Stirling Cycle Machine Analysis

This material is made available to us by Dr. Israel Urieli of Ohio University in Athens, OH.  The text has been edited to facilitate its use by non resident students of the Stirling Engine who cannot attend classes in person.  Please do not pester Dr. Urieli with questions regarding this site. He has a full teaching load plus several research projects.  Please post all questions for discussion of this site to the SESUSA knowledge exchange list server at  You must first subscribe to the list before posting.  Please see front page for a link to the list. Any questions that cannot be answered by the list members will be submitted to Prof. Urieli by the moderators for further consideration.  And Yes, it does look a lot like rocket science. © 2001, 2002 I. Urieli

Text: Stirling Cycle Engine Analysis, I Urieli, D M Berchowitz. (1984)
(Note that the text includes FORTRAN code of the computer simulation, however the program has been updated and rewritten in C on the SUN computer "condor")  This book is out of print, however some copies are kept on reserve in Alden Library at Ohio University. Furthermore, much of the material that is in the book has been updated and placed on this web site, so that you may not need to refer to the text for this course.  It may also be possible to get a copy from your local library through inter-library loan.  Many university libraries contain copies of this book.

The web page will develop around the analysis and computer simulation of single phase, piston/cylinder thermal power and refrigeration systems including thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid flow friction.  This will require adapting and using a computer simulation program using ANSI C on a SUN computer "  In many cases the introductory and background material listed in the sections prior to the computer code will supply sufficient information for many to understand the processes.  We will also focus on aspects of Stirling engine design using techniques developed by Dr. Allan J. Organ, while at Cambridge University, England.


The actual course at Ohio University in Athens, OH includes a set of tutorial computer program modules for simulating specific Stirling engine configurations. These have been written in the C language and are maintained on a SUN UNIX workstation, and each registered student is assigned a login directory to this machine. One of the students tasks will be to augment these modules to simulate and design the specific engine assigned, thus there is a need to become familiar with the entire simulation package. Currently the engine modules are for Alpha machines, including a Sinusoidal drive and a Ross Yoke-drive machine. The heat exchanger types include tubular, annular gap, and slot heat exchangers, and the regenerator matrix types include screen mesh and rolled foil matrices. Working gas types include air, helium, and hydrogen. All of these engine types are compatible with the SESUSA purposes and goals as stated in the introduction received upon joining the SESUSA list.

To go to Dr. Urieli's home page at Ohio U, click this link