The alpha engine dissociates in a clear way the hot source of the cold source. Indeed, a cylinder heats gas, another cools it. The kinematics is such as one makes pass gas of a cylinder to the other. See below succinct study of this type of engine.
Compared to the ideal cycle described in the page "The principles", the different phases of the cycle of an alpha engine are less differentiated. However, the following drawings seek to represent them.
The gas arrives in the hot cylinder coming from the cold cylinder. it is heated.
The two pistons descend. Total volume increases : it is the phase of relaxation.
The gas goes towards the cold cylinder from the hot cylinder. During this phase, it is cooled.
The two pistons go up at the same time. Total volume decreases: it is the phase of compression.
The following animation shows the complete cycle of a alpha engine.
This diagram is characteristic of the engine described above.
The calculations were made with TM = 2 Tm.
The theoretical efficiency would be 0.5.
One can see that this cycle is clearly different from the theoretical cycle.
The important thing is to have the gray area as large as possible. It is representative of the work recovered during a cycle (see the page ."the principles").
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thank you to Robert Stirling !
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