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Stirling Engine Manual NASA 1983

Stirling Engine Manual NASA 1983
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The DOE Office of Conservation, Division of Transportation Energy Conservation, has established a number of broad programs aimed at reducing highway vehicle fuel consumption. The DOE Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems Program is one such program. This program is directed at the development of the Stirling engine as a possible alternative to the spark-ignition engine. Project Management responsiblity for this project has been delegated by DOE to the NASA-Lewis Research Center. 

Support for the generation of this report was provided by a grant from the Lewis Research Center Stirling Engine Project Office. For Stirling engines to enjoy widespread application and dcceptance, not only must the fundamental operation of such engines be widely understood, but the requisite analytic tools for the simulation, design, evaluation and optimization of Stirling engine hardware must be readily available. The purpose of this design manual is to provide an introduction to Stirling cycle heat engines, to organize and identify the available Stirling engine literature, and to identify, organize, evaluate and, in so far as possible, compare non- proprietary Stirling engine design methodologies. As such, the manual then represents another step in the long process of making available comprehensive, well verified, economic-to-use, Stirling engine analytic programs. 

Two different fully described Stirling engines are presented. These not only have full engine dimensions and operating conditions but also have power outputs and efficiencies for a range of operating conditions. The results of these two engine tests can be used for evaluation of non-proprietary computation procedures. Evaluation of partially described Stirling engines begins to reveal that some of the early but modern air engines have an interesting combination of simplicity and efficiency. These show more attractive possibilities in today's world of uncertain fuel oil supply than they did 20 years ago when they were developed. The theory of Stirling engine is presented starting from simple cycle analysis. Important conclusions from cycle analysis are: l) compared to an engine with zero unswept gas volume (dead volume), the power available from an engine with dead volume is reduced proportional to the ratio of the dead volume to the max- imum gas volume, and 2) the more realistic adiabatic spaces can result in as much as a 40% reduction in power over the idealized isothermal spaces. Engine design methods are organized as first order, second order and third order with increased order number indicating increased complexity. First order design methods are principally useful in preliminary systems studies to evaluate how well-optimized engines may perform in a given heat engine application. Second order design methods start with a cycle analysis and incorporate engine loss relationships that apply generally for the full engine cycle. This method assumes that the different processes going on in the engine interact very little.

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