Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE). Full pressure testing of the SPDE was initiated in November 1985. Initial test results indicated that the SPDE was significantly down in power compared to analytical predictions at the design pressure. The first three months of 1986 were spent performing an extensive diagnostic test series to identify and correct the cause of the power discrepancy. The diagnostic test phase has been completed successfully with a resolution of the SPDE power discrepancy. This paper briefly reviews the SPDE design and presents the experimental results generated to date compared with analytical predictions.

  16. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore, M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of free-piston Stirling conversion technology for spaceflight electrical power generation since 1999. GRC has also been supporting the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance data for the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC is conducting extended operation of several free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. Currently, GRC is operating 18 convertors. This hardware set includes Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) from Infinia Corporation, of which one pair (TDCs #13 and #14) has accumulated over 60,000 hr (6.8 years) of operation. Also under test are various Sunpower, Inc. convertors that were fabricated during the ASC development activity, including ASC-0, ASC-E (including those in the ASRG engineering unit), and ASC-E2. The ASC-E2s also completed, or are in progress of completing workmanship vibration testing, performance mapping, and extended operation. Two ASC-E2 units will also be used for durability testing, during which components will be stressed to levels above nominal mission usage. Extended operation data analyses from these tests are covered in this paper.

  17. Status of NASA's Stirling Space Power Converter Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.

    1991-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA-Lewis Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Convertor Technology Program. The goal is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system power output and system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least fivefold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. Stirling experience in space and progress toward 1050 and 1300 K Stirling Space Power Converters is discussed. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converters (CTPC); results of motoring tests of cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing and predictive methodologies. An update is provided of progress in some of these technologies leading off with a discussion of free-piston Stirling experience in space.

  18. Status of NASA's Stirling Space Power Converter Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.

    An overview is presented of the NASA-Lewis Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Convertor Technology Program. The goal is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system power output and system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least fivefold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. Stirling experience in space and progress toward 1050 and 1300 K Stirling Space Power Converters is discussed. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converters (CTPC); results of motoring tests of cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing and predictive methodologies. An update is provided of progress in some of these technologies leading off with a discussion of free-piston Stirling experience in space.

  19. Stirling System Modeling for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2008-01-01

    A dynamic model of a high-power Stirling convertor has been developed for space nuclear power systems modeling. The model is based on the Component Test Power Convertor (CTPC), a 12.5-kWe free-piston Stirling convertor. The model includes the fluid heat source, the Stirling convertor, output power, and heat rejection. The Stirling convertor model includes the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass-spring damper systems, and the linear alternator. The model was validated against test data. Both nonlinear and linear versions of the model were developed. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models; one model of the Stirling cycle and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. Future possible uses of the Stirling system dynamic model are discussed. A pair of commercially available 1-kWe Stirling convertors is being purchased by NASA Glenn Research Center. The specifications of those convertors may eventually be incorporated into the dynamic model and analysis compared to the convertor test data. Subsequent potential testing could include integrating the convertors into a pumped liquid metal hot-end interface. This test would provide more data for comparison to the dynamic model analysis.

  20. Stirling System Modeling for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2007-01-01

    A dynamic model of a high-power Stirling convertor has been developed for space nuclear power systems modeling. The model is based on the Component Test Power Convertor (CTPC), a 12.5-kWe free-piston Stirling convertor. The model includes the fluid heat source, the Stirling convertor, output power and heat rejection. The Stirling convertor model includes the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass-spring damper systems, and the linear alternator. The model was validated against test data. Both nonlinear and linear versions of the model were developed. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models; one model of the Stirling cycle and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. Future possible uses of the Stirling system dynamic model are discussed. A pair of commercially available 1-kWe Stirling convertors is being purchased by NASA Glenn Research Center. The specifications of those convertors may eventually be incorporated into the dynamic model and analysis compared to the convertor test data. Subsequent potential testing could include integrating the convertors into a pumped liquid metal hot-end interface. This test would provide more data for comparison to the dynamic model analysis.

  1. Downsizing assessment of automotive Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, R. H.; Tew, R. C., Jr.; Klann, J. L.

    1983-01-01

    A 67 kW (90 hp) Stirling engine design, sized for use in a 1984 1440 kg (3170 lb) automobile was the focal point for developing automotive Stirling engine technology. Since recent trends are towards lighter vehicles, an assessment was made of the applicability of the Stirling technology being developed for smaller, lower power engines. Using both the Philips scaling laws and a Lewis Research Center (Lewis) Stirling engine performance code, dimensional and performance characteristics were determined for a 26 kW (35 hp) and a 37 kW (50 hp) engine for use in a nominal 907 kg (2000 lb) vehicle. Key engine elements were sized and stressed and mechanical layouts were made to ensure mechanical fit and integrity of the engines. Fuel economy estimates indicated that the Stirling engine would maintain a 30 to 45 percent fuel economy advantage comparable spark ignition and diesel powered vehicles in the 1984 period.

  2. NASA Lewis Stirling SPRE testing and analysis with reduced number of cooler tubes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Cairelli, James E.; Swec, Diane M.; Doeberling, Thomas J.; Lakatos, Thomas F.; Madi, Frank J.

    1992-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power converters are candidates for high capacity space power applications. The Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), a free-piston Stirling engine coupled with a linear alternator, is being tested at the NASA Lewis Research Center in support of the Civil Space Technology Initiative. The SPRE is used as a test bed for evaluating converter modifications which have the potential to improve the converter performance and for validating computer code predictions. Reducing the number of cooler tubes on the SPRE has been identified as a modification with the potential to significantly improve power and efficiency. Experimental tests designed to investigate the effects of reducing the number of cooler tubes on converter power, efficiency and dynamics are described. Presented are test results from the converter operating with a reduced number of cooler tubes and comparisons between this data and both baseline test data and computer code predictions.

  3. NASA Lewis Stirling SPRE testing and analysis with reduced number of cooler tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Wong, W.A.; Cairelli, J.E.; Swec, D.M.; Doeberling, T.J.; Lakatos, T.F.; Madi, F.J.

    1994-09-01

    Free-piston Stirling power converters are a candidate for high capacity space power applications. The Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), a free-piston Stirling engine coupled with a linear alternator, is being tested at the NASA Lewis Research Center in support of the Civil Space Technology Initiative. The SPRE is used as a test bed for evaluating converter modifications which have the potential to improve converter performance and for validating computer code predictions. Reducing the number of cooler tubes on the SPRE has been identified as a modification with the potential to significantly improve power and efficiency. This paper describes experimental tests designed to investigate the effects of reducing the number of cooler tubes on converter power, efficiency and dynamics. Presented are test results from the converter operating with a reduced number of cooler tubes and comparisons between this data and both baseline test data and computer code predictions.

  4. Thermal lag test engines evaluated and compared to equivalent Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Tailer, P.L.

    1995-12-31

    Thermal lag engines run both free piston and with pistons kinematically linked. Free piston, a thermal lag engine may be the simplest of all piston engines as it is valveless and has only one moving part, the piston. Horizontal and vertical thermal lag engines with substantially identical cooled pistons and cylinders are tested and evaluated, particularly as to power density. The horizontal engine has an elongated, small diameter heated chamber and the vertical engine has a large diameter flat heated chamber. Both heated chambers may be altered in volume to maximize engine power at optimum compression ratios. The power density of unpressurized thermal lag engines is compared to that of early commercial Stirling cycle unpressurized air engines. The comparison indicates the potential for applying well-known modern Stirling technology to thermal lag engines.

  5. NASA Lewis Stirling SPRE testing and analysis with reduced number of cooler tubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Cairelli, James E.; Swec, Diane M.; Doeberling, Thomas J.; Lakatos, Thomas F.; Madi, Frank J.

    1992-08-01

    Free-piston Stirling power converters are candidates for high capacity space power applications. The Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), a free-piston Stirling engine coupled with a linear alternator, is being tested at the NASA Lewis Research Center in support of the Civil Space Technology Initiative. The SPRE is used as a test bed for evaluating converter modifications which have the potential to improve the converter performance and for validating computer code predictions. Reducing the number of cooler tubes on the SPRE has been identified as a modification with the potential to significantly improve power and efficiency. Experimental tests designed to investigate the effects of reducing the number of cooler tubes on converter power, efficiency and dynamics are described. Presented are test results from the converter operating with a reduced number of cooler tubes and comparisons between this data and both baseline test data and computer code predictions.

  6. Small Stirling Cycle Convertors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penswick, L. Barry; Schreiber, Jeffery

    2005-02-01

    The Stirling convertor concept continues to be a viable potential candidate for various space power applications at electrical power levels ranging from greater than 100 KW to on the order of 10+watts. Various development efforts, both in the past and currently underway, have clearly demonstrated the potential for long operating life of this concept, its high efficiency in comparison to alternative power systems (>50% of Carnot based on electric power out to heat in), and its excellent specific power characteristics. A truly unique attribute of the Stirling convertor is the ability to maintain many of these same advantages at significantly lower electrical power levels (on the order of 1 watt and below). This provides the opportunity for a wider range of potential space power applications and the use of alternative heat sources operating at dramatically lower hot-end temperatures (about 250 °C vs. current values of about 650 °C). An overview of low-power Stirling convertors and related Stirling cooler technology is provided with an emphasis on assessing the technical maturity of this concept's key components at the low power level of interest. A conceptual design of a small, 1-watt (electrical output) Stirling convertor utilizing multiple Low Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit heat sources will be described. Key technical issues in the development of this power level Stirling convertor are discussed.

  7. Technology Assessment of Doe's 55-we Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convector (TDC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Furlong, Richard; Shaltens, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE), Germantown, Maryland and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), Cleveland, Ohio are developing a Stirling Convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system as a potential power source for spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space science missions. The Stirling Convertor is being evaluated as an alternative high efficiency power source to replace Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Stirling Technology Company (STC), Kennewick, Washington, is developing the highly efficient, long life 55-We free-piston Stirling Convertor known as the Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC) under contract to DOE. GRC provides Stirling technology expertise under a Space Act Agreement with the DOE. Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA), Valley Forge, Pennsylvania is the current power system integrator for the Advanced Radioisotope Power System (ARPS) Project for the DOE. JPL is responsible for the Outer Planets/Solar Probe Project for NASA.

  8. Progress toward the evolution of a Stirling space engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1987-01-01

    Following the successful testing of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine in 1985, a Stirling Space Engine (SSE) technology advancement program was initiated. The program's objective was to advance free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator technolgy sufficiently so that a Stirling engine system may become a viable candidate for space power applications. Evolution of the SSE technology is planned to occur at three different engine heater temperature levels: 650, 1050, and 1300 K. These temperatures define three phases of technology development with the first phase involving the 650 K SPD engine. Technology development of the 650 K engine and preliminary design of the 1050 K engine will be discussed.

  9. Application of the GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    The GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model (SDM) has been developed to simulate dynamic performance of power systems incorporating free-piston Stirling convertors. This paper discusses its use in evaluating system dynamics and other systems concerns. Detailed examples are provided showing the use of the model in evaluation of off-nominal operating conditions. The many degrees of freedom in both the mechanical and electrical domains inherent in the Stirling convertor and the nonlinear dynamics make simulation an attractive analysis tool in conjunction with classical analysis. Application of SDM in studying the relationship of the size of the resonant circuit quality factor (commonly referred to as Q) in the various resonant mechanical and electrical sub-systems is discussed.

  10. Progress toward the evolution of a Stirling Space Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1988-01-01

    Following the successful testing of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine in 1985, a Stirling Space Engine (SSE) technology advancement program was initiated. The program's objective was to advance free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator technology sufficiently so that a Stirling engine system may become a viable candidate for space power applications. Evolution of the SSE technology is planned to occur at three different engine heater temperature levels: 650, 1050, and 1300 K. These temperatures define three phases of technology development with the first phase involving the 650 K SPD engine. Technology development of the 650 K engine and preliminary design of the 1050 K engine will be discussed.

  11. Progress toward the evolution of a Stirling Space Engine

    SciTech Connect

    Alger, D.L.

    1994-09-01

    Following the successful testing of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine in 1985, a Stirling Space Engine (SSE) technology advancement program was initiated. The program`s objective was to advance free-piston Stirling engine/alternator technology sufficiently so that a Stirling engine system may become a viable candidate for space power applications. Evolution of the SSE technology is planned to occur at three different engine heater temperature levels: 650, 1050, and 1300 K. These temperatures define three phases of technology development with the first phase involving the 650 K SPD engine. Technology development of the 650 K engine and preliminary design of the 1050 K engine will be discussed in this paper.

  12. Update on the NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Stirling Technology Company (STC) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a Stirling radioisotope power system (SRPS) to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. The SRPS has recently been identified for potential use on the Europa Orbiter and Solar Probe Space Science missions. Stirling is also now being considered for unmanned Mars rovers. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house project to assist in developing the Stirling convertor for readiness for space qualification and mission implementation. As part of this continuing effort, the Stirling convertor will be further characterized under launch environment random vibration testing, methods to reduce convertor electromagnetic interference (EMI) will be developed, and an independent performance verification will be completed. Convertor life assessment and permanent magnet aging characterization tasks are also underway. Substitute organic materials for the linear alternator and piston bearing coatings for use in a high radiation environment have been identified and have now been incorporated in Stirling convertors built by STC for GRC. Electromagnetic and thermal finite element analyses for the alternator are also being conducted. This paper discusses the recent results and status for this NASA GRC in-house project.

  13. Stirling Convertor Extended Operation Testing and Data Analysis at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Wilson, Scott D.

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on extended operation testing and data analysis of free-piston Stirling convertors at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Extended operation testing is essential to the development of radioisotope power systems and their potential use for long duration missions. To document the reliability of the convertors, regular monitoring and analysis of the extended operation data is particularly valuable; allowing us to better understand and quantity the long life characteristics of the convertors. Further, investigation and comparison of the extended operation data to baseline performance data provides us an opportunity for understanding system behavior should any off-nominal performance occur. GRC currently has 14 Stirling convertors under 24-hour unattended extended operation testing, including two operating the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit (ASRG-EU). 10 of the 14 Stirling convertors at GRC are the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) developed by Sunpower, Incorporated. These are highly efficient (up to > 33.5% conversion efficiency), low mass convertors that have evolved through technologically progressive convertor builds. The remaining four convertors at GRC are Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) from Infinia Corporation. They have achieved> 27% conversion efficiency and have accumulated over 178,000 of the total 250,622 hours of extended operation currently at GRC. A synopsis of the Stirling convertor extended operation testing and data analysis at NASA GRC is presented in this paper, as well as how this testing has contributed to the Stirling convertor's progression toward flight.

  14. Summary of Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems. These convertors tend to be in the 35 to 80 W electric power output range. Tests at GRC have accumulated over 80,000 hr of operation. Test articles have been received from Infinia Corporation of Kennewick, Washington and from Sunpower of Athens, Ohio. Infinia designed and built the developmental Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) in addition to the more advanced Test Bed and Engineering Unit convertors. GRC has eight of the TDC's under test including two that operate in a thermal vacuum environment. Sunpower designed and developed the EE-35 and the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). GRC has six of the EE- 35 s and is preparing for testing multiple ASC s. Free-piston Stirling convertors for radioisotope power systems make use of non-contacting operation that eliminates wear and is suited for long-term operation. Space missions with radioisotope power systems are often considered that extend from three to 14 years. One of the key capabilities of the GRC test facility is the ability to support continuous, unattended operation. Hardware, software, and procedures for preparing the test articles were developed to support these tests. These included the processing of the convertors for minimizing the contaminants in the working fluid, developing a helium charging system for filling and for gas sample analysis, and the development of new control software and a high-speed protection circuit to insure safe, round-the-clock operation. Performance data of Stirling convertors over time is required to demonstrate that a radioisotope power system is capable of providing reliable power for multi-year missions. This paper will discuss the status of Stirling convertor testing at GRC.

  15. Stirling Refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagawa, Noboru

    A Stirling cooler (refrigerator) was proposed in 1862 and the first Stirling cooler was put on market in 1955. Since then, many Stirling coolers have been developed and marketed as cryocoolers. Recently, Stirling cycle machines for heating and cooling at near-ambient temperatures between 173 and 400K, are recognized as promising candidates for alternative system which are more compatible with people and the Earth. The ideal cycles of Stirling cycle machine offer the highest thermal efficiencies and the working fluids do not cause serious environmental problems of ozone depletion and global warming. In this review, the basic thermodynamics of Stirling cycle are briefly described to quantify the attractive cycle performance. The fundamentals to realize actual Stirling coolers and heat pumps are introduced in detail. The current status of the Stirling cycle machine technologies is reviewed. Some machines have almost achieved the target performance. Also, duplex-Stirling-cycle and Vuilleumier-cycle machines and their performance are introduced.

  16. Initial characterization of a modular heat exchanger with an integral heat pipe. [for Stirling space engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    As part of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) Advanced Technology program, a conceptual design of the Stirling space engibe (SSE) was generated to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) was chosen as the growth option in the CSTI program. An existing FPSE was modified as a test bed for a modular heat exchanger evaluation. Evaluation of the individual heat pipes before installation in the engine is described.

  17. Trade-Off Study for an STC 70 W Stirling Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Songgang; Peterson, Allen A.; Augenblick, Jack E.

    2005-02-01

    A high-efficiency, low-weight free-piston Stirling generator, RG-70L, has been conceptually designed. This paper reports the detailed trade-off study of newly designed RG-70L. The trades of operating frequency and piston/displacer strokes on Stirling convertor mass and efficiency are discussed. This paper shows how the operating frequency and strokes were optimized based on the trades. Losses associated with increased frequency were fully investigated and the results are discussed in the paper. Various optional linear alternator configurations are also presented and the estimated masses are reported.

  18. Performance analysis for second-design space Stirling engine model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogiwara, Sachio; Fujiwara, Tsutomu; Eguchi, Kunihisa; Nakamura, Yoshihiro

    A hybrid free-piston Stirling research engine, called NALSEM 125, has been tested since 1988 as part of a solar dynamic power technology program. It is a gamma-type Stirling driven linear-alternator machine with helium as a working fluid. The objective of the experimental program is to understand the thermodynamic and dynamic mechanisms of the free piston engine integrated with a magnet-moving alternator. After the first phase engine experiments of NALSEM 125, a second design Stirling engine of NALSEM 125 R has been tested. By using a second-order analytical tool, some design modifications were performed to provide much more stable dynamic operations over a required operating range, as well as to incorporate an electric heater head simulating a hot interface of 12 sodium heat pipes. Describes in this paper are thermodynamic performance data of NALSEM 125R operations, which are also compared with the computational analysis, considering the power losses resulting from pressure drop and gas leakage.

  19. Free-piston engine linear generator for hybrid vehicles modeling study. Interim report, January-August 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Callahan, T.J.; Ingram, S.K.

    1995-05-01

    Development of a free piston engine linear generator was investigated for use as an auxiliary power unit for a hybrid electric vehicle. The main focus of the program was to develop an efficient linear generator concept to convert the piston motion directly into electrical power. Computer modeling techniques were used to evaluate five different designs for linear generators. These designs included permanent magnet generators, reluctance generators, linear DC generators, and two and three-coil induction generators. The efficiency of the linear generator was highly dependent on the design concept. The two-coil induction generator was determined to be the best design, with an efficiency of approximately 90 percent.

  20. Stirling Power Convertors Demonstrated in Extended Operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A 110-W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, under contract to the Department of Energy of Germantown, Maryland. The generator will be a high-efficiency electric power source for NASA space exploration missions that can operate in the vacuum of deep space or in a gaseous atmosphere, such as on the surface of Mars. The generator converts heat supplied by the decay of a plutonium heat source into electric power for the spacecraft. In support of the SRG110 project, the NASA Glenn Research Center has established a technology effort that will provide some of the key data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system to be used in space. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power-conversion technology. Glenn tasks include in-house testing of Stirling convertors and controllers, materials evaluation and heater head life assessment, structural dynamics, evaluation of electromagnetic interference, assessment of organics, and reliability analysis. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary to the near-term technology effort, intended to reduce the mass of the Stirling convertor and increase efficiency.

  1. Overview of a stirling engine test project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1980-01-01

    Tests were conducted on three Stirling engines ranging in size from 1.33 to 53 horsepower (1 to 40 kW). The tests were directed toward developing alternative, backup component concepts to improve engine efficiency and performance or to reduce costs. Some of the activities included investigating attractive concepts and materials for cooler-regenerator units, installing a jet impingement device on a Stirling engine to determine its potential for improved engine performance, and presenting performance maps for initial characterization of Stirling engines. The experiment results of the tests are presented along with predictions of results of future tests to be conducted on the Stirling engines.

  2. Vibration Testing of Stirling Power Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, Bill; Goodnight, Thomas; McNelis, Mark E.; Suarez, Vicente J.; Schreiber, Jeff; Samorezov, Sergey

    2003-01-01

    The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are currently developing a high efficient, long life, free piston Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA missions. As part of this development, a Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC), developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for DOE, was vibration tested at GRC s Structural Dynamics Laboratory (SDU7735) in November- December 1999. This testing demonstrated that the Stirling TDC is able to withstand the harsh random vibration (20 to 2000 Hertz) seen during a typical spacecraft launch and survive with no structural damage or functional power performance degradation, thereby enabling its usage in future spacecraft power systems. The Stirling Vibration Test Team at NASA GRC and STC personnel conducted tests on a single 55 electric watt TDC. The purpose was to characterize the TDC s structural response to vibration and determine if the TDC could survive the vibration criteria established by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for launch environments. The TDC was operated at full-stroke and full power conditions during the vibration testing. The TDC was tested in two orientations, with the direction of vibration parallel and perpendicular to the TDC s moving components (displacer and piston). The TDC successfully passed a series of sine and random vibration tests. The most severe test was a 12.3 Grms random vibration test (peak vibration level of 0.2 g2/Hz from 50 to 250 Hertz) with test durations of 3 minutes per axis. The random vibration test levels were chosen to simulate, with margin, the maximum anticipated launch vibration conditions. As a result of this very successful vibration testing and successful evaluations in other key technical readiness areas, the Stirling power system is now considered a viable technology for future application for NASA spacecraft missions. Possible usage of the Stirling power system would be

  3. Heat flux and shock shape measurements on an Aeroassist Flight Experiment model in a high enthalpy free piston shock tunnel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gai, S. L.; Mudford, N. R.; Hackett, C.

    1992-01-01

    This paper describes measurements of heat flux and shock shapes made on a 2.08 percent scale model of the proposed Aeroassist Flight Experiment model in a high enthalpy free piston shock tunnel T3 at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. The enthalpy and Reynolds number range covered were 7.5 MJ/kg to 20 MJ/kg and 150,000 to 270,000 per meter respectively. The test Mach number varied between 7.5 and 8. Two test gases, air and nitrogen, were used and the model angle of attack varied from -10 deg to +10 deg to the free stream. The results are discussed and compared to the Mach 10 cold hypersonic air data as obtained in the Langley 31 inch Mach 10 Facility as well as the perfect gas CFD calculations of NASA LaRC.

