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Optimal Design Model for Crank-connecting Rod

Mechanism of -type Stirling Engine

GONG Xiao-mao
College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
China University of Mining and Technology
Xuzhou ,Jiangsu Province,China
gongxiao_mao@126.com

ZHANG Bao-sheng*,ZHOU Fan,YUAN Yu-
jie,ZHAO Wei,LIU Xi
School of Electric Power Engineering
China University of Mining and Technology
Xuzhou , Jiangsu Province,China
bshzhang-1997@163.com

AbstractIn order to attain the maximum external cycle power
of -type Stirling Engine, first,this paper uses multi-objective
optimization of the linear weighted evaluation method and with
reference to the group AHP method to gain the optimal range of
link rod ratio of general crank-connecting rod mechanism,then
on that basis,it establishes optimal design model for the
maximum external cycle power of -type stirling engine.finally,it
presents and resolves a practical example.
rod ratio; optimal design
I. INTRODUCTION
Stirling engine is an external heating, closed cycle,
reciprocating piston engine, which is suitable for a variety of
fuels,and has advantages of high thermal efficiency, less
pollution etc.
The structure of stirling engine can be classified as , ,
types, -type structure is shown below:

Figure 1. Structure of -type stirling engine
As shown in fig.2,Stirling cycle consists of process of
isothermal compression (process 1-2), process of isovolumic
endotherm(2-3), process of isothermal expansion(3-4) and
process of isovolumic exotherm (4-1).

Figure 2. Stirling circle
The external cycle power derived from [1]:
r
V E
RT W )ln 1 ( =
(1)
Where,
W
represents external cycle power,R is gas constant,
cyclic temperature ratio
E
C
T
T
=
,
C
T ,
E
T stands for heat source
and cold source temperature respectively, volume compression
ratio
2
1
V
V
r
V
=
,
1
V ,
2
V corresponds with the volume of 1,2 points
depicting in fig.2.
In general,the heat source and cold source temperature of
stirling system could not alter because the ability to heat
higher and refrigerate colder is limited.Therefore,the cyclic
temperature ratio can be regarded as a static.On that
conditon,the greater the volume compression ratio, the greater
external cycle power, namely the greater power output.
Thereby,when the optimal link rod ratios of crank-connecting
rod mechanism in the expansion chamber and compression
chamber are determined, the volume compression ratio of
stirling system attain the maximum value, this system attain
the maximum output power as well.
The specific process to establish the optimal design
model is shown as follows:Linear weighting function derived
from multi-objective optimization evaluation function which
is established first is bulit and then solved,which gians the
optimal range of link rod ratio of crank-connecting rod
mechanism.Afterwards the link rod ratios in expansion
chamber and compression chamber are regarded as
variables,which comply to the optimal range of link rod ratio
gained by the first step.Next,the optimal design model of -
type stirling engine could be set up.Finally,resolve that model
and can attain the optimal link rod ratios,which can be treated
as references for designing -type stirling engine.
Mechanical drive performance researched by
accumulated transmission angle could hardly seen in
literatures in Domestic and international. Most of the
researches fasten on designing four-bar mechanism by the
minimum transmission angle,or by the maximum value of
minimum transmission angle.such as Zhang Jing et al
[2]
Analytical method of crank rocker mechanism design
according to the minimum transmission angle.Pengan Hua et
al
[3]
Crank-connecting rod mechanism design according to the
maximum value of minimum transmission angle.Yang
Shiming et al
[4]
A study of average transmission angle of
planar linkage and its application, this paper points out the
shortcomings of weighing mechanical transmission
performance by the minimum transmission angle,and
Project supported by the National Innovation Experiment Program for
University Students(091029012), the Specialized Research Fund for the
Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China(200802901509), the China
Postdoctoral Science Foundation Funded Project(20100471402), the Science
Foundation for Youth Scholars of China University of Mining &
Technology(2008A015), and the Innovation Experiment Program for
University Students of China University of Mining & Technology.
519
978-1-61284-459-6/11/\$26.00 2011 IEEE
introduces concept of average transmission angle which can
better reflects mechanical transmission performerce.Suzuki, et
al
[5]
effect of the ratio between the connecting-rod length and
the crank radius on thermal efficiency,this paper studies the
issue that the difference of link rod ratio affects speed of
piston movement,then affects thermal efficiency.That doesnt
refer to issues of mechanical efficiency and drive
performance.The researches about optimal design of crank-
connecting rod mechanism in stirling are also hardly seen in
literatures in domestic and international . Most studies focuses
on the heat exchange performances of heater, regenerator,
cooler and the optimal design of working fluid temperature
ratio, sweep gas volume ratio, dead volume ratio, phase
difference, working fluid etc. Such as Yan Zijun et al
[6]
stirling
for the basic optimization of relations and the limits of power
and efficiency.This paper studies the optimal performance of
stirling with thermal resistance,heat leakage and regenerative
loss by the use of finite time thermodynamics theory; Atrey,
MD, et al
[7]
optimization of design parameters of stirling cycle
machine, a more comprehensive study of optimal issues of
sweep gas volume ratio, dead volume ratio,phase difference
etc.
II. DYNAMIC ANALYSIS OF CRANK-
CONNECTING ROD MECHANISM
As shown in fig.3,Piston gets force from working fluid
pressure in the dynamic system including stirling and internal
combustion engine and passes it to crank by the connecting
rod.The acting process is from 0 degree to 180 degree of

