Chapter 9
Two Decades of Optimism


For the understanding of cycle thermodynamics and of the technology of construction, the period from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s was essentially one of consolidation. Rapid advances in computing capacity encouraged the development of ambitious simulations of the gas process cycle. With the notable exception of a contribution by Miyabe et al. (1982), however, study of the regenerator continued in isolation and without impact on Stirling engine design.

The era saw a number of new embodiments. The free-piston variant was invented (Finkelstein 1963a, b, 1964). West (1970) proposed the liquid-piston or Fluidyne engine. Bradley (1974) demonstrated an engine operating from a low-temperature source, possibly the first of a type to become known as the ‘Low ΔT’ genre.

  • 9.1 Summary
  • 9.2 The free-piston engine
  • 9.3 The fluidyne
  • 9.4 The Low ΔT variant
  • 9.5 The era of the computer
  • 9.6 Further advances by Philips
  • 9.7 Two UK initiatives
  • 9.8 More on similarity and scaling

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