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Design, Construction and Heat Transfer Analysis of a Thermoacoustic Refrigeration System

[+] Author Affiliations
Emmanuel C. Nsofor, Phani R. Gurijala, Zhan Jiang

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

Paper No. IMECE2002-33338, pp. 117-124; 8 pages
  • ASME 2002 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Heat Transfer, Volume 7
  • New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 17–22, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3638-X | eISBN: 0-7918-1691-5, 0-7918-1692-3, 0-7918-1693-1
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


The thermoacoustic processes resulting from pressure and temperature oscillations and their interactions with boundaries are utilized in thermoacoustic refrigeration systems. This technology offers benefits that include absence of significant moving parts (implying reduced maintenance), use of environmentally safe working fluids, quiet operation, and continuous capacity control. The flow of the thermoacoustically oscillating gas and heat transport in the stack were studied. Results indicate that there is a critical value of ΔT outside of which the work and heat transfer will increase for a given drive ratio. The system was designed and constructed. In order to achieve high thermal conductivity across the thickness of the stack and low thermal conductivity axially, a thermoplastic material with holes filled with carbon fiber was used for the stack. The fiber is in the direction perpendicular to the thickness of the plate thus increasing the heat transfer in this direction. Since thermoplastics have very low thermal conductivity, the dissipative heat transfer through the stack material by conduction from the hot heat exchanger to the cold one (the direction opposite to the heat pumping) is minimized. When thermoplastic materials are used for the stack in place of stainless steel there is a significant drop in Qlosses for the range of values studied.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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