Processes of Ideal Stirling Cycle
The ideal Stirling cycle comprises of two isothermal processes and two constant volume processes. The rejection of heat and absorption of heat takes place at constant temperature. Here are various processes of the Stirling cycle; these have been described with the piston-cylinder diagram and P-V diagram.
1) Isothermal expansion process 1-2: During this process the piston starts moving towards the outer part of the cylinder hence the pressure of the gas reduces and its volume increases. This is the part of the cycle when the work is produced by the cycle. The gas is heated at the constant temperature or isothermally at temperature T1.
2) Constant volume process or isochoric heat removal process 2-3: During this process heat within the fluid or gas is transferred to the regenerator for the use in next part of the cycle. The temperature of the gas reduces to T3.
3) Isothermal compression process 3-4: During this process the piston starts moving inside the cylinder hence compression of the gas occurs at constant temperature. Whatever the heat is generated during this process is rejected to the coolant in the intercooler.
4) Constant volume process or isochoric heat addition process 4-1: During this process the compressed gas moves towards the regenerator and absorbs the heat and its temperature increases to T1.
Thereafter the gas expands isothermally producing the work as described in process 1-2. In this way the cycle keeps on repeating.