Title: Design of a solar Stirling engine for marine and offshore applications

Authors: Alex Yerbury; Alex Coote; Vikram Garaniya; Hongyang Yu

Addresses: National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, 7250, Australia ' National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, 7250, Australia ' National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, 7250, Australia ' National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, Australian Maritime College, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS, 7250, Australia

Abstract: The Stirling cycle is useful in the marine environment because it can be driven by any heat source, such as solar, in times of direct sunlight or flared gas, when sunlight is inadequate. The ability to be powered from exhaust or flared gas makes it especially suited for offshore production facilities. In this work, a small 150 Watt solar powered gamma configuration Stirling engine was designed and constructed. Special care was taken when selecting construction materials. Solar power is provided by using a parabolic mirror to focus the sun's radiation onto the engine. Experimental testing was performed to determine the engine's power and torque characteristics, as well as solar performance. The engine was found to produce a maximum power output of 88 Watts at 245 RPM with a displacer temperature of 514°C. Comparisons of numerical and experimental results showed that the engine had a maximum mechanical efficiency of 90%.

Keywords: solar energy; Stirling engines; maritime industry; offshore platforms; solar power; engine design; parabolic mirrors; engine power; engine torque; mechanical efficiency.

DOI: 10.1504/IJRET.2016.073400

International Journal of Renewable Energy Technology, 2016 Vol.7 No.1, pp.1 - 45

Received: 24 Nov 2014
Accepted: 08 Apr 2015

Published online: 01 Dec 2015 *

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