Free-piston Stirling engine power control

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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60520, F02G 106




A power control is disclosed for a free piston Stirling engine having a hermetically sealed vessel enclosing a working space in which oscillates a displacer for circulating working gas through a heater, a regenerator and a cooler for creating a pressure wave in the working gas which acts against a power piston for a producing power stroke. The displacer includes a post mounted in a well which forms a gas spring and cooperates with the working gas pressure wave to maintain the displacer in axial reciprocating motion. The post includes a tapered portion which reciprocates opposite a proximity probe to produce a unique signal for each axial position of the displacer to provide stroke, phase and amplitude information regarding the displacer motion. A gas spring volume control is provided, controlled by the displacer sensor, for adjusting the gas spring stiffness to control the amplitude and phase of the displacer required to produce the power to meet the engine load requirements.

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