This paper presents the results of calculation studies of a free-piston Stirling engine. They
were done using our proposed method of calculation, which combines adiabatic calculation of
the engine's thermodynamic parameters with dynamics of the displacer and working piston
oscillations.

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This paper presents the results of calculation studies of a free-piston Stirling engine. They
were done using our proposed method of calculation, which combines adiabatic calculation of
the engine's thermodynamic parameters with dynamics of the displacer and working piston
oscillations.

© All Rights Reserved

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Research Article

NIKOLAY ANATOLYEVICH KHRIPACH, DENIS ALEKSEEVICH IVANOV, LEV YURIEVICH LEZHNEV

AND FEDOR ANDREEVICH SHUSTROV *

Moscow Polytechnic University, 107023, Moscow, st. Bolshaya Semenovskaya, 38, Russia

Key words: Free-piston Stirling Engine, Frequency, Damping, Self-oscillation, Linear electrical machine

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the results of calculation studies of a free-piston Stirling engine. They

were done using our proposed method of calculation, which combines adiabatic calculation of

the engine's thermodynamic parameters with dynamics of the displacer and working piston

oscillations.

The purpose of our work is to determine the basic thermodynamic parameters of a free-piston

Stirling engine, parameters of the displacer/working piston oscillation system and the range of

payload changes, which collectively make it possible to create the necessary conditions for the

self-oscillation process in the engine.

We demonstrate the principles of determining the FPSE set point. The obtained characteristics of

the self-oscillation process are the basis for development and fine-tuning of active control systems

and an algorithm of the engine operation.

The obtained results facilitate the choice of external load devices that would

be well coordinated with the dynamic system of the FPSE. The possible load

devices include power generators, pumps and compressors with linear action.

external feed of heat (EEFH) to be one of the promising

Now-a-days, small-scale and distributed energy

solutions for development of power generators for

generation can be considered as a reasonable and

small-scale, distributed and autonomous energy

timely development of the traditional energy sector,

supply.

which is characterized by large and high-power

generation facilities, usually located in the areas Using EEFH in the energy balance of existing

with the highest density of electricity consumers. production facilities would increase their efficiency

The structure of the traditional energy grids causes through utilization of the waste heat produced by

tariff growth because of unavoidable long distance various technological processes. Also, the multifuel

transmission losses and local electricity shortages, capacity of EEFH allows to use various organic fuels,

which reduce the regional competitive value and including local fuels.

deter investments. There are two main structural types of EEFH: engines

Small-scale and distributed power generation can with a drive mechanism and free-piston Stirling

largely solve such problems by generating electricity engines (FPSEs). The advantages and drawbacks of

in close proximity to the consumer. both EEFH types are well known (Walker and Senft,

1985).

This type of generation facilities should be based

on reliable thermal engines that offer low operating Here we present a calculation method and results

costs, high fuel efficiency and low emissions. of calculation studies of an FPSE with power output

53 SHUSTROV ET AL.

of about 1 kW, designed for use in micro-generation (Urieli, 1977) presents a unidimensional model, based

power units (micro-CHP) for joint generation of on differential equations of continuity, momentum,

thermal and electric energy. Important optimization and energies of the working fluid, regenerator and

parameters for this type of power plants are acoustic walls of the heat exchanger.

and vibration effects on the environment, fuel

(Berchowitz, 1978) proposed a development of the

efficiency and minimal operating costs.

(Urieli, 1977) model, offering several refinements,

The success of development of an efficient FPSE such as using the losses caused by viscous dissipation

depends on the accuracy of calculation studies that in the working fluid. The resulting computational

must be done using mathematical models of the model allows to investigate various thermodynamic

working cycle and dynamics of the displacer and and gas dynamic processes that take place in the

working piston oscillations. engine.

FPSE without a mechanical connection between the (Urieli and Berchowitz, 1984) developed an analytical

displacer and the working piston is two oscillatory solution based on a linearized thermodynamic model

systems, each consisting of a mass, a spring and a for calculating engine characteristics, which offers a

damping component. good compromise between simplicity and accuracy.

