Faculty Advisor

Sullivan, John M.


The aim of this project was to design, build, and test a Stirling engine capable of generating between 200-500 watts of electricity. Several designs were studied before settling on an alpha type configuration based around a two-cylinder air compressor. Concentrated solar energy was considered as a potential heat source, but had to be replaced by a propane burner due to insufficient solar exposure during the testing timeframe. The heater, cooler, regenerator, flywheel and piping systems were designed, constructed, and analyzed. Instrumentation was built into the engine to record temperatures throughout the assembly. Several tests were performed on the engine in order to improve its running efficiency, and critical problem areas were isolated and addressed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

March 2014


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering