Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Songgang Qiu

Committee Member

Hailin Li

Committee Member

Andrew Nix

Committee Member

V’yacheslav Akkerman

Committee Member

Fernando Lima


The regenerator is located between the heat accepter and the heat rejecter of the Stirling engine. It works as a thermal energy storage component in the engine. Most of the regenerators are made of woven screen or random fiber. However, the flow going through the woven screen or random fiber is similar to the cylinders in crossflow which has flow separation. To achieve higher engine efficiency, it is required to design a regenerator which has higher convective heat transfer, lower pressure drops. Therefore, a parallel channel regenerator called a robust foil regenerator was designed and manufactured.

In this study, a regenerator test rig was built to measure the flow loss and heat transfer through the robust foil regenerator. Additionally, a CFD model was developed to further understand the physics of the oscillating flow. For the flow loss, both the experimental and the simulation results show that the robust foil regenerator has a significantly lower friction coefficient than the woven screen regenerator. For the heat transfer, the Nusselt number of the woven screen regenerator is higher than the Nusselt number of the robust foil regenerator.

To evaluate the overall performance of the robust foil regenerator and the woven screen regenerator, the figure of merit was utilized, which is commonly used for regenerator performance evaluation. The result shows that the robust foil regenerator has a better performance than the woven screen regenerator. Therefore, in conclusion, to increase the efficiency of the Stirling Engine, the robust foil regenerator is an excellent choice.