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1. WO2007003927 - PRESSURISED GENERATOR

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CLAIMS

1. A generator for use with a Stirling engine, the generator having a rotor shaft (R) for connection to a Stirling engine crankshaft, a generator rotor (3) and a generator stator (5), in which the rotor shaft (R), generator rotor (3) and generator stator (5) are placed within a pressure containing outer housing (6)(8) characterised in that the generator stator (5) is fastened (F) within the outer housing (6)(8), and in which the pressure containing outer housing is configured for connection to a crankcase for a Stirling engine in a pressure communicating relationship, whereby to eliminate the need for a pressure resistant rotary seal between the crankcase and the pressure containing outer housing (6)(8).
2. A generator as claimed in claim 1, in which the pressure containing outer housing is formed of two portions joined by a peripheral weld (W).
3. A generator as claimed in claim 2, in which the pressure containing outer housing is generally spherical.
4. A generator as claimed in claim 3, in which the pressure containing outer housing comprises two hemispheres (6), (8) welded (W) together.
5. A generator as claimed in claim 4, in which the generator stator is fastened within just one of the outer housings (6) or (8)
6. A generator as claimed in claim 5, in which the generator stator is fastened to one of the outer housings (6 or 8) by means of a shrink fit.
7. A generator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the generator outer housing (6), (8) is of a composite material.
8. A generator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterised in that the power connection is through the end cap (6) of the outer housing via a gas tight connection (G).
9. A generator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, characterized in that a cooling shroud (10) with cooling inlet (13) and cooling outlet (12), surrounds part or all of the generator outer housing (6), (8).
10. A generator as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, in combination with a Stirling engine having a crankcase.
11. A generator as claimed in claim 10, characterised in that the Stirling engine's flywheel (S) is located within the generator outer housing (6) (8) and is fastened to the rotor shaft (R).
12. A generator as claimed in claim 10 or claim 11, characterised in that the generator outer housing (8) has a flange (1) that is attached to the Stirling engine crankcase by means of fasteners.
13, A generator as claimed in any one of claims 10 tol2, characterised in that the generator outer housing (8) has threads (1 ") that are in direct threaded engagement with the Stirling engine crankcase end cap (14).

14. A generator as claimed in any one of claims 10 tol3, characterised in that the generator flange (1) is welded directly to the Stirling engine crankcase-mating surface (11).
15. A generator as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 14, characterised in that the generator (3), (5) serves as a starting motor for the Stirling engine.
16. A generator as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 14, characterised in thatth^ generator (3), (5) serves as an electric drive for a pressurized Stirling cryocooler.