National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Stirling Research

The Advanced Stirling Research (ASR) team is working to improve capabilities of current systems and developing the next generation of Stirling devices. The research is focused on three core areas; advanced materials, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis methods, and alternative engine configurations.

Advanced materials research focuses on expanding temperature capabilities, improving engine performance, and extending operating life. CFD efforts are utilizing commercial codes, and developing in house codes to more quickly predict engine performance and quantify internal flow physics. Many alternative engine configurations are being investigated, including Thermoacoustics, with the goal of improving reliability and increasing power density.

Through the combined efforts of these tasks, devices are being developed to operate with hot end temperatures in excess of 1000 °C. This capability will increase engine efficiency in typical operating conditions, and enable operation in higher temperature environments.