  4. A 1050 K Stirling space engine design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penswick, L. Barry

    1988-01-01

    As part of the NASA CSTI High Capacity Power Program on Conversion Systems for Nuclear Applications, Sunpower, Inc. completed for NASA Lewis a reference design of a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling engine that is optimized for the lifetimes and temperatures appropriate for space applications. The NASA effort is part of the overall SP-100 program which is a combined DOD/DOE/NASA project to develop nuclear power for space. Stirling engines have been identified as a growth option for SP-100 offering increased power output and lower system mass and radiator area. Superalloy materials are used in the 1050 K hot end of the engine; the engine temperature ratio is 2.0. The engine design features simplified heat exchangers with heat input by sodium heat pipes, hydrodynamic gas bearings, a permanent magnet linear alternator, and a dynamic balance system. The design shows an efficiency (including the alternator) of 29 percent and a specific mass of 5.7 kg/kW. This design also represents a significant step toward the 1300 K refractory Stirling engine which is another growth option of SP-100.

  5. Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than with currently available alternatives. One part of NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. and GRC. The ASC consists of a free-piston Stirling engine integrated with a linear alternator. NASA GRC has been building test facilities to support extended operation of the ASCs for several years. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. One part of the test facility is the test rack, which provides a means for data collection, convertor control, and safe operation. Over the years, the test rack requirements have changed. The initial ASC test rack utilized an alternating-current (AC) bus for convertor control; the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) test rack can operate with AC bus control or with an ASC Control Unit (ACU). A new test rack is being developed to support extended operation of the ASC-E2s with higher standards of documentation, component selection, and assembly practices. This paper discusses the differences among the ASC, ASRG EU, and ASC-E2 test racks.

  6. The cavity heat pipe Stirling receiver for space solar dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kesseli, James B.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1989-01-01

    The receiver/storage unit for the low-earth-orbiting Stirling system is discussed. The design, referred to as the cavity heat pipe (CHP), has been optimized for minimum specific mass and volume width. A specific version of this design at the 7-kWe level has been compared to the space station Brayton solar dynamic design. The space station design utilizes a eutectic mixture of LiF and CaF2. Using the same phase change material, the CHP has been shown to have a specific mass of 40 percent and a volume of 5 percent of that of the space station Brayton at the same power level. Additionally, it complements the free-piston Stirling engine in that it also maintains a relatively flat specific mass down to at least 1 kWe. The technical requirements, tradeoff studies, critical issues, and critical technology experiments are discussed.

  7. Solar Stirling power generation - Systems analysis and preliminary tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Selcuk, M. K.; Wu, Y.-C.; Moynihan, P. I.; Day, F. D., III

    1977-01-01

    The feasibility of an electric power generation system utilizing a sun-tracking parabolic concentrator and a Stirling engine/linear alternator is being evaluated. Performance predictions and cost analysis of a proposed large distributed system are discussed. Design details and preliminary test results are presented for a 9.5 ft diameter parabolic dish at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Caltech) Table Mountain Test Facility. Low temperature calorimetric measurements were conducted to evaluate the concentrator performance, and a helium flow system is being used to test the solar receiver at anticipated working fluid temperatures (up to 650 or 1200 C) to evaluate the receiver thermal performance. The receiver body is designed to adapt to a free-piston Stirling engine which powers a linear alternator assembly for direct electric power generation. During the next phase of the program, experiments with an engine and receiver integrated into the concentrator assembly are planned.

  8. On designing low pressure loss working spaces for a planar Stirling micromachine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hachey, M.-A.; Léveillé, É.; Fréchette, L. G.; Formosa, F.

    2015-12-01

    In this paper, research was undertaken with the objective to design low pressure loss working spaces for a Stirling cycle micro heat engine operating from low temperature waste heat. This planar free-piston heat engine is anticipated to operate at the kHz level with mm3 displacement. Given the resonant nature of the free-piston configuration, the complexity of its working gas’ flow geometry and its projected high operating frequency, flow analysis is relatively complex. Design considerations were thus based on fast prototyping and experimentation. Results show that geometrical features, such as a sharp 90° corner between the regenerator and working spaces, are strong contributors to pressure losses. This research culminated into a promising revised working space configuration for engine start-up, as it considerably reduced total pressure losses, more than 80% at Re = 700, from the original design.

  9. Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Reader, G.T.; Hooper

    1983-01-01

    The Stirling engine was invented by a Scottish clergyman in 1816, but fell into disuse with the coming of the diesel engine. Advances in materials science and the energy crisis have made a hot air engine economically attractive. Explanations are full and understandable. Includes coverage of the underlying thermodynamics and an interesting historical section. Topics include: Introduction to Stirling engine technology, Theoretical concepts--practical realities, Analysis, simulation and design, Practical aspects, Some alternative energy sources, Present research and development, Stirling engine literature.

  10. Hybrid sodium heat pipe receivers for dish/Stirling systems

    SciTech Connect

    Laing, D.; Reusch, M.

    1997-12-31

    The design of a hybrid solar/gas heat pipe receiver for the SBP 9 kW dish/Stirling system using a United Stirling AB V160 Stirling engine and the results of on-sun testing in alternative and parallel mode will be reported. The receiver is designed to transfer a thermal power of 35 kW. The heat pipe operates at around 800 C, working fluid is sodium. Operational options are solar-only, gas augmented and gas-only mode. Also the design of a second generation hybrid heat pipe receiver currently developed under a EU-funded project, based on the experience gained with the first hybrid receiver, will be reported. This receiver is designed for the improved SPB/L. and C.-10 kW dish/Stirling system with the reworked SOLO V161 Stirling engine.

  11. Design and Fabrication of a Stirling Thermal Vacuum Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    A Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed for potential use on future NASA space science missions. The development effort is being conducted by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The Stirling Technology Company supplies the free-piston Stirling power convertors, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) provides support to the effort in a range of technologies. This generator features higher efficiency and specific power compared to the currently used alternatives. One potential application for the generator would entail significant cruise time in the vacuum of deep space. A test has been conceived at GRC to demonstrate functionality of the Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment. The test article resembles the configuration of the SRG, however the requirement for low mass was not considered. This test will demonstrate the operation of the Stirling convertors in the thermal vacuum environment, simulating deep space, over an extended period of operation. The analysis, design, and fabrication of the test article will be described in this paper.

  12. Vibration Test Demonstrated Dynamic Capability of an Operating Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, William O.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy are currently developing a high-efficiency, long-life, free piston Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA missions. As part of this development, a Stirling Technology Demonstrator Converter (TDC), developed by Stirling Technology Company for the Department of Energy, was vibration tested at Glenn's Structural Dynamics Laboratory in November and December 1999. This testing demonstrated that the Stirling TDC is able to withstand the harsh random vibration (20 to 2000 Hz) seen during a typical spacecraft launch and to survive with no structural damage or functional power performance degradation, thereby enabling its use in future spacecraft power systems. Glenn and Stirling personnel conducted tests on a single 55 We TDC. The purpose was to characterize the TDC's structural response to vibration and to determine if the TDC could survive the vibration criteria established by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for launch environments. The TDC was operated at full-stroke and full power conditions during the vibration testing.

  13. Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, G.

    1980-01-01

    Stirling engines exist in a bewildering array of mechanical arrangements. This book attempts to describe and classify the systems in a rational way, to explain the intricacies of the cycle, and to present a large amount of detailed information related to Stirling engines such as design, heat exchangers, working fluids, operation and performance, control equipment, recently developed engines, and current and proposed uses. (LCL)

  14. Stirling Radioisotope Power System as an Alternative for NASAs Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, R. K.; Mason, L. S.; Schreiber, J. G.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) to provide on-board electric power for future NASA deep space missions. The SRPS currently being developed provides about 100 watts and reduces the amount of radioisotope fuel by a factor of four over conventional Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). The present SRPS design has a specific power of approximately 4 W/kg which is comparable to an RTG. GRC estimates for advanced versions of the SRPS with improved heat source integration, lightweight Stirling convertors, composite radiators, and chip-packaged controllers improves the specific mass to about 8 W/kg. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase 2 SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations, compared to an unbalanced convertor, with a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over a mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper discusses the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also presents results for characterizing the friction factor of high-porosity random fiber regenerators that are being used for this application.

  16. Stirling Research Laboratory Providing Independent Performance Verification of Convertors for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE), Germantown, Maryland, Stirling Technology Company (STC), Kennewick, Washington, and NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator for NASA Space Science missions. This generator is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and for deep space missions. STC is developing the 55-W Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) under contract to DOE. Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for readiness for space qualification and mission implementation. As part of this effort, a Stirling Research Laboratory was established to test the TDC's and related technologies. A key task is providing an independent verification and validation of the TDC performance. Four TDC's are now being tested at Glenn. Acceptance testing has been completed for all convertors, and in general, performance agreed well with that achieved by STC prior to the delivery of the convertors. Performance mapping has also been completed on two of the convertors over a range of hot-end temperatures (450 to 650 C), cold-end temperatures (80 to 120 C), and piston amplitudes (5.2 to 6.2 mm). These test data are available online at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/tmsb/. The TDC's can be tested in either a horizontal orientation with dual-opposed convertors or in a vertical orientation with a single convertor. Synchronized dual-opposed pairs are used for dynamically balanced operation that results in very low levels of vibration. The Stirling Research Laboratory also supports launch environment testing of the TDC's in Glenn's Structural Dynamics Laboratory and electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization and reduction efforts. In addition, the TDC's will be used for long-term endurance testing, and preparations are underway for unattended operation.

  17. The 25 kWe solar thermal Stirling hydraulic engine system: Conceptual design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Maurice; Emigh, Grant; Noble, Jack; Riggle, Peter; Sorenson, Torvald

    1988-01-01

    The conceptual design and analysis of a solar thermal free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine system designed to deliver 25 kWe when coupled to a 11 meter test bed concentrator is documented. A manufacturing cost assessment for 10,000 units per year was made. The design meets all program objectives including a 60,000 hr design life, dynamic balancing, fully automated control, more than 33.3 percent overall system efficiency, properly conditioned power, maximum utilization of annualized insolation, and projected production costs. The system incorporates a simple, rugged, reliable pool boiler reflux heat pipe to transfer heat from the solar receiver to the Stirling engine. The free-piston engine produces high pressure hydraulic flow which powers a commercial hydraulic motor that, in turn, drives a commercial rotary induction generator. The Stirling hydraulic engine uses hermetic bellows seals to separate helium working gas from hydraulic fluid which provides hydrodynamic lubrication to all moving parts. Maximum utilization of highly refined, field proven commercial components for electric power generation minimizes development cost and risk.

  18. How to Overcome Numerical Challenges to Modeling Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear thermal to electric power conversion carries the promise of longer duration missions and higher scientific data transmission rates back to Earth for a range of missions, including both Mars rovers and deep space missions. A free-piston Stirling convertor is a candidate technology that is considered an efficient and reliable power conversion device for such purposes. While already very efficient, it is believed that better Stirling engines can be developed if the losses inherent in current designs could be better understood. However, they are difficult to instrument and so efforts are underway to simulate a complete Stirling engine numerically. This has only recently been attempted and a review of the methods leading up to and including such computational analysis is presented. And finally it is proposed that the quality and depth of Stirling loss understanding may be improved by utilizing the higher fidelity and efficiency of recently developed numerical methods. One such method, the Ultra HI-FI technique is presented in detail.

  19. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors in a Thermal Vacuum Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2006-01-01

    A 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed for potential use on future NASA exploration missions. The development effort is being performed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia, Corp. supplies the free-piston Stirling power convertors, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) provides support to the effort in a range of technologies. This generator features higher efficiency and specific power compared to alternatives. One potential application for the generator would entail significant cruise time in the vacuum of deep space. A test has been initiated at GRC to demonstrate functionality of the Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment. The test article resembles the configuration of the SRG110, however the requirement for low mass was not considered. This test demonstrates the operation of the Stirling convertors in the thermal vacuum environment, simulating deep space, over an extended period of operation. The status of the test as well as the data gathered will be presented in this paper.

  20. A novel Stirling engine with an elliptic drive

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, H.W.; Herold, K.E.; Holland, H.M.; Beach, E.H.

    1996-12-31

    The concept of the Stirling cycle seems quite simple when presented as a cycle involving two constant temperature and two constant volume processes. The reality of machines that have evolved from the Stirling concept is considerably more complicated. Most real machines employ a drive mechanism that approximates a sinusoidal volume variation for each of the cylinders. This results in an overall volume variation that only poorly approximates the constant volume processes postulated in the classic definition of a Stirling cycle. The difficulties of achieving the piston motions necessary to attain the discontinuous motions of the classic cycle are well known and, as a result, the sinusoidal motions are widely accepted as an inevitable compromise. It is noted that free piston Stirling machines are not constrained in the same manner. However, the discussion here focuses on kinematic drive machines. In the current study, a Rider-type engine with an elliptic drive is modeled with the objective of clarifying the potential of a more ideal volume variation. This drive mechanism is the subject of a US Patent filed with Serial Number 08/360,052 on 20 December 1994.

  1. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase II SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors and a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations compared to an unbalanced convertor. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over the mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper presents the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also discusses a new NASA Glenn in-house project to provide supporting technology for the overall Stirling radioisotope power system development. Tasks for this new effort include convertor performance verification, controls development, heater head structural life assessment, magnet characterization and thermal aging tests, FEA analysis for a lightweight alternator concept, and demonstration of convertor operation under launch and orbit transfer load conditions.

  2. Optimization and testing of the Beck Engineering free-piston cryogenic pump for LNG systems on heavy vehicles. Final technical report

    SciTech Connect

    Beck, Douglas S.

    2003-01-10

    Task 7 was completed by reaching Milestone 7: Test free piston cryogenic pump (FPCP) in Integrated LNG System. Task 4: Alternative Pump Design was also completed. The type of performance of the prototype LNG system is consistent with requirements of fuel systems for heavy vehicles; however, the maximum flow capacity of the prototype LNG system is significantly less than the total flow requirement. The flow capacity of the prototype LNG system is determined by a cavitation limit for the FPCP.

  3. Isotope powered stirling generator for terrestrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tingey, Garth L.; Sorensen, Gerald C.; Ross, Brad A.

    1995-01-01

    An electric power supply, small enough to be man-portable, is being developed for remote, terrestrial applications. This system is designed for an operating lifetime of five years without maintenance or refueling. A small Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) has been developed. The energy source of the generator is a 60 watt plutonium-238 fuel clad used in the General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) developed for space applications. A free piston Stirling ENgine drives a linear alternator to convert the heat to power. The system weighs about 7.5 kg and produces 11 watts AC power with a conversion efficiency of 18.5%. Two engine models have been designed, fabricated, and tested to data: (a) a development model instrumented to confirm and test parameters, and (b) an electrically heated model with an electrical heater equipped power input leads. Critical components have been tested for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. One complete generator has been operating for over 11,000 hours. Radioisotope heated prototypes are expected to be fabricated and tested in late 1995.

  4. Isotope powered stirling generator for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tingey, G.L.; Sorensen, G.C.; Ross, B.A.

    1995-01-20

    An electric power supply, small enough to be man-portable, is being developed for remote, terrestrial applications. This system is designed for an operating lifetime of five years without maintenance or refueling. A small Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) has been developed. The energy source of the generator is a 60 watt plutonium-238 fuel clad used in the General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) developed for space applications. A free piston Stirling ENgine drives a linear alternator to convert the heat to power. The system weighs about 7.5 kg and produces 11 watts AC power with a conversion efficiency of 18.5%. Two engine models have been designed, fabricated, and tested to data: (a) a development model instrumented to confirm and test parameters, and (b) an electrically heated model with an electrical heater equipped power input leads. Critical components have been tested for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. One complete generator has been operating for over 11,000 hours. Radioisotope heated prototypes are expected to be fabricated and tested in late 1995. {copyright} 1995 {ital American} {ital Institute} {ital of} {ital Physics}

  5. Isotope powered Stirling generator for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tingey, G.L.; Sorensen, G.C.; Ross, B.A.

    1995-01-01

    An electric power supply, small enough to be man-portable, is being developed for remote, terrestrial applications. This system is designed for an operating lifetime of five years without maintenance or refueling. A small Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) has been developed. The energy source of the generator is a 60 watt plutonium-238 fuel clad used in the General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) developed for space applications. A free piston Stirling Engine drives a linear alternator to convert the heat to power. The system weighs about 7.5 kg and produces 11 watts AC power with a conversion efficiency of 18.5%. Two engine models have been designed, fabricated, and tested to date: (a) a developmental model instrumented to confirm and test parameters, and (b) an electrically heated model with an electrical heater equipped power input leads. Critical components have been tested for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. One complete generator has been operating for over 11,000 hours. Radioisotope heated prototypes are expected to be fabricated and tested in late 1995.

  6. Multi-physics modelling approach for oscillatory microengines: application for a microStirling generator design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Formosa, F.; Fréchette, L. G.

    2015-12-01

    An electrical circuit equivalent (ECE) approach has been set up allowing elementary oscillatory microengine components to be modelled. They cover gas channel/chamber thermodynamics, viscosity and thermal effects, mechanical structure and electromechanical transducers. The proposed tool has been validated on a centimeter scale Free Piston membrane Stirling engine [1]. We propose here new developments taking into account scaling effects to establish models suitable for any microengines. They are based on simplifications derived from the comparison of the hydraulic radius with respect to the viscous and thermal penetration depths respectively).

  7. Aeroheating Measurement of Apollo Shaped Capsule with Boundary Layer Trip in the Free-piston Shock Tunnel HIEST

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hideyuki, TANNO; Tomoyuki, KOMURO; Kazuo, SATO; Katsuhiro, ITOH; Lillard, Randolph P.; Olejniczak, Joseph

    2013-01-01

    An aeroheating measurement test campaign of an Apollo capsule model with laminar and turbulent boundary layer was performed in the free-piston shock tunnel HIEST at JAXA Kakuda Space Center. A 250mm-diameter 6.4%-scaled Apollo CM capsule model made of SUS-304 stainless steel was applied in this study. To measure heat flux distribution, the model was equipped with 88 miniature co-axial Chromel-Constantan thermocouples on the heat shield surface of the model. In order to promote boundary layer transition, a boundary layer trip insert with 13 "pizza-box" isolated roughness elements, which have 1.27mm square, were placed at 17mm below of the model geometric center. Three boundary layer trip inserts with roughness height of k=0.3mm, 0.6mm and 0.8mm were used to identify the appropriate height to induce transition. Heat flux records with or without roughness elements were obtained for model angles of attack 28º under stagnation enthalpy between H(sub 0)=3.5MJ/kg to 21MJ/kg and stagnation pressure between P(sub 0)=14MPa to 60MPa. Under the condition above, Reynolds number based on the model diameter was varied from 0.2 to 1.3 million. With roughness elements, boundary layer became fully turbulent less than H(sub 0)=9MJ/kg condition. However, boundary layer was still laminar over H(sub 0)=13MJ/kg condition even with the highest roughness elements. An additional experiment was also performed to correct unexpected heat flux augmentation observed over H(sub 0)=9MJ/kg condition.

  8. Experimental research on the Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ishizaki, Y.; Tani, Y.; Haramura, N.

    1982-01-01

    Experiments on Stirling engines of the 50 KW class were conducted to clarify the characteristics of the engine and its problems. The problems involve durability of the high temperature heat exchanger which is exposed to high flame temperatures above 1600 C, thermal distortion and high temperature corrosion of the devices near combustion, and of the preheater.

  9. Stirling Convertor Control for a Concept Rover at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaze-Dugala, Gina M.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for potential use as an electric power system for space science missions. This generator would make use of the free-piston Stirling cycle to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently used alternatives. NASA GRC initiated an experiment with an ASRG simulator to demonstrate the functionality of a Stirling convertor on a mobile application, such as a rover. The ASRG simulator made use of two Advanced Stirling Convertors to convert thermal energy from a heat source to electricity. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto a rover powered directly by the convertors. Support equipment to provide control was designed including a linear AC regulator controller, constant power controller, and Li-ion battery charger controller. The ASRG simulator is controlled by a linear AC regulator controller. The rover is powered by both a Stirling convertor and Li-ion batteries. A constant power controller enables the Stirling convertor to maintain a constant power output when additional power is supplied by the Li-ion batteries. A Li-ion battery charger controller limits the charging current and cut off current of the batteries. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these three controllers.

  10. Stirling Convertor Extended Operation Testing and Data Analysis at Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Wilson, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

    Extended operation of Stirling convertors is essential to the development of radioisotope power systems and their potential use for longduration missions. To document the reliability of the convertors, regular monitoring and analysis of the extended operation data is particularly valuable, allowing us to better understand and quantify long-life characteristics of the convertors. Furthermore, investigation and comparison of the extended operation data to baseline performance data provides an opportunity to understand system behavior should any off-nominal performance occur. Glenn Research Center (GRC) has tested 16 Stirling convertors under 24-hr unattended extended operation, including four that have operated in a thermal vacuum environment and two that are operating in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit. Ten of the sixteen convertors are the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) developed by Sunpower, Inc. with GRC. These are highly efficient (conversion efficiency of up to 38 percent for the ASC-1), low-mass convertors that have evolved through technologically progressive convertor builds. Six convertors at GRC are Technology Demonstration Convertors from Infinia Corporation. They have achieved greater than 27 percent conversion efficiency and have accumulated over 185,000 of the total 265,000 hr of extended operation at GRC. This paper presents the extended operation testing and data analysis of free-piston Stirling convertors at NASA GRC as well as how these tests have contributed to the Stirling convertor s progression toward flight.

  11. Stirling Convertor for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator Tested as a Prelude to Transition to Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2004-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Valley Forge, PA) under contract to the Department of Energy (Germantown, MD). In support of this project, the NASA Glenn Research Center has established a near-term technology effort to provide some of the critical data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system to be used in space. The generator will be a high-efficiency electric power source for potential use on NASA space science missions. The generator will be able to operate in the vacuum of deep space or in an atmosphere such as on the surface of Mars. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power-conversion technology. The power output of the generator will be greater than 100 W at the beginning of life, with the slow decline in power being largely due to decay of the plutonium heat source. Previously, Glenn's supporting technology efforts focused only on the most critical technical issues.

  12. Small split Stirling coolers for I.R. detectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Jonge, A. K.

    A Dutch company has developed a family of small refrigerators for cooling the sensors of infrared detection systems. These refrigerators operate in the temperature range from 60 to 80 K. The cooling capacities are in the range from 0.1 to 2.0 watts, depending on the number of detectors cooled and on the thermal efficiency of the detector/refrigerator interface. In order to attain a high efficiency with a mean-time between failures in excess of 2500 hours and minimum temperature degradation, refrigerator operation is based on the Stirling thermodynamic cycle, with a linear resonant electric motor and a free displacer. The principles of operation utilized by the free-piston free-displacer cooling engine with a linear drive system are discussed, taking into account the compressor unit, the split tube, the displacer in the cold finger, aspects of piston motion and displacer motion, split conditions, the reliability test, and the current family of coolers.