marked in fig.3.

Figure 3. Analysis of transmission angle in crank-connecting rod mechanism
H obtained by Cosine Theorem:
) ( ) cos ( cos H
2 2 2
l r r r = (2)
0 H r l derived from [8].
So, ) ( ) cos ( cos H
2 2 2
l r r r + = (3)
sin obtained by Sine Theorem in the range of 0 degree to
180 degree of crank angle:
sin ] ) 1 ( ) cos ( cos [ sin
2 2
+ = (4)
In the acting process(isothermal expansion process), the
greater the accumulated transmission angle is, the better the
transmission performance will be. Which can be derived from
[4].Accumulated transmission angle attained by integrating
(4):
d d f } sin ] ) 1 ( ) cos ( cos arcsin{[ ) (
2 2
180
0
180
0
+ = =

(5)
From (5),that every certain link rod ratio corresponds with its
accumulated transmission angle.The curve of accumulated
transmission angle with change of link rod ratio is shown
below.

Figure 4. Curve of accumulated value of transmission angle with the change
What can be obtained from the curve is listed as follows:
1)The smaller link rod ratio,namely the length of connecting
rod is relatively longer,the greater of accumulated
transmission angle,and the better of drive performance.
2)Acumulated transmission angle declines faster with the link
rod ratio increasing.
3)There must be exist an optimal range of link rod ratio of
crank-connecting rod mechanism if the space occupied by
dynamic machine and the drive performance are
comprehensively considered.Accumulated transmission angle
can weight transmission performance,at the same time,the
change rate of accumulated transmission angle can indirectly
determine the space occupied by dynamic machine .As the
curve shown in fig.4,ponit where the change rate of
accumulated transmission angle is moderate not only has
moderate drive performance,but also make efficiently use of
space of machine.Ponit where the change rate is gentle wastes
space while point where the change rate is sharp takes little
space but it greatly affects drive performance.Therefore,with
reference to Theory of modern design
[9]
and Decision analysis
and decision support system
[10]
, linear weighted evaluation
function is established.while its multi-objective child-
functions are established dimensionless method.The process of
establishing and solving the evaluation function is listed as
follows.
4986 . 2 415 . 0 2748 . 0 0889 . 1 ) (
2 3
+ + = f (6)
is attained by method of cubic curve fitting of the curve in
fig.4. represents link rod ratio, ) ( f represents
accumulated transmission angle.
415 . 0 5496 . 0 2667 . 3 ) ( '
2
+ = f (7)
representing for the change rate of the curve comes from the
derivation of (6).
Objective function 1 deriving from (6) is non-
dimensionalized:
{ } ) ( max
4986 . 2 4150 . 0 2748 . 0 0889 . 1
) (
2 3
1

f
f
+ +
=

520
4986 . 2
4986 . 2 415 . 0 2748 . 0 0889 . 1
2 3
+ +
=
x

1 1661 . 0 1100 . 0 4358 . 0
2 3
+ + = ; [ ] 1 , 0 (8)
Objective function 2 deriving from (7) is non-
dimensionalized:
{ } 4150 . 0
4150 . 0 5496 . 0 2667 . 3
) ( ' min
4150 . 0 5496 . 0 2667 . 3
) (
2 2
2

