Determining The Optimal Phase Angle of Stirling Engine in Various Temperatures

Session Number

Project ID: ENGN 02

Dr. Mark Carlson; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Engineering

Start Date

19-4-2023 8:50 AM

End Date

19-4-2023 9:05 AM

Abstract

Internal combustion engines are ubiquitous, but other types can be more effective in certain circumstances. Stirling engines can be a low-cost, non-polluting alternative. Our study focused on finding the optimal phase angle of a gamma-type Stirling engine to improve its efficiency and make it more competitive. Our tests consisted of setting the phase angle of the engine, placing it on either a hot plate or in an ice bath, and measuring the RPM with a strobe light. Our cold bath tests revealed a maximum speed of 123 degrees, while our hot tests had a maximum of 56 degrees ∓ 10 degrees for each. The hot temperature had a 15% increase in speed when compared to 90 degrees (the theoretical optimal phase angle) while the cold temperature had a 20% increase. Because the new angle would provide a significant increase in the efficiency of Stirling engines, we are currently developing a mechanism that will allow the user to easily alternate between the optimal hot and cold phase angle without the need for precise measurements. Our ultimate goal is for this finding to allow stirling engines to become a more plausible alternative to traditional combustion engines.

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Apr 19th, 8:50 AM Apr 19th, 9:05 AM

Determining The Optimal Phase Angle of Stirling Engine in Various Temperatures

Internal combustion engines are ubiquitous, but other types can be more effective in certain circumstances. Stirling engines can be a low-cost, non-polluting alternative. Our study focused on finding the optimal phase angle of a gamma-type Stirling engine to improve its efficiency and make it more competitive. Our tests consisted of setting the phase angle of the engine, placing it on either a hot plate or in an ice bath, and measuring the RPM with a strobe light. Our cold bath tests revealed a maximum speed of 123 degrees, while our hot tests had a maximum of 56 degrees ∓ 10 degrees for each. The hot temperature had a 15% increase in speed when compared to 90 degrees (the theoretical optimal phase angle) while the cold temperature had a 20% increase. Because the new angle would provide a significant increase in the efficiency of Stirling engines, we are currently developing a mechanism that will allow the user to easily alternate between the optimal hot and cold phase angle without the need for precise measurements. Our ultimate goal is for this finding to allow stirling engines to become a more plausible alternative to traditional combustion engines.