Improved Efficiency and Power Density for Thermoacoustic Coolers
Hofler, Thomas J.
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Research on improving the efficiency, cooling power, and cooling power density of thermoacoustic refrigerators is described. A heuristic analysis of short thermoacoustic heat exchangers in a high amplitude sound field is given. A heat exchanger experiment, utilizing a very high amplitude thermoacoustic prime-mover, shows some agreement with the heuristic analysis. This indicates that acoustic losses in the heat exchanger can be drastically reduced in high amplitude engines, while maintaining good thermal effectiveness. Other related, but more applied, research is briefly discussed. This includes the design and construction of a compact, portable, air-cooled, thermoacoustic refrigerator for the purpose of producing frost at a lecture demonstration. This design has roughly the same temperature span (40 deg C) as required by shipboard applications. Also, two new electrodynamic acoustic drivers have been designed and one design has been constructed. These designs offer high efficiency, good power density, and low cost and are probably scalable up to significantly higher acoustic power levels.
Annual Summary Report: October 1992 - September 1993
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