  13. Structural Dynamics Testing of Advanced Stirling Convertor Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Williams, Zachary Douglas

    2013-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center has been supporting the development of Stirling energy conversion for use in space. Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the Department of Energy to design and fabricate flight-unit Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators, which utilize Sunpower, Inc., free-piston Advanced Stirling Convertors. The engineering unit generator has demonstrated conversion efficiency in excess of 20 percent, offering a significant improvement over existing radioisotope-fueled power systems. NASA Glenn has been supporting the development of this generator by developing the convertors through a technology development contract with Sunpower, and conducting research and experiments in a multitude of areas, such as high-temperature material properties, organics testing, and convertor-level extended operation. Since the generator must undergo launch, several launch simulation tests have also been performed at the convertor level. The standard test sequence for launch vibration exposure has consisted of workmanship and flight acceptance levels. Together, these exposures simulate what a flight convertor will experience. Recently, two supplementary tests were added to the launch vibration simulation activity. First was a vibration durability test of the convertor, intended to quantify the effect of vibration levels up to qualification level in both the lateral and axial directions. Second was qualification-level vibration of several heater heads with small oxide inclusions in the material. The goal of this test was to ascertain the effect of the inclusions on launch survivability to determine if the heater heads were suitable for flight.

  14. Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems (LMSS), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science and exploration missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. The ASRG will utilize two Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source to electricity. NASA GRC has initiated several experiments to demonstrate the functionality of the ASC, including: in-air extended operation, thermal vacuum extended operation, and ASRG simulation for mobile applications. The in-air and thermal vacuum test articles are intended to provide convertor performance data over an extended operating time. These test articles mimic some features of the ASRG without the requirement of low system mass. Operation in thermal vacuum adds the element of simulating deep space. This test article is being used to gather convertor performance and thermal data in a relevant environment. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto devices powered directly by the convertors, such as a rover. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these experiments.

  15. Processing and Preparation of Advanced Stirling Convertors for Extended Operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Paggy A.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC is supporting the development of the ASRG by providing extended operation of several Sunpower Inc. Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs). In the past year and a half, eight ASCs have operated in continuous, unattended mode in both air and thermal vacuum environments. Hardware, software, and procedures were developed to prepare each convertor for extended operation with intended durations on the order of tens of thousands of hours. Steps taken to prepare a convertor for long-term operation included geometry measurements, thermocouple instrumentation, evaluation of working fluid purity, evacuation with bakeout, and high purity charge. Actions were also taken to ensure the reliability of support systems, such as data acquisition and automated shutdown checkouts. Once a convertor completed these steps, it underwent short-term testing to gather baseline performance data before initiating extended operation. These tests included insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and full-temperature and power demonstration. This paper discusses the facilities developed to support continuous, unattended operation, and the processing results of the eight ASCs currently on test.

  16. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advance radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.

  17. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Free piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advanced radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.

  18. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, David J.

    Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advance radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.

  19. Space reactor/Stirling cycle systems for high power Lunar applications

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, P.D.; Mason, L.S.

    1994-09-01

    NASA`s Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) has proposed the use of high power nuclear power systems on the lunar surface as a necessary alternative to solar power. Because of the long lunar night ({approximately} 14 earth days) solar powered systems with the requisite energy storage in the form of regenerative fuel cells or batteries becomes prohibitively heavy at high power levels ({approximately} 100 kWe). At these high power levels nuclear power systems become an enabling technology for variety of missions. One way of producing power on the lunar surface is with an SP-100 class reactor coupled with Stirling power converters. In this study, analysis and characterization of the SP-100 class reactor coupled with Free Piston Stirling Power Conversion (FPSPC) system will be performed. Comparison of results with previous studies of other systems, particularly Brayton and Thermionic, are made.

  20. Conceptual design of an advanced Stirling conversion system for terrestrial power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    A free piston Stirling engine coupled to an electric generator or alternator with a nominal kWe power output absorbing thermal energy from a nominal 100 square meter parabolic solar collector and supplying electric power to a utility grid was identified. The results of the conceptual design study of an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) were documented. The objectives are as follows: define the ASCS configuration; provide a manufacturability and cost evaluation; predict ASCS performance over the range of solar input required to produce power; estimate system and major component weights; define engine and electrical power condidtioning control requirements; and define key technology needs not ready by the late 1980s in meeting efficiency, life, cost, and with goalds for the ASCS.

  1. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1992-01-01

    The design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS), based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. The incentive for any dynamic system is that it can save fuel and reduce costs and radiological hazard. Unlike DIPS based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Stirling conversion extends the competitive range for dynamic systems down to a few hundred watts--a power level not previously considered for dynamic systems. The challenge for Stirling conversion will be to demonstrate reliability and life similar to RTG experience. Since the competitive potential of FPSE as an isotope converter was first identified, work has focused on feasibility of directly integrating GPHS with the Stirling heater head. Thermal modeling of various radiatively coupled heat source/heater head geometries has been performed using data furnished by the developers of FPSE and GPHS. The analysis indicates that, for the 1050 K heater head configurations considered, GPHS fuel clad temperatures remain within acceptable operating limits. Based on these results, preliminary characterizations of multihundred-watt units have been established.

  2. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1992-08-01

    The design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS), based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. The incentive for any dynamic system is that it can save fuel and reduce costs and radiological hazard. Unlike DIPS based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Stirling conversion extends the competitive range for dynamic systems down to a few hundred watts--a power level not previously considered for dynamic systems. The challenge for Stirling conversion will be to demonstrate reliability and life similar to RTG experience. Since the competitive potential of FPSE as an isotope converter was first identified, work has focused on feasibility of directly integrating GPHS with the Stirling heater head. Thermal modeling of various radiatively coupled heat source/heater head geometries has been performed using data furnished by the developers of FPSE and GPHS. The analysis indicates that, for the 1050 K heater head configurations considered, GPHS fuel clad temperatures remain within acceptable operating limits. Based on these results, preliminary characterizations of multihundred-watt units have been established.

  3. Overview of DOE's large stationary Stirling engine development program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uherka, K. L.; Holtz, R. E.; Bunker, W.

    This paper summarizes the results to date of a program, sponsored by DOE's Office of Fossil Energy, to develop large stationary Stirling engine power systems. Primary applications for such power plants include cogeneration and total energy systems, with a major advantage being their ability to employ solid coal and other non-scarce fuels in an environmentally acceptable manner. The major effort in the Stirling engine development program was an industry-based design competition, involving three independent contractual teams. Conceptual designs for state-of-the-art coal-fired Stirling engine systems were developed and all three design teams recommended development of 373 kW modules as base units, which can be coupled together to form individual Stirling engines up to 2238 kW in size. Heat transport system design concepts were also developed for integrating engine hot-end sections with coal combustors.

  4. Demagnetization Tests Performed on a Linear Alternator for a Stirling Power Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Niedra, Janis M.; Schwarze, Gene E.

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is conducting in-house research on rare-earth permanent magnets and linear alternators to assist in developing free-piston Stirling convertors for radioisotope space power systems and for developing advanced linear alternator technology. This research continues at GRC, but, with the exception of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator references, the work presented in this paper was conducted in 2005. A special arc-magnet characterization fixture was designed and built to measure the M-H characteristics of the magnets used in Technology Demonstration Convertors developed under the 110-W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) project. This fixture was used to measure these characteristics of the arc magnets and to predict alternator demagnetization temperatures in the SRG110 application. Demagnetization tests using the TDC alternator on the Alternator Test Rig were conducted for two different magnet grades: Sumitomo Neomax 44AH and 42AH. The purpose of these tests was to determine the demagnetization temperatures of the magnets for the alternator under nominal loads. Measurements made during the tests included the linear alternator terminal voltage, current, average power, magnet temperatures, and stator temperatures. The results of these tests were found to be in good agreement with predictions. Alternator demagnetization temperatures in the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-developed under the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator project) were predicted as well because the prediction method had been validated through the SRG110 alternator tests. These predictions led to a specification for maximum temperatures of the ASC pressure vessel.

  5. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program Mod I Stirling engine development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simetkosky, M. A.

    1983-01-01

    The development of the Mod I 4-cylinder automotive Stirling engine is discussed and illustrated with drawings, block diagrams, photographs, and graphs and tables of preliminary test data. The engine and its drive, cold-engine, hot-engine, external-heat, air/fuel, power-control, electronic-control, and auxiliary systems are characterized. Performance results from a total of 1900 h of tests on 4 prototype engines include average maximum efficiency (at 2000 rpm) 34.5 percent and maximum output power 54.4 kW. The modifications introduced in an upgraded version of the Mod I are explained; this engine has maximum efficiency 40.4 percent and maximum power output 69.2 kW.

  6. A new, versatile Stirling energy conversion unit

    SciTech Connect

    Meijer, R.J.; Ziph, B.

    1982-08-01

    A new concept in Stirling engine technology is embodied in the ''Base Engine'' now being developed at Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc. This is a versatile energy conversion unit suitable for many different applications and heat sources. The Base Engine, rated at 40 kw at 2800 rpm, is a four cylinder, double acting, variable displacement Stirling engine. It incorporates remote-heating technology with a stacked-heat-exchanger configuration and a liquid metal heat pipe connected to a distinctly separate combustor or other heat source. It specifically emphasizes high efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, long life, low manufacturing cost and low material cost. This paper describes the Base Engine, its design philosophy and approach, its projected performance, and some of its more attractive applications.

  7. Base engine for solar Stirling power

    SciTech Connect

    Meijer, R.J.; Godett, T.M.

    1984-03-01

    A new concept in Stirling engine technology is embodied in the base engine now being developed at Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc. This is a versatile energy conversion unit suitable for many different applications and heat sources. The base engine, rated 40 kW at 2800 RPM, is a four-cylinder, double-acting variable displacement Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase and rotating shaft seal. Remote-heating technology is incorporated with a stacked-heat-exchanger configuration and a liquid metal heat pipe connected to a distinctly separate combustor or other heat source. High efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, long life, low manufacturing cost and low material cost are specifically emphasized. The base engine, its design philosophy and approach, its projected performance, and some of its more attractive applications are described.

  8. The Base Engine for Solar Stirling Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meijer, R. J.; Godett, T. M.

    1984-01-01

    A new concept in Stirling engine technology is embodied in the base engine now being developed at Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc. This is a versatile energy conversion unit suitable for many different applications and heat sources. The base engine, rated 40 kW at 2800 RPM, is a four-cylinder, double-acting variable displacement Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase and rotating shaft seal. Remote-heating technology is incorporated with a stacked-heat-exchanger configuration and a liquid metal heat pipe connected to a distinctly separate combustor or other heat source. High efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, long life, low manufacturing cost and low material cost are specifically emphasized. The base engine, its design philosophy and approach, its projected performance, and some of its more attractive applications are described.

  9. Overview of NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2004-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The generator will be a high efficiency electric power source for NASA Space Science missions with the ability to operate in vacuum or in an atmosphere such as on Mars. High efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power conversion. Power output will be greater than 100 watts at the beginning of life with the decline in power largely due to the decay of the plutonium heat source. In support of the DOE SRG project, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has established a technology effort to provide data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system in space. Initially, a limited number of areas were selected for the effort, however this is now being expanded to more thoroughly cover key technical issues. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary to the near-term technology effort. Many of the tests use the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). There have been multiple controller tests to support the LMA flight controller design effort. Preparation is continuing for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration. A pair of flight prototype TDC s have been placed on continuous operation. Heater head life assessment continues, with the material data being refined and the analysis moving toward the system perspective. Magnet aging tests continue to characterize any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets in the linear alternator. A reliability effort has been initiated to help guide the development activities with focus on the key components and subsystems. This paper will provide an overview of some of the GRC technical efforts, including the status, and a description of future efforts.

  10. Base technology Stirling engine military applications assessment. Final technical report, 1 June 30-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Daley, J.G.

    1983-10-01

    The design of an advanced Stirling engine is considered for potential use in Air Force mobile electric power generator sets. The prospects for acceptable reliability appears good due to new approaches to recognized Stirling problem areas; sealing, heater head and control. The present design appears suitable for a 30kW set, but Air Force needs would be best suited by development of a 60kW unit. Standardization would be facilitated by using the 60kW Stirling engine and associated auxiliaries in a 30kW set. Final design drawings have been completed in the 30kW engine but construction and tests are required to establish that both design criteria for the engine and mobile power requirements are met. Originator-supplied keywords include: Heat pipe, and Combustor control.

  11. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schock, Alfred

    1994-07-01

    The preceding paper (Schock 1994) described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-Watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to -110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 Watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its two engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 Watts(e) if desired by the mission planners.

  12. Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Poriti, Sal

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high-efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems (RPSs) since 1999. The current effort is in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), which is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower, Inc., and the NASA GRC. This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As reliability is paramount to a RPS capable of providing spacecraft power for potential multi-year missions, GRC provides direct technology support to the ASRG flight project in the areas of reliability, convertor and generator testing, high-temperature materials, structures, modeling and analysis, organics, structural dynamics, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and permanent magnets to reduce risk and enhance reliability of the convertor as this technology transitions toward flight status. Convertor and generator testing is carried out in short- and long-duration tests designed to characterize convertor performance when subjected to environments intended to simulate launch and space conditions. Long duration testing is intended to baseline performance and observe any performance degradation over the life of the test. Testing involves developing support hardware that enables 24/7 unattended operation and data collection. GRC currently has 14 Stirling convertors under unattended extended operation testing, including two operating in the ASRG Engineering Unit (ASRG-EU). Test data and high-temperature support hardware are discussed for ongoing and future ASC tests with emphasis on the ASC-E and ASC-E2.

  13. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 5 copies in the file.

  14. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    2012-01-19

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 2 copies in the file.

  15. Study on the phase shift characteristic of the pneumatic Stirling cryocooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Xi; Wu, Yi Nong; Zhang, Hua; Chen, Nan

    2009-03-01

    Due to entire pneumatic connection between free piston and free displacer, the motion parameters of them including amplitude and phase shift can actually impact the cooling capacity and overall performance of cryocooler obviously. In this study, the procedure of design and manufacture pneumatic free piston and free displacer (FPFD) Stirling cryocooler had firstly been described in details. Then in order to accomplish study, the experimental bench has been set up based on 80 K@1 W Stirling cryocooler. The effect of the thermodynamic and pneumatic parameters including charging pressure, natural frequency of displacer, damping coefficient of displacer, working frequency on the pressure, displacement and displacer phase shift has been investigated, respectively by means of experimental and theoretical method. In particular, the variation of damping is realized by adjusting the width of clearance cut on the additional damping component, which is screwed on the displacer rod. Similarly, natural frequency of displacer is changed by the extra mass connected on the displacer. Due to the results of experimental study, the optimum working conditions of this Stirling cryocooler for 80 K cold tip temperature are as follows: charge pressure 15 bar, natural frequency of displacer 46 Hz, width of clearance 300 μm and working frequency 43 Hz. In agreement with the optimum working conditions, neighborhood interval of 90° is the ideal working domain for displacement phase shift. Meanwhile, the displacer phase shift should approach to 0°as near as possible and pressure phase shift should also be as small as possible, which have linear relation with non-dimensional damping characteristic of compressor. In view of theoretical study, the expressions of three phase shifts deduced from thermodynamic equation of piston and displacer respectively are expressed as the functions of working parameters, which are verified by the experimental data and consequently can be used as the powerful

  16. Fabrication and Testing of a Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor for a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Fralick, Gustave; Wrbanek, John; Sayir, Ali

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems since 1999. Stirling convertors are being operated for many years to demonstrate a radioisotope power system capable of providing reliable power for potential multi-year missions. Techniques used to monitor the convertors for change in performance include measurements of temperature, pressure, energy addition, and energy rejection. Micro-porous bulk insulation is used in the Stirling convertor test set up to minimize the loss of thermal energy from the electric heat source to the environment. The insulation is characterized before extended operation, enabling correlation of the net thermal energy addition to the convertor. Aging microporous bulk insulation changes insulation efficiency, introducing errors in the correlation for net thermal energy addition. A thin-mm heat flux sensor was designed and fabricated to directly measure the net thermal energy addition to the Stirling convertor. The fabrication techniques include slip casting and using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). One micron thick noble metal thermocouples measure temperature on the surface of an Alumina ceramic disc and heat flux is calculated. Fabrication, integration, and test results of a thin film heat flux sensor are presented.

  17. Studies on three-temperature, three-cylinder Stirling cycle machine (accuracy of vector analysis)

    SciTech Connect

    Ohtomo, Michihiro; Isshiki, Naotsugu; Watanabe, Hiroichi

    1996-12-31

    A Simple vector analysis method aimed to quickly determine the performance of complicated multi-cylinder Stirling cycle machines such as the Vuilleumier cycle machine was introduced by the authors in 1992. It has proven to be a very simple graphic method for the design and analysis of future complicated Stirling cycle machines. In this method, it is assumed that all volume variations and pressure changes are sinusoidal. Actually all volume fluctuations can be assumed to be sinusoidal without large errors, but pressure fluctuation deviates from sinusoidal assumptions, because pressure is a reciprocal of the total sinusoidal volume fluctuation. The pressure value estimated by this vector analysis method is compared to the exact calculation, and the error is calculated and discussed. It is known that the error depends on the pressure ratio and the dead volume ratio, and the error is less than 10% in many cases. The features and details of a newly made experimental, small, pressurized (6MPa) three-temperature (hot, cold and middle temperature), three-cylinder Stirling cycle machine are described. This machine was basically designed by this vector analysis method. This machine can work as a cooler and/or a heat pump, by adjusting the phase angle of the hot cylinder and depending upon whether motor power and/or heat input is supplied. Rotating vector analysis was done on a free piston or a pulse tube machine (Storch, 1988), but this report gives new convenient methods for complicated Stirling cycle systems.

  18. Fabrication and Testing of a Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor for a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Fralick, Gus c.; Wrbanek, John D.; Sayir, Ali

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high-efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems since 1999. Stirling convertors are being operated for many years to demonstrate a radioisotope power system capable of providing reliable power for potential multiyear missions. Techniques used to monitor the convertors for change in performance include measurements of temperature, pressure, energy addition, and energy rejection. Micro-porous bulk insulation is used in the Stirling convertor test setup to minimize the loss of thermal energy from the electric heat source to the environment. The insulation is characterized before extended operation, enabling correlation of the net thermal energy addition to the convertor. Aging micro-porous bulk insulation changes insulation efficiency, introducing errors in the correlation for net thermal energy addition. A thin-film heat flux sensor was designed and fabricated to directly measure the net thermal energy addition to the Stirling convertor. The fabrication techniques include slipcasting and using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). One-micron-thick noble metal thermocouples measure temperature on the surface of an alumina ceramic disk and heat flux is calculated. Fabrication, integration, and test results of a thin-film heat flux sensor are presented.

  19. Understanding of the Dynamics of the Stirling Convertor Advanced by Structural Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, William O.

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Stirling Technology Company (STC) are developing a highly efficient, long-life, free-piston Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA missions, including deep-space and Mars surface applications. As part of this development, four structural dynamic test programs were recently performed on Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) that were designed and built by STC under contract to the Department of Energy. This testing was performed in Glenn's Structural Dynamics Laboratory and Microgravity Emissions Laboratory. The first test program, in November and December 1999, demonstrated that the Stirling TDC could withstand the harsh random vibration experienced during a typical spacecraft launch and survive with no structural damage or functional power performance degradation. This was a critical step in enabling the use of Stirling convertors for future spacecraft power systems. The most severe test was a 12.3grms random vibration test, with test durations of 3 min per axis. The random vibration test levels were chosen to simulate, with margin, the maximum anticipated launch vibration conditions. The Microgravity Emissions Laboratory is typically used to measure the dynamics produced by operating space experiments and the resulting impact to the International Space Station's microgravity environment. For the second Stirling dynamic test program, performed in January 2001, the Microgravity Emissions Laboratory was used to characterize the structure-borne disturbances produced by the normal operation of a pair of Stirling convertors. The forces and moments produced by the normal operation of a Stirling system must be recognized and controlled, if necessary, so that other nearby spacecraft components, such as cameras, are not adversely affected. The Stirling convertor pair emitted relatively benign tonal forces at its operational frequency and

  20. Overview of NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey; Thieme, Lanny

    2003-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) under contract to the Depar1ment of Energy (DOE). The generator will be a high efficiency electric power source for NASA Space Science missions with the capability to operate in the vacuum of deep space or in an atmosphere such as on the surface of Mars. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology. Power output of the generator will be greater than 100 watts at the beginning of life with the decline in power being largely due to the decay of the plutonium heat source. In suppOl1 of the DOE SRG project, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has established a near-term technology effort to provide some of the critical data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system used in space. Initially, a limited number of technical areas were selected for the GRC effort, however this is now being expanded to more thoroughly cover a range of technical issues. The tasks include in-house testing of Stirling convertors and controllers, materials evaluation and heater head life assessment, structural dynamics, electromagnetic interference, organics evaluation, and reliability analysis. Most of these high-level tasks have several subtasks within. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary near-term technology effort. Many of the tests make use of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convel10r (TDC). There have been multiple controller tests to support the LMA flight controller design effort. Preparation is continuing for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration. A pair of flight prototype TDC's have recently been placed on an extended test with unattended, continuous operation. Heater head life assessment efforts continue, with the material data being refined and the analysis moving toward the system perspective. Long-term magnet aging tests are

  1. The FY1992 survey on commercialization of Stirling engine utilization equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-03-01

    Problems on commercialization of Stirling engine heat pumps (SEHP) and the solution are studied. The Stirling engine is a small and fixed engine having a 30-40% thermal efficiency and a 1-100 kW output. It is a closed recipro type external combustion engine with non-condensable gas like helium as working fluid. Its theoretical efficiency agrees with that of the Carnot's cycle. This is because the Stirling engine is often called a dream engine. However, the Stirling engine is legally restricted from a viewpoint of ensuring safety because high pressure gas as working fluid is sealed into the Stirling engine. It is feared that this point will be a condition that restricts spread/promotion of the equipment which uses the engine. Therefore, by guidance of MITI and support of organizations/enterprises concerned, a committee was started in 1992FY and studied the safety of the Stirling engine and the related legal systems.

  2. Third generation development of an 11-watt Stirling converter

    SciTech Connect

    Montgomery, W.L.; Ross, B.A.; Penswick, L.B.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes recent design enhancements, performance results, and development of an artificial neural network (ANN) model related to the Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG), an 11-watt converter designed for remote power applications. Design enhancements include minor changes to improve performance, increase reliability, facilitate fabrication and assembly for limited production, and reduce mass. Innovative modifications were effected to increase performance and improve reliability of the vacuum foil insulation (VFI) package and linear alternator. High and low operating temperature acceptance testing of the Engineering Model (EM) demonstrated the robust system characteristics. These tests were conducted for 1 week of operation each, with rejector temperatures of 95 C and 20 C, respectively. Endurance testing continues for a complete Stirling converter, the Development Model (DM), with over 25,000 hours of maintenance-free operation. Endurance testing of flexures has attained over 540 flexure-years and endurance testing of linear motors/alternators has achieved nearly 27,000 hours of operation without failure. An ANN model was developed and tested successfully on the DM. Rejection temperatures were varied between 3 C and 75 C while load voltages ranged between engine stall and displacer overstroke. The trained ANN model, based solely on externally measured parameters, predicted values of piston amplitude, displacer amplitude, and piston-displacer phase angle within {+-}2% of the measured values over the entire operating regime. The ANN model demonstrated its effectiveness in the long-term evaluation of free-piston Stirling machines without adding the complexity, reduced reliability, and increased cost of sophisticated diagnostic instrumentation.

