What is a free piston Stirling engine?

Free piston stirling engine principe

Stirling Free Piston.

The original Stirling engines were crankshaft driven. This principle appeared to have its limitations over time, due to seal tightness, lubrication of moving parts etc. Maintenance at regular intervals - preventive and corrective - was required. These issues do not hamper the so-called free piston engine, invented by William Beale in 1964. Applying gas bearings, natural frequencies, tightly produced parts and hermetically sealed with a linear alternator it can run in theory for an indefinitely long time.

The advantages of (free) piston are

  • Quiet operation
  • Multi fuel clean combustion
  • Long, maintenance-free operation life
  • Various environments: on grid, remote, mobile
  • Multiple applications possible
  • Multi unit - high power operation capability
  • Load following, modulation in operation