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In this paper, pole placement-based design and analysis of a free piston Stirling engine (FPSE) is presented and compared to the well-defined Beale number design technique. First, dynamic and thermodynamic equations governing the engine system are extracted. Then, linear dynamics of the free piston Stirling engine are studied using dynamic systems theory tools such as root locus. Accordingly, the effects of variations of design parameters such as mass of pistons, stiffness of springs, and frictional damping on the locations of dominant closed-loop poles are investigated. The design procedure is thus conducted to place the dominant poles of the dynamic system at desired locations on the s-plane so that the unstable dynamics, which is the required criterion for energy generation, is achieved. Next, the closed-loop poles are selected based on a desired frequency so that a periodical system is found. Consequently, the design parameters, including mass and spring stiffness for both power and displacer pistons, are obtained. Finally, the engine power is calculated through the proposed control-based analysis and the result is compared to those of the experimental work and the Beale number approach. The outcomes of this work clearly reveal the effectiveness of the control-based design technique of FPSEs compared to the well-known approaches such as Beale number.
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