  3. Performance of a Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion System in a Thermodynamically-Coupled Configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, S. M.; Briggs, M. H.; Hervol, D. S.

    A pair of 1kWe free-piston Stirling power convertors has been modified into a thermodynamically coupled configuration, and performance map testing has been completed. This is the same configuration planned for the full-scale 12 kWe power conversion unit (PCU) that will be used in the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU). The 1-kWe convertors were operated over a range of conditions to evaluate the effects of thermodynamic coupling on convertor performance and to identify any possible control challenges. The thermodynamically coupled convertor showed no measurable difference in performance from the baseline data collected when the engines were separate and no major control issues were encountered during operation. The results of this test are guiding controller development and instrumentation selection for the TDU.

  4. Performance of a Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion System in a Thermodynamically Coupled Configuration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Hervol, David S.

    2011-01-01

    A pair of 1-kWe free-piston Stirling power convertors has been modified into a thermodynamically coupled configuration, and performance map testing has been completed. This is the same configuration planned for the full-scale 12-kWe power conversion unit (PCU) that will be used in the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU). The 1-kWe convertors were operated over a range of conditions to evaluate the effects of thermodynamic coupling on convertor performance and to identify any possible control challenges. The thermodynamically coupled convertor showed no measureable difference in performance from the baseline data collected when the engines were separate, and no major control issues were encountered during operation. The results of this test are guiding controller development and instrumentation selection for the TDU.

  5. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, William D.; Shaltens, Richard K.

    1997-01-01

    The development and verification of automotive Stirling engine (ASE) component and system technology is described as it evolved through two experimental engine designs: the Mod 1 and the Mod 2. Engine operation and performance and endurance test results for the Mod 1 are summarized. Mod 2 engine and component development progress is traced from the original design through hardware development, laboratory test, and vehicle installation. More than 21,000 hr of testing were accomplished, including 4800 hr with vehicles that were driven more dm 59,000 miles. Mod 2 engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that the engine system configuration had accomplished its performance goals for power (60 kW) and efficiency (38.5%) to within a few percent. Tests with the Mod 2 engine installed in a delivery van demonstrated combined metro-highway fuel economy improvements consistent with engine performance goals and the potential for low emission levels. A modified version of the Mod 2 has been identified as a manufacturable design for an ASE. As part of the ASE project, the Industry Test and Evaluation Program (ITEP), NASA Technology Utilization (TU) project, and the industry-funded Stirling Natural Gas Engine program were undertaken to transfer ASE technology to end users. The results of these technology transfer efforts are also summarized.

  6. Test Hardware Design for Flightlike Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC-E3)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). For this purpose, the Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC has been conducting extended operation of a multitude of free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) simultaneously on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. The test hardware for operation of these convertors was designed to permit in-air investigative testing, such as performance mapping over a range of environmental conditions. With this, there was no requirement to accurately emulate the flight hardware. For the upcoming ASC-E3 units, the decision has been made to assemble the convertors into a flight-like configuration. This means the convertors will be arranged in the dual-opposed configuration in a housing that represents the fit, form, and thermal function of the ASRG. The goal of this effort is to enable system level tests that could not be performed with the traditional test hardware at GRC. This offers the opportunity to perform these system-level tests much earlier in the ASRG flight development, as they would normally not be performed until fabrication of the qualification unit. This paper discusses the requirements, process, and results of this flight-like hardware design activity.

  7. Test Hardware Design for Flight-Like Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). For this purpose, the Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC has been conducting extended operation of a multitude of free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) simultaneously on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. The test hardware for operation of these convertors was designed to permit in-air investigative testing, such as performance mapping over a range of environmental conditions. With this, there was no requirement to accurately emulate the flight hardware. For the upcoming ASC-E3 units, the decision has been made to assemble the convertors into a flight-like configuration. This means the convertors will be arranged in the dual-opposed configuration in a housing that represents the fit, form, and thermal function of the ASRG. The goal of this effort is to enable system level tests that could not be performed with the traditional test hardware at GRC. This offers the opportunity to perform these system-level tests much earlier in the ASRG flight development, as they would normally not be performed until fabrication of the qualification unit. This paper discusses the requirements, process, and results of this flight-like hardware design activity.

  8. The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Design Challenge for Scientific Spacecraft Powered by a Stirling Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sargent, Noel B.

    2001-01-01

    A 55 We free-piston Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) has been tested as part of an evaluation to determine its feasibility as a means for significantly reducing the amount of radioactive material required compared to Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) to support long-term space science missions. Measurements were made to quantify the low frequency magnetic and electric fields radiated from the Stirling's 80 Hertz (Hz) linear alternator and control electronics in order to determine the magnitude of reduction that will be required to protect sensitive field sensors aboard some science missions. One identified "Solar Probe" mission requires a 100 dB reduction in the low frequency magnetic field over typical military standard design limits, to protect its plasma wave sensor. This paper discusses the electromagnetic interference (EMI) control options relative to the physical design impacts for this power system, composed of 3 basic electrical elements. They are (1) the Stirling Power Convertor with its linear alternator, (2) the power switching and control electronics to convert the 90 V, 80 Hz alternator output to DC for the use of the spacecraft, and (3) the interconnecting wiring including any instrumentation to monitor and control items 1 and 2.

  9. Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sun power Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. In the past year, NASA GRC has been building a test facility to support extended operation of a pair of engineering level ASCs. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. Mechanical support hardware, data acquisition software, and an instrumentation rack were developed to prepare the pair of convertors for continuous extended operation. Short-term tests were performed to gather baseline performance data before extended operation was initiated. These tests included workmanship vibration, insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and fUll-power operation. Hardware and software features are implemented to ensure reliability of support systems. This paper discusses the mechanical support hardware, instrumentation rack, data acquisition software, short-term tests, and safety features designed to support continuous unattended operation of a pair of ASCs.

  10. Processing and Preparation of Advanced Stirling Convertors for Extended Operation at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Peggy A.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC is supporting the development of the ASRG by providing extended operation of several Sunpower Inc. Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs). In the past year and a half, eight ASCs have operated in continuous, unattended mode in both air and thermal vacuum environments. Hardware, software, and procedures were developed to prepare each convertor for extended operation with intended durations on the order of tens of thousands of hours. Steps taken to prepare a convertor for long-term operation included geometry measurements, thermocouple instrumentation, evaluation of working fluid purity, evacuation with bakeout, and high purity charge. Actions were also taken to ensure the reliability of support systems, such as data acquisition and automated shutdown checkouts. Once a convertor completed these steps, it underwent short-term testing to gather baseline performance data before initiating extended operation. These tests included insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and full-temperature and power demonstration. This paper discusses the facilities developed to support continuous, unattended operation, and the processing results of the eight ASCs currently on test.

  11. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as lateral load tests since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  12. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC-E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as "lateral load tests" since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  13. Design of small Stirling Dynamic Isotope Power System for robotic space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, David J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Withrow, Colleen A.; McKissock, Barbara I.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    1993-01-01

    Design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS) based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) technology is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. Unlike previous DIPS designs which were based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled down to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTGs. Preliminary characterization of units in the output power ranges 200-600 We indicate that on an electrical watt basis the GPHS/small Stirling DIPS will be roughly equivalent to an advanced RTG in size and mass but require less than a third of the isotope inventory.

  14. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC-E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as "lateral load tests" since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  15. Effect of inert cover gas on performance of radioisotope Stirling space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, R.; Kumar, V.; Or, C.; Schock, A.

    2001-02-01

    This paper describes an updated Orbital design of a radioisotope Stirling power system and its predicted performance at the beginning and end of a six-year mission to the Jovian moon Europa. The design is based on General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules identical to those previously developed and safety-qualified by the Department of Energy (DOE) which were successfully launched on missions to Jupiter and Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In each generator, the heat produced by the decay of the Pu-238 isotope is converted to electric power by two free-piston Stirling engines and linear alternators developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC), and their rejected waste heat is transported to radiators by heat pipes. The principal difference between the proposed system design and previous Orbital designs (Or et al., 2000) is the thermal insulation between the heat source and the generator's housing. Previous designs had employed multifoil insulation, whereas the design described here employs Min-K-1800 thermal insulation. Such insulation had been successfully used by Teledyne and GE in earlier RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators). Although Min-K is a much poorer insulator than multifoil in vacuum and requires a substantially greater thickness for equivalent performance, it offers compensating advantages. Specifically it makes it possible to adjust the generator's BOM temperatures by filling its interior volume with inert cover gas. This makes it possible to meet the generator's BOM and EOM performance goals without exceeding its allowable temperature at the beginning of the mission. .

  16. Effect of Inert Cover Gas on Performance of Radioisotope Stirling Space Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Carpenter, Robert; Kumar, V; Ore, C; Schock, Alfred

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes an updated Orbital design of a radioisotope Stirling power system and its predicted performance at the beginning and end of a six-year mission to the Jovian moon Europa. The design is based on General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules identical to those previously developed and safety-qualified by the Department of Energy (DOE) which were successfully launched to Jupiter and Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In each generator, the heat produced by the decay of the Pu-238 isotope is converted to electric power by two free-piston Stirling engines and linear alternators developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC), and their rejected waste heat is transported to radiators by heat pipes. The principal difference between the proposed system design and previous Orbital designs (Or et al. 2000) is the thermal insulation between the heat source and the generator's housing. Previous designs had employed multifoil insulation, whereas the design described here employs Min-K-1800 thermal insulation. Such insulation had been successfully used by Teledyne and GE in earlier RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators). Although Min-K is a much poorer insulator than multifoil in vacuum and requires a substantially greater thickness for equivalent performance, it offers compensating advantages. Specifically it makes it possible to adjust the generator's BOM temperatures by filling its interior volume with inert cover gas. This makes it possible to meet the generator's BOM and EOM performance goals without exceeding its allowable temperature at the beginning of the mission.

  17. Design of small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.; Schreiber, J. G.; Withrow, C. A.; Mckissock, B. I.; Schmitz, P. C.

    1992-01-01

    Design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS) based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) technology is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. Unlike previous DIPS designs which were based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled down to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Preliminary characterization of units in the output power ranges 200-600 We indicate that on an electrical watt basis the GPHS/small Stirling DIPS will be roughly equivalent to an advanced RTG in size and mass but require less than a third of the isotope inventory.

  18. Baseline performance of the GPU 3 Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, L. G.; Tew, R. C., Jr.

    1978-01-01

    A 10 horsepower single-cylinder rhombic-drive Stirling engine was converted to a research configuration to obtain data for validation of Stirling computer simulations. The engine was originally built by General Motors Research Laboratories for the U.S. Army in 1965 as part of a 3 kW engine-generator set, designated the GHU 3 (Ground Power Unit). This report presents test results for a range of heater gas temperatures, mean compression-space pressures, and engine speeds with both helium and hydrogen as the working fluids. Also shown are initial data comparisons with computer simulation predictions.

  19. Low-Power Baseline Test Results for the GPU 3 Stirling Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, L. G.

    1979-01-01

    A 7.5 kW (10 hp) Stirling engine was converted to a research configuration in order to obtain data for validating Stirling-cycle computer simulations. Test results for a range of heater-tube gas temperatures, mean compression-space pressures, and engine speeds with both helium and hydrogen as the working fluid are summarized. An instrumentation system to determine indicated work is described and preliminary results are presented.

  20. Stirling engine application study

    SciTech Connect

    Teagan, W.P.; Cunningham, D.R.

    1983-03-01

    The potential for Stirling engine applications in the 0.5 to 5000 hp output range is assessed. The following are included: a market survey of potential engine applications, classification of applications, conventional engine markets and performance characteristics, status of Sterling engine systems, selection of application classes for Stirling engines, and the possible effects of technology, economic conditions, and regulatory changes. (MHR)

  1. Stirling Engine Heat Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagawa, Noboru

    Recent advances in the feasibility studies related to the Stirling engines and Stirling engine heat pumps which have been considered attractive due to their promising role in helping to solve the global environmental and energy problems,are reviewed. This article begins to describe the brief history of the Stirling engines and theoretical thermodynamic analysis of the Stirling cycle in order to understand several advantages on the Stirling engine. Furthermore,they could throw light on our question why the dream engines had not been promoted to practical applications during two hundred years. The present review shows that the Stirling engines with several unique advantages including 30 to 40% thermal efficiency and preferable exhaust characteristics,had been designed and constructed by recent tackling for the development of the advanced automobile and other applications using them. Based on the current state of art,it is being provided to push the Stirling engines combined with heat pumps based on the reversed Rankine cycle to the market. At present,however, many problems, especially for the durability, cost, and delicate engine parts must be enforced to solve. In addition,there are some possibilities which can increase the attractiveness of the Stirling engines and heat pumps. The review closes with suggestions for further research.

  2. Stirling Engine Gets Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Frank

    2010-01-01

    One of the basic truths regarding energy conversion is that no thermodynamic cycle can be devised that is more efficient than a Carnot cycle operating between the same temperature limits. The efficiency of the Stirling cycle (patented by Rev. Robert Stirling in 1816) can approach that of the Carnot cycle and yet has not had the commercial success…

  3. Stirling engines for automobiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beremand, D. G.

    1979-01-01

    The results of recent and ongoing automobile Stirling engine development efforts are reviewed and technology status and requirements are identified. Key technology needs include those for low cost, high temperature (1300 - 1500 F) metal alloys for heater heads, and reliable long-life, low-leakage shaft seals. Various fuel economy projections for Stirling powered automobiles are reviewed and assessed.

  4. The Stirling Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Stirling Engine's advanced technology engine offers multiple advantages, principal among them reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions than comparable internal combustion auto engines, plus multifuel capability. Stirling can use gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, jet fuel, alcohol, methanol, butane and that's not the whole list. Applications include irrigation pumping, heat pumps, and electricity generation for submarine, Earth and space systems.

  5. Free-piston cutting machine

    DOEpatents

    Ciccarelli, Gaby; Subudhi, Manomohan; Hall, Robert E.

    2000-01-01

    A cutting machine includes a gun barrel for receiving a projectile. A compression tube is disposed in flow communication with the barrel and includes a piston therein. A reservoir is disposed in flow communication with the tube and receives a first gas under pressure. A second gas fills the compression tube on a front face of the piston. And, the pressurized first gas is discharged into the tube on a back face of the piston to accelerate the piston through the tube for compressing the second gas, and in turn launching the projectile through the barrel to impact a workpiece.

  6. Design study of a kinematic Stirling engine for dispered solar electric power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The concept evaluation shows that the four cylinder double acting U type Stirling engine with annular regenerators is the most suitable engine type for the 15 kW solar application with respect to design, performance and cost. Results show that near term performance for a metallic Stirling engine is 42% efficiency. Further improved components show an impact on efficiency of the future metallic engine to 45%. Increase of heater temperature, through the introduction of ceramic components, contribute the greatest amount to achieve high efficiency goals. Future ceramic Stirling engines for solar applications show an efficiency of around 50%.

  7. CO2 laser-driven Stirling engine. [space power applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, G.; Perry, R. L.; Carney, B.

    1978-01-01

    A 100-W Beale free-piston Stirling engine was powered remotely by a CO2 laser for long periods of time. The engine ran on both continuous-wave and pulse laser input. The working fluid was helium doped with small quantities of sulfur hexafluoride, SF6. The CO2 radiation was absorbed by the vibrational modes of the sulfur hexafluoride, which in turn transferred the energy to the helium to drive the engine. Electrical energy was obtained from a linear alternator attached to the piston of the engine. Engine pressures, volumes, and temperatures were measured to determine engine performance. It was found that the pulse radiation mode was more efficient than the continuous-wave mode. An analysis of the engine heat consumption indicated that heat losses around the cylinder and the window used to transmit the beam into the engine accounted for nearly half the energy input. The overall efficiency, that is, electrical output to laser input, was approximately 0.75%. However, this experiment was not designed for high efficiency but only to demonstrate the concept of a laser-driven engine. Based on this experiment, the engine could be modified to achieve efficiencies of perhaps 25-30%.

  8. Design of a preprototype Stirling Laboratory Research Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehn, F. W.; Mcdougal, A. R.

    1978-01-01

    A description is given for the design and fabrication of a first generation, preprototype Stirling Laboratory Research Engine. The engine represents the first step in providing a research tool to be used to support the development of a broad range of analytical modeling and experimental efforts, and to evaluate new approaches to the design of components for Stirling engines. The test engine is a horizontally-opposed, two-piston, single-acting machine with a dual crankshaft drive mechanism. The preprototype engine is rated at 10 kW and was designed for maximum modularity. The long term objective of the project is to provide a proven design of a standardized test engine, which can be commercially produced, for national research on Stirling cycle machines.

  9. Thermoacoustically driven refrigerator with double thermoacoustic-Stirling cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Ercang; Dai, Wei; Zhang, Yong; Ling, Hong

    2006-02-01

    Recently, considerable research efforts have been made to search substitution technologies for chlorofluorocarbon-based vapor compression cycles due to the concern over environmental issues. This letter introduces a helium-based thermoacoustic refrigeration system, which is a thermoacoustic-Stirling refrigerator driven by a thermoacoustic-Stirling heat engine, for domestic refrigeration purpose. In the regenerators of both the refrigerator and the prime mover, helium gas experiences near to reversible high efficiency Stirling process. At the operating point with 3.0MPa mean pressure, 57.7Hz frequency, and 2.2kW heat input, the experimental cooler provides a lowest temperature of -64.4°C and 250W cooling power at -22.1°C. These results show good potential of the system to be an alternative in near future for domestic refrigeration with advantages of environment-friendliness, no moving parts, and heat driven mechanism.

  10. Technical status of the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bean, John R.; Diver, Richard B.

    Initiated in 1991; the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program (DSJVP) is a 5-year, $17.2 million joint venture which is funded by Cummins Power Generation, Inc. (CPG) of Columbus, Indiana and the United States Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal and Biomass Power Division. Sandia National Laboratories administers and provides technical management for this contract on the DOE's behalf. In January, 1995; CPG advanced to Phase 3 of this three-phase contract. The objective of the DSJVP is to develop and commercialize a 7-kW. Dish/Stirling System for remote power markets by 1997. In this paper, the technical status of the major subsystems which comprise the CPG 7-kW(sub e) Dish/Stirling System is presented. These subsystems include the solar concentrator, heat pipe receiver, engine/alternator, power conditioning, and automatic controls.

  11. Technical status of the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bean, J.R.; Diver, R.B.

    1995-06-01

    Initiated in 1991; the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program (DSJVP) is a 5-year, $17.2 million joint venture which is funded by Cummins Power Generation, Inc. (CPG) of Columbus, Indiana and the United States Department of Energy`s (DOE) Solar Thermal and Biomass Power Division. Sandia National Laboratories administers and provides technical management for this contract on the DOE`s behalf. In January, 1995; CPG advanced to Phase 3 of this three-phase contract. The objective of the DSJVP is to develop and commercialize a 7-kW. Dish/Stirling System for remote power markets by 1997. In this paper, the technical status of the major subsystems which comprise the CPG 7-kW{sub e} Dish/Stirling System is presented. These subsystems include the solar concentrator, heat pipe receiver, engine/alternator, power conditioning, and automatic controls.

  12. Stirling engines for low-temperature solar-thermal-electric power generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    der Minassians, Artin

    This dissertation discusses the design and development of a distributed solar-thermal-electric power generation system that combines solar-thermal technology with a moderate-temperature Stirling engine to generate electricity. The conceived system incorporates low-cost materials and utilizes simple manufacturing processes. This technology is expected to achieve manufacturing cost of less than $1/W. Since solar-thermal technology is mature, the analysis, design, and experimental assessment of moderate-temperature Stirling engines is the main focus of this thesis. The design, fabrication, and test of a single-phase free-piston Stirling engine prototype is discussed. This low-power prototype is designed and fabricated as a test rig to provide a clear understanding of the Stirling cycle operation, to identify the key components and the major causes of irreversibility, and to verify corresponding theoretical models. As a component, the design of a very low-loss resonant displacer piston subsystem is discussed. The displacer piston is part of a magnetic circuit that provides both a required stiffness and actuation forces. The stillness is provided by a magnetic spring, which incorporates an array of permanent magnets and has a very linear stiffness characteristic that facilitates the frequency tuning. In this prototype, the power piston is not mechanically linked to the displacer piston and forms a mass-spring resonating subsystem with the engine chamber gas spring and has resonant frequency matched to that of the displacer. The fabricated engine prototype is successfully tested and the experimental results are presented and discussed. Extensive experimentation on individual component subsystems confirms the theoretical models and design considerations, providing a sound basis for higher power Stirling engine designs for residential or commercial deployments. Multi-phase Stirling engine systems are also considered and analyzed. The modal analysis of these machines proves

  13. Development of a Phasor Diagram Creator to Visualize the Piston and Displacer Forces in an Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Dipanjan; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The steady-state, nearly sinusoidal behavior of the components in a free-piston Stirling engine allows for visualization of the forces in the system using phasor diagrams. Based on Newton's second law, F = ma, any phasor diagrams modeling a given component in a system should close if all of the acting forces have been considered. Since the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), currently being developed for future NASA deep space missions, is made up of such nearly sinusoidally oscillating components, its phasor diagrams would also be expected to close. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been written in MATLAB (MathWorks), which takes user input data, passes it to Sage (Gedeon Associates), a one-dimensional thermodynamic modeling program used to model the Stirling convertor, runs Sage, and then automatically plots the phasor diagrams. Using this software tool, the effect of varying different Sage inputs on the phasor diagrams was determined. The parameters varied were piston amplitude, hot-end temperature, cold-end temperature, operating frequency, and displacer spring constant. These phasor diagrams offer useful insight into convertor operation and performance.

  14. Development of a Phasor Diagram Creator to Visualize the Piston and Displacer Forces in an Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Dipanjan; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The steady state, nearly sinusoidal behavior of the components in a Free Piston Stirling Engine allows for visualization of the forces in the system using phasor diagrams. Based on Newton's second law, F=ma, any phasor diagrams modeling a given component in a system should close if all of the acting forces have been considered. Since the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), currently being developed for future NASA deep space missions, is made up of such nearly sinusoidally oscillating components, its phasor diagrams would also be expected to close. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been written in MATLAB by taking user input data, passing it to Sage, a 1-D thermodynamic modeling program used to model the Stirling convertor, running Sage and then automatically plotting the phasor diagrams. Using this software tool, the effect of varying different Sage inputs on the phasor diagrams was determined. The parameters varied were piston amplitude, hot end temperature, cold end temperature, operating frequency, and displacer spring constant. By using these phasor diagrams, better insight can be gained as to why the convertor operates the way that it does.

  15. Thermodynamics: A Stirling effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horowitz, Jordan M.; Parrondo, Juan M. R.

    2012-02-01

    The realization of a single-particle Stirling engine pushes thermodynamics into stochastic territory where fluctuations dominate, and points towards a better understanding of energy transduction at the microscale.

  16. Liquid piston Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1983-01-01

    This book is a presentation on piston stirling engines. Topics covered include: liquid piston engines; basic design and power calculations; more advanced power calculations; design example; and past research work and some present research needs.

