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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

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  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.

    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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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 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.

  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 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. 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

  11. 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.

  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 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.

  5. 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.

  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 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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 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.

  4. 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.

  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, 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  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

    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.

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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.