Stirling engine developments have been directed at a wide range of applications, including:
- Small scale - residential or portable power generation.
- Solar dish applications - a renewable application where heat reflected from concentrating solar collectors is used to drive the Stirling engine. Several government-funded programs are aimed at enhancing this application.
- Vehicles - Auto manufacturers along with the U.S. government are investigating utilizing Stirling engines in vehicles.
- Refrigeration - Stirling engines are being developed to provide cooling for applications such as microprocessors and superconductors.
- Aircraft - Stirling engines could provide a quieter-operating engine for small aircraft.
- Space - Power generation units aboard space ships and vehicles.