Different combinations of operational oscillation (Berchowitz, 1986) presents a second-level

frequency and phase displacement are supported computational model, built for preliminary design

by mechanical or gas springs, which should ensure and optimization of systems and FPSEs as a whole.

stability of the system's oscillations. Unstable

Another paper (Formosa and Despesse, 2013)

oscillatory motion halts the engine or causes an proposes an analytical thermodynamic model that

undesirable piston stroke increase. The joint motion takes into account heat losses and parameters which

of the displacer and the working piston must also determine the efficiency of the heater, regenerator

maintain a stable thermodynamic cycle. and cooler.

Non-linearity of the FPSE oscillatory system is (Redlich and Berchowitz, 1985) solve problems

caused by losses of the working fluid pressure in related to linear dynamics and stability of FPSEs

the inner chambers and changes of the gas spring

using fundamentals of the control theory. The

characteristics. analysis of stability is based on studying the roots of

The need to create a mathematical model and do a characteristic equation.

calculation studies is explained by the fact, that there The paper (Rogdakis, et al., 2004) presents a method

are not enough dynamic models at present that would based on integral management of FPSE dynamics.

allow to simulate the operation of the FPSE in steady Standard management tools, including the root

and transient modes and provide high accuracy in locus, are used to obtain fundamental information

comparison with the actual characteristics of the about the dynamic behavior of the system. The

engine. proposed approach allows to match the power

The data that can be obtained using mathematical of the FPSE with an external load, for example, a

models at the early stages of FPSE development are linear electric generator and various pneumatic and

sufficient to set technical parameters of an automatic hydraulic devices.

engine control system. It should be borne in mind (Ulusoy, 1994) presents a study of FPSE carried out

that it is not possible to create an effective FPSE using nonlinear analysis and numerical modeling.

control system without detailed information on the It is established that nonlinear spring stiffness,

dynamic characteristics of the engine. damping load and pressure losses along the heat

The computational methods for determining the exchange contour are sufficient to maintain stable

operation parameters of FPSEs first appeared and oscillatory motion of the displacer and the working

piston.

began to develop in the 1970s after the W.T. Beal's

invention of a free piston Stirling engine (Beale, The paper (Formosa, 2011) presents a combined

1969). computational model of an FPSE, which combines

thermodynamic and dynamic models with a

Numerous studies by many authors tackle the

common iterative mechanism.

problems of FPSE modeling and design. Among

other things they investigate stability and frequency The main focus of (Shrestha, 2012) is set on the

characteristics of the engines. study of boundary cycles in FPSE, used to model

CALCULATION STUDIES OF A FREE-PISTON STIRLING ENGINE

54

studies allow to determine the parameters that lead

General description of FPSE

FPSEs to the Hopf instability state.

In this paper we consider a beta-configuration FPSE,

(Riofrio, et al., 2008) presents a methodology for

the computational scheme of which is shown in

designing an FPSE with power output of up to 1 kW.

(Fig. 1). The displacer and the working piston (WP) of

This approach is based on the system's dynamics

mass md and mp, respectively, are moving elements

and control theory, where the equations of state

of the engine.

are replaced by elements of the dynamic system

simulation. The engine has an internal space filled with the

working fluid, which is divided into 5 chambers:

(Choudhary, 2009) considers quasi-stable

the compression Vc and expansion Ve chamber

dynamic systems of FPSEs with alpha- and beta-

and other chambers formed by the elements of the

configurations and a double-action engine, which heat exchange circuit, which includes a heater Vh,

makes these systems sensitive to disturbances. This a regenerator Vreg and a cooler Vk. There are 2 extra

paper demonstrates a search for the solution of a chambers forming the gas spring (GS) of the displacer

dynamical system using the Hopf bifurcation. and the buffer chamber (BC) of the working piston.

(Begot, et al., 2013) presents an analysis of stability The displacer and the working piston (WP) have no

of an FPSE, performed using eigenvalues of the mechanical contact with each other and oscillate in

matrix used in the calculation model. The influence the internal space of the engine.

of operational and design parameters on the The displacer and the WP move together due to the

characteristics and stability of the engine has also action of inertia forces, gas springs and the pressure

been determined. difference between the compression and expansion

chambers.

(Saturno, 1994) considers ideal isothermal analysis,

adiabatic analysis of the Stirling cycle, and dynamic The working piston of the engine is connected to a

calculation of the engine. The studies were divided linear electrical machine (LEM), which creates an

into experimental and analytical parts. In the course external load on the engine and generates electricity.

of the experimental analysis, the parameters and Calculated dependencies

conditions necessary for controlling the operation

of the engine were determined. It was followed by The linearized mathematical model is based on

development of three nonlinear models used to the data presented in (Urieli and Berchowitz,

1984). Several assumptions have been made in the

predict the behavior of the engine.

