Experimental and numerical flow investigation of Stirling engine regenerator

Carolina Costa Pereira, Mustafa Tutar, Igor Barreno, Jon-Ander Esnaola, Harritz Barrutia, David Garcia, Miguel-Angel Gonzalez, Jesus-Ignacio Prieto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents both preliminary experimental and numerical studies of pressure drop and heat transfer characteristics of Stirling engine regenerators. A test bench is designed and manufactured for testing different regenerators under oscillating flow conditions, while three-dimensional (3-D) numerical simulations are performed to numerically characterize the pressure drop phenomena through a wound woven wire matrix regenerator under different porosity and flow boundary conditions.

The test bench operating condition range is initially determined based on the performance of the commercial, well-known Stirling engine called WhisperGen™. This oscillating flow test bench is essentially a symmetrical design, which allows two regenerator samples to be tested simultaneously under the same inflow conditions. The oscillating flow is generated by means of a linear motor which moves a piston in an oscillatory motion. Both the frequency and the stroke of the piston are modified to achieve different test conditions.

In the numerical study, use of a FVM (finite volume method) based CFD (computational fluid dynamics) approach for different configurations of small volume matrices leads to a derivation of a two-coefficient based friction factor correlation equation, which could be later implemented in an equivalent porous media with a confidence for future regenerator flow and heat transfer analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-812
Number of pages13
Early online date26 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


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