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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Science and Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering

PI: James D. Van de Ven

Computational Development of a Liquid-Piston Stirling Engine

Stirling cycle engines typically have a poor power-to-weight ratio that precludes their use in mobile applications despite their high efficiency. The goal of this research is to develop a Stirling engine with a high specific power output as a competing power supply technology for a lightweight, portable rescue spreader. In the first stage of development, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model will be built for a Stirling engine with nonadiabatic cylinders and nonisothermal heat exchangers. Once validated, the model will be adapted to explore a new engine concept based on rotary liquid-ring compressors. A parametric study will be conducted to identify parameters that have the most influence on power density. These results will guide the design of a prototype Stirling engine in future work.

Group Member

Richard Jorgenson, Graduate Student