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Second Thermal and Fluids Engineering  Conference

ISSN: 2379-1748

High Efficiency Combustion System for Stirling Engine

Mark Y. Khinkis
Gas Technology Institute, 1700 S. Mount Prospect Rd., Des Plaines, IL, 60018 USA

Aleksandr Kozlov
Gas Technology Institute, 1700 South Mount Prospect Road, Des Plaines, Illinois 60076, USA

David C. Kalensky
Gas Technology Institute, 1700 South Mount Prospect Road, Des Plaines, Illinois 60076, USA

DOI: 10.1615/TFEC2017.cbe.018111
pages 599-604


High efficiency and ultra-low emission combustion system for Stirling engine is described. The combustion system optimizes the Stirling CHP cycle, extending and expanding both its electrical and total efficiency. It includes burner, thermal oxidizer, Thermochemical Heat Recovery (THR), and condensing/Humidifying Air Recuperation (HAR). The burner provides low emissions at high combustion air preheat temperature and low excess air (10%). THR recuperates heat from the exhaust gas by partially reforming hydrocarbon fuel and increasing the fuel calorific value. Reforming natural gas with steam and HAR will significantly reduce fuel use, thus improving the Stirling engine electrical efficiency. The combustor fires a partially reformed fuel with humidified air at near stoichiometric conditions. The utilization of humidified air in the combustion process results in improved combustion kinetics and reduced combustion temperature than firing with un-humidified air. The combustion process is completed in a thermal oxidizer to further reduce pollutant emissions to ultra-low levels. The Stirling engine hot end temperature is 800-900°C and cold end temperature is 65-120°C. The net effect of the combustion system is to raise recuperation system efficiency from current standards to breakthrough levels with ultra-high electric efficiency above 40%, total system efficiency above 98% (both based on fuel low heating value (LHV) utilizing flue gas latent heat) and providing ultra-low pollutants emission.

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