The Stirling Engine for Space Power, 1962 Progress Report 620322
For three years the Allison Div. of General Motors Corp. has been conducting an extensive design and applied research program to adapt the advanced Stirling engine to space power applications. The engine's high efficiency and flexibility with respect to energy source prompted its selection. The unusual conditions imposed by space operation introduce problems with respect to design for unattended operation for long periods of time, reliability, lubrication, separation of the working fluid from the lubricant, and control of working fluid leakage from the engine generator assembly. This paper presents the results of the program to date. Particular emphasis is placed on the problems and solutions in adapting this unusual energy converter to space. Engine and seal test results are included.