Adiabatic Losses in Stirling Refrigerators

[+] Author and Article Information
L. Bauwens

The University of Calgary, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Calgary, Alberta, Canada AB T2N 1N4

J. Energy Resour. Technol 118(2), 120-127 (Jun 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2792702 History: Received August 11, 1995; Revised March 12, 1996; Online November 06, 2007


The Stirling cycle has been used very effectively in cryocoolers; but efficiencies relative to the Carnot limit are typically observed to peak for absolute temperature rations of about two, which makes it less suitable for low-lift refrigeration. The adiabatic loss appears to be responsible for poor performance at small temperature differences. In this paper, adiabatic losses are evaluated, for a temperature ratio of 2/3, taking into account the effect of phase angle between pistons, of volume ratio, of the distribution of the dead volume necessary of reduce the volume ration, and of the distribution of displacement between expansion and compression spaces. The study is carried out numerically, using an adiabatic stirling engine model in which cylinder flow is assumed to be stratified. Results show that the best location for the cylinder dead volume is on the compression side. Otherwise, all strategies used to trade off refrigeration for coefficient of performance are found to be roughly equivalent.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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