Finite Time Thermodynamic Analysis of Stirling and Ericsson Power Cycles
In 1816, Robert Stirling and James Stirling conceived and patented an external combustion heat engine, which turned by their name and was continuously improved by them over the next 30 years. It is also a reversible cycle like the Carnot cycle and, hence, also has the highest thermal efficiency working between two (high and low) temperatures of source and sink reservoirs, but it has some advantages over the Carnot cycle. The Stirling heat engine consists of two cylinders with two pistons on each side and a regenerator in the middle, which is used for temporary storage of thermal energy. The Stirling engine is a closed system and also required more innovative hardware for execution. In 1833, the Swedish-born engineer John Ericsson developed a different type of hot air, reciprocating, external combustion engine, which could operate on either an open or closed loop cycle.
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