  17. The optimization of Stirling refrigerator and Stirling heat engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Xin-Mei

    2007-03-01

    The optimization of an irreversible Stirling refrigerator or a Stirling heat engine is an important research subject for a long time. Taking into account of the influence of mixed thermal resistance and regeneration loss in the performance study, we have derived the optimal relation of both of them. For Stirling refrigerator, we have deduced the optimal relation between the thermal resistance coefficient and the efficiency. To the Stirling heat engine, we have deduced the optimal relation between the power output and the efficiency. The conclusions obtained mirror the observed performance of the Stirling refrigerator or the Stirling heat engine quite well. Thus, the results may provide a new theoretical guidance to the optimal design and the selection of optimal operating condition of the Stirling refrigerator or the Stirling heat engine.

  18. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    High-efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high-specific-power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered, which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provided about 50 to 450 W of direct current (DC) to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator, which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific

  19. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    High efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRG) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high specific power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and DOE called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provide about 50 to 450 watts DC to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific power may be slightly lower than the ASRG and

  20. An analytical oscillating-flow thermal analysis of the heat exchangers and regenerator in Stirling machines

    SciTech Connect

    Monte, F. de; Galli, G.; Marcotullio, F.

    1996-12-31

    A closed form-expression for the effectiveness of the heat exchangers and regenerator of a Stirling cycle machine is given. This result may be used in a simple way in order to evaluate their effect on the machine performance. The proposed method, indeed, allows the actual cycle gas temperatures in the heater and cooler to be obtained readily, once the geometry of the heater, cooler and regenerator is known and some quantities characterizing the engine dynamics (strokes, frequency and phase angle of the moving elements) and its heat-exchange processes (inlet temperatures of the heating and cooling fluids, and their volumetric flow rates) are measured. Thus, an immediate indication about the effectiveness of the heat exchangers and regenerator as well as about the machine thermal efficiency may be obtained. The availability of a closed-form expression for the heater, regenerator and cooler effectiveness is useful especially for those engines, like the free-piston Stirling engines, whose design requires the application of analytically based optimization criteria.

  1. Stirling engine application study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teagan, W. P.; Cunningham, D.

    1983-01-01

    A range of potential applications for Stirling engines in the power range from 0.5 to 5000 hp is surveyed. Over one hundred such engine applications are grouped into a small number of classes (10), with the application in each class having a high degree of commonality in technical performance and cost requirements. A review of conventional engines (usually spark ignition or Diesel) was then undertaken to determine the degree to which commercial engine practice now serves the needs of the application classes and to detemine the nature of the competition faced by a new engine system. In each application class the Stirling engine was compared to the conventional engines, assuming that objectives of ongoing Stirling engine development programs are met. This ranking process indicated that Stirling engines showed potential for use in all application classes except very light duty applications (lawn mowers, etc.). However, this potential is contingent on demonstrating much greater operating life and reliability than has been demonstrated to date by developmental Stirling engine systems. This implies that future program initiatives in developing Stirling engine systems should give more emphasis to life and reliability issues than has been the case in ongoing programs.

  2. Cost and price estimate of Brayton and Stirling engines in selected production volumes

    SciTech Connect

    Fortgang, H.R.; Mayers, H.F.

    1980-05-31

    This report details the methods used to determine the production costs and required selling price of Brayton and Stirling engines modified for use in solar power conversion units. The Brayton engine, designed by Garrett AiResearch Manufacturing Company, was upgraded to a 20 kW design. The Stirling 30 kW engine was designed by United Stirling of Sweden for non-solar applications. Each engine part, component and assembly was examined and evaluated to determine the costs of its material and the method of manufacture based on specific annual production volumes. Cost estimates are presented for both the Stirling and Brayton engines in annual production volumes of 1000, 25,000, 100,000, and 400,000. At annual production volumes above 50,000 units, the costs of both engines are similar, although the Stirling engine costs are somewhat lower. It was concluded that modifications to both the Brayton and Stirling engine designs could reduce the estimated costs.

  3. Design study of a kinematic Stirling engine for dispered solar electric power systems. Final report, 1979 - 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-01-01

    The concept evaluation shows that the four cylinder double acting U type Stirling engine with annular regenerators is the most suitable engine type for the 15 kW solar application with respect to design, performance and cost. Results show that near term performance for a metallic Stirling engine is 42% efficiency. Further improved components show an impact on efficiency of the future metallic engine to 45%. Increase of heater temperature, through the introduction of ceramic components, contribute the greatest amount to achieve high efficiency goals. Future ceramic Stirling engines for solar applications show an efficiency of around 50%.

  4. Solar heat pipe testing of the Stirling thermal motors 4-120 Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Andraka, C.E.; Rawlinson, K.S.; Moss, T.A.; Adkins, D.R.; Moreno, J.B.; Gallup, D.R.; Cordeiro, P.G.; Johansson, S.

    1996-07-01

    Stirling-cycle engines have been identified as a promising technology for the conversion of concentrated solar energy into usable electrical power. A 25kW electric system takes advantage of existing Stirling-cycle engines and existing parabolic concentrator designs. In previous work, the concentrated sunlight impinged directly on the heater head tubes of the Stirling Thermal Motors (STM) 4-120 engine. A Sandia-designed felt-metal-wick heat pipe receiver was fitted to the STM 4-120 engine for on-sun testing on Sandia`s Test Bed Solar Concentrator. The heat pipe uses sodium metal as an intermediate two-phase heat transfer fluid. The receiver replaces the directly-illuminated heater head previously tested. The heat pipe receiver provides heat isothermally to the engine, and the heater head tube length is reduced, both resulting in improved engine performance. The receiver also has less thermal losses than the tube receiver. The heat pipe receiver design is based on Sandia`s second-generation felt-wick heat pipe receiver. This paper presents the interface design, and compares the heat pipe/engine test results to those of the directly-illuminated receiver/engine package.

  5. Stirling to Flight Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hibbard, Kenneth E.; Mason, Lee S.; Ndu, Obi; Smith, Clayton; Withrow, James P.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has a consistent need for radioisotope power systems (RPS) to enable robotic scientific missions for planetary exploration that has been present for over four decades and will continue into the foreseeable future, as documented in the most recent Planetary Science Decadal Study Report. As RPS have evolved throughout the years, there has also grown a desire for more efficient power systems, allowing NASA to serve as good stewards of the limited plutonium-238 (238Pu), while also supporting the ever-present need to minimize mass and potential impacts to the desired science measurements. In fact, the recent Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) released in April 2015 resulted in several key conclusion regarding RPS, including affirmation that RPS will be necessary well into the 2030s (at least) and that 238Pu is indeed a precious resource requiring efficient utilization and preservation. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) combine a Stirling cycle engine powered by a radioisotope heater unit into a single generator system. Stirling engine technology has been under development at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) since the 1970's. The most recent design, the 238Pu-fueled Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), was offered as part of the NASA Discovery 2010 Announcement of Opportunity (AO). The Step-2 selections for this AO included two ASRG-enabled concepts, the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) and the Comet Hopper (CHopper), although the only non-nuclear concept, InSight, was ultimately chosen. The DOE's ASRG contract was terminated in 2013. Given that SRGs utilize significantly less 238Pu than traditional Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) - approximately one quarter of the nuclear fuel, to produce similar electrical power output - they provide a technology worthy of consideration for meeting the aforementioned NASA objectives. NASA's RPS Program Office has recently investigated a new Stirling to

  6. Stirling Module Development Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livingston, F. R.

    1984-01-01

    The solar parabolic dish Stirling engine electrically generating module consists of a solar collector coupled to a Stirling engine powered electrical generator. The module is designed to convert solar power to electrical power in parallel with numerous identical units coupled to an electrical utility power grid. The power conversion assembly generates up to 25 kilowatts at 480 volts potential/3 phase/alternating current. Piston rings and seals with gas leakage have not occurred, however, operator failures resulted in two burnt out receivers, while material fatigue resulted in a broken piston rod between the piston rod seal and cap seal.

  7. The Phillips Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Hargreaves, C.M.

    1991-01-01

    This book is about the Stirling engine and its development from the heavy cast-iron machine of the 19th century to that of today. It is a history of a research effort spanning nearly 50 years, together with an outline of principles, and some technical details and descriptions of the more important engines. Contents include: the hot-air engine; the 20th-century revival; the Stirling cycle; rhombic-drive engines; heating and cooling; pistons and seals; electric generators and heat pumps; exotic heat sources; the engine and the environment; swashplate engines; and the past and the future.

  8. A Stirling Idea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Stirling Technology Company developed the components for its BeCOOL line of Cryocoolers with the help of a series of NASA SBIRs (Small Business Innovative Research), through Goddard Space Flight Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. Features include a hermetically sealed design, compact size, and silent operation. The company has already placed several units with commercial customers for computer applications and laboratory use.

  9. Stirling in Another Context.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papademetriou, Peter

    1981-01-01

    An analysis and a critique of how remodeling and extension of the Rice University School of Architecture, by James Stirling, Michael Wilford, and Associates, fits into the campus plan and its eclectic style established early in this century. (Author/MLF)

  10. Stirling cycle piston engine

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, G. R.

    1985-02-12

    This device is an improvement over the conventional type of Stirling cycle engine where the expander piston is connected to a crankshaft and the displacer piston is connected to the same or another crankshaft for operation. The improvement is based on both the expansion and displacer pistons being an integral unit having regenerating means which eliminate the mechanisms that synchronize the regeneration mode.

  11. The Stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    This video describes the Stirling engine, an external combustion engine which creates heat energy to power the motor, and can use many types of fuel. It can be used for both stationary and propulsion purposes and has advantages of better fuel economy and cleaner exhaust than internal combustion engines. The engine is shown being road tested at Langley Air Force Base.

  12. Stirling engine piston ring

    DOEpatents

    Howarth, Roy B.

    1983-01-01

    A piston ring design for a Stirling engine wherein the contact pressure between the piston and the cylinder is maintained at a uniform level, independent of engine conditions through a balancing of the pressure exerted upon the ring's surface and thereby allowing the contact pressure on the ring to be predetermined through the use of a preloaded expander ring.

  13. A simple computational model for Stirling cycle refrigerators

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Hazmy, M.M.; Peterson, R.B.

    1998-07-01

    This paper presents a simple computational model for an Alpha Free-Pistons Stirling refrigerator. The model assumes isothermal workspaces, where the compression space is maintained at temperature TH, while the expansion space is maintained at temperature TL. The regenerator is assumed to have a linear temperature distribution along its axial direction, with the working fluid taken as an ideal gas. This model is based on a control volume type analysis in which each of the components of the refrigerator (the regenerator and each of the two workspaces) is considered a separate control volume. Moving the compression piston in a predetermined sinusoidal motion provides the work input to the cycle. The motion of the compression space piston generates a pressure difference across the refrigerator, and forces the working fluid to pass through the regenerator. The expansion piston responds to the pressure in its workspace according to Newton's second law of motion. In this way the dynamics of the moving pistons will be coupled to the thermodynamics of the refrigerator system. Conservation laws of mass, momentum and energy along with ideal gas relations are used to form a set of differential and algebraic equations fully describing the refrigerator system. The motion of the expansion piston, the state of the working fluid at each workspace, and the energy terms appearing in the definition of the COP, can all be obtained. A marching-in-time technique with a Runge-Kutta scheme of the fourth order is adapted to integrate the equation of motion of the expansion piston. System behavior can be represented by the motion of the two pistons with time, and also by the pressure-volume diagrams of the workspaces. The COP plots can be produced from the computational results to describe the performance of the refrigerator.

  14. Preliminary SP-100/Stirling heat exchanger designs

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, P.; Tower, L.; Dawson, R.; Blue, B.; Dunn, P.

    1994-09-01

    Analytic modeling of several heat exchanger concepts to couple the SP-100 nuclear reactor lithium loop and the Space Stirling Power Convertor (SSPC) was performed. Four 25 kWe SSPC`s are used to produce the required 100 kW of electrical power. This design work focused on the interface between a single SSPC and the primary lithium loop. Manifolding to separate and collect the four channel flow was not modeled. This work modeled two separate types of heat exchanger interfaces (conductive coupling and radiative coupling) to explore their relative advantages and disadvantages. The minimum mass design of the conductively coupled concepts was 18 kg or 0.73 kg/kWe for a single 25 kWe convertor. The minimum mass radiatively coupled concept was 41 kg or 1.64 kg/kWe. The direct conduction heat exchanger provides a lighter weight system because of its ability to operate the Stirling convertor evaporator at higher heat fluxes than those attainable by the radiatively coupled systems. Additionally the conductively coupled concepts had relatively small volumes and provide potentially simpler assembly. Their disadvantages were the tight tolerances and material joining problems associated with this refractory to superalloy interface. The advantages of the radiatively coupled designs were the minimal material interface problems.

  15. Preliminary SP-100/Stirling heat exchanger designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul; Tower, Leonard; Dawson, Ronald; Blue, Brian; Dunn, Pat

    1993-01-01

    Analytic modeling of several heat exchanger concepts to couple the SP-100 nuclear reactor primary lithium loop and the Space Stirling Power Convertor (SSPC) was performed. Four 25 kWe SSPC's are used to produce the required 100 kW of electrical power. This design work focused on the interface between a single SSPC and the primary lithium loop. Manifolding to separate and collect the four channel flow was not modeled. This work modeled two separate types of heat exchanger interfaces (conductive coupling and radiative coupling) to explore their relative advantages and disadvantages. The minimum mass design of the conductively coupled concepts was 18 kg or 0.73 kg/kWe for a single 25 kWe convertor. The minimum mass radiatively coupled concept was 41 kg or 1.64 kg/kWe. The direct conduction heat exchanger provides a lighter weight system because of its ability to operate the Stirling convertor evaporator at higher heat fluxes than those attainable by the radiatively coupled systems. Additionally the conductively coupled concepts had relatively small volumes and provide potentially simpler assembly. Their disadvantages were the tight tolerances and material joining problems associated with this refractory to superalloy interface. The advantages of the radiatively coupled designs were the minimal material interface problems.

  16. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, R.; Hindes, C.; Battista, R.; Connelly, M.; Cronin, M.; Howarth, R.; Donahue, A.; Slate, E.; Stotts, R.; Lacy, R.

    1988-01-01

    The study of high power kinematic Stirling engines for transportation use, testing of Mod I and Mod II Stirling engines, and component development activities are summarized. Mod II development testing was performed to complete the development of the basic engine and begin characterization of performance. Mod I engines were used for Mod II component development and to obtain independent party (U.S. Air Force) evaluation of Stirling engine vehicle performance.

  17. NASA GRC Stirling Power Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.

    2014-01-01

    Current Project Thrusts - ASRG Transition to SRG Pathfinder; Government Furnished Services for ASRG; ASRG Engineering Unit 2; Planned Generator System Testing; Current Project Thrusts - Nuclear Systems; Fission Power Systems (FPS); Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU); Power Conversion Unit (PCU); Current Thrusts - KiloPower; Demonstrations Using Flattop Fissions (DUFF); Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY); Stirling Research - Hot End Components; Cold End Components; Stirling Testbeds; SBIRs

  18. Performance of Stirling Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwamoto, Shoichi; Hirata, Koichi; Toda, Fujio

    We have developed five kinds of high- and low-temperature differential Stirling engines and their engine performance was investigated experimentally. In order to determine the parameters that affect engine performance, experimental results were discussed and compared with results calculated using analytical methods. We show an arranging method for the experimental results, and consider the performance of general Stirling engines. After using the arranging method with nondimensional numbers obtained by a dimensional analysis, a prediction method, which is used at the early design stage, is formulated. One of the nondimensional numbers in this prediction method is calculated based on engine specifications, including the properties of the working gas. The prediction method can predict engine speed, output power, the effect of working gas and operating conditions.

  19. Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasser, M. G.; Sherman, A.; Studer, P. A.; Daniels, A.; Goldowsky, M. P.

    1983-06-01

    A long lifetime Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler particularly adapted for space applications is described. It consists of a compressor section centrally aligned end to end with an expansion section, and respectively includes a reciprocating compressor piston and displacer radially suspended in interconnecting cylindrical housings by active magnetic bearings and has adjacent reduced clearance regions so as to be in noncontacting relationship therewith and wherein one or more of these regions operate as clearance seals. The piston and displacer are reciprocated in their housings by linear drive motors to vary the volume of respectively adjacent compression and expansion spaces which contain a gaseous working fluid and a thermal regenerator to effect Stirling cycle cryogenic cooling.

  20. Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gasser, M. G.; Sherman, A.; Studer, P. A.; Daniels, A.; Goldowsky, M. P. (Inventor)

    1983-01-01

    A long lifetime Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler particularly adapted for space applications is described. It consists of a compressor section centrally aligned end to end with an expansion section, and respectively includes a reciprocating compressor piston and displacer radially suspended in interconnecting cylindrical housings by active magnetic bearings and has adjacent reduced clearance regions so as to be in noncontacting relationship therewith and wherein one or more of these regions operate as clearance seals. The piston and displacer are reciprocated in their housings by linear drive motors to vary the volume of respectively adjacent compression and expansion spaces which contain a gaseous working fluid and a thermal regenerator to effect Stirling cycle cryogenic cooling.

  1. Heat-pipe gas-combustion system endurance test for Stirling engine. Final report, May 1990-September 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Mahrle, P.

    1990-12-01

    Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc., (STM) has been developing a general purpose Heat Pipe Gas Combustion System (HPGC) suitable for use with the STM4-120 Stirling engine. The HPGC consists of a parallel plate recuperative preheater, a finned heat pipe evaporator and a film cooled gas combustor. A principal component of the HPGC is the heat pipe evaporator which collects and distributes the liquid sodium over the heat transfer surfaces. The liquid sodium evaporates and flows to the condensers where it delivers its latent heat. The report presents test results of endurance tests run on a Gas-Fired Stirling Engine (GFSE). Tests on a dynamometer test stand yielded 67 hours of engine operation at power levels over 10 kW (13.5 hp) with 26 hours at power levels above 15 kW (20 hp). Total testing of the engine, including both motoring tests and engine operation, yielded 245 hours of engine run time.

  2. Stirling engine power control

    DOEpatents

    Fraser, James P.

    1983-01-01

    A power control method and apparatus for a Stirling engine including a valved duct connected to the junction of the regenerator and the cooler and running to a bypass chamber connected between the heater and the cylinder. An oscillating zone of demarcation between the hot and cold portions of the working gas is established in the bypass chamber, and the engine pistons and cylinders can run cold.

  3. Stirling cycle engine

    DOEpatents

    Lundholm, Gunnar

    1983-01-01

    In a Stirling cycle engine having a plurality of working gas charges separated by pistons reciprocating in cylinders, the total gas content is minimized and the mean pressure equalization among the serial cylinders is improved by using two piston rings axially spaced at least as much as the piston stroke and by providing a duct in the cylinder wall opening in the space between the two piston rings and leading to a source of minimum or maximum working gas pressure.

  4. Stirling engine design manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martini, W. R.

    1978-01-01

    This manual is intended to serve both as an introduction to Stirling engine analysis methods and as a key to the open literature on Stirling engines. Over 800 references are listed and these are cross referenced by date of publication, author and subject. Engine analysis is treated starting from elementary principles and working through cycles analysis. Analysis methodologies are classified as first, second or third order depending upon degree of complexity and probable application; first order for preliminary engine studies, second order for performance prediction and engine optimization, and third order for detailed hardware evaluation and engine research. A few comparisons between theory and experiment are made. A second order design procedure is documented step by step with calculation sheets and a worked out example to follow. Current high power engines are briefly described and a directory of companies and individuals who are active in Stirling engine development is included. Much remains to be done. Some of the more complicated and potentially very useful design procedures are now only referred to. Future support will enable a more thorough job of comparing all available design procedures against experimental data which should soon be available.

  5. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Piller, S.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results, progress in manufacturing, assembling and testing of a Mod I engine in the United States, P40 Stirling engine dynamometer and multifuels testing, analog/digital controls system testing, Stirling reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies, components and subsystems, and computer code development are summarized.

  6. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, M. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    Progress is reported in the following: the Stirling reference engine system design; components and subsystems; F-40 baseline Stirling engine installation and test; the first automotive engine to be built on the program; computer development activities; and technical assistance to the Government. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are given.

  7. Stirling Powered Van Progam overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, R. K.

    1986-01-01

    The Stirling Powered Van Program (SPVP) is a multiyear, multiphase program to evaluate the automotive Stirling engine (ASE) in Air Force vans under realistic conditions. The objective of the SPVP is to transfer to manufacturer and end user(s) (i.e., on the path to commercialization) the second-generation Mod 2 ASE upon completion of the Automotive Stirling Engine Program in 1987. In order to meet this objective, the SPVP must establish Stirling performance, integrity, reliability, durability and maintainability. The ASE program background leading to the van program is reviewed and plans for evaluating the kinematic Stirling engine in Air Force vans examined. Also discussed are the NASA technology transfers to industry that have been accomplished and those which are currently being developed.

  8. Control of Dual-Opposed Stirling Convertors with Active Power Factor Correction Controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    When using recently-developed active power factor correction (APFC) controllers in power systems comprised of dual-opposed free-piston Stirling convertors, a variety of configurations of the convertors and controller(s) can be considered, with configuration ultimately selected based on benefits of efficiency, reliability, and robust operation. The configuration must not only achieve stable control of the two convertors, but also synchronize and regulate motion of the pistons to minimize net dynamic forces. The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) System Dynamic Model (SDM) was used to study ten configurations of dual-opposed convertor systems. These configurations considered one controller with the alternators connected in series or in parallel, and two controllers with the alternators not connected (isolated). For the configurations where the alternators were not connected, several different approaches were evaluated to synchronize the two convertors. In addition, two thermodynamic configurations were considered: two convertors with isolated working spaces and convertors with a shared expansion space. Of the ten configurations studied, stable operating modes were found for four. Three of those four had a common expansion space. One stable configuration was found for the dual-opposed convertors with separate working spaces. That configuration required isochronous control of both convertors, and two APFC controllers were used to accomplish this. A frequency/phase control loop was necessary to allow each APFC controller to synchronize its associated convertor with a common frequency.

  9. Control of Dual-Opposed Stirling Convertors with Active Power Factor Correction Controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    When using recently-developed active power factor correction (APFC) controllers in power systems comprised of dual-opposed free-piston Stirling convertors, a variety of configurations of the convertors and controller(s) can be considered, with configuration ultimately selected based on benefits of efficiency, reliability, and robust operation. The configuration must not only achieve stable control of the two convertors, but also synchronize and regulate motion of the pistons to minimize net dynamic forces. The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) System Dynamic Model (SDM) was used to study ten configurations of dual-opposed convertor systems. These configurations considered one controller with the alternators connected in series or in parallel, and two controllers with the alternators not connected (isolated). For the configurations where the alternators were not connected, several different approaches were evaluated to synchronize the two convertors. In addition, two thermodynamic configurations were considered: two convertors with isolated working spaces and convertors with a shared expansion space. Of the ten configurations studied, stable operating modes were found for four. Three of those four had a common expansion space. One stable configuration was found for the dual-opposed convertors with separate working spaces. That configuration required isochronous control of both convertors, and two APFC controllers were used to accomplish this. A frequency/phase control loop was necessary to allow each APFC controller to synchronize its associated convertor with a common frequency.