(Jang, et al., 2016) proposes a new method for

determining physical parameters of an FPSE running

at a given frequency. According to the method, the

engine's dynamics is described as a transfer function

with a feedback mechanism and a simplified Nyquist

stability criterion is used to determine the operating

conditions of the engine.

(Sim and Kim, 2015) demonstrates a method for

determining the performance of an FPSE, based on

a linear and nonlinear dynamic analytical models,

which takes into account external load on the engine.

Linear analysis in this paper utilizes the root locus

technique, and is used to determine the FPSE set

point.

(Sim and Kim, 2016) presents a method for estimating

the damping coefficients, using calculated models

of linear and nonlinear FPSE dynamics. The

computational model defines the operating range

of linear damping coefficients, which form the

boundary cycles using a root locus. Fig. 1 Computational scheme of an FPSE.

SHUSTROV ET AL.

55 SHUSTROV ET AL.

SHUSTROV ET AL.

mathematical

- The processes model:

inside the SHUSTROV ET AL.

compression andisothermal

and expansion chambers are Wb areanddetermined

the using the dependencies

presented

isothermal in thethepaper (Scheck, 1988):

--processes

The processes

The processes inside

in the GSinsidethethe

and BC compression

are adiabatic; and expansion

compression chambers are

and expansion and

- The processes inside the compression and expansion chambers are isothermal 1 0.5

and the 1.5

chambers areGS

processes in the isothermal and the processes in the GS =

and BC are adiabatic; Wd γ (γ − 1) π ⋅ kd ⋅ f ⋅ ps 0 ⋅ Tws ⋅ r∆2Vd As (4)

processes in the GS and BC are adiabatic; 2

and

- TheBC areofadiabatic;

motion the displacer and the working piston is sinusoidal;

- The motion of the displacer and the working piston is sinusoidal; 1

γ 0.5 ( γ − 1)

1.5

--The

Themotion

motionof theof the displacer

displacer and the

and the working working

piston piston

is sinusoidal; Wb

= π ⋅ kb ⋅ f ⋅ pb 0 ⋅ Twb ⋅ r∆2Vb Ab

- The mean pressure of the working fluid inside the engine and pressure 2drop in the heat

is sinusoidal;

-exchangers

The mean can

pressure of the working fluid inside the engine and pressure drop

be linearized; Where k in thekheat

and are the stiffness of the GS and BC;

- The mean pressure of the working fluid inside the engine and pressure drop in dthe heat b

-exchangers

The mean can pressure

be linearized;of the working fluid inside the

exchangers can be linearized; f is the frequency of the engine oscillation;

engine and pressure

- The regenerator is ideal; drop in the heat exchangers can

be linearized;

- The regenerator is ideal;

- The regenerator is ideal;

ps0 and pb0 are mean pressure in GS and BC;

- The working fluid flows unidirectionally;

- The regenerator is ideal; Tws and Twb are mean temperature of the inner wall

--The

Theworking

workingfluid

fluidflows

flowsunidirectionally;

unidirectionally;

of GS and BC;

--The

Thereworking

are no heatfluid

losses.flows unidirectionally;

--There

Thereare

areno

noheat

heatlosses.

losses. rΔVd and rΔVb are the ratio of GS and BC;

- There are no heat losses.

It is accepted that the differential pressure Ʀp between the expansion and compression

A and A are the average areas of the inner surface

ItIt isisisaccepted

Itchambers accepted

accepted that

is written that

thatthe

the

as: the differential

differential

differential pressureƦpƦp

pressure pressure

between

between Δpexpansion

thethe

expansion s and

and b

compression

compression

of the GS and BC.

between

chambers the expansion

chambersisiswritten

writtenas:

as: and compression chambers

is'pwritten

p p

as: (1) The damping coefficients in the displacer GS - CHd

e c

''pp ppe ppc

∆p = ep e −c p c (1) (1)

(1) and the WP buffer chamber - CHp are determined by

Assuming that Ʀp is predominantly associated with damping forces in the elements of the heat −2

the following dependencies:

Assuming

Assuming that that

Ʀp is Δp is predominantly

predominantly associated with associated

damping forceswith in the elements of W the heat

1

Assuming that Ʀpwe

exchange circuit,

damping forces in

is predominantly

maketheanelements

associated with damping forces in the

expression: of the heat exchange = d of thexdheat

elements

C Hd (5)

exchange circuit, we make an expression: πωd 2 max

exchange circuit, we make

circuit, we make an expression: an expression:

−2

& & Wb 1

Ad 'p C& x C &

d C p xp& x (2) C = x p max

Ad 'p C d dx& p (2) (2) Hp πω

p 2

Ad 'p C d dxd C p x p

p

(2)

The basic equation of FPSE dynamics, compiled on

The basicequation

The equation of FPSE dynamics, compiled on the basis of Newton's Where

the Newton's secondωdandand

law andω inp are the angular velocity of the

thebasic

basis of theofNewton'sFPSE dynamics, compiled

second lawonand the basis

in theof the

view second law in

The basic

theview equation

viewofof our of FPSE

representation dynamics, compiled

of pressure lossloss

on

andand

the basis

damping of the

forces, displacer

Newton's

is written second and

law

as follows: the

and in WP;

of

the our representation

our representation of pressure

of pressure loss and

damping damping

forces, is written as follows:

the view of our representation of pressure loss and damping forces, is written xdmaxasandfollows:

xpmax are the maximum displacement of the

forces, is written as follows:

mm

&&&& & &

x

d dd d

x C C x x

C C C C &&

x

p pp p d d HdHdd d r rc c d d x

A

A p p

p

p displacer and the WP.

& & &

&

md dx C p x p C d C Hd xd Ar p c p d (3) (3)

(3) Calculation of pressure

(3)

& &&

mmp &

x A p p C C CHp &&

x

palt C Hpp&x p

p p px pA p cp c bpb palt

A linearized expression for determining the WF

& &

are the valuesx of the displacer and

m p px A p p c pb C palt C Hp

Where m and m

p pressure change in the compression chamber pc

Where p and

Wheremm

p md are the

and

d values of the displacer and WP mass;

m are the values of the displacer and WP mass;

during a cycle with an average WF pressure pmean is

WP mass;

p d

written as an abbreviated Taylor series expansion:

Where mp and md are the values of the displacer and WP mass;

xp and xd are the displacements of the displacer and the WP;

xxpp and

and xdxare

are the displacements of the displacer and

d the displacements of the displacer and the WP;

pc =

A p x p − A − Ar x

pmean 1 −

d d A x

− d d

( )

(6)

the

xp andWP;

xd are the displacements of the displacer and the WP; ST STh

Ad, Ap and Ar are the cross-sectional areas of the displacer, WP and the displacer GS; k

Ad, Ap and Ar are the cross-sectional areas of the displacer, WP and the displacer GS;

Ad, Ap and Ar are the cross-sectional areas of the

A,d,pA, ppand

pdisplacer,

WhereGS;the S parameter, which depends on the

Ar are the cross-sectional areas of the displacer, WP and the displacer

d and pb are the pressure of the working fluid inside the expansion and compression

e c

WP and the displacer GS;

pe, pc, pd and pb are the pressure of the working fluid inside the expansion volume of internal spaces of the elements of the

and compression

chambers, in GS and BC;

p e,, p

p c, ,pp

pchambers,

e c

d and

d

and

in pb p

GS areare

and

b

the

BC;the pressure

pressure of the

of the working working fluid

fluid inside heat

the expansion exchange

and circuit and the dead volume of the

compression

inside

chambers, the expansion

in GS and BC; and compression chambers, in compression and expansion chambers, is calculated

GS and BC; by the formula:

Ap x pc Vk Vreg Vh Ad xde

Cpalt is viscous damping by the LEM; S

= + + + + (7)

Tk Tk Treg Th Th

CHp and CHd are coefficients of the viscous damping

in the gas springs of the displacer and the WP. Where xpc and xde are the gaps in the compression

and expansion chambers at corresponding positions

Hysteresis losses in gas springs of the working piston and the displacer at the top

Theoretical hysteresis losses Wd and Wb, which occur extreme points;

in the displacer GS and BC of the working piston Vh, Vreg and Vk are internal volumes of the heater,

respectively, are represented as forces of viscous regenerator and cooler, respectively;

damping applied to the displacer and the WP. Wd

CALCULATION STUDIES OF A FREE-PISTON STIRLING ENGINE

56

Th, Тreg and Tk are the WF temperature in the heater, Where pd and pb are the average pressure in the

regenerator and cooler, respectively. displacer GS and the working piston BC;

In this case, the WF temperature Тreg in the regenerator Vd and Vb are the average volume of the displacer GS

is defined as a logarithmic average: and the working piston BC.

