To understand the Stirling engine is to understand history. As the Industrial Revolution emerged throughout Europe, a British patent was awarded to Robert Stirling in 1816.
 
Stirling Engine, 1830
 
 
“All my improvements for diminishing the consumption of fuel, consist of the differing forms or modification of a new method, contrivance, or mechanical arrangements for heating and cooling liquids, airs or gases, and other bodies, by the use of which contrivance heat is abstracted from one portion of such liquids, airs or gases, and other bodies, and communicated with another portion with very little loss, so that in all cases where a constant succession of heated liquids or other bodies is required, the quantity of fuel necessary to maintain or supply it is by this contrivance greatly diminished”.  Robert Stirling
 
In 1834, noted British astronomer John Herschel applied the Stirling cycle for cooling. This was the first known case of using the Stirling machine for refrigeration purposes.
 
Scottish born John Gorrie immigrated to US in 1849; he lived in South Carolina and Florida. Gorrie may have been the first to apply the Stirling machine for making ice. From descriptions published in 1876 by Alexander Carnegie Kirk, it seems that by then Stirling cycle cooling was well known in technical circles.
 
 
Advancing Stirling Technology
Over time, advancements in Stirling cycle machines become less frequent and theses machines almost disappeared by 1900 until they were rediscovered in the 1940s by researchers at Philips in The Netherlands. Philips used pressurization to significantly improve power density.
 
In 1946, under the direction of J. W. L. Köhler Philips applied the Stirling cycle for deep temperature use in the generation of liquefied gases  (US Patent 2,907,175, March 14, 1955).
 
 
Invention of the Free-Piston Stirling Engine
Various free-piston Stirling engine configurations were invented and developed in the 1960s. These machines required no mechanical linkages since the moving parts are either driven by internal gas pressure or a linear motor/alternator. Later developments included gas bearings where both the piston and displacer are both supported on helium bearings, thus eliminating the need for any lubrication whatsoever.
 
 
 
Global Cooling Logo
 
M100 Free Piston Stirling Engine
Establishment of Global Cooling, Inc.
In 1995, Global Cooling Inc. was established to commercializing a line of free-piston Stirling cooling engines. The company’s first production unit, M100, was sold as an OEM product to other manufacturers to use in a range of devices used in aerospace, electronics, energy and other industries.
 
In 2004, Twinbird Corporation, Japan, working under license from Global Cooling, released the world’s first consumer product cooled by the free-piston Stirling engine. This product, originally sold as a cooler for recreational use, was the precursor to the current line of portable freezers and refrigerators. Twinbird and Global Cooling continue an active partnership.
 
In 2009 Global Cooling identified the significant cooling performance and energy advantages of the free-piston Stirling technology over ultra-low cascade refrigeration systems used in the medical research, life science, pharmaceutical and clinical hospital industry.
 
In 2010 the company decided to establish a manufacturing facility to build a competitive line of ultra-low temperature storage freezers to meet a growing demand from biorepositories, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and beyond.
 
 
New Manufacturing Facility
In April 2011, the company moved into a 50,000 sq.ft. facility on Poston Road in Athens Ohio, keeping its commitment to empower the workforce of Southeastern Ohio and to continue the legacy of quality ultra-low freezer manufacturing already established in Southeastern Ohio.
 
Here, the company builds all its free-piston Stirling engines, freezer cabinets and conducts direct training of authorized service personnel who have met qualifications to support Stirling Ultracold products in the field.
 
 
Award Winning SU780U Ultra Low Freezer
 
 

Award-Winning Product Development
In January 2013, after significant beta testing at customer sites across the US, Stirling Ultracold introduced the Model SU780U to fulfill a market demand for a large (27.5 cu.ft.) upright ultra-low freezer to replace conventional cascade freezers. Successful deployment of the SU780U and independent customer performance testing generated critical praise from biorepository and pharmaceutical experts worldwide.
 
In May 2013, Stirling Ultracold received the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories’ (ISBER’s) Outstanding New Product of the Year Award for its Model SU780U ultra-low temperature freezer. The award, given to one product annually, recognizes the company’s development and introduction of the world’s most energy efficient ultra-low temperature freezer, the Stirling Ultracold SU780U.
Home > Who We Are > History
To understand the Stirling engine is to understand history. As the Industrial Revolution emerged throughout Europe, a British patent was awarded to Robert Stirling in 1816.
 
