1992-08-03

Proof of Concept of a Magnetically Coupled Stirling Engine-Driven Heat Pump 929395

A prototype magnetically-coupled Stirling engine-driven heat pump module has been designed and fabricated by Sunpower, Inc. under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Preliminary testing indicates that the magnetic coupling is an effective means for transmitting power from a free-piston Stirling engine to a refrigerant compressor. Compared with other power transmission concepts, the magnetic coupling has relatively low cost, and will help make commercial development of Stirling-driven heat pumps more likely in the future.

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