Menu Close

Are Stirling engines still used?

Are Stirling engines still used?

Stirling engines are energy conversion devices that may be used as prime movers, refrigerating engines or heat pumps. Currently they are used commercially as cryogenic cooling systems and are under development as low noise, low emission automotive engines.

What does a Stirling engine do?

A Stirling cycle engine is a closed cycle regenerative heat engine that operates by cyclically compressing and expanding a gaseous working fluid at different temperatures such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work.

What can I power with a Stirling engine?

Stirling engines can power pumps to move fluids like water, air and gasses. For instance the ST-5 from Stirling Technology Inc. power output of 5 horsepower (3.7 kW) that can run a 3 kW generator or a centrifugal water pump.

Why is hydrogen used in Stirling engines?

Stirling engines typically use helium or hydrogen as their working gas, taking advantage of the high thermal conductivity of these gases. When the displacer piston is close to the top of its stroke, the power piston is rising, thereby compressing the working gas in the compression space (1→2).

Why the Stirling engine is not widely used?

Stirling engines are rarely used for generating electricity. They are basically reciprocating engines and require fairly exotic alloys in their heat exchangers. Although in theory they are fairly efficient they are expensive and bulky.

Who is Stirling Energy Systems?

Stirling Energy Systems, Inc., is operating a six-dish test unit at Sandia National Laboratories and has contracts for full-size power plants. Their construction started in 2008 and will be completed in 2012.

How much power does a Stirling dish/stirling system produce?

The United Stirling 4-95 Mark II engine (four cylinders of 95 cc displacement) uses hydrogen at a maximum gas pressure of 2,900 psi. This engine delivered 25 kW output at 1,000 W/m2 insolation. (Courtesy of Stirling Energy Systems —SES.) California Edison’s 25 kW dish/Stirling system, McDonnell Douglas/Southern California.

How does a Stirling engine work?

The Stirling engine contains a fixed quantity of gas (H2) that is moved back and forth between the hot and the cold ends of the engine. As the gas is moved, it expands and contracts, and this change in volume is used to drive California Edison’s 25 kW dish/Stirling system, McDonnell Douglas/Southern California.

Who is Sterling Energy?

Sterling Energy Sterling currently owns and operates a natural gas gathering and processing system positioned in the Niobrara-DJ Basin, located in Northeast Colorado.

Posted in Blog