Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

3rd International Conference on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection (SEEP), 2009, 12-15 August, Dublin, Ireland, 2009.


The Stirling cycle engine is gaining increasing attention in the current energy market as a clean, quiet and versatile prime mover for use in such situations as solar thermal generation, micro cogeneration and other micro distributed generation situations. A theoretical Stirling cycle engine model is developed. Using a theoretical decoupled engine configuration in which working space swept volume, volume variation, phase angle and dead space ratio are controlled via a black-box electronic controller, a model is developed that is to be used as a tool for analysis of the ideal Stirling cycle engine and the limits on its real world realisation. The theoretical configuration approximates the five–space configuration common in Stirling cycle analysis. It comprises two working spaces and three heat exchangers: hot side, cold side and the regenerator between. The kinematic crank mechanism is replaced with an electronically controlled motor/generator system, with one motor/generator controlling each of the working pistons. Use of stop valves permits flow and non-flow processes inherent in the ideal cycle to be realised. The engine configuration considered here is not intended as a viable prime mover but rather a tool for study of the limitations of the cycle