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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Optimized Piston Motion for an Alpha-Type Stirling Engine

Institut für Physik, Technische Universität Chemnitz, 09107 Chemnitz, Germany
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Entropy 2020, 22(6), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/e22060700
Received: 26 May 2020 / Revised: 16 June 2020 / Accepted: 19 June 2020 / Published: 23 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Finite-Time Thermodynamics)
The Stirling engine is one of the most promising devices for the recovery of waste heat. Its power output can be optimized by several means, in particular by an optimized piston motion. Here, we investigate its potential performance improvements in the presence of dissipative processes. In order to ensure the possibility of a technical implementation and the simplicity of the optimization, we restrict the possible piston movements to a parametrized class of smooth piston motions. In this theoretical study the engine model is based on endoreversible thermodynamics, which allows us to incorporate non-equilibrium heat and mass transfer as well as the friction of the piston motion. The regenerator of the Stirling engine is modeled as ideal. An investigation of the impact of the individual loss mechanisms on the resulting optimized motion is carried out for a wide range of parameter values. We find that an optimization within our restricted piston motion class leads to a power gain of about 50% on average. View Full-Text
Keywords: piston motion optimization; endoreversible thermodynamics; stirling engine; irreversibility; power; efficiency; optimization piston motion optimization; endoreversible thermodynamics; stirling engine; irreversibility; power; efficiency; optimization
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Masser, R.; Khodja, A.; Scheunert, M.; Schwalbe, K.; Fischer, A.; Paul, R.; Hoffmann, K.H. Optimized Piston Motion for an Alpha-Type Stirling Engine. Entropy 2020, 22, 700.

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