  10. Conceptual design of an Advanced Stirling Conversion System for terrestrial power generation

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

    This report describes the conceptual design of a system for converting solar energy into electricity using a free-piston Stirling engine directly coupled to a linear alternator. The system is designed for mounting at the focal plane of a 100 m/sup 2/ parabolic solar collector. It includes a receiver which is integrated with the engine heater head. Heat transfer from receiver to engine involves boiling liquid sodium at the heater surface of the receiver and condensing sodium vapor on the engine heater tubes. A sintered wick is located on the back surface of the receiver face to distribute the sodium and gravity is used to return the condensed sodium to a sump within the receiver. The system is connected to a utility power grid. The net power output from the system is 23.2 kWe at the design point (75 kWt into the receiver). Maximum power output is 26.7 kWe at the peak insolation level. Annual output is approximately 60,000 kWh for a site at Albuquerque, New Mexico. The manufacturing cost for the System has been estimated at approximately $8500 (1984 dollars). The installed cost goal is $13,000 (1984 dollars). Costs at the conceptual design level are only approximate but the estimates indicate that acceptable costs are attainable. 2 refs.

  11. Programmatic status of NASA`s CSTI high capacity power Stirling Space Power Converter Program

    SciTech Connect

    Dudenhoefer, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Converter Technology Development Program. This work is being conducted under NASA`s Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The goal of the CSTI High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least fivefold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. This paper will discuss the status of test activities with the Space Power Research Engine (SPRE). Design deficiencies are gradually being corrected and the power converter is now outputting 11.5 kWe at a temperature ratio of 2 (design output is 12.5 kWe). Detail designs have been completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converter (CTPC). The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, gas bearings, superalloy joining technologies and high efficiency alternators. This paper also provides an update of progress in these technologies.

  12. Short-Term Aging of NeFeB Magnets for Stirling Linear Alternator Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedra, Janis M.; Schwarze, Gene E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    NeFeB type magnets have been proposed for use in free piston Stirling engine driven, linear alternators to generate electric power during long duration space missions. These type of materials provide the highest energy product commercial magnets, thus minimizing alternator size or mass, but do not provide the high temperature stability of magnetic properties found in the SmCo type magnets. Therefore, to apply the NeFeB type magnets at elevated temperatures to multiyear space missions, their long-term aging characteristics must be determined. This report presents 200 hr aging data for six types of NeFeB magnets selected from three manufacturers. Aging was performed under vacuum at 150 C, with a steady demagnetizing field of 5 kOe applied. From the data produced by this short-term aging run, candidate magnet types were selected for a planned 12,000 hr long-term run. Depending on the manufacturer's magnet type, remanence losses observed ranged from 0 to 7%, when measured at 120 C on an established recoil line. Also, intrinsic coercivity losses up to about 4% were observed for the M-H curve at 120 C. In some cases, these coercivity losses were not recoverable by recharge of the magnet, indicating a structural change of the material.

  13. Programmatic status of NASA's CSTI high capacity power Stirling space power converter program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Converter Technology Development Program. This work is being conducted under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The goal of the CSTI High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least fivefold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. The status of test activities with the Space Power Research Engine (SPRE) is discussed. Design deficiencies are gradually being corrected and the power converter is now outputting 11.5 kWe at a temperature ratio of 2 (design output is 12.5 kWe). Detail designs were completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converter (CTPC). The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, gas bearings, superalloy joining technologies and high efficiency alternators. An update of progress in these technologies is provided.

  14. A Self-Circulating Heat Exchanger for Use in Stirling and Thermoacoustic-Stirling Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus, Scott; Reid, Robert S.

    2005-02-01

    A major technical hurdle to the implementation of large Stirling engines or thermoacoustic engines is the reliability, performance, and manufacturability of the hot heat exchanger that brings high-temperature heat into the engine. Unlike power conversion devices that utilize steady flow, the oscillatory nature of the flow in Stirling and thermoacoustic engines restricts the length of a traditional hot heat exchanger to a peak-to-peak gas displacement, which is usually around 0.2 meters or less. To overcome this restriction, a new hot heat exchanger has been devised that uses a fluid diode in a looped pipe, which is resonantly driven by the oscillating gas pressure in the engine itself, to circulate the engine's working fluid around the loop. Instead of thousands of short, intricately interwoven passages that must be individually sealed, this new design consists of a few pipes that are typically 10 meters long. This revolutionary approach eliminates thousands of hermetic joints, pumps the engine's working fluid to and from a remote heat source without using moving parts, and does so without compromising on heat transfer surface area. Test data on a prototype loop integrated with a 1-kW thermoacoustic engine will be presented.

  15. A self-circulating heat exchanger for use in stirling and thermoacoustic-stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Backhaus, S. N.; Reid, R. S.

    2004-01-01

    A major technical hurdle to the implementation of large Stirling engines or thermoacoustic engines is the reliability, performance, and manufacturability of the hot heat exchanger that brings high-temperature heat into the engine. Unlike power conversion devices that utilize steady flow, the oscillatory nature of the flow in Stirling and thermoacoustic engines restricts the length of a traditional hot heat exchanger to a peak-to-peak gas displacement, which is usually around 0.2 meters or less. To overcome this restriction, a new hot heat exchanger has been devised that uses a fluid diode in a looped pipe, which is resonantly driven by the oscillating gas pressure in the engine itself, to circulate the engine's working fluid around the loop. Instead of thousands of short, intricately interwoven passages that must be individually sealed, this new design consists of a few pipes that are typically 10 meters long. This revolutionary approach eliminates thousands of hermetic joints, pumps the engine's working fluid to and from a remote heat source without using moving parts, and does so without compromising on heat transfer surface area. Test data on a prototype loop integrated with a 1-kW thermoacoustic engine will be presented.

  16. Assessment of a 40-kilowatt stirling engine for underground mining applications

    SciTech Connect

    Cairelli, J.E.; Kelm, G.G.; Slaby, J.G.

    1982-06-01

    An assessment of alternative power souces for underground mining applications was performed. A 40-kW Stirling research engine was tested to evaluate its performance and emission characteristics when operated with helium working gas and diesel fuel. The engine, the test facility, and the test procedures are described. Performance and emission data for the engine operating with helium working gas and diesel fuel are reported and compared with data obtained with hydrogen working gas and unleaded gasoline fuel. Helium diesel test results are compared with the characteristics of current diesel engines and other Stirling engines. External surface temperature data are also presented. Emission and temperature results are compared with the Federal requirements for diesel underground mine engines. The durability potential of Stirling engines is discussed on the basis of the experience gaind during the engine tests.

  17. Assessment of a 40-kilowatt stirling engine for underground mining applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cairelli, J. E.; Kelm, G. G.; Slaby, J. G.

    1982-01-01

    An assessment of alternative power souces for underground mining applications was performed. A 40-kW Stirling research engine was tested to evaluate its performance and emission characteristics when operated with helium working gas and diesel fuel. The engine, the test facility, and the test procedures are described. Performance and emission data for the engine operating with helium working gas and diesel fuel are reported and compared with data obtained with hydrogen working gas and unleaded gasoline fuel. Helium diesel test results are compared with the characteristics of current diesel engines and other Stirling engines. External surface temperature data are also presented. Emission and temperature results are compared with the Federal requirements for diesel underground mine engines. The durability potential of Stirling engines is discussed on the basis of the experience gaind during the engine tests.

  18. A pistonless Stirling cooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yazaki, T.; Biwa, T.; Tominaga, A.

    2002-01-01

    We demonstrate a prototype acoustic cooler that uses Stirling cycles executed by a traveling wave with high acoustic impedance thermoacoustically induced in a looped tube. The tube has no moving parts, only a pair of stacks sandwiched between two heat exchangers: one amplifies the acoustic power and the amplified wave supplies the driving energy to pump heat directly within the second stack. Because it uses extremely simple hardware consisting of a few parts, the cooling device is potentially a powerful tool for applications such as conventional cooling systems.

  19. Stirling cycle machine

    SciTech Connect

    Burnett, S.C.; Purcell, J.R.; Creedon, W.P.; Joshi, C.H.

    1990-06-05

    This patent describes an improvement in a Stirling cycle machine including first and second variable-volume, compression-expansion chambers containing a gas a regenerator interconnecting the chambers and for conducting the gas therebetween, and eccentric drive means for driving the first and second chambers. It comprises: the eccentric drive means comprising a pair of rotatably mounted shafts, at least one pair of eccentric disks fixed on the shafts in phase with each other, and means for causing the shafts and thereby the eccentric disks to rotate in opposite directions.

  20. Biostirling({trademark}): A small biomass power conversion system using an advanced stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Johansson, L.; Ziph, B.; McKeough, W.; Houtman, W.

    1996-12-31

    Over the past decade the need for small power conversion systems to serve rural and/or remote needs has increased dramatically. The requirements for systems <100 kW are very similar, whether the need is defined as {open_quotes}rural electrification{close_quotes} in developed countries, or as {open_quotes}village power{close_quotes} in developing countries. The availability of biomass fuel resources to serve such systems is not in doubt, be they agricultural, forestry, animal or urban wastes. The main inhibiting factor has been the absence of a biomass power conversion system characterized by: reliability, cost effectiveness, low pollution, and ease of maintenance. Stirling Thermal Motors of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is recognized as the leader worldwide in the development and application of Stirling engine technology. It is currently demonstrating a {open_quotes}BioStirling({trademark}){close_quotes} Power Conversion System which combines its unique STM4-120 engine rated at 25 kW with a proven commercial gasifier. The BioStirling({trademark}) proof-of-concept demonstration is funded by DOE`s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is to be completed in late 1996, with field demonstrations in 1997 and commercial availability 1998.

  1. Reflux pool-boiler as a heat-transport device for Stirling engines: On-sun test program results

    SciTech Connect

    Andraka, C.E.; Moreno, J.B.; Diver, R.B.; Ginn, W.C.; Dudley, V.; Rawlinson, K.S.

    1990-01-01

    The efficient operation of a Stirling engine requires the application of a high heat flux to the relatively small area occupied by the heater head tubes. Previous attempts to couple solar energy to Stirling engines generally involved directly illuminating the heater head tubes with concentrated sunlight. In this study, operation of 75-kW, sodium reflux pool-boiler solar receiver has been demonstrated and its performance characterized on Sandia's nominal 75-kW parabolic-dish concentrator, using a cold-water gas-gap calorimeter to simulate Stirling engine operation. The pool boiler (and more generally liquid-metal reflux receivers) supplies heat to the engine in the form of latent heat released from condensation of the metal vapor on the heater head tubes. The advantages of the pool boiler include uniform tube temperature, leading to longer life and higher temperature available to the engine, and decoupling of the design of the solar absorber from the engine heater head. The two-phase system allows high input thermal flux, reducing the receiver size and losses, therefore improving system efficiency. The receiver design is reported here along with test results including transient operations, steady-state performance evaluation, operation at various temperatures, and x-ray studies of the boiling behavior. Also reported are a fist-order cost analysis, plans for future studies, and the integration of the receiver with a Stirling Thermal Motors STM4-120 Stirling engine. 19 refs., 11 figs.

  2. Understanding Stirling engines. Technical paper

    SciTech Connect

    Beale, W.

    1984-01-01

    The paper describes the basic Stirling engine, as well as some of the most promising modern varieties. The intent is to familiarize people in developing countries with the engine's operation and range of applications.

  3. MEMS Stirling Cooler Development Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moran, Matthew E.; Wesolek, Danielle

    2003-01-01

    This presentation provides an update on the effort to build and test a prototype unit of the patented MEMS Stirling cooler concept. A micro-scale regenerator has been fabricated by Polar Thermal Technologies and is currently being integrated into a Stirling cycle simulator at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. A discussion of the analysis, design, assembly, and test plans for the prototype will be presented.

  4. Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-08-01

    The Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program evaluated the application of advanced ceramic materials to an automotive Stirling engine. The objective of the program was to evaluate the technical feasibility of utilizing advanced ceramics to increase peak engine operating temperature, and to evaluate the performance benefits of such an increase. Manufacturing cost estimates were also developed for various ceramic engine components and compared with conventional metallic engine component costs.

  5. Ceramic automotive Stirling engine program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    The Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program evaluated the application of advanced ceramic materials to an automotive Stirling engine. The objective of the program was to evaluate the technical feasibility of utilizing advanced ceramics to increase peak engine operating temperature, and to evaluate the performance benefits of such an increase. Manufacturing cost estimates were also developed for various ceramic engine components and compared with conventional metallic engine component costs.

  6. Development and Integration of an Advanced Stirling Convertor Linear Alternator Model for a Tool Simulating Convertor Performance and Creating Phasor Diagrams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    A simple model of the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) linear alternator and an AC bus controller has been developed and combined with a previously developed thermodynamic model of the convertor for a more complete simulation and analysis of the system performance. The model was developed using Sage, a 1-D thermodynamic modeling program that now includes electro-magnetic components. The convertor, consisting of a free-piston Stirling engine combined with a linear alternator, has sufficiently sinusoidal steady-state behavior to allow for phasor analysis of the forces and voltages acting in the system. A MATLAB graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed to interface with the Sage software for simplified use of the ASC model, calculation of forces, and automated creation of phasor diagrams. The GUI allows the user to vary convertor parameters while fixing different input or output parameters and observe the effect on the phasor diagrams or system performance. The new ASC model and GUI help create a better understanding of the relationship between the electrical component voltages and mechanical forces. This allows better insight into the overall convertor dynamics and performance.

  7. Stirling material technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, R. H.; Stephens, J. R.; Scheuermann, C. M.

    1984-01-01

    The Stirling engine is an external combustion engine that offers the advantage of high fuel economy, low emissions, low noise, and low vibrations compared to current internal combustion automotive engines. The most critical component from a materials viewpoint is the heater head consisting of the cylinders, heating tubes, and regenerator housing. Materials requirements for the heater head include compatibility with hydrogen, resistance to hydrogen permeation, high temperature oxidation/corrosion resistance, and high temperature creep-rupture and fatigue properties. A materials research and technology program identified the wrought alloys CG-27 and 12RN72 and the cast alloys XF-818, NASAUT 4G-A1, and NASACC-1 as candidate replacements for the cobalt containing alloys used in current prototype engines. It is concluded that manufacture of the engine is feasible from low cost iron-base alloys rather than the cobalt alloys used in prototype engines. Results of research that lead to this conclusion are presented.

  8. Materials for a Stirling engine heater head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noble, J. E.; Lehmann, G. A.; Emigh, S. G.

    1990-01-01

    Work done on the 25-kW advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) terrestrial solar program in establishing criteria and selecting materials for the engine heater head and heater tubes is described. Various mechanisms contributing to incompatibility between materials are identified and discussed. Large thermal gradients, coupled with requirements for long life (60,000 h at temperature) and a large number of heatup and cooldown cycles (20,000) drive the design from a structural standpoint. The pressurized cylinder is checked for creep rupture, localized yielding, reverse plasticity, creep and fatigue damage, and creep ratcheting, in addition to the basic requirements for bust and proof pressure. In general, creep rupture and creep and fatigue interaction are the dominant factors in the design. A wide range of materials for the heater head and tubes was evaluated. Factors involved in the assessment were strength and effect on engine efficiency, reliability, and cost. A preliminary selection of Inconel 713LC for the heater head is based on acceptable structural properties but driven mainly by low cost. The criteria for failure, the structural analysis, and the material characteristics with basis for selection are discussed.

  9. The Stirling alternative. Power systems, refrigerants and heat pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, G.; Reader, G.; Fauvel, O.R.; Bingham, E.R. )

    1993-01-01

    This book provides an up-to-date reference on the technology, history, and practical applications of Stirling engines, including recent developments in the field and a convenient survey of the Stirling engine literature. The topics of the book include: fundamentals of Stirling technology, definition and terminology, thermodynamic laws and cycles: some elementary considerations, the Stirling cycle, practical regenerative cycle, theoretical aspects and computer simulation of Stirling machines, mechanical arrangements, control systems, heat exchangers, performance characteristics, working fluids, applications of Stirling machines, advantages of Stirling machines, disadvantages of Stirling machines, Stirling versus internal combustion engines, Stirling versus Rankine engines, applications for Stirling machines, Stirling power systems, the literature and sources of supply, the literature of Stirling engines, and the literature of cryocoolers.

  10. Stirling Energy Systems` (SES) dish-Stirling program

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, K.W.; Braun, H.W.; Moore, M.I.; Clark, T.B.

    1997-12-31

    This paper describes a system to produce electrical power from the sun, and the plans for preparing it for commercial operation. The point-focus, Stirling-engine-based system was designed and tested in the 1980s by McDonnell Douglas Corporation and United Stirling AB of Sweden (now part of Kockums AB). Stirling Energy Systems (SES) has acquired the existing hardware and technology, and plans to upgrade the system in order to utilize its demonstrated performance to produce grid-compatible electrical power. The performance includes a higher solar-to-electric conversion efficiency than any other renewable energy technology (approximately 30%), with the potential of a two to four point increase. The paper presents a summary description of the hardware, its past test program, proposed improvements, and the plan for commercialization.

  11. The stirling engine for vehicle propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhlman, P.

    1978-01-01

    The performance data of experimental Stirling engines are considered along with questions of exhaust-gas composition, engine noise, engine volume and weight, engine control, and the engine-starting process. The Stirling engine can use practically any liquid or gaseous fuel for its operation. It is found that technically a use of the Stirling engine in motor vehicles is feasible. Economic questions related to an introduction of the Stirling engine are discussed along with possible new developments which could improve the economic situation in favor of a use of Stirling engine.

  12. Innovation at Stirling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-11-01

    The 24th Stirling Meeting of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Physics was held on 21 May 1998. It was, for the first time, coupled to a Physics Update Course, which then continued in the Heriot-Watt University over the following two days. This encouraged many more exhibitors to come to Stirling where some 220 physics teachers were present. Ten manufacturers, five publishers and, of course, the ASE and the Institute of Physics exhibited materials during the conference. Morning In his introductory remarks Jack Woolsey reminded teachers that a great deal of information about the Scottish Qualifications Authority was available on the web (http://www.sqa.org.uk). Lorna Neill chaired the morning session, which was devoted to teaching chips and assessing pupils! Tony Joyce (Motorola) emphasized the need to invest in the skills required by the electronics industry. There has been an explosion in the demand for microchips and Motorola, together with Edinburgh University, Compugraphics and Scottish Enterprise, have produced a number of `teaching chips' which are being used throughout Britain and abroad. Les Haworth (Edinburgh University) discussed the construction, operating principles and educational relevance of MOS devices. MOSFETs, he claimed, are the best vehicle for early teaching of device physics. Andrew Moore (Balerno High School) gave an entertaining presentation in which he suggested ways of using the `teaching chips' in practice. Although there were many good information sheets with suggested experiments and investigations, teachers often found it difficult to tailor them to specific courses. To reduce hassle Andrew recommended using the Teaching Chip Project Board which was now available. It was particularly useful for practical investigations at Standard Grade. For the question session Jim Jamieson (SSERC) and Walter Whitelaw (Edinburgh Council) joined the three speakers. Ian Kennedy (Kilwinning Academy) described a fascinating system, developed in his

  13. Dish Stirling solar receiver program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haglund, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A technology demonstration of a Dish Stirling solar thermal electric system can be accomplished earlier and at a much lower cost than previous planning had indicated by employing technical solutions that allow already existing hardware, with minimum modifications, to be integrated into a total system with a minimum of development. The DSSR operates with a modified United Stirling p-40 engine/alternator and the JPL Test Bed Concentrator as a completely integrated solar thermal electric system having a design output of 25 kWe. The system is augmented by fossil fuel combustion which ensures a continuous electrical output under all environmental conditions. Technical and economic studies by government and industry in the United States and abroad identify the Dish Stirling solar electric system as the most appropriate, efficient and economical method for conversion of solar energy to electricity in applications when the electrical demand is 10 MWe and less.

  14. High performance solar Stirling system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J. W.; Haglund, R.

    1981-01-01

    A full-scale Dish-Stirling system experiment, at a power level of 25 kWe, has been tested during 1981 on the Test Bed Concentrator No. 2 at the Parabolic Dish Test Site, Edwards, CA. Test components, designed and developed primarily by industrial contractors for the Department of Energy, include an advanced Stirling engine driving an induction alternator, a directly-coupled solar receiver with a natural gas combustor for hybrid operation and a breadboard control system based on a programmable controller and standard utility substation components. The experiment demonstrated practicality of the solar Stirling application and high system performance into a utility grid. This paper describes the design and its functions, and the test results obtained.

  15. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Farrell, R.; Riecke, G.; Smith, G.; Howarth, R.; Cronin, M.; Simetkosky, M.; Meacher, J.

    1986-01-01

    This is the ninth Semiannual Technical Progress Report prepared under the Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program. It covers the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth quarters of activity after award of the contract. Quarterly Technical Progress Reports related program activities from the first through the thirteenth quarters; thereafter, reporting was changed to a Semiannual format. This report summarizes the study of higher-power kinematic Stirling engines for transportation use, development testing of Mod I Stirling engines, and component development activities. Component development testing included successful conical fuel nozzle testing and functional checkout of Mod II controls and auxiliaries on Mod I engine test beds. Overall program philosophy is outlined and data and test results are presented.

  16. Design of a pool boiler heat transport system for a 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, W. G.; Rosenfeld, J. H.; Noble, J.; Kesseli, J.

    The overall operating temperature and efficiency of solar-powered Stirling engines can be improved by adding a heat transport system to more uniformly supply heat to the heater head tubes. One heat transport system with favorable characteristics is an alkali metal pool boiler. An alkali metal pool boiler heat transport system was designed for a 25-kW advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS). Solar energy concentrated on the absorber dome boils a eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium. The alkali metal vapors condense on the heater head tubes, supplying the Stirling engine with a uniform heat flux at a constant temperature. Boiling stability is achieved with the use of an enhanced boiling surface and noncondensible gas.

  17. Design of a pool boiler heat transport system for a 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, W. G.; Rosenfeld, J. H.; Noble, J.; Kesseli, J.

    1991-01-01

    The overall operating temperature and efficiency of solar-powered Stirling engines can be improved by adding a heat transport system to more uniformly supply heat to the heater head tubes. One heat transport system with favorable characteristics is an alkali metal pool boiler. An alkali metal pool boiler heat transport system was designed for a 25-kW advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS). Solar energy concentrated on the absorber dome boils a eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium. The alkali metal vapors condense on the heater head tubes, supplying the Stirling engine with a uniform heat flux at a constant temperature. Boiling stability is achieved with the use of an enhanced boiling surface and noncondensible gas.

  18. Stirling Microregenerators Fabricated and Tested

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moran, Matthew E.

