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Stirling engineRobert Stirling's innovative contribution to the design of hot air engines of 1816 was what he called the 'Economiser'. Now known as the regenerator, it stored heat from the hot portion of the engine as the air passed to the cold side, and released heat to the cooled air as it returned to the hot side. This innovation improved the efficiency of Stirling's engine enough to make it commercially successful in particular applications, and has since been a component of every air engine that is called a Stirling engine.

[edit] BoilersIn boilers, economizers are heat exchange devices that heat fluids, usually water, up to but not normally beyond the boiling point of that fluid. Economizers are so named because they can make use of the enthalpy in fluid streams that are hot, but not hot enough to be used in a boiler, thereby recovering more useful enthalpy and improving the boiler's efficiency. They are a device fitted to a boiler which saves energy by using the exhaust gases from the boiler to preheat the cold water used to fill it (the feed water).

[edit] HistoryThe first successful design of economizer was used to increase the steam-raising efficiency of the boilers of stationary steam engines. It was patented by Edward Green in 1845, and since then has been known as Green's economizer. It consisted of an array of vertical cast iron tubes connected to a tank of water above and below, between which the boiler's exhaust gases passed. This is the reverse arrangement to that usually but not always seen in the fire tubes of a boiler; there the hot gases usually pass through tubes immersed in water, whereas in an economizer the water passes through tubes surrounded by hot gases. But this is but a detail. The important thing is this: In a boiler the burning gases heat the water to produce steam to drive an engine, whether piston or turbine. In an economizer, some of the heat energy that would otherwise all be lost to the atmosphere is instead used to heat

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