In this study, the results of simulations generated from different thermodynamic models of Stirling engines are compared, including characterizations of both instantaneous and indicated operative parameters. The aim was to develop a tool to guide the decision-making process regarding the optimization of both the performance and reliability of Stirling engines, such as the 2.9 kW GENOA 03 unit—the focus of this work. The behavior of the engine is characterized using two different approaches: an ideal isothermal model, the simplest of those available, and analysis using the ideal adiabatic model, which is more complex than the first. Some of the results obtained with the referred ideal models deviated considerably from the expected values, particularly in terms of thermal efficiency, so a set of modifications to the ideal adiabatic model are proposed. These modifications, mainly related to both heat transfer and fluid friction phenomena, are intended to overcome the limitations due to the idealization of the engine working cycle, and are expected to generate results closer to the actual behavior of the Stirling engine, despite the increase in the complexity derived from the modelling and simulation processes.
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