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Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Performance Analysis of the Small-Scale α-Type Stirling Engine Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Tools

[+] Author and Article Information
Zbigniew Buliński

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: zbigniew.bulinski@polsl.pl

Ireneusz Szczygieł

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: Ireneusz.szczygiel@polsl.pl

Adam Kabaj

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: adam.kabaj@polsl.pl

Tomasz Krysiński

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: Tomasz.krysinski@polsl.pl

Paweł Gładysz

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: Pawel.gladysz@polsl.pl

Lucyna Czarnowska

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: Lucyna.czarnowska@polsl.pl

Wojciech Stanek

Institute of Thermal Technology,
Silesian University of Technology,
Konarskiego 22,
Gliwice 44-100, Poland
e-mail: wojciech.stanek@polsl.pl

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 15, 2016; final manuscript received August 24, 2017; published online September 28, 2017. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(3), 032001 (Sep 28, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1510; doi: 10.1115/1.4037810 History: Received December 15, 2016; Revised August 24, 2017

This paper presents the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of small-scale α-type Stirling engine. The developed mathematical model comprises of unsteady Reynolds averaged Navier–Stokes set of equations, i.e., continuity, momentum, and energy equations; turbulence was modeled using standard κ–ω model. Moreover, presented numerical model covers all modes of heat transfer inside the engine: conduction, convection, and radiation. The model was built in the framework of the commercial CFD software ANSYS fluent. Piston movements were modeled using dynamic mesh capability in ANSYS fluent; their movement kinematics was described based on the crankshaft geometry and it was implemented in the model using user-defined functions written in C programming language and compiled with a core of the ANSYS fluent software. The developed numerical model was used to assess the performance of the analyzed Stirling engine. For this purpose, different performance measures were defined, including coefficient of performance (COP), exergy efficiency, and irreversibility factor. The proposed measures were applied to evaluate the influence of different heating strategies of the small-scale α-type Stirling engine.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

A numerical mesh of the computational domain of α-type Stirling engine

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Fig. 2

Boundary conditions applied in simulations of α-type Stirling engine

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Fig. 3

The engine volume in m3 (a), the average absolute pressure in Pa (b), and the average temperature in K (c) as functions of a crank angle in rad for single crank revolution

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Fig. 4

Local distribution of relative pressure in Pa (a), velocity magnitude in m/s (b), and the temperature in K inside analyzed engine at the end of gas flow from compression space to expansion space (beginning of expansion process)

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Fig. 5

Local distribution of relative pressure in Pa (a), velocity magnitude in m/s (b), and the temperature in K inside analyzed engine at the end of expansion process (beginning of the gas flow from expansion space to compression space)

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Fig. 6

Local distribution of relative pressure in Pa (a), velocity magnitude in m/s (b), and the temperature in K inside analyzed engine at the end of gas flow from expansion space to compression space (beginning of compression process)

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Fig. 7

Local distribution of relative pressure in Pa (a), velocity magnitude in m/s (b), and the temperature in K inside analyzed engine at the end of compression process (beginning of the gas flow from compression space to expansion space)

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Fig. 8

Pressure–volume diagram of the engine cycle obtained based on the simulation results

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Fig. 9

Temperature–entropy diagram of the engine cycle obtained based on the simulation results

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Fig. 10

Engine cycle work in J (a), engine power in W (b), the coefficient of performance (c), exergy efficiency (d), and irreversibility factor (e) as functions of the rotational speed of the engine

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Fig. 11

Engine cycle work in J (a), irreversibility factor (b), the coefficient of performance (c), and exergy efficiency (d) for different heating/cooling strategies at rotational speeds 250 and 1500 rpm

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Fig. 12

Total heat flow rate in W exchanged with an external heat source and sink during one cycle of the engine operation at rotational speed 250 rpm

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