In this study the results of a detailed thermodynamic investigation of a real Stirling engine are presented. A combined experimental and simulation approach was applied. A detailed 1-D thermodynamic model of a real Stirling engine was built and calibrated to match experimental data. The experimental data were collected on a prototype engine at the manufacturer’s test laboratory. The set of calibration parameters included energy balance inputs and outputs in the form of integral data and the crank angle based pressure data from the working volumes of the Stirling engine. Unconventional data acquisition and analysis was developed due to the specific nature of the Stirling engine. The procedure for calibrating the Stirling engine model is described in detail, and the resulting tuned model is used to predict the operation of the Stirling engine beyond the measured range. Further design optimization will be performed by the model in future studies. Although the experiments focused on the acquisition and evaluation of instantaneous pressures, the calibration of the model revealed a need for more detailed measurements of the temperature distribution within the regenerator.

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