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The myth of the high-efficiency external-combustion Stirling engine

Riley, Paul Howard

Authors

Paul Howard Riley paul.riley@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

The reported discrepancy between theory and experiment for external combustion Stirling engines is explained by the addition of thermal resistance of the combustion gasses to the standard Carnot model. In these cases, the Stirling engine ideal efficiency is not as is normally reported equal to the Carnot cycle efficiency but is significantly lower. A new equation for ideal Stirling engine efficiency when the heat is obtained through external combustion without pre-heating the air, is presented and results for various fuels tabulated. The results show that petrol and diesel, internal combustion engines (Otto cycle) have a higher ideal efficiency than the Stirling engine. When comparing thermoacoustic engines heated by wood, efficiency should not be quoted as a percentage of the Carnot efficiency, but against a figure 48% lower than Carnot. The effect is not seen with electrically heated rigs, solar or nuclear fission heated engines.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 17, 2015
Journal Engineering
Print ISSN 1947-3931
Electronic ISSN 1947-394X
Publisher Scientific Research Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 12
APA6 Citation Riley, P. H. (2015). The myth of the high-efficiency external-combustion Stirling engine. Engineering, 7(12), https://doi.org/10.4236/eng.2015.712068
DOI https://doi.org/10.4236/eng.2015.712068
Keywords Carnot cycle; Stirling cycle; Rankine cycle; Otto Cycle; Thermoacoustic; Heat-engine, External combustion; Internal combustion; Combustion-thermal-resistance
Publisher URL http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=62006
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0





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