MULTI-STAGE TRAVELING WAVE THERMOACOUSTICS IN PRACTICE

(Kees de Blok, 19th International Congress on Sound and Vibration, Vilnius, Lithuania, July 8-12, 2012)

Student: Subhan Ullah Advisor: Prof. Akiyoshi Iida Assistant Prof. Hiroshi Yokoyama

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Table of contents
• Introduction
 Background  Previous research  Objective

• Methodology
 Main components of TA-engine
Acoustic resonators Regenerators Heat exchangers

• Results • Conclusions
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Introduction
• Background • Previous research • Objective

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Background
• Thermoacoustics combine thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and acoustics to describe the interactions that exist between heat and sound. • Under the right conditions, these interactions can be used to design useful devices that convert heat into large amplitude sound waves and vice-versa.

• Thermoacoustic devices are capable of either taking a temperature gradient and producing acoustic waves or taking acoustic waves and producing a temperature gradient.
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Simple TA-engine(Prime mover) and TA-Refrigerator(Heat pump)

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Multi-stage TA-engine
Red = Heat in at Thigh Blue = Heat out at Tlow Green = Acoustic loop power

• In this case the mutual distance between the regenerator units is ¼ L • There are four loads attached with each stage

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Cont…
• An option to increase thermoacoustic power gain at medium and low operating temperatures is to use multiple thermoacoustic units or cores, changing the size of regenerators, or adding an acoustic load per stage • A special configuration suggested by de Blok is, when an even number (typically two or four) of equally spaced regenerators is inserted inside the feedback loop, so that the distance from one regenerator to the other is half of the wave length in the case of a two-stages engine, and a quarter of the wavelength in the case of a four-stages engine
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Thermoacoustic power (TAP)
• TAP was designed for converting 100 kW of thermal power of flue gas at 150-160ºC into 10 kW electricity with an exegetic efficiency of > 40%. • Basically it is also a 4-stage traveling wave feedback system using helium at a mean pressure of 750 kPa as working gas

• The 1.64 kW output power is reached with helium at a mean pressure of 750 kPa and at only 1.7% drive ratio.

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Previous research
• 1777, Dr. Bryan Higgins • In 1859, Rijke (open ends, air, and 1/4L)

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Cont…
• Sondhauss in 1850 (earliest known predecessor to today’s standing wave thermoacoustic engines )
– Can work horizontally – No ascending air current is required for oscillations

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Cont…
• Carter in 1962, introduced a stack of parallel plates inside the tube which made it easier to exchange heat with the working gas

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Cont…
• In 1979, Peter H. Ceperley:
– Toroidal geometry – ”acoustic Stirling engine”

• The high and low temperature heat exchangers and the stack or regenerator altogether are sometimes referred to as a ”stage”.

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Thermoacoustic power (TAP)
• TAP was designed for converting 100 kW of thermal power of flue gas at 150-160ºC into 10 kW electricity with an exegetic efficiency of > 40%. Basically it is also a 4-stage traveling wave feedback system using helium at a mean pressure of 750 kPa as working gas • At an input of 99 ◦C and heat rejection at 20 ◦C this corresponds with 38% effeciency.

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Objectives
• Emphasis in this document is on acoustic loss in the acoustic resonance and feedback circuitry which has turned out to be the major issue in the design of useful integral thermoacoustic systems.

• To test an integral system of a low temperature thermoacoustic engine driving a thermoacoustic refrigerator. • Practical reasonable application of Thermoacoustics.

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Methodology
 Main components of TA-engine
 Acoustic resonators:
A: Standing-wave resonators B: Helmholtz type resonators C: Acousto-mechanical resonators D: Traveling wave or loop resonators

 Regenerators Heat exchangers

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Acoustic resonators

A: Geometry of the ½ λ resonator

B: The ¼ λ resonator

• These are standing waves resonator tubes and the losses depends upon interference pattern.

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Cont…

C: the Acousto-mechanical resonator The mass is acting like a resonator.

D: The traveling wave feedback loop The load is connected to the acoustic source by one wavelength long feedback tube.

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Regenerator

Sample of the material for the ceramic regenerator: general view (left); close up of the channel structure(right)

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Heat exchangers
• There are two types of heat exchangers

Hot (left) and cold (right) heat exchanger assemblies
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Results
• Ranking of resonator tubes

Coupling efficiency = P(Acoustic load) / P(Acoustic source)

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• There are less losses in mechanical resonator but in practice it is difficult to make it. • The travelling wave resonator has the lowest loss and also it is more compact.

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Table 1: Performance of the integrated system measured at increasing engine input temperature
ENGINE
TH_E TC_E QE Qstat TH_reg TC_reg
Hot hex input temperature Cold hex input temperature Thermal input power Static heat loss Regenerator high temperature ºC ºC W W ºC ºC 169 12 1041 235 138 32.1 134 W W 73.0 21.4 211 13.2 1300 296 178 38.8 192 91.4 30.8 239 13 1728 340 199 47 274 121 44

Regenerator low temperature
Acoustic power at refrigerator input (#1) Acoustic power at engine input (#2) Acoustic loss feedback Acoustic output power (Pac1 – Pac2 + ¾ .Wfb ) Thermal efficiency (W out_E / QE ) Exegetic efficiency relative to TH_E Exegetic efficiency relative to TH_reg

Pac1
Pac2 W fb

W out_E
ηT_E η2_E

W -

76.6 0.10 0.29 0.42

124 0.14 0.34 0.48

187 0.15 0.35 0.50

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η2_E_reg

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Table 2 shows the results for three engine input temperatures and the lowest cold hex temperature obtained after the system becomes thermally stable
REFRIGERATOR
dr W in_R Tc_R
Drive ratio at cold hex Acoustic input power (Pac1 – Pac2 – ¼.Wfb ) Cold hex temperature Net cooling power After refrigerator temperature Heat rejected ( QC_R / W in_R ) Exegetic efficiency relative to TC_R % 1.33 1.53 1.78

W ºC W ºC W -

55.2 -33.7 78.2 19.2 135 1.42 0.32

93.4 -40.5 95.1 24.2 182 1.02 0.29

143 -45.5 95.4 18.8 253 0.67 0.19

QC_R
TH_R QH_R COP
η2_R

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• The performance of the engine is strongly affected by the temperature drop across the heat exchangers. • In this paper only the overall integral system results are presented. • The working gas is helium at 2.7 Mpa and frequency is 95 Hz.

• Performance of the integral system is measured at three different engine input temperatures.

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Conclusions
• At low and medium input temperatures, the overall performance of integral systems is dominated by the losses in the acoustic circuitry rather than by losses in the thermoacoustic core. • Traveling-wave feedback is found to have relatively low losses, but even more important, for the same acoustic power levels the internal gas volume of this concept is more than a factor of 5 less as for the classic standing wave geometries so significantly increasing the power density of thermoacoustic systems. • Low acoustic loss in the traveling-wave multistage concept has yield absolute onset temperatures as low as 45ºC which is an essential requirement for utilizing waste and solar heat. • The improved overall performance and scalability of the traveling-wave multistage concept will bring market introduction upcoming.

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