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Joao Vitor Brioschi Cibien



Prof. Rory Monaghan

Numerical optimization for the volumes of a 1 kWe power Stirling engine
using Schmidt analysis
1. Overall objective
The objective of this project is to develop a computer code to evaluate the optimum
volumes for a 1 kWe Stirling engine based on Schmidt equations.
2. Methodology
There will be a literature review about Stirling cycle and engine this kind of engine
industry, Schmidt analysis and optimization techniques. A MatLab code, using the
optimization toolbox, will calculate the optimum geometry of a 1 kWe power Stirling engine,
e.g. internal volumes, based on the working conditions, like mean pressure, temperatures and
3. State-of-the-art assessment in Stirling engines
The Stirling engine is a mechanical machine that works in a regenerative and closed
thermodynamic cycle, with compression and expansion of a working fluid at different
temperatures levels. It is an external combustion engine as it needs just heat to work.
Therefore, the Stirling engine has a high fuel flexibility with a better control of greenhouse
gas emissions. In addition, the Stirling cycle has a high thermodynamic efficiency. Despite all
these benefits, this kind of engine has not reach yet commercialization, especially because of
its cost. There are also problems about the technology, such as speed control, sealing and heat

The most popular application for a Stirling engine are residential combined heat and
power, and small commercial distributed generation. In 2002, companies had Stirling
prototypes sized 1 to 25 kWe and costing from $2,000 to $36,000/kWe, which were expected
to fall to less than $1,000/kWe with scale economies 1. Nowadays, ADIs Dual Shell Engine,
from ADI Thermal, already costs $1,000/kWe and the company aims to reduce it to
ADIs engine model has 45% efficiency, which means an improvement of 25% over
other existing models, and it is 50% better than current micro-turbine engines 2. Sunpower
Inc., another company, has free-piston Stirling engines up to 7.5 kWe with efficiency up to
40% and 10 years lifetime without maintenance3.
4. Timeline

Reports of each literature review will be written until the 12 th of February, 4th of

March, and 8th of April;

The MatLab scripts will be delivered at the 19th of February, the 11th of March, and

15th of April.
The final report will be complete at the 22nd of April.

[1] Stirling Engine Assessment, EPRI, Palo Alto, CA: 2002. 1007317.
[2] (2016, January 31). Retrieved from ADI Thermal:
[3] (2016, January 31). Retrieved from Sunpower Inc.: