Stirling Cryocooler for MRI Cryostat Shield Cooling

Period of Performance: 09/01/1993 - 08/31/1994


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Stirling Technology CO.
4208 West Clearwater Ave
Kennewick, WA 99336
Principal Investigator


Stirling Technology Company (STC) will demonstrate a two-stage free- piston Stirling cycle cryocooler that will simultaneously provide 40 W net refrigeration at 50 K and 3.0 W net refrigeration at 10K while requiring a total electrical input of less than 2500 W. This will be accomplished with a compressor to expander interconnect tube length of 3 meters and an expander peak vibrational force of less than 16 Newtons. Successful demonstration of flexural bearing support and clearance seals in this cryocooler will significantly extend the range of application for this technology which is expected to allow multi-year maintenance-free operation. Further development of this cryocooler will lower MRI operating costs through reduced cryocooler maintenance. The cryocooler may also find application as a pre-cooler for Joule-Thompson devices for helium liquefaction.