Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: thermoacoustic

10 The Effect of Mean Pressure on the Performance of a Low-Grade Heat-Driven Thermoacoustic Cooler

Authors: Irna Farikhah


Converting low-grade waste heat into useful energy such as sound energy which can then be used to generate acoustic power in a thermoacoustic engine has become an attracting issue for researchers. The generated power in thermoacoustic engine can be used for driving a thermoacoustic cooler when they are installed in a tube. This cooler system can be called as a heat-driven thermoacoustic cooler. In this study, low heating temperature of the engine is discussed. In addition, having high efficiency of the whole cooler is also essential. To design a thermoacoustic cooler having high efficiency with using low-grade waste heat for the engine, the effect of mean pressure is investigated. By increasing the mean pressure, the heating temperature to generate acoustic power can be decreased from 557 °C to 300 °C. Moreover, the efficiency of the engine and cooler regenerators attain 67% and 47% of the upper limit values, respectively and 49% of the acoustical work generated by the engine regenerator is utilized in the cooler regenerator. As a result, the efficiency of the whole cooler becomes 15% of the upper limit value.

Keywords: cooler, mean pressure, performance, thermoacoustic

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9 Experimental Investigation on the Optimal Operating Frequency of a Thermoacoustic Refrigerator

Authors: Kriengkrai Assawamartbunlue, Channarong Wantha


This paper presents the effects of the mean operating pressure on the optimal operating frequency based on temperature differences across stack ends in a thermoacoustic refrigerator. In addition to the length of the resonance tube, components of the thermoacoustic refrigerator have an influence on the operating frequency due to their acoustic properties, i.e. absorptivity, reflectivity and transmissivity. The interference of waves incurs and distorts the original frequency generated by the driver so that the optimal operating frequency differs from the designs. These acoustic properties are not parameters in the designs and it is very complicated to infer their responses. A prototype thermoacoustic refrigerator is constructed and used to investigate its optimal operating frequency compared to the design at various operating pressures. Helium and air are used as working fluids during the experiments. The results indicate that the optimal operating frequency of the prototype thermoacoustic refrigerator using helium is at 6 bar and 490Hz or approximately 20% away from the design frequency. The optimal operating frequency at other mean pressures differs from the design in an unpredictable manner, however, the optimal operating frequency and pressure can be identified by testing.

Keywords: acoustic properties, Carnot’s efficiency, interference of waves, operating pressure, optimal operating frequency, stack performance, standing wave, thermoacoustic refrigerator

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8 Optimization of Temperature Difference Formula at Thermoacoustic Cryocooler Stack with Genetic Algorithm

Authors: H. Afsari, H. Shokouhmand


When stack is placed in a thermoacoustic resonator in a cryocooler, one extremity of the stack heats up while the other cools down due to the thermoacoustic effect. In the present, with expression a formula by linear theory, will see this temperature difference depends on what factors. The computed temperature difference is compared to the one predicted by the formula. These discrepancies can not be attributed to non-linear effects, rather they exist because of thermal effects. Two correction factors are introduced for close up results among linear theory and computed and use these correction factors to modified linear theory. In fact, this formula, is optimized by GA (Genetic Algorithm). Finally, results are shown at different Mach numbers and stack location in resonator.

Keywords: heat transfer, thermoacoustic cryocooler, stack, resonator, mach number, genetic algorithm

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7 A Study of Standing-Wave Thermoacoustic Refrigerator

Authors: Patcharin Saechan, Isares Dhuchakallaya


Thermoacoustic refrigerator is a cooling device which uses the acoustic waves to produce the cooling effect. The aim of this paper is to explore the experimental and numerical feasibility of a standing-wave thermoacoustic refrigerator. The effects of the stack length, position of stack and operating frequency on the cooling performance are carried out. The circular pore stacks are tested under the atmospheric pressure. A low-cost loudspeaker is used as an acoustic driver. The results show that the location of stack installed in resonator tube has a greater effect on the cooling performance than the stack length and operating frequency, respectively. The temperature difference across the ends of the stack can be generated up to 13.7°C, and the temperature of cold-end is dropped down by 5.3°C from the ambient temperature.

