Design and Three-Dimensional Simulation of a Solar Dish-Stirling Engine


  • Sherihan Abd El- Ghafour Mechanical Power Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Port-Said University, Egypt
  • Nady Mikhael Mechanical Power Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Port-Said University, Egypt
  • Mohamed El- Ghandour Mechanical Power Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Port-Said University, Egypt



Solar Stirling engine, Multi-facet dish concentrator, Cavity receiver, CFD simulation


Design and three-dimensional simulation of a solar Dish-Stirling (SDS) engine is currently performed. The design starts with the GPU-3 Stirling engine, which is originally built to generate power from the fossil fuel exclusively. The design is conducted through three subsequent phases. Firstly, several parabolic dishes with different rim angles and number of facets are investigated to optimally design the dish concentrator. Secondly, different relative positions of the receiver aperture to the dish focal plane are tested to reach the optimal position. The optical simulation of the solar concentration process is carried out using SolTRACE software. Finally, an optimal design for a cavity receiver that involves a new structure of the heater tubes is performed. The simulation of the engine with the designed receiver is implemented using the commercial CFD code ANSYS FLUENT. Having finished the design, a comprehensive energy analysis of the designed SDS engine is carried out. The results show that a nearly uniform temperature distribution of the heater tubes throughout the cycle is achieved. The overall thermal efficiency of the designed SDS engine is about 31.8 % at a DNI of 1000 W/m2.


Rapier, Robert. "Fossil Fuels Still Supply 84 Percent Of World Energy — And Other Eye Openers From BP’s Annual Review." (June, 2020). [Online].

Kulichenko, N., & Khanna, A. (2013). Development of Local Supply Chain: The Missing Link for Concentrated Solar Power Projects in India (Vol 1). Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), The World Bank, Washington, DC.

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), "Global Energy Transportation." (2018).

Kalogirou, Soteris A. "Progress in energy and combustion science." Prog. Ener. Combust. Sci 30 (2004): 231-295.

Abbas, M., B. Boumeddane, N. Said, and A. Chikouche. "Techno economic evaluation of solar Dish Stirling system for stand alone electricity generation in Algeria." Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences 4, no. 4 (2009): 258-267.

Behar, Omar, Abdallah Khellaf, and Kamal Mohammedi. "A review of studies on central receiver solar thermal power plants." Renewable and sustainable energy reviews 23 (2013): 12-39.

Günther, Matthias, and Reza Shahbazfar. "Advanced CSP Teaching Materials: Chapter 7 Solar Dish Technology." EnerMENA, DLR (2016).

Barreto, Germilly, and Paulo Canhoto. "Modelling of a Stirling engine with parabolic dish for thermal to electric conversion of solar energy." Energy Conversion and Management 132 (2017): 119-135.

Letcher, Trevor M. "Future energy: improved, sustainable and clean options for our planet/edited by Trevor M. Letcher." (2008).

Bakos, G. C., and Ch Antoniades. "Techno-economic appraisal of a dish/stirling solar power plant in Greece based on an innovative solar concentrator formed by elastic film." Renewable energy 60 (2013): 446-453.

Arora, Rajesh, S. C. Kaushik, Raj Kumar, and Ranjana Arora. "Multi-objective thermo-economic optimization of solar parabolic dish Stirling heat engine with regenerative losses using NSGA-II and decision making." International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems 74 (2016): 25-35.

Yaqi, Li, He Yaling, and Wang Weiwei. "Optimization of solar-powered Stirling heat engine with finite-time thermodynamics." Renewable energy 36, no. 1 (2011): 421-427.

Ahmadi, Mohammad Hossein, Hoseyn Sayyaadi, Saeed Dehghani, and Hadi Hosseinzade. "Designing a solar powered Stirling heat engine based on multiple criteria: maximized thermal efficiency and power." Energy Conversion and Management 75 (2013): 282-291.

Li, Mingzhen, and Jinzhong Dong. "Modeling and simulation of solar dish-Stirling systems." In 2012 Asia-Pacific Power and Energy Engineering Conference, pp. 1-7. IEEE, 2012.

Beltrán-Chacon, Ricardo, Daniel Leal-Chavez, D. Sauceda, Manuel Pellegrini-Cervantes, and Mónica Borunda. "Design and analysis of a dead volume control for a solar Stirling engine with induction generator." Energy 93 (2015): 2593-2603.

Kadri, Y., and H. Hadj Abdallah. "Performance evaluation of a stand-alone solar dish Stirling system for power generation suitable for off-grid rural electrification." Energy Conversion and Management 129 (2016): 140-156.

Nepveu, Francois, Alain Ferriere, and Francoise Bataille. "Thermal model of a dish/Stirling systems." Solar Energy 83, no. 1 (2009): 81-89.

Yan, J., Y. D. Peng, Z. R. Cheng, F. M. Liu, and X. H. Tang. "Design and implementation of a 38 kW dish-Stirling concentrated solar power system." In IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, vol. 93, no. 1, p. 012052. IOP Publishing, 2017.

El-Ghafour, S. A., M. El-Ghandour, and N. N. Mikhael. "Three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics simulation of stirling engine." Energy conversion and management 180 (2019): 533-549.