    2004-01-01

    A mesoscale Stirling refrigerator patented by the NASA Glenn Research Center is currently under development. This refrigerator has a predicted efficiency of 30 percent of Carnot and potential uses in electronics, sensors, optical and radiofrequency systems, microarrays, and microsystems. The mesoscale Stirling refrigerator is most suited to volume-limited applications that require cooling below the ambient or sink temperature. Primary components of the planar device include two diaphragm actuators that replace the pistons found in traditional-scale Stirling machines and a microregenerator that stores and releases thermal energy to the working gas during the Stirling cycle. Diaphragms are used to eliminate frictional losses and bypass leakage concerns associated with pistons, while permitting reversal of the hot and cold sides of the device during operation to allow precise temperature control. Three candidate microregenerators were fabricated under NASA grants for initial evaluation: two constructed of porous ceramic, which were fabricated by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and one made of multiple layers of nickel and photoresist, which was fabricated by Polar Thermal Technologies. The candidate regenerators are being tested by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics in a custom piezoelectric-actuated test apparatus designed to produce the Stirling refrigeration cycle. In parallel with the regenerator testing, Johns Hopkins is using deep reactive ion etching to fabricate electrostatically driven, comb-drive diaphragm actuators. These actuators will drive the Stirling cycle in the prototype device. The top photograph shows the porous ceramic microregenerators. Two microregenerators were fabricated with coarse pores and two with fine pores. The bottom photograph shows the test apparatus parts for evaluating the microregenerators, including the layered nickel-and-photoresist regenerator fabricated using LIGA techniques.

  19. Miniaturized stirling type cooler

    SciTech Connect

    Pundak, N.

    1988-09-13

    This patent describes a cryogenic Stirling type cooler system, an axially extending casing, a compressor unit located within the casing and including a crankshaft extending transversely of the casing axis, an expander and expander connecting rod arranged co-axially in and with the casing the casing including a cover having an axis in coaxial relation with the crankshaft, the casing and cover forming a sealed housing for the compressor unit and crankshaft. The cover consists of a cup-shaped non-magnetic partition, a drive for the compressor unit comprising a D.C. brushless motor including a stator, a rotor and driving electronics. The rotor located within the cover in the sealed housing and coupled directly to the crankshaft, the crankshaft connected to the expander and compressor connecting rods, the stator located outwardly of an encircling the cover in co-axial relation with the rotor. The drive electronics located outwardly of the casing, whereby the rotor is located within the sealed housing in driving engagement with the crankshaft while the stator is located outside the sealed housing for driving the rotor so that the rotor supplies rotational movement to the crankshaft which is converted by the crankshaft cam for driving the expander and compressor connecting rod.

  20. Development and test of combustion chamber for Stirling engine heated by natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Tie; Song, Xiange; Gui, Xiaohong; Tang, Dawei; Li, Zhigang; Cao, Wenyu

    2014-04-01

    The combustion chamber is an important component for the Stirling engine heated by natural gas. In the paper, we develop a combustion chamber for the Stirling engine which aims to generate 3˜5 kWe electric power. The combustion chamber includes three main components: combustion module, heat exchange cavity and thermal head. Its feature is that the structure can divide "combustion" process and "heat transfer" process into two apparent individual steps and make them happen one by one. Since natural gas can mix with air fully before burning, the combustion process can be easily completed without the second wind. The flame can avoid contacting the thermal head of Stirling engine, and the temperature fields can be easily controlled. The designed combustion chamber is manufactured and its performance is tested by an experiment which includes two steps. The experimental result of the first step proves that the mixture of air and natural gas can be easily ignited and the flame burns stably. In the second step of experiment, the combustion heat flux can reach 20 kW, and the energy utilization efficiency of thermal head has exceeded 0.5. These test results show that the thermal performance of combustion chamber has reached the design goal. The designed combustion chamber can be applied to a real Stirling engine heated by natural gas which is to generate 3˜5 kWe electric power.

  1. Design and development of Stirling engines for stationary-power-generation applications in the 500- to 3000-hp range. Phase I final report

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    The first phase of the design and development of Stirling engines for stationary power generation applications in the 373 kW (500 hp) to 2237 kW (3000 hp) range was completed. The tasks in Phase I include conceptual designs of large Stirling cycle stationary engines and program plan for implementing Phases II through V. Four different heater head designs and five different machine designs were prepared in sufficient detail to select a design recommended for development in the near future. A second order analysis was developed for examining the various loss mechanisms in the Stirling engine and for predicting the thermodynamic performance of these engines. The predicted engine thermal brake efficiency excluding combustion efficiency is approximately 42% which exceeds the design objective of 40%. The combustion system designs were prepared for both a clean fuel combustion system and a two-stage atmospheric fluidized bed combustion system. The calculated combustion efficiency of the former is 90% and of the latter is 80%. Heat transport systems, i.e., a heat exchanger for the clean fuel combustion system and a sodium heat pipe system for coal and other nonclean fuel combustion systems were selected. The cost analysis showed that for clean fuels combustion the proposed 2237 kW (3000 hp) system production cost is $478,242 or $214/kW ($159/hp) which is approximately 1.86 times the cost of a comparable size diesel engine. For solid coal combustion the proposed 2237 kW (3000 hp) system production cost is approximately $2,246,242 which corresponds to a cost to power capacity ratio of $1004/kW ($749/hp). The two-stage atmospheric fluidized bed combustion system represents 81% of the total cost; the engine represents 14% depending on the future price differential between coal and conventional clean fuels, a short payback period of the proposed Stirling cycle engine/FBC system may justify the initial cost. (LCL)

  2. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results; the manufacture, assembly, and test of a Mod I engine in the United States; design initiation of the Mod I-A engine system; transient performance testing; Stirling reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies; components and subsystems; and the study and test of low cost alloys are summarized.

  3. Regenerative rotary displacer Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Isshiki, Naotsugu; Watanabe, Hiroichi; Raggi, L.; Isshiki, Seita; Hirata, Koichi

    1996-12-31

    A few rotary displacer Stirling engines in which the displacer has one gas pocket space at one side and rotates in a main enclosed cylinder, which is heated from one side and cooled from opposite side without any regenerator, have been studied for some time by the authors. The authors tried to improve this engine by equipping it with a regenerator, because without a regenerator, pressure oscillation and efficiency are too small. Here, several types of regenerative rotary displacer piston Stirling engines are proposed. One is the contra-rotating tandem two disc type displacer engine using axial heat conduction through side walls or by heat pipes and another is a single disc type with circulating fluid regenerator or heat pipes. Stirling engines of this new rotary displacer type are thought to attain high speed. Here, experimental results of the original rotary displacer Stirling engine without a regenerator, and one contra-rotating tandem displacer engine with side wall regenerator by axial heat conduction are reported accompanied with a discussion of the results.

  4. Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase

    SciTech Connect

    Corey, John A.

    1988-01-01

    A two piston Stirling engine wherein the pistons are coupled to a common crankshaft via bearing means, the pistons include pad means to minimize friction between the pistons and the cylinders during reciprocation of the pistons, means for pressurizing the engine crankcase, and means for cooling the crankshaft and the bearing means eliminating the need for oil in the crankcase.

  5. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, Mary Ellen; Schreiber, Jeffery G.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency 110 W Stirling Radioisotope Generator 110 (SRG110) is being developed for potential NASA exploration missions. The SRG system efficiency is greater than 20%, making it an attractive candidate power system for deep space missions and unmanned rovers. The Department of Energy SRG110 Project team consists of the System Integrator, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). One of the GRC roles is to provide Independent Verification and Validation of the Stirling TDC s. At the request of LM, a part of this effort includes the Extended Operation of the TDC s in the dynamically balanced dual-opposed configuration. Performance data of Stirling Convertors over time is required to demonstrate that an SRG110 can meet long-duration mission requirements. A test plan and test system were developed to evaluate TDC s #13 and #14 steady-state performance for a minimum of 5000 hours. Hardware, software and TDC preparation processes were developed to support this test and insure safe, round-the-clock operation of the TDC s. This paper will discuss the design and development, and status of the Extended Operation Test.

  6. A recuperative superfluid stirling refrigerator

    SciTech Connect

    Brisson, J.G.; Swift, G.W.

    1993-07-01

    A superfluid Stirling refrigerator has been built with a counterflow heat exchanger serving as a recuperative regenerator. It has achieved temperatures of 296 mK with a 4% {sup 3}He-{sup 4}He mixture. Cooling power versus temperature and speed is presented for a 6.6% mixture.

  7. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, Mary Ellen; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator 110 (SRG110) is being developed for potential NASA exploration missions. The SRG system efficiency is greater than 20%, making it an attractive candidate power system for deep space missions and unmanned rovers. The Department of Energy SRG110 Project team consists of the System Integrator, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). One of the GRC roles is to provide Independent Verification and Validation of the Stirling TDC's. At the request of LM, a part of this effort includes the extended operation of the TDC's in the dynamically balanced dual-opposed configuration. Performance data of the Stirling Converters over time is required to demonstrate that an SRG110 can meet long-duration mission requirements. A test plan and test system were developed to evaluate TDC's #13 and #14 steady-state performance for a minimum of 5000 hours and insure safe, round-the-clock operation of the TDC's. This paper will discuss the design and development, and status of the Extended Operation Test.

  8. Stirling engines and irrigation pumping

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1988-01-01

    A brief outline is given of the performance that might be achievable from various kinds of Stirling engine driven irrigation pumps. Some emphasis is placed on the very simple liquid piston engines, suitable for low technology manufacture, that have been the recent subject of research. 5 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Innovation at Stirling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-11-01

    The 24th Stirling Meeting of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Physics was held on 21 May 1998. It was, for the first time, coupled to a Physics Update Course, which then continued in the Heriot-Watt University over the following two days. This encouraged many more exhibitors to come to Stirling where some 220 physics teachers were present. Ten manufacturers, five publishers and, of course, the ASE and the Institute of Physics exhibited materials during the conference. Morning In his introductory remarks Jack Woolsey reminded teachers that a great deal of information about the Scottish Qualifications Authority was available on the web (http://www.sqa.org.uk). Lorna Neill chaired the morning session, which was devoted to teaching chips and assessing pupils! Tony Joyce (Motorola) emphasized the need to invest in the skills required by the electronics industry. There has been an explosion in the demand for microchips and Motorola, together with Edinburgh University, Compugraphics and Scottish Enterprise, have produced a number of `teaching chips' which are being used throughout Britain and abroad. Les Haworth (Edinburgh University) discussed the construction, operating principles and educational relevance of MOS devices. MOSFETs, he claimed, are the best vehicle for early teaching of device physics. Andrew Moore (Balerno High School) gave an entertaining presentation in which he suggested ways of using the `teaching chips' in practice. Although there were many good information sheets with suggested experiments and investigations, teachers often found it difficult to tailor them to specific courses. To reduce hassle Andrew recommended using the Teaching Chip Project Board which was now available. It was particularly useful for practical investigations at Standard Grade. For the question session Jim Jamieson (SSERC) and Walter Whitelaw (Edinburgh Council) joined the three speakers. Ian Kennedy (Kilwinning Academy) described a fascinating system, developed in his

  10. Stirling engine design manual. Second edition

    SciTech Connect

    Martini, W.R.

    1983-01-01

    This manual is intended to serve as an introduction to Stirling cycle heat engines, as a key to the available literature on Stirling engines and to identify non-proprietary Stirling engine design methodologies. Two different fully described Stirling engines are discussed. Engine design methods are categorized as first-order, second-order, and third-order with increased order number indicating increased complexity. FORTRAN programs are listed for both an isothermal second-order design program and an adiabatic second-order design program. Third-order methods are explained and enumerated. In this second edition of the Stirling Engine Design Manual the references have been updated. A revised personal and corporate author index is given and an expanded directory lists over 80 individuals and companies active in Stirling engines.

  11. Stirling engine with a liquid working substance

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, G.W.

    1989-06-01

    A theoretical and experimental study of a Stirling engine using a liquid (propylene) as its working substance is presented. This is the first experimental work on liquid Stirling engines (or Malone engines) since the 1920s. Liquid-Stirling technology appears advantageous to conventional freon-based Rankine-cycle technology in many applications. The theory developed here is simple, intuitive, and modular because of the nature of liquid working fluids and because the temperature spanned by liquid Stirling engines is not large. The experimental engine is extremely versatile, and can operate as either a heat pump or prime mover. Extensive measurements with it are in substantial agreement with the simple theory.

  12. Stirling machines: From potential to practicality

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, B.

    1988-06-01

    The author describes the principle of operation behind a Stirling machine. Practical Stirling machines, which can be used as heat engines, heat pumps, and refrigerators, share several characteristics, which are described in this article. The author explains the research that is being conducted on Stirling machines. The author says Stirling machines will not replace more common types of engines, but instead will be used in specific applications where the demand for such attributes as multi-fuel capability, low emissions, and long life cannot otherwise be met.

  13. Experimental Creep Life Assessment for the Advanced Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Kalluri, Sreeramesh; Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor

    2010-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy is planning to develop the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for potential use on future space missions. The ASRG provides substantial efficiency and specific power improvements over radioisotope power systems of heritage designs. The ASRG would use General Purpose Heat Source modules as energy sources and the free-piston Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) to convert heat into electrical energy. Lockheed Martin Corporation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is integrating the ASRG systems, and Sunpower, Inc., of Athens, Ohio, is designing and building the ASC. NASA Glenn Research Center of Cleveland, Ohio, manages the Sunpower contract and provides technology development in several areas for the ASC. One area is reliability assessment for the ASC heater head, a critical pressure vessel within which heat is converted into mechanical oscillation of a displacer piston. For high system efficiency, the ASC heater head operates at very high temperature (850 C) and therefore is fabricated from an advanced heat-resistant nickel-based superalloy Microcast MarM-247. Since use of MarM-247 in a thin-walled pressure vessel is atypical, much effort is required to assure that the system will operate reliably for its design life of 17 years. One life-limiting structural response for this application is creep; creep deformation is the accumulation of time-dependent inelastic strain under sustained loading over time. If allowed to progress, the deformation eventually results in creep rupture. Since creep material properties are not available in the open literature, a detailed creep life assessment of the ASC heater head effort is underway. This paper presents an overview of that creep life assessment approach, including the reliability-based creep criteria developed from coupon testing, and the associated heater head deterministic and probabilistic analyses. The approach also

  14. Stirling Engines and Irrigation Pumping

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1987-01-01

    This report was prepared in support of the Renewable Energy Applications and Training Project that is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development for which ORNL provides technical assistance. It briefly outlines the performance that might be achievable from various kinds of Stirling-engine-driven irrigation pumps. Some emphasis is placed on the very simple liquid-piston engines that have been the subject of research in recent years and are suitable for manufacture in less well-developed countries. In addition to the results quoted here (possible limits on M4 and pumping head for different-size engines and various operating conditions), the method of calculation is described in sufficient detail for engineers to apply the techniques to other Stirling engine designs for comparison.

  15. How Does Stirling Engine Work?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biwa, Tetsushi; Tashiro, Yusuke; Yazaki, Taichi

    In this paper the working mechanism of Stirling engine is studied from the standpoint of thermoacoustic framework. The work flux measurement is performed in a glass tube equipped with/without a regenerator-heat exchanger assembly. An atmospheric pressure air confined in the tube is periodically perturbed by two speakers at the same frequency (=48Hz) but out of phase. It is experimentally demonstrated that the phasing of two pistons in the Stirling engine (alpha arrangement type) plays the role in creating a steady work flux from the compression piston to the expansion piston, whereas a differentially heated regenerator in the engine operates as a power amplifier for the traveling wave propagating up the temperature gradient.

  16. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Farrell, R.; Riecke, G.; Smith, G.; Howarth, R.; Cronin, M.; Simetkosky, M.; Meacher, J.

    1986-01-01

    The major accomplishments were the completion of the Basic Stirling Engine (BSE) and the Stirling Engine System (SES) designs on schedule, the approval and acceptance of those designs by NASA, and the initiation of manufacture of BSE components. The performance predictions indicate the Mod II engine design will meet or exceed the original program goals of 30% improvement in fuel economy over a conventional Internal Combustion (IC) powered vehicle, while providing acceptable emissions. This was accomplished while simultaneously reducing Mod II engine weight to a level comparable with IC engine power density, and packaging the Mod II in a 1985 Celebrity with no external sheet metal changes. The projected mileage of the Mod II Celebrity for the combined urban and highway CVS cycle is 40.9 mpg which is a 32% improvement over the IC Celebrity. If additional potential improvements are verified and incorporated in the Mod II, the mileage could increase to 42.7 mpg.

  17. Ceramic automotive Stirling engine study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musikant, S.; Chiu, W.; Darooka, D.; Mullings, D. M.; Johnson, C. A.

    1985-01-01

    A conceptual design study for a Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine (CASE) is performed. Year 1990 structural ceramic technology is assumed. Structural and performance analyses of the conceptual design are performed as well as a manufacturing and cost analysis. The general conclusions from this study are that such an engine would be 10-26% more efficient over its performance map than the current metal Automotive Stirling Reference Engine (ASRE). Cost of such a ceramic engine is likely to be somewhat higher than that of the ASRE but engine cost is very sensitive to the ultimate cost of the high purity, ceramic powder raw materials required to fabricate high performance parts. When the design study is projected to the year 2000 technology, substantinal net efficiency improvements, on the order of 25 to 46% over the ASRE, are computed.

  18. Automotive Stirling engine systems development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richey, A. E.

    1984-01-01

    The objective of the Automotive Stirling Engine (ASE) program is to develop a Stirling engine for automotive use that provides a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy relative to a comparable internal-combustion engine while meeting emissions goals. This paper traces the engine systems' development efforts focusing on: (1) a summary of engine system performance for all Mod I engines; (2) the development, program conducted for the upgraded Mod I; and (3) vehicle systems work conducted to enhance vehicle fuel economy. Problems encountered during the upgraded Mod I test program are discussed. The importance of the EPA driving cycle cold-start penalty and the measures taken to minimize that penalty with the Mod II are also addressed.

  19. Stability of split Stirling refrigerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Waele, A. T. A. M.; Liang, W.

    2009-02-01

    In many thermal systems spontaneous mechanical oscillations are generated under the influence of large temperature gradients. Well-known examples are Taconis oscillations in liquid-helium cryostats and oscillations in thermoacoustic systems. In split Stirling refrigerators the compressor and the cold finger are connected by a flexible tube. The displacer in the cold head is suspended by a spring. Its motion is pneumatically driven by the pressure oscillations generated by the compressor. In this paper we give the basic dynamic equations of split Stirling refrigerators and investigate the possibility of spontaneous mechanical oscillations if a large temperature gradient develops in the cold finger, e.g. during or after cool down. These oscillations would be superimposed on the pressure oscillations of the compressor and could ruin the cooler performance.

  20. Stirling and Vuilleumier heat pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Wurm, J.

    1990-01-01

    The book discuses the design, application, and performance evaluation of integrated engine-refrigerator heat pumps and provides an overview of heat pump theory, including a unique comparative analysis of six integrated Stirling and Vuilleumier heat pumps and their advantages in applications. It also evaluates the effect of key components on performance; lists and documents computer programs for comparative analysis; and summarizes current hardware development programs.

  1. Mod II Stirling engine overviews

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, Roger A.

    1988-01-01

    The Mod II engine is a second-generation automotive Stirling engine (ASE) optimized for part-power operation. It has been designed specifically to meet the fuel economy and exhaust emissions objectives of the ASE development program. The design, test experience, performance, and comparison of data to analytical performance estimates of the Mod II engine to date are reviewed. Estimates of Mod II performance in its final configuration are also given.

  2. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Smith, G.; Rohdenburg, C.; Vatsky, A.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results, testing of the Mod I engine in the United States, Mod I engine characterization and analyses, Mod I Transient Test Bed fuel economy, upgraded Mod I performance and testing, Stirling engine reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studied, components and subsystems, and the study and test of low cost casting alloys are summarized. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are presented.

  3. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Smith, G.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Mod I engine testing and test results, the test of a Mod I engine in the United States, Mod I engine characterization and analysis, Mod I Transient Test Bed fuel economy, Mod I-A engine performance are discussed. Stirling engine reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies, components and subsystems, and the study and test of low-cost casting alloys are also covered. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are presented.

  4. Modifications and testing of a 4-95 Stirling engine for solar applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelving, H. G.; Percival, W. H.

    1982-01-01

    The modifications and testing of a standard Stirling engine, required for connection to a 25 kW induction alternator, for use with a solar thermal parabolic dish electric module is described. Power was absorbed by a GE induction alternator connected to the utility grid. Also included are the results from recent testing of another solar engine at the DOE-Georgia Tech solar site. It was done in parallel with the testing at Edwards for the purpose of comparing performance of two solar-only receivers, which were based on the standard 4-95 involute heat exchanger.

  5. Modifications and testing of a 4-95 Stirling engine for solar applications

    SciTech Connect

    Nelving, H.G.; Percival, W.H.

    1982-07-01

    The modifications and testing of a standard Stirling engine, required for connection to a 25 kW induction alternator, for use with a solar thermal parabolic dish electric module is described. Power was absorbed by a GE induction alternator connected to the utility grid. Also included are the results from recent testing of another solar engine at the DOE-Georgia Tech solar site. It was done in parallel with the testing at Edwards for the purpose of comparing performance of two solar-only receivers, which were based on the standard 4-95 involute heat exchanger.

  6. Stirling Convertor Fasteners Reliability Quantification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Kovacevich, Tiodor; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Onboard Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) being developed for NASA s deep-space science and exploration missions require reliable operation for up to 14 years and beyond. Stirling power conversion is a candidate for use in an RPS because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power and reduced inventory of radioactive material. Structural fasteners are responsible to maintain structural integrity of the Stirling power convertor, which is critical to ensure reliable performance during the entire mission. Design of fasteners involve variables related to the fabrication, manufacturing, behavior of fasteners and joining parts material, structural geometry of the joining components, size and spacing of fasteners, mission loads, boundary conditions, etc. These variables have inherent uncertainties, which need to be accounted for in the reliability assessment. This paper describes these uncertainties along with a methodology to quantify the reliability, and provides results of the analysis in terms of quantified reliability and sensitivity of Stirling power conversion reliability to the design variables. Quantification of the reliability includes both structural and functional aspects of the joining components. Based on the results, the paper also describes guidelines to improve the reliability and verification testing.

  7. Bellcrank mechanisms for Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Senft, J.R.; Senft, V.J.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes a family of linkage drive systems for Stirling engines containing several new members. These mechanisms are adaptable to all three configurations of Stirling engine, impose minimal side loads on pistons and displacer rods, and include compact forms suitable for pressurized high performance engines. This group of drive systems is generated by a simple common scheme. Near sinusoidal motion is taken from a crankshaft carrying a single crankpin by two connecting rods each driving a bellcrank. The stationary pivots of the bellcranks are located so that their oscillatory motion has the phase angle separation required between the piston and displacer. The bellcranks are further configured to bring the third pin motion to a location suitable for coupling with the piston or displacer of the engine in a way which minimizes side loading. The paper presents a number of new linkage drives from the dual bellcrank family and indicates how they are embodied in beta and alpha type Stirling engines. The paper includes a design for a small multipurpose engine incorporating one of the subject mechanisms.

  8. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program: A success

    SciTech Connect

    Tabata, W.K.

    1987-01-01

    The original 5 y Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program has been stretched to a 10 y program due to reduced annual funding levels. With an estimated completion date of April 1988, the technical achievements and the prospectives of meeting the original program objectives are reviewed. Various other applications of this developed Stirling engine technology are also discussed.

