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What's Stirling Generator Engine?

Remote Power System Utilizes Free Piston Stirling Engine Power (FPSE)

Stirling Cryocoole Setup

When selecting a remote power system, you have several decisions to consider, with the type of engine being the most crucial one for various reasons. Your priority is to find an engine that is dependable, fuel-efficient, easy to maintain, and operates quietly, among other choices.

At RIGID Technology, we stand out as a top manufacturer of green power technology, specializing in Stirling energy systems and designing the Stirling engine. Our Stirling products not only offer rapid and ultra-low-temperature freezing capabilities but also provide efficient and low-maintenance power solutions that can reliably function with a wide variety of heat sources.

What is a FPSE?

A Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) is a type of Stirling engine, which operates on the Stirling cycle and uses a free-piston configuration.

A Stirling engine is a heat engine that operates on a closed-cycle regenerative thermodynamic process, known as the Stirling cycle. It works by cyclically heating and cooling a working fluid (usually helium or hydrogen) to generate power.

In a traditional Stirling engine, a displacer and a power piston are connected to a crankshaft to convert the linear motion of the pistons into rotational motion, which drives a generator to produce electricity. This setup allows for a continuous power output.

However, in a Free Piston Stirling Engine, the pistons operate without a mechanical linkage to a crankshaft. Instead, they are free-floating and move back and forth within a cylinder. The absence of a crankshaft and linkage makes the engine simpler and eliminates the wear and friction associated with these mechanical components.

Stirling Generator Engine
Stirling Generator Engine Working principle

The advantages of Free Piston Stirling Engines include higher efficiency, reduced maintenance requirements, and the ability to operate quietly due to the absence of mechanical linkages. They have been explored as a potential power generation.

How does it work?

The Stirling engine is a type of external combustion engine, meaning the heat source is outside the engine itself. Here's a step-by-step explanation of how the FPSE operates:

Heat Source: The Stirling engine requires an external heat source to function. This heat can be obtained from various sources, as mentioned earlier, such as solar energy, biomass, waste heat from industrial processes, or geothermal energy.

Free Piston Stirling Cooler - FPSC RIGID HVAC

Heating and Cooling: The FPSE cyclically heats and cools a working gas, which is typically helium or hydrogen (RIGID company stirling engine chooses Helium). This gas serves as the working fluid. The Stirling engine consists of two pistons, each located in a separate chamber. The chambers are connected by a regenerator, which is a matrix that helps store and transfer heat between the hot and cold ends of the engine.

a. Heating: The heat from the external source is applied to one end of the engine, called the hot end. The working gas in the hot end absorbs this heat and expands, causing an increase in pressure. As the gas expands, it pushes one of the pistons (called the power piston) outward.

b. Power Generation: The linear motion of the power piston is harnessed to perform useful work. This linear motion is converted into rotational motion using a linear alternator or generator. The generator then produces electricity as the pistons move back and forth.

c. Cooling: After the gas has done its work, it needs to be cooled down. The other end of the engine, called the cold end, is cooled to lower the temperature of the gas. The regenerator helps transfer heat from the hot end to the cold end, making the process more efficient.

Cooling and Repeating: As the gas cools, it contracts, which causes a decrease in pressure. This contraction helps return the power piston to its original position. The regenerator stores some of the heat from the previous cycle and releases it to the incoming working gas, increasing efficiency.

The process then repeats itself. The FPSE operates in a continuous cyclic manner, with the working gas repeatedly expanding and contracting to produce a continuous flow of power.

In summary, the FPSE is great for generating power in remote areas where there's no regular electricity supply. It's reliable, easy to maintain, and can work with different heat sources, making it a sustainable solution for off-grid locations.

What're benefits of a FPSE?

The FPSE system is a ultra efficient generator. It runs on Natural Gas, which can uses Propane or Biogas. It features low operating costs, environmentally-friendly emissions and produces a lower noise level compared to combustion engines. FPSEs are also known for having very high reliability and efficiency with no reciprocating engine.


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  • Reliability: FPSEs are known for their reliability and durability, making them a dependable source of power in remote areas.
  • Low Maintenance: FPSEs have fewer moving parts, leading to reduced maintenance needs and lower operational costs.
  • Versatility: They can utilize various heat sources, including solar energy, biomass, waste heat, and geothermal energy, making them adaptable to different environments.
  • Efficiency: FPSEs can convert heat into electricity with high efficiency, maximizing the use of available energy sources.
  • Quiet Operation: These engines operate quietly, reducing noise pollution in remote and sensitive environments.
  • Sustainability: By harnessing renewable energy sources, FPSEs contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly power generation.
  • Off-Grid Solution: FPSEs are an excellent option for off-grid or isolated areas, where traditional power grids are unavailable or impractical.
  • Long Lifespan: With proper maintenance, FPSEs can have a long operational lifespan, ensuring continuous power supply in remote locations.

Overall, a remote power unit with an FPSE provides a reliable, efficient, and environmentally friendly solution for generating electricity in areas away from conventional power infrastructure.

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Where remote power be used?

Remote power can be used in various locations and situations where traditional power grids are either unavailable, impractical, or economically unviable. Remote power generation can be used in a wide variety of industries and applications.

  • Off-Grid Areas: Remote villages, cabins, or settlements located far from centralized power grids can benefit from remote power systems.
  • Islands: Islands that are not connected to mainland power grids often rely on remote power solutions to meet their electricity needs.
  • Remote Research Stations: Scientific research stations and observatories in isolated or harsh environments may require independent power sources.
  • Mining and Extractive Industries: Remote mining sites and oil or gas extraction facilities often use remote power systems to power their operations.
  • Telecommunication Towers: Remote cell towers and communication stations require independent power sources to maintain connectivity.
  • Military Installations: Remote military bases and outposts often use self-contained power systems for operational requirements.
  • Recreational Vehicles: Campers, RVs, and boats use remote power systems to have electricity while traveling off-grid.
  • Emergency and Disaster Response: In emergency situations and natural disasters, remote power units can provide essential electricity where infrastructure has been damaged.
  • Environmental Monitoring Stations: Remote monitoring stations for environmental data may utilize self-sufficient power systems.
  • Agricultural Applications: Remote farms and agricultural operations may utilize independent power systems for irrigation, lighting, and other needs.
  • Wildlife Monitoring: Remote wildlife monitoring cameras and equipment may require standalone power sources.
  • Rural Electrification: In developing regions with limited access to centralized power grids, remote power systems can aid in rural electrification initiatives.

Overall, remote power systems are versatile and serve as a practical solution for meeting electricity needs in various challenging and isolated environments. They rely on alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, or Stirling engines, providing sustainable and reliable power generation even in the absence of traditional grid connections.


If you’re on the look out for a Stirling Power solution, we can help.

Visit our FPSC page to learn more or call us directly at +86 579 8837 9768 or contact us by email at for more details.

Also, check out this short video below to view an install of a Stirling Cooler RS100 offering cooling/deep freezing along with descriptions of how the system works.