Th − Tk

Treg = (8) Pressure losses in the heat exchange circuit elements

T

ln h

Tk All elements of the heat exchange circuit have

internal resistance, which causes loss of pressure as

The average WF pressure pmean during the cycle is

the WF flows through. Determining the pressure loss

determined taking into account the mass of WF - mg

requires to investigate the processes of WF motion

and the gas constant R:

inside the engine's heat exchange circuit.

mg R (9)

pmean = The WF motion is caused by changes of the volume

S

of the compression chambers Vc and expansion of Ve

Pressure in the gas springs

in time. The volumetric flow rate of WF through the

The volumes of the displacer GS - Vd and the working heat exchange circuit is calculated as the difference

piston BC - Vb change according to the adiabatic law between Vc and Ve:

and depend on the position of the displacer and the

WP: V = Ap x p − (2 Ad − Ar )xd (14)

Despite the fact that the conditions of WF flow

Vd = Vd 0 − Ar xd (10)

through the heat exchange circuit of the engine

V p = Vb 0 − Ap x p change cyclically, we use standard expressions to

determine the friction loss coefficient Cf along the

Where Vd0 and Vb0 are the volumes of GS and BC in length of the pipeline for different values of the

the median position of the displacer and the WP. Reynolds criterion:

Based on the assumption that the motion of the 64 (15)

if Re ≤ 2000;

displacer and the working piston is sinusoidal, the Cf = Re

-0.25

following expressions are used to determine the 0.316Re if Re > 2000

coordinates of the displacer - xd and the WP - xp: Taking into account the head loss coefficient khL,

which depends on the configuration of the flow

xd = xd max eiωt (11)

i (ωt +ϕ )

channel, including expansions and narrowings of

x p = x p max e the channel, the pressure drop is calculated by the

where φ is the phase displacement between the formula:

ρu

2

displacer and the WP. L

∆p C f + khL

= (16)

d 2

Thus, the change of WF pressure inside the gas Where L is the length of the calculated channel;

spring is written as:

−γ d is the hydraulic diameter of the channel;

Ar (12)

pd pmean 1 −

V x

=

ρ and u are the density and speed of the WF.

d0 d

−γ To linearize the expression (16), an equivalent

Ap linear damping parameter Ceq is introduced, which

pb pmean 1 −

V x p

=

b0 dissipates this energy due to the pressure losses.

The stiffness values of GS - kd and BC - kb are Thus, the pressure losses, expressed through Ceq, are

calculated taking into account the properties of the determined by the formula:

gas used in the gas spring, which are taken into

account by the specific heat ratio of the gas γ = cp/cv ∆p =Ceq u (17)

(Walker and Senft, 1985): In this case, the Ceq coefficient is calculated with the

γpd A 2 help of an expression that uses the maximum WF

kd = r

(13) speed umax:

Vd

γpb Ap2 4 L (18)

=Ceq ρ umax C f + k hL

kb = 3π d

Vb

4 § L ·

C eq Uu max ¨ C f k hL ¸ (18)

3S © d ¹

The total value of the WF pressure losses in the heat exchange circuit of the FPSE is determined

by the following expression:

57 SHUSTROV ET AL.

> @

The total value of the WF pressure losses in theª heat engine that remain constant throughout the engine

· 1 º

exchange

'p 6

4 &

circuit

Vmax Aof

&

p xthe

p FPSE &

2 Ad isAdetermined

r xd ¦ by i

i h, r , k « © f

§

« Uthe

¨C

L

k hL ¸ and» the damping coefficients

operation, (19) D, which

3S expression:

following ¬ ddepends ¹ i onAi2the

¼» pressure losses, engine frequency,

stroke and phase angle between the displacer and

L 1

Vmax A p x p − ( 2 Ad − Ar ) xd ⋅ ∑ ρi C f + khL ⋅

4

=∆pΣ the WP, are determined according to the following

Where3π the expression to find i =the

h,r ,k maximum

d WF 2

i Aflow rate, in which the indices i = h, r, k

i formulas (Urieli, 1984):

correspond

to the heater, regenerator and cooler, is represented

(19) as: 2

Ap pmean 1 γ

Where the expression to find the maximum WF flow K pp = − + ;

m 2p 2 Tk S Vb 0

&

rate, in which2 2

the indices i = h, r, kcorrespond

to the

Vmax Z A p x p max 2 2 Ad Ar x d max A p x p max cos M 2 Ad Ar x d max (20)

heater, regenerator and cooler, is represented as:

Ap pmean Ad Ad − Ar

2 2 K pd

= − + ;

Viscous 2 2

Vmax ω A pdamping

= (

x p max − 2 2 Aof ) (

the displacer and working piston )

d − Ar xd max A p x p max cos φ + 2 Ad − Ar xd max m p S Th Tk

(20)

Equations (2) and (19) make it possible to compute the dependences 1for A

r Ap pmean the viscous

calculating

Viscous damping of the displacer and working K dp = − ;

damping

piston coefficients of the displacer - C d and the working piston -mCdp , T

using

k Sthe coefficient B

for simplicity:

Equations (2) and (19) make it possible to compute A A −A

A p r A

the dependences for calculating the viscous damping K pd = − r mean d − d +γ r ;

coefficients md+ C STh

C palt STk Vd 0

C p BA A pof the displacer - Cd and the working Hp

piston - Cdp, using the coefficient B for simplicity: (21)

D pp = −

mp

;

C p = BAd A p (21) D pd = 0

C d BAd ( 2 Ad Ar )

(22) ;

Cd =

− BAd (2 Ad − Ar ) (22) Cp

Ddp = ;

4 & ª Ui § L · º (23) md

B Vmax ¦ « ¨C k hL ¸ » (23)

3S i h ,r , k « A 2 © f d ¹ »

¬ i i ¼

The net mechanical power of the engine is determined

= Ddd

md

1

Cd − C Hd .( )

for

The the

net angular

mechanicalvelocity

powerω ofandthethe maximum

engine WP

is determined for the angular velocity ǚ and the

displacement xpmax. We take into account the damping METHOD AND CALCULATION ALGORITHM

maximum WP

coefficient Cpalt,displacement

which simulates xpmaxresistance

. We take from

into account

the the damping coefficient Cpalt, which

The main goal of our calculation studies is to solve

LEM side,resistance

simulates accordingfrom to the

thefollowing

LEM side,formula:

according to the following formula:

the system of differential equations (25) and analyze

1 (24) the dynamics and stability of the self-oscillatory

Pm = C paltω 2 x 2p max process in the FPSE.

12

Pm C paltZ 2 x 2p max (24)

We took the SPIKE engine (this abbreviation stands

2 calculate the electric power of the FPSE based

We can

power plant taking into account the obtained value for "Sunpower 1 kW Engine") as the prototype and

Pm and efficiency of the available LEM. used its known operation parameters to simplify the

calculation. The formulas presented above are used

Stiffness and damping matrix for calculation and the operating parameters of the

The dynamics of the oscillatory system of the FPSE, SPIKE engine are used as the initial data (Berchowitz,

which includes a mass, a gas spring and a damper, 1986).

is written in the form of a system of differential The purpose of the calculation studies is to determine

equations: the set point of the engine, where its self-oscillations

xp are stable. The set point is determined by a complex

xp

K pp K pd D pp D pd xd (25) of parameters including the mass of the displacer

⋅

and WP, phase angle, thermodynamic parameters of

xd K dp K dd Ddp Ddd x p the operating cycle and internal volume of the heat

exchange circuit elements.

xd Determining the engine set point makes it possible to

The stiffness coefficients K, which depends on the calculate the operating frequency of oscillations and

fixed geometric and operating parameters of the the value of the LEM side damping load coefficient

CALCULATION STUDIES OF A FREE-PISTON STIRLING ENGINE

58

computed using the Cpalt coefficient. [X ] = [M ][X ];

An iterative calculation algorithm, in which the

unknown parameters are the position of the displacer 0 0 1 0

and the WP, phase angle and engine's operating 0 0 0 1

frequency, makes good sense for optimization [ M ] = K pp K pd D pp Ddp

of existing FPSE designs or development of new K K dd Ddp Ddd

engines. dp

In this case, the K and D coefficients in the system Next, four eigenvalues of the matrix [M] are

of equations are first determined using a preliminary calculated, which enable us to determine the engine

combination of engine oscillation frequency, phase set point. Thus, analysis of the eigenvalues makes

angle and stroke of the displacer and WP. The it possible to get an idea of the FPSE oscillations

calculation yields refined values of these parameters stability.

and the process is repeated until the preset value of

result imprecision is reached. It is known that two conditions must be met to

ANALYSIS OF DYNAMICS AND STABILITY maintain the self-oscillation process.