  9. Recent Stirling engine loss-understanding results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1990-01-01

    For several years, NASA and other U.S. government agencies have been funding experimental and analytical efforts to improve the understanding of Stirling thermodynamic losses. NASA's objective is to improve Stirling engine design capability to support the development of new engines for space power. An overview of these efforts was last given at the 1988 IECEC. Recent results of this research are reviewed.

  10. Demonstration Experiments with a Stirling Engine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deacon, Christopher G.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes an investigation with the primary purpose of allowing students to generate and interpret a pressure/volume diagram of a Stirling engine. Explains how the Stirling engine can be used to demonstrate the principles of operation of a refrigerator and a heat pump. (DDR)

  11. Heat exchanger module for stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Darche, M. J. P.; Carlquist, S.

    1985-02-12

    The invention relates to Stirling engines and provides a modular assembly composed of a cylinder head, a heater, a regenerator, a cooler and a cold duct, and making it possible by mounting a plurality of identical modules on an engine assembly to construct a multi-cylinder double acting Stirling engine of the indirect heating type.

  12. A novel experimentally validated Stirling cycle simulation

    SciTech Connect

    Rix, D.H.

    1983-08-01

    This paper presents an entirely new method of Stirling cycle simulation and its application to a laboratory Stirling machine. Specimen predicted results are given for this machine and a comparison is made with results experimentally measured over a wide range of speed and mean pressure values.

  13. Automotive Stirling engine development program - A success

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, William K.

    1987-01-01

    The original 5-year Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program has been extended to 10 years due to reduced annual funding levels. With an estimated completion date of April 1988, the technical achievements and the prospectives of meeting the original program objectives are reviewed. Various other applications of this developed Stirling engine technology are also discussed.

  14. Automotive Stirling engine development program: A success

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, W. K.

    1987-01-01

    The original 5-yr Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program has been extended to 10 years due to reduced annual funding levels. With an estimated completion date of April 1988, the technical achievements and the prospectives of meeting the original program objectives are reviewed. Various other applications of this developed Stirling engine technology are also discussed.

  15. Solar-Electric Dish Stirling System Development

    SciTech Connect

    Mancini, T.R.

    1997-12-31

    Electrical power generated with the heat from the sun, called solar thermal power, is produced with three types of concentrating solar systems - trough or line-focus systems; power towers in which a centrally-located thermal receiver is illuminated with a large field of sun-tracking heliostats; and dish/engine systems. A special case of the third type of system, a dish/Stirling system, is the subject of this paper. A dish/Stirling system comprises a parabolic dish concentrator, a thermal receiver, and a Stirling engine/generator located at the focus of the dish. Several different dish/Stirling systems have been built and operated during the past 15 years. One system claims the world record for net conversion of solar energy to electric power of 29.4%; and two different company`s systems have accumulated thousands of hours of on-sun operation. Due to de-regulation and intense competition in global energy markets as well as the immaturity of the technology, dish/Stirling systems have not yet found their way into the marketplace. This situation is changing as solar technologies become more mature and manufacturers identify high-value niche markets for their products. In this paper, I review the history of dish/Stirling system development with an emphasis on technical and other issues that directly impact the Stirling engine. I also try to provide some insight to the opportunities and barriers confronting the application of dish/Stirling in power generation markets.

  16. Stirling Laboratory Research Engine: Preprototype configuration report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehn, F. W.

    1982-01-01

    The concept of a simple Stirling research engine that could be used by industrial, university, and government laboratories was studied. The conceptual and final designs, hardware fabrication and the experimental validation of a preprototype stirling laboratory research engine (SLRE) were completed. Also completed was a task to identify the potential markets for research engines of this type. An analytical effort was conducted to provide a stirling cycle computer model. The versatile engine is a horizontally opposed, two piston, single acting stirling engine with a split crankshaft drive mechanism; special instrumentation is installed at all component interfaces. Results of a thermodynamic energy balance for the system are reported. Also included are the engine performance results obtained over a range of speeds, working pressures, phase angles and gas temperatures. The potential for a stirling research engine to support the laboratory requirements of educators and researchers was demonstrated.

  17. Stirling engine design manual, 2nd edition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martini, W. R.

    1983-01-01

    This manual is intended to serve as an introduction to Stirling cycle heat engines, as a key to the available literature on Stirling engines and to identify nonproprietary Stirling engine design methodologies. Two different fully described Stirling engines are discussed. Engine design methods are categorized as first order, second order, and third order with increased order number indicating increased complexity. FORTRAN programs are listed for both an isothermal second order design program and an adiabatic second order design program. Third order methods are explained and enumerated. In this second edition of the manual the references are updated. A revised personal and corporate author index is given and an expanded directory lists over 80 individuals and companies active in Stirling engines.

  18. A Comparison of Brayton and Stirling Space Nuclear Power Systems for Power Levels from 1 Kilowatt to 10 Megawatts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2000-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to assess the performance and mass of Brayton and Stirling nuclear power systems for a wide range of future NASA space exploration missions. The power levels and design concepts were based on three different mission classes. Isotope systems, with power levels from 1 to 10 kW, were considered for planetary surface rovers and robotic science. Reactor power systems for planetary surface outposts and bases were evaluated from 10 to 500 kW. Finally, reactor power systems in the range from 100 kW to 10 mW were assessed for advanced propulsion applications. The analysis also examined the effect of advanced component technology on system performance. The advanced technologies included high temperature materials, lightweight radiators, and high voltage power management and distribution.

  19. Stirling Convertor Technologies Being Developed for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA space science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. On Mars, rovers with SRGs would be used for missions that might not be able to use photovoltaic power systems, such as exploration at high Martian latitudes and missions of long duration. The projected SRG system efficiency of 23 percent will reduce the required amount of radioisotope by a factor of 4 or more in comparison to currently used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The Department of Energy recently named Lockheed Martin as the system integration contractor. Lockheed Martin has begun to develop the SRG engineering unit under contract to the Department of Energy, and has contract options to develop the qualification unit and the first flight units. The developers expect the SRG to produce about 114 Wdc at the beginning of mission, using two opposed Stirling convertors and two General Purpose Heat Source modules. STC previously developed the Stirling convertor under contract to the Department of Energy and is now providing further development as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin. Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. A key milestone was recently reached with the accumulation of 12 000 hr of long-term aging on two types of neodymium-iron boron permanent magnets. These tests are characterizing any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator. Preparations are underway for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration and unattended operation during endurance testing of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors. In addition, Glenn is developing a

  20. 5-kW arcjet power electronics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gruber, R. P.; Gott, R. W.; Haag, T. W.

    1989-01-01

    The initial design and evaluation of a 5 kW arcjet power electronics breadboard which as been integrated with a modified 1 kW design laboratory arcjet is presented. A single stage, 5 kW full bridge, pulse width modulated (PWM), power converter was developed which was phase shift regulated. The converter used metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) power switches and incorporated current mode control and an integral arcjet pulse ignition circuit. The unoptimized power efficiency was 93.5 and 93.9 percent at 5 kW and 50A output at input voltages of 130 and 150V, respectively. Line and load current regulation at 50A output was within one percent. The converter provided up to 6.6 kW to the arcjet with simulated ammonia used as a propellant.

  1. Stirling Engine for Classroom Demonstration Purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Andrew

    2005-04-01

    In the study of Thermodynamics, the Carnot cycle is representative of an ideal engine. Such an engine has the maximum efficiency possible for a given temperature difference. The Stirling Cycle engine closely resembles the Carnot cycle in terms of efficiency. In order to demonstrate the Stirling Cycle in a classroom setting, a Stirling engine was built. Robert Stirling first patented the Stirling engine in 1816. The Stirling engine runs on the temperature differential between hot and cold air. As the air is cycled through the engine, the expansion and contraction of the air drives the piston. The work on the piston is transferred into mechanical work via a walking beam. There are no exhaust values that vent gases, because the gases inside the engine never leave. The power for the Stirling engine does not come from explosions like a combustion engine. Rather, the engine is powered by an external heat source. These engines also have practical purposes. They are used in very specialized applications where quiet operation is important. Examples of such uses are in submarines and auxiliary power generators.

  2. Preliminary design of an advanced Stirling system for terrestrial solar energy conversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    A preliminary design was generated for an advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) that will be capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to an electric utility grid. Stirling engines are being evaluated for terrestrial solar applications. A two-year task to complete detailed design, fabrication, assembly and testing of an ASCS prototype began in April, 1990. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar inputs with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The ACSC has a long-term cost goal of about $450 per kilowatt, exclusive of the 11-m parabolic dish concentrator. The proposed system includes a Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator. The major thrusts of the preliminary design are described, including material selection for the hot-end components, heat transport system (reflux pool boiler) design, system thermal response, improved manufacturability, FMECA/FTA analysis, updated manufacturing cost estimate, and predicted system performance.

  3. Development of high-efficiency Stirling cryocoolers for high temperature superconducting motors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakano, K.; Yumoto, K.; Hiratsuka, Y.

    2015-12-01

    For wide spread high-temperature superconductor (HTS) devices, a cryocooler having COP of >0.1, with a compact size, light weight, high efficiency and high reliability is required. For practical use of superconductive devices, Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) developed a high-efficiency Stirling type pulse tube cryocooler (STPC). The STPC had high reliability and low vibration. However, its efficiency was not enough to meet the demands of an HTS motor. To further improve the efficiency, we reconsidered the expander of cryocooler and developed a Stirling cryocooler (STC). Two prototype units of a compact, high-efficiency split Stirling cryocooler were designed, built and tested. With the second prototype unit, a cooling capacity of 151 W at 70 K and a minimum temperature of 33 K have been achieved with a compressor input power of 2.15 kW. Accordingly, COP of about 0.07 has been achieved. The detailed design of the prototype units and the experimental results will be reported in this paper.

  4. Preliminary design of an advanced Stirling system for terrestrial solar energy conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, M. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary design was generated for an advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) that will be capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to an electric utility grid. Stirling engines are being evaluated for terrestrial solar applications. A two-year task to complete detailed design, fabrication, assembly and testing of an ASCS prototype began in April, 1990. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar inputs with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The ACSC has a long-term cost goal of about $450 per kilowatt, exclusive of the 11-m parabolic dish concentrator. The proposed system includes a Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator. The major thrusts of the preliminary design are described, including material selection for the hot-end components, heat transport system (reflux pool boiler) design, system thermal response, improved manufacturability, FMECA/FTA analysis, updated manufacturing cost estimate, and predicted system performance.

  5. Experimental and vector analysis on gamma type Stirling engine with hot power cylinder

    SciTech Connect

    Isshiki, Naotsugu; Tsukahara, Shigeji; Ohtomo, Michihiro

    1995-12-31

    In 1993, the superiority of hot end connected power cylinder gamma type Stirling engine (HEC) compared to the conventional cold end connected power cylinder engine (CEC) was reported by Prof. J.Kentfield of the University of Calgary. It is a great thing that he introduced the HEC engine, and it reminded the authors that in 1980, they built and experimented with a three cylinder 3kW Stirling engine SRI-1, in which two cylinders are positively heated by gas, that is called HCH (Hot, Cold and Hot) engine as shown in a figure, and having similarity to the above HEC. The authors have developed a quite simple and understandable approximate harmonic vector analysis method for Stirling machines. By this, Kentfield`s HEC engine and their HCH engine are expressed by the same figure as shown in the paper. The similarity and superiority of HEC and HCH compared to CEC and CHC are easily shown by the vector analysis method with physical reason.

  6. Liquid-piston Stirling machines

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1984-01-01

    Since the invention of the Fluidyne engine in 1969, several research groups have explored and described the potential of liquid-piston Stirling machine designs for a wide variety of applications, including water pumping from solar heat, simple and long-lived fossil-fuel-fired irrigation pumps, and heat-powered heat pumps. A substantial amount of theoretical work has been published, along with experimental results from a number of very different machines and design data for the construction of experimental engines. This paper describes the progress that has been made and the performance of existing systems, identifies outstanding research needs, and outlines some of the potential for further progress.

  7. Design and development of Stirling engines for stationary-power-generation applications in the 500- to 3000-horsepower range. Phase I final report

    SciTech Connect

    1980-10-01

    A program plan and schedule for the implementation of the proposed conceptual designs through the remaining four phases of the overall large Stirling engine development program was prepared. The objective of Phase II is to prepare more detailed designs of the conceptual designs prepared in Phase I. At the conclusion of Phase II, a state-of-the-art design will be selected from the candidate designs developed in Phase I for development. The objective of Phase III is to prepare manufacturing drawings of the candidate engine design. Also, detailed manufacturing drawings of both 373 kW (500 hp) and 746 kW (1000 hp) power pack skid systems will be completed. The power pack skid systems will include the generator, supporting skid, controls, and other supporting auxiliary subsystems. The Stirling cycle engine system (combustion system, Stirling engine, and heat transport system) will be mounted in the power pack skid system. The objective of Phase IV is to procure parts for prototype engines and two power pack skid systems and to assemble Engines No. 1 and 2. The objective of Phase V is to perform extensive laboratory and demonstration testing of the Stirling engines and power pack skid systems, to determine the system performance and cost and commercialization strategy. Scheduled over a 6 yr period the cost of phases II through V is estimated at $22,063,000. (LCL)

  8. Mod I automotive Stirling engine mechanical development

    SciTech Connect

    Simetkosky, M.

    1984-01-01

    The Mod I Stirling engine was the first automotive Stirling engine designed specifically for automotive application. Testing of these engines has revealed several deficiencies in engine mechanical integrity which have been corrected by redesign or upgrade. The main deficiencies uncovered during the Mod I program lie in the combustion, auxiliary, main seal, and heater head areas. This paper will address each of the major area deficiencies in detail, and describe the corrective actions taken as they apply to the Mod I and the next Stirling-engine design, the Upgraded Mod I (a redesign to incorporate new materials for cost/weight reduction and improved performance).

  9. Rotary Stirling-Cycle Engine And Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandler, Joseph A.

    1990-01-01

    Proposed electric-power generator comprises three motor generators coordinated by microprocessor and driven by rotary Stirling-cycle heat engine. Combination offers thermodynamic efficiency of Stirling cycle, relatively low vibration, and automatic adjustment of operating parameters to suit changing load on generator. Rotary Stirling cycle engine converts heat to power via compression and expansion of working gas between three pairs of rotary pistons on three concentric shafts in phased motion. Three motor/generators each connected to one of concentric shafts, can alternately move and be moved by pistons. Microprocessor coordinates their operation, including switching between motor and generator modes at appropriate times during each cycle.

  10. Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schifer, Nick; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2013-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The latest version of the ASC, deemed ASC-E3, is of a design identical to the forthcoming flight convertors. The first pair of ASC-E3 units was delivered in December 2012. GRC has begun the process of adding these units to the catalog of ongoing Stirling convertor operation. This process includes performance verification, which examines the data from various tests to validate the convertors performance to the product specification.

  11. Solar power generation by use of Stirling engine and heat loss analysis of its cavity receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussain, Tassawar

    Since concentrated power generation by Stirling engine has the highest efficiency therefore efficient power generation by concentrated systems using a Stirling engine was a primary motive of this research. A 1 kW Stirling engine was used to generate solar power using a Fresnel lens as a concentrator. Before operating On-Sun test, engine's performance test was conducted by combustion test. Propane gas with air was used to provide input heat to the Stirling Engine and 350W power was generated with 14% efficiency of the engine. Two kinds of receivers were used for On-Sun test, first type was the Inconel tubes with trapped helium gas and the second one was the heat pipe. Heat pipe with sodium as a working fluid is considered the best approach to transfer the uniform heat from the receiver to the helium gas in the heater head of the engine. A Number of On-Sun experiments were performed to generate the power. A minimum 1kW input power was required to generate power from the Stirling engine but it was concluded that the available Fresnel lens was not enough to provide sufficient input to the Stirling engine and hence engine was lagged to generate the solar power. Later on, for a high energy input a Beam Down system was also used to concentrate the solar light on the heater head of the Stirling engine. Beam down solar system in Masdar City UAE, constructed in 2009 is a variation of central receiver plant with cassegrainian optics. Around 1.5kW heat input was achieved from the Beam Down System and it was predicted that the engine receiver at beam down has the significant heat losses of about 900W. These high heat losses were the major hurdles to get the operating temperature (973K) of the heat pipes; hence power could not be generated even during the Beam Down test. Experiments were also performed to find the most suitable Cavity Receiver configuration for maximum solar radiation utilizations by engine receiver. Dimensionless parameter aperture ration (AR=d/D) and aperture

  12. The United Stirling 4-95 and 4-275 Engines I underwater use

    SciTech Connect

    Nilsson, H.

    1983-08-01

    The United Stirling 4-95 and 4-275 well-known engines have been adapted to underwater operation. The 4-95 power module has an output of 20 kW /SUB e/ and 40 kW as heat. The standard 4-95 engine has been modified for a pressurized combustion. The combustion pressure mates with the surrounding water depth at current limits for operational offshore diving. Hence no energy consuming compression or any complex dissolving system for the exhaust gas is required. Increased diving depth can be reached through already established technology. Combustion gas recirculation is used as thermic ballast and for flame temperature control, when using pure oxygen. The 4-275 engine is currently subject to underwater modification utilizing the same technology. This energy module will have an output of 100 kW /SUB e/ and 200 kW as heat. The system will comprise a LOX-storage, thus providing extensive underwater air-independent endurance. Based upon extensive laboratory testing and demonstrations under submerged conditions, the system is now scheduled for field testing and commercial introduction.

  13. Design and fabrication of a long-life Stirling cycle cooler for space application. Phase 3: Prototype model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keung, C.; Patt, P. J.; Starr, M.; Sweet, R. C.; Bourdillon, L. A.; Figueroa, R.; Hartmann, M.; Mcfarlane, R.

    1990-01-01

    A second-generation, Stirling-cycle cryocooler (cryogenic refrigerator) for space applications, with a cooling capacity of 5 watts at 65 K, was recently completed. The refrigerator, called the Prototype Model, was designed with a goal of 5 year life with no degradation in cooling performance. The free displacer and free piston of the refrigerator are driven directly by moving-magnet linear motors with the moving elements supported by active magnetic bearings. The use of clearance seals and the absence of outgassing material in the working volume of the refrigerator enable long-life operation with no deterioration in performance. Fiber-optic sensors detect the radial position of the shafts and provide a control signal for the magnetic bearings. The frequency, phase, stroke, and offset of the compressor and expander are controlled by signals from precision linear position sensors (LVDTs). The vibration generated by the compressor and expander is cancelled by an active counter balance which also uses a moving-magnet linear motor and magnetic bearings. The driving signal for the counter balance is derived from the compressor and expander position sensors which have wide bandwidth for suppression of harmonic vibrations. The efficiency of the three active members, which operate in a resonant mode, is enhanced by a magnetic spring in the expander and by gas springs in the compressor and counterbalance. The cooling was achieved with a total motor input power of 139 watts. The magnetic-bearing stiffness was significantly increased from the first-generation cooler to accommodate shuttle launch vibrations.

  14. A thermoacoustic Stirling heat engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus, S.; Swift, G. W.

    1999-05-01

    Electrical and mechanical power, together with other forms of useful work, are generated worldwide at a rate of about 1012 watts, mostly using heat engines. The efficiency of such engines is limited by the laws of thermodynamics and by practical considerations such as the cost of building and operating them. Engines with high efficiency help to conserve fossil fuels and other natural resources, reducing global-warming emissions and pollutants. In practice, the highest efficiencies are obtained only in the most expensive, sophisticated engines, such as the turbines in central utility electrical plants. Here we demonstrate an inexpensive thermoacoustic engine that employs the inherently efficient Stirling cycle. The design is based on a simple acoustic apparatus with no moving parts. Our first small laboratory prototype, constructed using inexpensive hardware (steel pipes), achieves an efficiency of 0.30, which exceeds the values of 0.10-0.25 attained in other heat engines, with no moving parts. Moreover, the efficiency of our prototype is comparable to that of the common internal combustion engine (0.25-0.40) and piston-driven Stirling engines, (0.20-0.38).

  15. Rebirth of the stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Sternlicht, B.

    1983-01-01

    Revived interest in external combustion is attributed to such advantages as ability to use a variety of energy sources, high system efficiency and low pollution. A relatively high weight-power ratio, which is undesirable in propulsion applications, and manufacturing costs that have not yet been refined are the two remaining technological challenges. A diagram explaining the Stirling cycle is presened. It is revealed that the first-generation automotive engine (MOD I), which is now being tested, has efficiency in most of the operating ranges that exceeds the analytical predictions that were incorporated into the design. The engine's power density has been improved by 35%. MOD II, which is the second-generation engine and represents the conclusion of the program in 1985, is expected to have 50% fuel economy improvement. This is considerably greater than the 30% currently specified, and the engine weight is expected to be about 5 lb/hp, which is comparable to the weight of diesel engines. It is also expected to meet or surpass both the emission and noise standards. It is concluded that whether the automotive industry will choose the Stirling engine or the gas turbine as its prime mover will depend on a variety of factors, of which technology is only one.

  16. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Life Certification Plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rusick, Jeffrey J.; Zampino, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    An Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) power supply is being developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with NASA for potential future deep space science missions. Unlike previous radioisotope power supplies for space exploration, such as the passive MMRTG used recently on the Mars Curiosity rover, the ASRG is an active dynamic power supply with moving Stirling engine mechanical components. Due to the long life requirement of 17 years and the dynamic nature of the Stirling engine, the ASRG project faced some unique challenges trying to establish full confidence that the power supply will function reliably over the mission life. These unique challenges resulted in the development of an overall life certification plan that emphasizes long-term Stirling engine test and inspection when analysis is not practical. The ASRG life certification plan developed is described.

  17. Simple and Clear Proofs of Stirling's Formula

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niizeki, Shozo; Araki, Makoto

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of our article is to show two simpler and clearer methods of proving Stirling's formula than the traditional and conventional ones. The distinction of our method is to use the simple trapezoidal formula.

  18. On the Need for Multidimensional Stirling Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.; Demko, Rikako

    2005-01-01

    Given the cost and complication of simulating Stirling convertors, do we really need multidimensional modeling when one-dimensional capabilities exist? This paper provides a comprehensive description of when and why multidimensional simulation is needed.

  19. Stirling engine research at Argonne National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Holtz, R.E.; Daley, J.G.; Roach, P.D.

    1986-06-01

    Stirling engine research at Argonne National Laboratory has been focused at (1) development of mathematical models and analytical tools for predicting component and engine performance, and (2) experimental research into fundamental heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena occurring in Stirling cycle devices. A result of the analytical effort has been the formation of a computer library specifically for Stirling engine researchers and developers. The library contains properties of structural materials commonly used, thermophysical properties of several working fluids, correlations for heat transfer calculations and general specifications of mechanical arrangements (including various drive mechanisms) that can be utilized to model a particular engine. The library also contains alternative modules to perform analysis at different levels of sophistication, including design optimization. A reversing flow heat transfer facility is operating at Argonne to provide data at prototypic Stirling engine operating conditions under controlled laboratory conditions. This information is needed to validate analytical models.

  20. Heater head for a Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Darooka, D.K.

    1988-09-06

    A heater head is described for a compound Stirling engine modules, each including a displacer cylinder coaxially aligned with the displacer cylinder of the other of the engine modules, a displacer piston mounted for reciprocation in the displacer cylinder.