Project Title: Stirling Engine Project
Project Advisor: John LaRue
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing new methods of energy production for our homes, businesses, industry and transportation, is becoming more and more critical for our society. We must begin to take a serious look at a variety of ways to produce clean energy to offset our huge reliance on fossil fuels. A Stirling engine is non-polluting and can provide power from any type of heat source, which means that it can run on renewable solar or geothermal sources as well as the combustion of hydrogen and traditional fossil fuels.
The purpose of this project is to either design and build or to improve an existing small Stirling engine that is powered from concentrated solar energy. One of the key objectives with a Stirling engine is to control the flow of heat. It is important to maximize the amount of heat due to irradiation from the sun onto the high temperature portion of the cylinder while minimizing the amount of heat into the low temperature portion of the cylinder. Thus, one goal of this project is to control the flow of heat. A second goal is to perform a thermodynamic analysis using the Schmidt analysis in order to estimate the size of the engine needed to meet a specified power requirement. The third goal is to characterize an existing Fresnel solar concentrator to determine the solar power that can be supplied to the hot cylinder of the Stirling engine and to maximize the temperature of the working fluid in the hot cylinder.
Figure 1. Photo of Stirling Engine