Keywords: cooling performance, refrigerator, standing-wave, thermoacoustics

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6 Bi-Directional Impulse Turbine for Thermo-Acoustic Generator

Authors: A. I. Dovgjallo, A. B. Tsapkova, A. A. Shimanov


The paper is devoted to one of engine types with external heating – a thermoacoustic engine. In thermoacoustic engine heat energy is converted to an acoustic energy. Further, acoustic energy of oscillating gas flow must be converted to mechanical energy and this energy in turn must be converted to electric energy. The most widely used way of transforming acoustic energy to electric one is application of linear generator or usual generator with crank mechanism. In both cases, the piston is used. Main disadvantages of piston use are friction losses, lubrication problems and working fluid pollution which cause decrease of engine power and ecological efficiency. Using of a bidirectional impulse turbine as an energy converter is suggested. The distinctive feature of this kind of turbine is that the shock wave of oscillating gas flow passing through the turbine is reflected and passes through the turbine again in the opposite direction. The direction of turbine rotation does not change in the process. Different types of bidirectional impulse turbines for thermoacoustic engines are analyzed. The Wells turbine is the simplest and least efficient of them. A radial impulse turbine has more complicated design and is more efficient than the Wells turbine. The most appropriate type of impulse turbine was chosen. This type is an axial impulse turbine, which has a simpler design than that of a radial turbine and similar efficiency. The peculiarities of the method of an impulse turbine calculating are discussed. They include changes in gas pressure and velocity as functions of time during the generation of gas oscillating flow shock waves in a thermoacoustic system. In thermoacoustic system pressure constantly changes by a certain law due to acoustic waves generation. Peak values of pressure are amplitude which determines acoustic power. Gas, flowing in thermoacoustic system, periodically changes its direction and its mean velocity is equal to zero but its peak values can be used for bi-directional turbine rotation. In contrast with feed turbine, described turbine operates on un-steady oscillating flows with direction changes which significantly influence the algorithm of its calculation. Calculated power output is 150 W with frequency 12000 r/min and pressure amplitude 1,7 kPa. Then, 3-d modeling and numerical research of impulse turbine was carried out. As a result of numerical modeling, main parameters of the working fluid in turbine were received. On the base of theoretical and numerical data model of impulse turbine was made on 3D printer. Experimental unit was designed for numerical modeling results verification. Acoustic speaker was used as acoustic wave generator. Analysis if the acquired data shows that use of the bi-directional impulse turbine is advisable. By its characteristics as a converter, it is comparable with linear electric generators. But its lifetime cycle will be higher and engine itself will be smaller due to turbine rotation motion.

Keywords: acoustic power, bi-directional pulse turbine, linear alternator, thermoacoustic generator

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5 A Compact Standing-Wave Thermoacoustic Refrigerator Driven by a Rotary Drive Mechanism

Authors: Kareem Abdelwahed, Ahmed Salama, Ahmed Rabie, Ahmed Hamdy, Waleed Abdelfattah, Ahmed Abd El-Rahman


