Demonstration of an external combustion micro-heat engine

Jeong Hyun Cho, Chien Shung Lin, Cecilia D. Richards, Robert F. Richards, Jeongmin Ahn, Paul D. Ronney

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The integration of an external combustion micro heat engine with a Swiss roll combustor to produce power is presented in this work. The micro heat engine, a micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) based engine fabricated with standard micro-fabrication techniques, consists of a cavity filled with a saturated, two-phase working fluid, and bounded on the top and bottom by thin membranes. The engine is coupled to the combustor through a thermal switch which controls heat conduction from the combustor to the engine. The engine can utilize heat over a wide range of temperatures to produce power. The Swiss roll combustor utilizes the high energy density of hydrocarbon fuels in order to provide the necessary heat transfer required to power the engine. The overall feasibility of this integration as well as the results of this endeavor are explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3099-3105
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume32 II
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event32nd International Symposium on Combustion - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Aug 3 2008Aug 8 2008


  • Heat-redrculating combustors
  • Micro heat engine
  • Micro power generation
  • Micro-combustion
  • Micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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