A free-piston reciprocating expander is a device which operates without any mechanical linkage to a stationary part. Since the motion of the floating piston is only controlled by the pressure difference at two ends of the piston, this kind of expander may indispensably require a sophisticated active control system equipped with multiple valves and reservoirs. In this paper, we h ave suggested a novel design that can further reduce complexity of the previously developed cryogenic free-piston expander configuration. It is a simple replacement of both multiple valves and reservoirs by a combination of an orifice valve and a reservoir. The functional characteristic of the integrated orifice-reservoir configuration is similar to that of a phase controller applied in a pulse tube refrigerator so that we designate the one as a phase controller. Depending on the orifice valve size in the phase controller, the different PV work which affects the expander performance is generated. The numerical model of this unique free -piston reciprocating expander utilizing a phase controller is established to understand and analyze quantitatively the performance variation of the expander under different valve timing and orifice valve size. The room temperature experiments are carried out to examine the performance of this newly developed cryogenic expander.