Experimental Heat Exchanger Performance in a Thermoacoustic Prime Mover
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This thesis investigates the experimental heat exchanger performance in a neon filled thermoacoustic prime mover. The experimental approach is to measure the waveform and spectrum of the acoustic oscillations, as well as the relevant temperatures for heat exchangers of 0.257, 0.569, and 0.82 cm in length. A temperature gradient is established across the stack by submerging the cold heat exchanger and cold end tube in liquid nitrogen and keeping the hot heat exchanger and hot end tube at ambient temperature. Measurements are made at various mean gas pressures ranging from 1.5 to 50 kPa and for various effective positions of the stack in the standing wave. Acoustic pressure amplitudes as high as 29 of mean gas pressure are generated by the prime mover. The primary experimental controls over heat exchanger performance are the various heat exchanger lengths mentioned above, and the control of the thermal penetration depth, which decreases with increasing mean gas pressure. Results indicated that the prime mover can generate peak-to-peak displacement amplitudes that are much longer than the heat exchanger lengths.
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