Conventional vapor-compression refrigeration systems rely on typical refrigerants, such as CFC, HCFC and ammonia. Despite of their suitable thermodynamic properties and their stability in the atmosphere, their corresponding global warming potential and ozone depletion potential raise concerns about their usage. Thus, the need for new refrigeration systems, which are environment-friendly, inexpensive and simple in construction, has strongly motivated the development of thermoacoustic energy conversion systems. A thermoacoustic refrigerator (TAR) is a device that is mainly consisting of a resonator, a stack and two heat exchangers. Typically, the resonator is a long circular tube, made of copper or steel and filled with Helium as a the working gas, while the stack has short and relatively low thermal conductivity ceramic parallel plates aligned with the direction of the prevailing resonant wave. Typically, the resonator of a standing-wave refrigerator has one end closed and is bounded by the acoustic driver at the other end enabling the propagation of half-wavelength acoustic excitation. The hot and cold heat exchangers are made of copper to allow for efficient heat transfer between the working gas and the external heat source and sink respectively. TARs are interesting because they have no moving parts, unlike conventional refrigerators, and almost no environmental impact exists as they rely on the conversion of acoustic and heat energies. Their fabrication process is rather simpler and sizes span wide variety of length scales. The viscous and thermal interactions between the stack plates, heat exchangers' plates and the working gas significantly affect the flow field within the plates' channels, and the energy flux density at the plates' surfaces, respectively. Here, the design, the manufacture and the testing of a compact refrigeration system that is based on the thermoacoustic energy-conversion technology is reported. A 1-D linear acoustic model is carefully and specifically developed, which is followed by building the hardware and testing procedures. The system consists of two harmonically-oscillating pistons driven by a simple 1-HP rotary drive mechanism operating at a frequency of 42Hz -hereby, replacing typical expensive linear motors and loudspeakers-, and a thermoacoustic stack within which the energy conversion of sound into heat is taken place. Air at ambient conditions is used as the working gas while the amplitude of the driver's displacement reaches 19 mm. The 30-cm-long stack is a simple porous ceramic material having 100 square channels per square inch. During operation, both oscillating-gas pressure and solid-stack temperature are recorded for further analysis. Measurements show a maximum temperature difference of about 27 degrees between the stack hot and cold ends with a Carnot coefficient of performance of 11 and estimated cooling capacity of five Watts, when operating at ambient conditions. A dynamic pressure of 7-kPa-amplitude is recorded, yielding a drive ratio of 7% approximately, and found in a good agreement with theoretical prediction. The system behavior is clearly non-linear and significant non-linear loss mechanisms are evident. This work helps understanding the operation principles of thermoacoustic refrigerators and presents a keystone towards developing commercial thermoacoustic refrigerator units.

Keywords: refrigeration system, rotary drive mechanism, standing-wave, thermoacoustic refrigerator

Procedia PDF Downloads 260
4 The Numerical Model of the Onset of Acoustic Oscillation in Pulse Tube Engine

Authors: Alexander I. Dovgyallo, Evgeniy A. Zinoviev, Svetlana O. Nekrasova


The most of works applied for the pulse tube converters contain the workflow description implemented through the use of mathematical models on stationary modes. However, the study of the thermoacoustic systems unsteady behavior in the start, stop, and acoustic load changes modes is in the particular interest. The aim of the present study was to develop a mathematical thermal excitation model of acoustic oscillations in pulse tube engine (PTE) as a small-scale scheme of pulse tube engine operating at atmospheric air. Unlike some previous works this standing wave configuration is a fully closed system. The improvements over previous mathematical models are the following: the model allows specifying any values of porosity for regenerator, takes into account the piston weight and the friction in the cylinder and piston unit, and determines the operating frequency. The numerical method is based on the relation equations between the pressure and volume velocity variables at the ends of each element of PTE which is recorded through the appropriate transformation matrix. A solution demonstrates that the PTE operation frequency is the complex value, and it depends on the piston mass and the dynamic friction due to its movement in the cylinder. On the basis of the determined frequency thermoacoustically induced heat transport and generation of acoustic power equations were solved for channel with temperature gradient on its ends. The results of numerical simulation demonstrate the features of the initialization process of oscillation and show that that generated acoustic power more than power on the steady mode in a factor of 3…4. But doesn`t mean the possibility of its further continuous utilizing due to its existence only in transient mode which lasts only for a 30-40 sec. The experiments were carried out on small-scale PTE. The results shows that the value of acoustic power is in the range of 0.7..1.05 W for the defined frequency range f = 13..18 Hz and pressure amplitudes 11..12 kPa. These experimental data are satisfactorily correlated with the numerical modeling results. The mathematical model can be straightforwardly applied for the thermoacoustic devices with variable temperatures of thermal reservoirs and variable transduction loads which are expected to occur in practical implementations of portable thermoacoustic engines.

