Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Hailin Li

Committee Co-Chair

Songgang Qiu

Committee Member

Cosmin Dumitrescu

Committee Member

Vyacheslav Akkerman


Free-Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) has been identified as a good candidate for combined heat and power application (CHP). FPSE being highly efficient and environmentally friendly promises to facilitate the increasing demand in waste heat energy recovery systems. FPSE system consists of three important components: (1) hot side heat exchanger; (2) regenerator; and (3) cold side heat exchanger. The cold side heat exchanger is a crucial part as it enables to maintain an optimal temperature of the working fluid by rejecting heat.

This research contributes to the design of heat exchanger test rig and experimental measurement of cooling heat exchanger. The pressure loss and heat transfer rate are theoretically calculated to design and develop the cooling system. A portable test rig is designed in Solidworks and fabricated to accommodate the components of cooling system. The test rig is used to experimentally investigate the performance of a cross-flow heat exchanger. The experimental data measured is processed to characterize the performance of heat exchanger and to derive a series of parameters and dimensionless number such as Reynolds, Prandtl, and Nusselt number. The experimental study found out that a higher air flow rate is required to necessitate the required heat dissipation rate at lower temperatures. The effect of mass flow rate on heat transfer rate and heat transfer coefficient at three different temperatures indicate that the selected heat exchanger works better at higher temperature. Furthermore, empirical equations calculating the Nusselt Number as a function of Reynolds and Prandtl Number for the liquid and air-side of the cross-flow heat exchanger were derived.