Stirling engine
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STIRLING ENGINE - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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STIRLING ENGINE. HISTORY. Inventor = Robert Stirling (1790 - 1878) Sought to replace the steam turbines of his days due to frequent explosion caused by unsustainable high pressure killing and injuring workers

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History l.jpg

  • Inventor = Robert Stirling (1790 - 1878)

  • Sought to replace the steam turbines of his days due to frequent explosion caused by unsustainable high pressure killing and injuring workers

  • Invented Stirling engine in 1816 which could not explode and produce more power then th steam engine used.

What is stirling engine l.jpg

  • Device that converts heat energy to mechanical power by alternately compressing and expanding a fixed quantity of working fluid at different temperatures.

  • Regeneration as alternative.

Why stirling engine l.jpg

  • Best teaching and learning for any engineering students device especially in the field of thermodynamics.

  • Unique technology.

  • An innovation with hundreds of application.

  • An innovation with a mission to save the earth.

  • Fuel independency.

Main components l.jpg

  • Power piston – small tightly sealed piston that moves up when the gas inside the engine expands

  • Displacer – larger piston and it is very loose in its cylinder so air can move easily between the heated cooled sections of the engine as the displacer moves up and down

  • These piston move by the action of compression and expansion.

  • Difference in pressure causes the piston to move and produce power.

Working principle l.jpg

  • One side of the engine is continuously heated while the other side is continuously cooled.

  • First, the air moves to the hot side, where it is heated and it expands pushing up on a piston.

  • Then the air moves through the regenerator to the cold side, where it cools off and contracts pulling down on the piston.

  • Temperature change inside the engine produces the pressure change needed to push on the piston and make the engine run.

Efficiency l.jpg

  • Theoretically

  • Stirling engine efficiency = Carnot efficiency

  • Unfortunately working fluid or gas is not ideal this causes the efficiency to be lower than Carnot efficiency.

  • In fact, Stirling engine efficiency depends on

  • Temperature ratio (proportionally)

  • Pressure ratio (inversely proportional)

  • Specific heat ratio (inversely proportional)

Advantages l.jpg

  • Various heat sources (solar, geothermal, nuclear energy, waste heat, biological)

  • Environmental friendly

  • Heat is external and the burning of a fuel-air mixture can be more accurately controlled.

  • Operates at relatively low pressure and thus are much safer than typical steam turbines

  • Less manpower needed to operate any type of commercial Stirling engine.

Applications l.jpg

  • Water pump stations

  • Combined heat and power plant

  • Solar power generation

  • Stirling cyrocoolers

  • Heat pump

  • Marine engines

  • Nuclear power

  • Aircraft engines

  • Micro CHP

Application l.jpg


  • A Stirling engine used for pumping water can be configured so that the water cools the compression space. This is most effective when pumping cold water.

Application13 l.jpg


  • Any Stirling engine will also work in reverse as a heat pump. When a motion is applied to the shaft, a temperature difference appears between the reservoirs.


  • Replacing the steam turbines of the nuclear power plant with Stirling engine might simplify the plant, yield greater efficiency, and reduce the radioactivity by products.

Conclusion l.jpg

  • Unlimited source of heat source

  • Political awareness of green heat and power production.

  • Large market experiencing rapid growth.

  • Many different possible applications.

  • Time to change.