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Title page for ETD etd-03102015-154845

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Winkelmann, Anna
Author's Email Address anna.winkelmann@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-03102015-154845
Title Design, Modeling, and Experimental Validation of a Stirling Engine with a Controlled Displacer Piston
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Eric J. Barth Committee Chair
Dr. Alvin Strauss Committee Member
Dr. Michael Goldfarb Committee Member
  • Stirling Engine
  • high energy density power supply
Date of Defense 2015-03-06
Availability unrestricted
This work presents the design, first-principles model, and experimental setup of a Stirling pressurizer. The Stirling pressurizer is a Stirling engine with an independently controlled displacer piston. The directly controlled, loose-fit displacer is actuated with a small linear motor and moves the pre-pressurized working fluid (helium) between the hot and cold side of the sealed engine section; therefore inducing a pressure change. The position of the displacer is the only control input to the first-principles model. The first-principles model is validated with experimental results for different controlled displacer piston motion profiles. Modeled and experimentally measured pressures are compared for average pressures ranging from 10 – 20 bar, and heater head temperatures ranging from 250°C – 500°C. The first-principles model is intended for: 1) the design and sizing of the pressurizer and power piston / power extraction, 2) specification of a displacer piston motion profile to optimize the efficiency and/or power output, and 3) the general design of Stirling devices, beyond the design of the experimental prototype investigated here, through the use of a lumped parameter model with well-defined and measurable parameters. The Stirling pressurizer combined with a power extraction unit is intended to fill the technological gap of a compact, quiet, un-tethered, and high energy density power supply.
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