Keywords: nonlinear processes, pulse tube engine, thermal excitation, standing wave

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3 Impinging Acoustics Induced Combustion: An Alternative Technique to Prevent Thermoacoustic Instabilities

Authors: Sayantan Saha, Sambit Supriya Dash, Vinayak Malhotra


Efficient propulsive systems development is an area of major interest and concern in aerospace industry. Combustion forms the most reliable and basic form of propulsion for ground and space applications. The generation of large amount of energy from a small volume relates mostly to the flaming combustion. This study deals with instabilities associated with flaming combustion. Combustion is always accompanied by acoustics be it external or internal. Chemical propulsion oriented rockets and space systems are well known to encounter acoustic instabilities. Acoustic brings in changes in inter-energy conversion and alter the reaction rates. The modified heat fluxes, owing to wall temperature, reaction rates, and non-linear heat transfer are observed. The thermoacoustic instabilities significantly result in reduced combustion efficiency leading to uncontrolled liquid rocket engine performance, serious hazards to systems, assisted testing facilities, enormous loss of resources and every year a substantial amount of money is spent to prevent them. Present work attempts to fundamentally understand the mechanisms governing the thermoacoustic combustion in liquid rocket engine using a simplified experimental setup comprising a butane cylinder and an impinging acoustic source. Rocket engine produces sound pressure level in excess of 153 Db. The RL-10 engine generates noise of 180 Db at its base. Systematic studies are carried out for varying fuel flow rates, acoustic levels and observations are made on the flames. The work is expected to yield a good physical insight into the development of acoustic devices that when coupled with the present propulsive devices could effectively enhance combustion efficiency leading to better and safer missions. The results would be utilized to develop impinging acoustic devices that impinge sound on the combustion chambers leading to stable combustion thus, improving specific fuel consumption, specific impulse, reducing emissions, enhanced performance and fire safety. The results can be effectively applied to terrestrial and space application.

Keywords: combustion instability, fire safety, improved performance, liquid rocket engines, thermoacoustics

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2 Design Optimization and Thermoacoustic Analysis of Pulse Tube Cryocooler Components

Authors: K. Aravinth, C. T. Vignesh


The usage of pulse tube cryocoolers is significantly increased mainly due to the advantage of the absence of moving parts. The underlying idea of this project is to optimize the design of pulse tube, regenerator, a resonator in cryocooler and analyzing the thermo-acoustic oscillations with respect to the design parameters. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) model with time-dependent validation is done to predict its performance. The continuity, momentum, and energy equations are solved for various porous media regions. The effect of changing the geometries and orientation will be validated and investigated in performance. The pressure, temperature and velocity fields in the regenerator and pulse tube are evaluated. This optimized design performance results will be compared with the existing pulse tube cryocooler design. The sinusoidal behavior of cryocooler in acoustic streaming patterns in pulse tube cryocooler will also be evaluated.

Keywords: acoustics, cryogenics, design, optimization

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1 Analysis of Thermal Damping in Si Based Torsional Micromirrors

Authors: R. Resmi, M. R. Baiju


The thermal damping of a dynamic vibrating micromirror is an important factor affecting the design of MEMS based actuator systems. In the development process of new micromirror systems, assessing the extent of energy loss due to thermal damping accurately and predicting the performance of the system is very essential. In this paper, the depth of the thermal penetration layer at different eigenfrequencies and the temperature variation distributions surrounding a vibrating micromirror is analyzed. The thermal penetration depth corresponds to the thermal boundary layer in which energy is lost which is a measure of the thermal damping is found out. The energy is mainly dissipated in the thermal boundary layer and thickness of the layer is an important parameter. The detailed thermoacoustics is used to model the air domain surrounding the micromirror. The thickness of the boundary layer, temperature variations and thermal power dissipation are analyzed for a Si based torsional mode micromirror. It is found that thermal penetration depth decreases with eigenfrequency and hence operating the micromirror at higher frequencies is essential for reducing thermal damping. The temperature variations and thermal power dissipations at different eigenfrequencies are also analyzed. Both frequency-response and eigenfrequency analyses are done using COMSOL Multiphysics software.

Keywords: Eigen frequency analysis, micromirrors, thermal damping, thermoacoustic interactions

Procedia PDF Downloads 230