Validation of a Numerical Model for Reciprocating Thermodynamic Machines by Examining Heat Transfer in a Low Temperature Difference Stirling Engine

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  • A third order two-dimensional numerical model for reciprocating thermodynamic machines is validated using a low temperature difference Stirling engine with 15 Watt shaft power and source and sink temperatures of 150 °C and 5 °C. The work is limited to the thermodynamic model at steady state. The deviation for indicated work between model and experiment is below 30 % and varies significantly with mean pressure and engine speed. Likely sources of error are differences in heat exchanger geometry between experiment and model due to current model limitations, and empirical correlations for heat transfer and flow friction based on Reynolds number (Re) used by the model. Analyzing the data in terms of heat exchanger Re reveals a strong linear relationship between model error and Re. Building on the results of this study, the model can be used in similar applications, continuously validated, improved and expanded as its source code is openly available.

    Part of the Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering International Congress 2022

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International