Diaphragm coupling between the displacer and power piston

Power plants – Motor operated by expansion and/or contraction of a unit of... – Unit of mass is a gas which is heated or cooled in one of a...


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60517, 62 6, F02G 104




A free-piston Stirling engine usable as a heat pump has a closed vessel filled with helium working gas which is heated at the bottom end and cooled at the top end. The vessel contains a displacer supported for axial reciprocal oscillation on a gas spring post mounted on the vessel. The displacer shuttles the working gas from end to end in the vessel, alternately heating and cooling the gas. The vessel is sealed with a flexible diaphragm which flexes in response to the pressure wave generated in the vessel as the working gas is alternately heated and cooled. When the diaphragm flexes, it displaces hydraulic fluid in a hydraulic chamber and drives a power piston for driving a linear alternator and a gas compressor. A gas spring operating on a second hydraulic cylinder on the other side of the power piston stores part of the energy of the piston stroke and returns it for the return stroke. Controls are provided for balancing and controlling the hydraulic fluid pressure, for starting the Stirling engine, and for modulating its power output.

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