El-Ghafour, Sherihan, Nady Mikhael, and Mohamed El-Ghandour. "Energy and Exergy Analyses of Stirling Engine using CFD Approach." Journal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences 77, no. 1 (2021): 100-123.

Alfarawi, S., R. Al-Dadah, and S. Mahmoud. "Influence of phase angle and dead volume on gamma-type Stirling engine power using CFD simulation." Energy Conversion and Management 124 (2016): 130-140.

El-Ghafour, S. "Design and Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation of a Solar Stirling Engine." PhD diss., Ph. D. Dissertation, University of Port Said, Port Said, Egypt (2018).

Thieme, Lanny G. "High-power baseline and motoring test results for the GPU-3 Stirling engine." (1981).

Hafez, A. Z., Ahmed Soliman, K. A. El-Metwally, and I. M. Ismail. "Solar parabolic dish Stirling engine system design, simulation, and thermal analysis." Energy conversion and management 126 (2016): 60-75.

Thakkar, Vanita, Ankush Doshi, and Akshaykumar Rana. "Performance analysis methodology for parabolic dish solar concentrators for process heating using thermic fluid." Journal of Mechanical and Civil Engineering 12, no. 1 (2015): 101-114.

Li, Zhigang, Dawei Tang, Jinglong Du, and Tie Li. "Study on the radiation flux and temperature distributions of the concentrator–receiver system in a solar dish/Stirling power facility." Applied Thermal Engineering 31, no. 10 (2011): 1780-1789.

Zanganeh, Giv, Roman Bader, Andrea Pedretti, Marco Pedretti, and Aldo Steinfeld. "A solar dish concentrator based on ellipsoidal polyester membrane facets." Solar Energy 86, no. 1 (2012): 40-47.

Pavlovi?, Saša R., Velimir P. Stefanovi?, and Suad H. Suljkovi?. "Optical modeling of a solar dish thermal concentrator based on square flat facets." Thermal Science 18, no. 3 (2014): 989-998.

Le Roux, Willem Gabriel, Tunde Bello-Ochende, and Josua P. Meyer. "The efficiency of an open-cavity tubular solar receiver for a small-scale solar thermal Brayton cycle." Energy Conversion and Management 84 (2014): 457-470.

Dunn, Rebecca, Keith Lovegrove, Greg Burgess, and John Pye. "An experimental study of ammonia receiver geometries for dish concentrators." Journal of Solar Energy Engineering 134, no. 4 (2012).

Sup, Billy Anak, Mohd Farid Zainudin, Tanti Zanariah Shamsir Ali, Rosli Abu Bakar, and Gan Leong Ming. "Effect of rim angle to the flux distribution diameter in solar parabolic dish collector." Energy procedia 68 (2015): 45-52.

Kaushika, N. D., and K. S. Reddy. "Performance of a low cost solar paraboloidal dish steam generating system." Energy conversion and management 41, no. 7 (2000): 713-726.

Riveros-Rosas, David, Marcelino Sánchez-González, Camilo A. Arancibia-Bulnes, and Claudio A. Estrada. "Influence of the size of facets on point focus solar concentrators." Renewable energy 36, no. 3 (2011): 966-970.

Perez-Enciso, Ricardo, Alessandro Gallo, David Riveros-Rosas, Edward Fuentealba-Vidal, and Carlos Perez-Rábago. "A simple method to achieve a uniform flux distribution in a multi-faceted point focus concentrator." Renewable Energy 93 (2016): 115-124.

Shuai, Yong, Xinlin Xia, and Heping Tan. "Numerical simulation and experiment research of radiation performance in a dish solar collector system." Frontiers of Energy and Power Engineering in China 4, no. 4 (2010): 488-495.

FRASER, PR. "Stirling Dish System Performance Prediction Model, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON." MASTER OF SCIENCE (2008).

Fedawy, Mostafa, Shereen Mostafa Ali, and Tarek Abdolkader. "Efficiency Enhancement of GaAs Solar Cell using Si3N4 Anti-reflection Coating." Journal of Advanced Research in Materials Science 42: 1-7.

Shantia, Alireza, Hamid Kayal, Wolfgang Streicher, and Solar Island. "Modelling of Heat Transfer in a Trapezoidal Cavity Receiver for a Linear Fresnel Solar Collector with Fixed/Narrow Reflectors." (2015).

Mao, Qianjun, Yong Shuai, and Yuan Yuan. "Study on radiation flux of the receiver with a parabolic solar concentrator system." Energy Conversion and Management 84 (2014): 1-6.

Moghimi, M. A., K. J. Craig, and Josua P. Meyer. "A novel computational approach to combine the optical and thermal modelling of Linear Fresnel Collectors using the finite volume method." Solar Energy 116 (2015): 407-427.

Ben-Mansour, R., A. Abuelyamen, and Esmail MA Mokheimer. "CFD analysis of radiation impact on Stirling engine performance." Energy conversion and management 152 (2017): 354-365.




How to Cite

Ghafour, S. A. E.-., Mikhael, N. ., & Ghandour, M. E.-. (2021). Design and Three-Dimensional Simulation of a Solar Dish-Stirling Engine . Journal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences, 82(1), 51–76.