Stirling Engine, 1830
 
 
“All my improvements for diminishing the consumption of fuel, consist of the differing forms or modification of a new method, contrivance, or mechanical arrangements for heating and cooling liquids, airs or gases, and other bodies, by the use of which contrivance heat is abstracted from one portion of such liquids, airs or gases, and other bodies, and communicated with another portion with very little loss, so that in all cases where a constant succession of heated liquids or other bodies is required, the quantity of fuel necessary to maintain or supply it is by this contrivance greatly diminished”.  Robert Stirling
 
In 1834, noted British astronomer John Herschel applied the Stirling cycle for cooling. This was the first known case of using the Stirling machine for refrigeration purposes.
 
Scottish born John Gorrie immigrated to US in 1849; he lived in South Carolina and Florida. Gorrie may have been the first to apply the Stirling machine for making ice. From descriptions published in 1876 by Alexander Carnegie Kirk, it seems that by then Stirling cycle cooling was well known in technical circles.
 
 
Advancing Stirling Technology
Over time, advancements in Stirling cycle machines become less frequent and theses machines almost disappeared by 1900 until they were rediscovered in the 1940s by researchers at Philips in The Netherlands. Philips used pressurization to significantly improve power density.
 
In 1946, under the direction of J. W. L. Köhler Philips applied the Stirling cycle for deep temperature use in the generation of liquefied gases  (US Patent 2,907,175, March 14, 1955).
 
 
Invention of the Free-Piston Stirling Engine
Various free-piston Stirling engine configurations were invented and developed in the 1960s. These machines required no mechanical linkages since the moving parts are either driven by internal gas pressure or a linear motor/alternator. Later developments included gas bearings where both the piston and displacer are both supported on helium bearings, thus eliminating the need for any lubrication whatsoever.
 
 
 
Global Cooling Logo
 
M100 Free Piston Stirling Engine
Establishment of Global Cooling, Inc.
In 1995, Global Cooling Inc. was established to commercializing a line of free-piston Stirling cooling engines. The company’s first production unit, M100, was sold as an OEM product to other manufacturers to use in a range of devices used in aerospace, electronics, energy and other industries.
 
In 2004, Twinbird Corporation, Japan, working under license from Global Cooling, released the world’s first consumer product cooled by the free-piston Stirling engine. This product, originally sold as a cooler for recreational use, was the precursor to the current line of portable freezers and refrigerators. Twinbird and Global Cooling continue an active partnership.
 
In 2009 Global Cooling identified the significant cooling performance and energy advantages of the free-piston Stirling technology over ultra-low cascade refrigeration systems used in the medical research, life science, pharmaceutical and clinical hospital industry.
 
In 2010 the company decided to establish a manufacturing facility to build a competitive line of ultra-low temperature storage freezers to meet a growing demand from biorepositories, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and beyond.
 
 
New Manufacturing Facility
In April 2011, the company moved into a 50,000 sq.ft. facility on Poston Road in Athens Ohio, keeping its commitment to empower the workforce of Southeastern Ohio and to continue the legacy of quality ultra-low freezer manufacturing already established in Southeastern Ohio.
 
Here, the company builds all its free-piston Stirling engines, freezer cabinets and conducts direct training of authorized service personnel who have met qualifications to support Stirling Ultracold products in the field.
 
 
Award Winning SU780U Ultra Low Freezer
 
 

Award-Winning Product Development
In January 2013, after significant beta testing at customer sites across the US, Stirling Ultracold introduced the Model SU780U to fulfill a market demand for a large (27.5 cu.ft.) upright ultra-low freezer to replace conventional cascade freezers. Successful deployment of the SU780U and independent customer performance testing generated critical praise from biorepository and pharmaceutical experts worldwide.
 
In May 2013, Stirling Ultracold received the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories’ (ISBER’s) Outstanding New Product of the Year Award for its Model SU780U ultra-low temperature freezer. The award, given to one product annually, recognizes the company’s development and introduction of the world’s most energy efficient ultra-low temperature freezer, the Stirling Ultracold SU780U.

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