Analysis of FPSE dynamics and stability is generally 1) The first pair of eigenvalues should be two

a linear analysis of eigenvalues of its state matrix. imaginary parts of the eigenvalues in which the real

The purpose of the linear analysis is to determine the part is zero. In this case, a boundary cycle is formed

operating frequency of the engine oscillations with and these conditions define the set point of the

the help of a root locus, created for different values engine's self-oscillating system.

of the LEM-side damping load coefficient Cpalt. It is

assumed that the external load applied to the WP 2) The second pair of the eigenvalues must have two

from an electric generator or another mechanical negative real parts, which must be large enough to

device is a linear damper. ensure a shorter transient time.

The damping processes that occur during FPSE

operation are divided into internal and external The process of determining the FPSE set point consists

processes. Internal damping is a linear damping in analyzing the eigenvalues obtained with the Cpalt

with displacer Cd and a working piston Cp damping coefficient, which is changed within an established

coefficients. It characterizes numerically the losses range. The obtained eigenvalues enable us to plot a

caused by relative motion of the WF flow between graph allowing to check visually the existence of the

the cylinder and the pistons of the engine. External engine set point, which is the point of intersection of

damping, which includes the damping load from the limit path with an imaginary axis. In this case the

electric generators or other mechanical devices, is real part of the eigenvalue is zero and the imaginary

represented in this paper by the Cpalt coefficient. part is the angular velocity, used to determine the

frequency of the engine oscillations.

Long-time stable operation of an FPSE without any

significant changes of the external load requires RESULTS

the displacer and WP oscillations to form a self-

oscillation process, which creates internal and The calculation studies determined the engine

external conditions that support the oscillations. set point and the corresponding value of the Cpalt

In order to estimate the conditions capable of coefficient. The resulting data made it possible to

supporting the process of self-oscillation, we write a calculate the oscillation frequency and mechanical

system of equations that includes a spatial matrix of power of the FPSE, which were further used in

states [M]. comparison with similar parameters of the SPIKE

engine, chosen to evaluate the adequacy of the

The equation of state for the dynamic system of an

calculation studies.

FPSE (25) is written in the following form:

x from the matrix [M] while the Cpalt coefficient changes

[X ] = d ; in the range of 0 to 500 (N·s)/m.

x p

xd

59 SHUSTROV ET AL.

Table 1. Results of calculation studies

Parameters Calculated results SPIKE Discrepancy, %

Mechanical power Pm, W 1022.3 1250 18.2

Oscillation frequency f, Hz 73.2 60 18

Coefficient of damping load Cpalt, (N·s)/m 10.75 - -

0.01 + 459.72i;

0.01 - 459.72i;

Eigenvalues - -

-244.25 + 288.54i;

-244.25 - 288.54i

to determine the engine set point, because this

parameter is most important for evaluating the

external and internal factors that can ensure stability

of the self-oscillation process in the FPSE.

It is established that the results of the calculation have

a rather high divergence from the actual parameters of

the SPIKE engine. It is assumed that the divergences

are caused, first of all, by the assumptions made in

the calculation method and unknown WF pressures

in the GS of the displacer and the buffer chamber of

the WP. The calculation did not take into account the

elastic connection between the engine casing and the

fixed base to which the engine is mounted.

Fig. 2 FPSE root locus. Nevertheless, the calculations demonstrate a good

response of the proposed calculation method to

The obtained eigenvalues of the state matrix [M], changes in the initial data during investigation of

presented in Table 1, correspond to the self-oscillation stability of the engine oscillations.

process conditions presented earlier. There are different ways to refine the calculation

DISCUSSION method, including the use of empirical coefficients

and dependencies obtained from the results of

The calculation studies of the FPSE presented in this experimental studies of the engine. Such approach

paper show that even a rather simplified version of will allow for fast and accurate calculation of FPSEs

the engine is a complex thermodynamic system. of a similar configuration and comparable geometry.

