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Stirling Cycle Quiz

Brent Rowell

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/14/2016
This section of the forum tends to get stale so here's a little quiz for you: What's the most common commercial use of the stirling cycle nowadays?
 

John Newman Jr.

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
01/10/2019
Refrigeration or heating.
When driven by a motor, the hot cap will get either quite hot or cold, depending on direction of rotation.
 

Brent Rowell

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/14/2016
Well John, you're at least half right. When you apply power to a stirling engine to run the normal cycle in reverse (power piston now leads the displacer by 90 degrees), the exposed cylinder (which is normally heated) now removes heat from the air around it. Please don't ask me how this works. These stirling 'cryocoolers' and are now used by the thousands in aerospace, defence, medicine, and science. They will cool down to extremely low temperatures: stirling freezers routinely keep temps at 100 below zero and can even reach much lower temps required for superconductivity. They have few moving parts, are maintenance free, don't use refrigerants, and are nearly silent.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
They are used in oxygen production as well. Some of your portable battery powered medical oxygen concentrators use them!
 
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