Development and Assessment of Two-Stage Thermoacoustic Electricity Generator

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Abstract

This paper presents the development and assessment of a two-stage thermoacoustic electricity generator that aims to mimic the conversion of waste heat from the internal combustion engine exhaust gases into useful electricity. The one wavelength configuration consists of two identical stages which allow coupling a linear alternator in a “push-pull” mode because of the 180° out of phase acoustic excitation on two sides of the piston. This type of coupling is a possible solution for the low acoustic impedance of looped-tube traveling-wave thermoacoustic engines. The experimental set-up is 16.1 m long and runs at 54.7 Hz. The working medium is helium at maximum pressure of 28 bar. In practice, the maximum generated electric power was 73.3 W at 5.64% thermal-to-electric efficiency. The working parameters, namely load resistance, mean pressure and heating power, were investigated. System debugging illustrates the effect of local acoustic impedance of the regenerator on the start-up process of the thermoacoustic engine. The additional modelling showed that the feedback loop length can be reduced by using a combination of acoustic inertance and compliance components.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1790
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEnergies
Volume12
Issue number9
Early online date11 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2019

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