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Integrated two-cylinder liquid piston Stirling engine
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Heat engines utilizing the Stirling cycle may run on low temperature differentials with the capacity to function at high efficiency due to their near-reversible operation. However, current approaches to building Stirling engines are laborious and costly. Typically the components are assembled by hand and additional components require a corresponding increase in manufacturing complexity, akin to electronics before the integrated circuit. We present a simple and integrated approach to fabricating Stirling engines with precisely designed cylinders. We utilize computer aided design and one-step, planar machining to form all components of the engine. The engine utilizes liquid pistons and displacers to harness useful work from heat absorption and rejection. As a proof of principle of the integrated design, a two-cylinder engine is produced and characterized and liquid pumping is demonstrated.
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