The Stirling Engine: The Physics Of The Bithley Engine

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CHAPTER 1
1. INTRODUCTION: Stirling engine is an engine that works on the principle of pressure difference caused due to the temperature difference between the two chambers, such that there is a net conversion of heat energy to mechanical work. The Stirling engine is a closed cycle regenerative heat engine in which the working fluid is permanently contained within the system. The air inside the chamber expands due to the heat source and pushes the piston, thus achieving a perpetual motion. The Stirling engine is noted for high efficiency when compared to the steam engines and it has an ability to use almost any heat source. Since the Stirling engine is compatible with various energy sources such as alternative and renewable energy it could be used in the future. Robert Stirling was a Scottish minister who invented the first practical model of a closed cycle engine in 1816 and it was suggested by Fleeming Jenkins in 1884 that all such engines should generally be called as Stirling engines. Like the steam engine, the Stirling engine is traditionally classified as an external combustion engine as all heat transfers takes place inside the chamber. But this idea contradicts as with an internal combustion engine where heat input is by combustion of fuel within itself. Many of the proposed Stirling engine comes under the category of reciprocating engines.

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