+
=
+
=

f
f

1 324 . 1 8716 . 7
2
+ = , [ ] 1 , 0 x (9)
Thereby, comprehensive objective function:
) ( ) ( ) ( F
2 2 1 1
f f x + = ; [ ] 1 , 0 , ( 1
2 1
= + ) (10)
Where,weight value
2 1
, are decided by field experiment or
evaluation function established by experts in this fields.Then
solve the comprehensive objective function to attain the
optimal range of link rod ratios
Because of need of field or experts dates,it may be a
difficulty for a college student.Nevertheless, the optimal range
of link rod ratio can be attained by observing accumulated
transmission angle and its change rate of the curve in
fig.4.When is between 0.2 and 0.4,both accumulated
transmission angle and its change rate are moderate,it can gain
more comprehensive performance that both drive performance
and the space occupied by dynamic machine are
appropriate.The result of optimal range of link rod ratio is at
the range of 0.2 and 0.4 which corresponds well with the in
contemporary internal combustion engine
[11]
.
III. ESTABLISHMENT OF OPTIMAL DESIGN MODEL

Figure 5. Movement diagram of crank-connecting rod mechanism in -type
stirling engine
In fig.5,
2 1
center of crank-connecting rod mechanism of expansion
chamber respectively,while
4 3
, A A are top dead center and
bottom dead center in compression chamber.
C E
l , l are lengths
of connecting rod in expansion and compression
chambers.The stroke is s ,radius of crank is r .Then 2 / r s = .
C E
X X , are the distance measured from each reference point
respectively. represents rotation angle of crank.
In general,the phase difference of , , -type stirling
engine is 90 degree.Which can gain almost the highest thermal
efficiency.Thereby,assume that the phase difference of -type
Stirling Engine studied in this paper is 90 degree,
C E
X X ,
shown below are calculated by using the geometric relation in
fig. 5 .
2
) sin ( 1 cos x
E E E E
l r l r + = (11)
2
) cos ( 1 sin x
C C C C
l r l r + = (12)
Where,
C E
, are link rod ratios of crank-connecting rod
mechanism in expansion and compression chamber
respectively.
Therefore,system volume of certain rotation angle of crank:
) x x ( D
4
1
2
d C E S
V V + + = (13)
Equation (14) is from substituting (11) and (12) for (13).
cos sin 2 [ D
4
1
2
r r l l r V
C E S
+ + =
] ) cos ( 1 ) sin ( 1
2 2

C C E E
l l (14)
In (13) and (14),
S
V stands for system volume while
d
V
stands for death volume. D represents for the diameter of
piston in expansion and compression chamber.Which,in
general,are the same in -type stirling engine.
On the basis of discussions above,the optimal design model
can be established as follows:
1)The death volume of engine system
d
V ,diameter of the two
pistons D and stoke of piston s are known.Then 2 / r s = .
2)To attain the design variables
C E
,
3)To make the function
{ }
{ }
S
S
V
V
f
min
max
= maximization
4)Subject to: ] 4 . 0 , 2 . 0 [
E
.
] 4 . 0 , 2 . 0 [
C
.
Annotation: { }
S
V max , { }
S
V min are the maximum and
minimum system volume in the same link rod ratios
C E
, of
-type stirling engine system.
Program flow chart solving the optimal design model:

Figure 6 Program flow chart
Figure 6. APPLICATION EXAMPLE OF OPTIMAL DESIGN MODEL
521
Death volume of engine system
4
d
10 2 = V
2
mm ,diameter of the two pistons D=44mm,and
stoke of piston 25mm = s .Then 12.5mm = s/2 = r .After
accumulation, both of optimal link rod ratios in expansion and
compression chamber are 0.2 by the use of optimal toolbox in
matlab2009r application software and programming in it.The
maximum volume compression ratio
{ }
{ }
6269 . 2 }
min
max
max{ = } ) max{f( =
S
S
V
V
.The external cycle
power is the maximum at the same time.The 3-D surface chart
of volume compression ratio versus link rod ratios in
expansion and copression chambers is shown below.

Figure 7. Volume compression ratio versus link rod ratios in expansion and
copression chambers
IV. CONCLUSIONS
1)The optimal range of link rod ratio of general crank-
connecting rod mechanism is 0.20.4 by the use of multi-
objective optimization of the linear weighted evaluation
method and with reference to the group AHP method.
2)On the basis of conclusion 1), the link rod ratios in
expansion chamber and compression chamber are regarded as
variables,which comply to the optimal range of link rod
ratio.Then the optimal design model of -type stirling engine
is established.This paper presents algorithm to solve the model
as well.
3)In the application example, both of optimal link rod ratios in
expansion and compression chamber are 0.2 ,and the
maximum volume compression ratio is 2.6269.Which can
obtain the maximum external cycle power.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
Thanks National and School Innovation Experiment
Program for University Students for their support and
Zhang Baosheng, for his elaborate guidance and help in our
whole research.Thanks my teammates Zhou Fan and Yuan
Yujie for their support of my work and hard work in the entire
project as well.
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