Experimental investigation of energy dissipation in finite-amplitude standing waves
Atchley, Anthony A.
Coppens, Alan B.
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Thermoacoustic engines are designed to perform optimally at one frequency. However, the thermoacoustic prime movers have been shown to generate highly nonlinear waveforms, in which a significant amount of the acoustic energy appears in higher harmonics. This condition reduces the overall efficiency of the engine. The harmonics can be suppressed. But does the suppression mean that more energy remains in the fundamental frequency? This question is the topic of this thesis. Finite-amplitude standing waves were generated in a standing wave tube. The steady state input acoustic power was compared to the steady state dissipated acoustic power for two configurations - an empty tube and an obstructed tube - over a wide range of input powers. The waveforms in the empty tube were rich in harmonics, whereas the obstruction suppressed the harmonics significantly. The results of the measurements indicate that suppression of the harmonics also suppresses the transfer of energy from the fundamental.
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