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Performance Characterization of Bi-Directional Turbines for Use in Thermoacoustic Generator Applications

[+] Author Affiliations
Eric T. Boessneck, Thomas E. Salem

Clemson University, N. Charleston, SC

Paper No. ES2016-59372, pp. V001T09A001; 11 pages
  • ASME 2016 10th International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the ASME 2016 Power Conference and the ASME 2016 14th International Conference on Fuel Cell Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Volume 1: Biofuels, Hydrogen, Syngas, and Alternate Fuels; CHP and Hybrid Power and Energy Systems; Concentrating Solar Power; Energy Storage; Environmental, Economic, and Policy Considerations of Advanced Energy Systems; Geothermal, Ocean, and Emerging Energy Technologies; Photovoltaics; Posters; Solar Chemistry; Sustainable Building Energy Systems; Sustainable Infrastructure and Transportation; Thermodynamic Analysis of Energy Systems; Wind Energy Systems and Technologies
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, June 26–30, 2016
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division, Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5022-0
  • Copyright © 2016 by ASME


Bi-directional turbines convert oscillating axial fluid flow into uniform radial rotation and have proven effective in wave energy harvesting applications, like ocean wave generators. Two of the most widely studied designs for these scenarios are the Wells and axial turbines. This study characterizes the effectiveness of these turbines for use with a thermoacoustic generator; which is a relatively new technology that uses an induced temperature gradient to propagate acoustic waves within an enclosed, looped chamber. These generators are widely applied to refrigeration cycle systems; yet when paired with a bi-directional turbine, the resulting sound wave can be harnessed to generate electricity.

This paper begins with a discussion of the thermoacoustic application covering relevant issues for the turbine. Next, the Wells, axial, and a combined hybrid turbine are presented in thorough detail including governing design features that were explored. Fabrication of a test fixture and turbine prototypes and experimental results from a broad ranging study of the performance of the turbine designs is shown. Finally, conclusions from the obtained results are discussed.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME



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