40 kW Stirling engine for solid fuel

Henrik Carlsen, Jens Trærup, Niels Ammundsen

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    The external combustion in a Stirling engine makes it very attractive for utilisation of solid fuels in decentralised combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Only a few projects have concentrated on the development of Stirling engines specifically for biomass. In this project, a Stirling engine has been designed primarily for utilisation of wood chips. Maximum shaft power is 40 kW corresponding to an electric output of 36 kW. Biomass needs more space in the combustion chamber compared to gas and liquid fuels, and a large heat transfer area is necessary. The design of the new Stirling engine has been adapted to the special demands of combustion of wood chips, resulting in a large engine compared to engines for gas or liquid fuels. The engine has four-cylinders arranged in a square. The design is made as a hermetic unit, where the alternator is built into the pressurised crankcase so that dynamic seals are avoided. Grease lubricated bearings are used in a special designed crank mechanism, which eliminates guiding forces on the pistons. Helium is used as the working gas at 4 MPa mean pressure. The first test of the 40 kW engine with natural gas as fuel has been made in the laboratory, and the results are in agreement with predicted results from simulation programs. The wood chips combustion system has been tested for some time with very promising results. When the laboratory test of the engine is finished, the test of the complete system will be initiated. The paper describes the engine and results from the test program. Expectations to maintenance and operation problems are also discussed
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 31st Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
    Publication date1996
    ISBN (Print)07-80-33547-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1996
    EventIntersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference - Washington DC
    Duration: 1 Jan 1996 → …
    Conference number: 31th


    ConferenceIntersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
    CityWashington DC
    Period01/01/1996 → …

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