The thermocompressor, a little-known class of Stirling devices that efficiently compresses gas, presents new challenges for modeling and experimental validation. In modeling, traditional analytic assumptions about displacer motion are limiting. In experimental verification, few devices have actually been built and tested. In this paper, the authors test the feasibility of a lumped-parameter approach for predicting the performance of Stirling thermocompressors subject to different displacer motion profiles. Since the displacer of a thermocompressor can be controlled independently, unlike kinematic Stirling engines or dynamic Stirling engines, and has a large influence on output power and efficiency of the device, it is crucial that this is well captured by a system dynamics model for control. Key model parameters are simulated and results are experimentally verified on one of the few, if only, experimental thermocompressor platforms in the world. Conclusions are drawn regarding simplified modeling of the regenerator’s effectiveness and the effects on device work output by varying the displacer piston’s motion profile using different waveforms.

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