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Open AccessArticle

Comparison of the Net Work Output between Stirling and Ericsson Cycles

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, Rua Luís Reis Santos, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
2
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, 2000 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1H 7K4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2018, 11(3), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11030670
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 16 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
In this paper, we compare Stirling and Ericsson cycles to determine which engine produces greater net work output for various situations. Both cycles are for external heat engines that utilize regenerators, where the difference is the nature of the regeneration process, which is constant volume for Stirling and constant pressure for Ericsson. This difference alters the performance characteristics of the two engines drastically, and our comparison reveals which one produces greater net work output based on the thermodynamic parameters. The net work output equations are derived and analysed for three different scenarios: (i) equal mass and temperature limits; (ii) equal mass and pressure or volume; and (iii) equal temperature and pressure or volume limits. The comparison is performed by calculating when both cycles produce equal net work output and then analysing which one produces greater net work output based on how the parameters are varied. In general, the results demonstrate that Stirling engines produce more net work output at higher pressures and lower volumes, and Ericsson engines produce more net work output at lower pressures and higher volumes. For certain scenarios, threshold values are calculated to illustrate precisely when one cycle produces more net work output than the other. This paper can be used to inform the design of the engines and to determine when a Stirling or Ericsson engine should be selected for a particular application. View Full-Text
Keywords: Stirling cycle; Ericsson cycle; heat engines; external heat engines; thermodynamics Stirling cycle; Ericsson cycle; heat engines; external heat engines; thermodynamics
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Costa, R.F.; MacDonald, B.D. Comparison of the Net Work Output between Stirling and Ericsson Cycles. Energies 2018, 11, 670.

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