Thermodynamic Loss at Component Interfaces in Stirling Cycles
The paper considers the thermodynamic irreversibility in Stirling cycle machines at the interface between components with different thermodynamic characteristics. The approach of the paper is to consider the simplest possible cases and to focus on the factors that influence the thermodynamic losses. For example, an ideal adiabatic cylinder facing an ideal isothermal heat exchanger is considered. If there is no mixing in the cylinder (gas remains one dimensionally stratified), there will be no loss (irreversibility) if the gas motion is in phase with the gas pressure changes. If there is a phase shift, as required to have a network for the cylinder, there will be a loss (entropy generation) because the gas will not match the heat exchanger temperature. There will also be a loss if the gas in the cylinder is mixed rather than stratified. Similar simple interface conditions can be considered between components and interconnecting open volumes and between heat exchangers and regenerators.