Comparative Table 1 shows the results of the CONCLUSIONS

calculation studies and their comparison with the In this paper we presented a method for calculating

parameters of the SPIKE engine. an FPSE and did calculation studies to determine the

Stability of FPSE operation was estimated by necessary conditions to maintain the self-oscillatory

process of the FPSE.

analysis of the eigenvalues from the state matrix

[M]. Evaluation of the engine performance was done The results obtained were compared with actual

using its design and thermodynamic parameters. characteristics of the SPIKE engine and the

discrepancy between the values was 18%.

The values of the damping load Cpalt, obtained

during the calculation studies, are included in the The paper describes a universal method for

determining the FPSE set point, which takes into

main technical requirements for LEM. Using the

account a set of engine parameters including the

Cpalt coefficient will make it possible to choose or

mass of the displacer and the WP, the volumes of

design a LEM, which has good compatibility with the working chambers and elements of the heat

the FPSE. exchange circuit, the pressure and temperatures of

Joint use of calculated data and results of experimental the working fluid.

studies is very important for FPSE development and The results of this work can be used in the

research. FPSE operation depends on many non- development of FPSEs of different capacity and

stationary and miscellaneous processes, that are volumetric displacement because our calculation

often difficult to calculate in an analytical way. method accounts for a complex of engine

CALCULATION STUDIES OF A FREE-PISTON STIRLING ENGINE

60

parameters. High relevance of the presented work is Formosa, F. and Despesse, G. (2013). Analytical

confirmed by complex nature of FPSE development, model for Stirling cycle machine design. Energy

especially in the absence of experimental data. It is Conversion and Management 51(10).

determination of the preliminary FPSE set point that Formosa, F. (2011). Coupled Thermodynamic-

can form the basis for creation of a new FPSE. Our Dynamic Semi-Analytical Model of Free

calculation method, which includes analysis of FPSE Piston Stirling Engines. Energy Conversion and

self-oscillation process stability, will make it possible Management. 52 : 2098-2109.

to implement multi-parameter optimization of its

systems and operating parameters. Jang, S.J., Brennan, M.J., Dohnal, F. and Lee, Y.P.

(2016). A design method for selecting the physical

The obtained results will also help to choose parameters of a free piston Stirling engine. ImechE.

external load devices, such as linear action pumps

Redlich, R.W. and Berchowitz, D.M. (1985). Linear

and compressors. Moreover, the parameters of

Dynamics of Free Piston Stirling Engines. ImechE.

the external load will be well coordinated with the

203-213.

dynamic system of the FPSE.

Riofrio, J. A., Al-Dakkan, K., Hofacker, M.K. and

The obtained values and the principles of determining Barth, E.J. (2008). Control-Based Design of Free-

the FPSE set point are a valuable component in the Piston Stirling Engine. Proceedings of 2008 American

development of active FPSE control systems. Control Conference. WeC09. 4 : 1533-1538.

One of the directions of future development is Rogdakis, E.D., Bormpilas, N.A. and Koniakos,

creation of an FPSE operation algorithm and its I.K. (2004). A thermodynamic study for

implementation in an engine control system. This the optimization of stable operation of free

would make it possible to maintain the required piston Stirling engines. Energy Conversion and

phase angle and the amplitude of the displacer and Management. 45(4) : 575-593.

working piston oscillations when the engine operates

Saturno, M.G.J. (1994). Some Mathematical Models

in steady and transient modes.

to Describe the Dynamic Behavior of the B-10

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Free-piston Stirling Engine (Master of science

dissertation). Russ College of Engineering and

This article is based on the results of a research done Technology, Ohio University, Ohio, USA.

in the framework of the grant by the President of the Scheck, C.G. (1988). Thermal hysteresis loss in gas

Russian Federation for young scientists and post- springs (Master of science dissertation). The

graduate students doing advanced research and College of Engineering and Technology Ohio

development in the priority areas of modernization University, Ohio, USA.

of the Russian economy (registration number СП- Shrestha, D. (2012). Numerical and experimental

264.2015.1) with the financial support of the Ministry studies on free piston Stirling engines (Master

of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. of science dissertation). Graduate school of the

University of Maryland, Maryland, USA.

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