Regenerator is a porous solid structure which is important in the travelling-wave thermoacoustic system. It provides the necessary contact surface and thermal capacity for the working gas to undergo a thermodynamic cycle under acoustic oscillatory flow conditions. However, it also creates a pressure drop that could degrade the overall system performance. Ideally, in a travelling-wave system, the phase angle between oscillating pressure and velocity in the regenerator should be zero, or as close to zero as possible. In this study, the hydrodynamic condition of a regenerator has been investigated both experimentally (in a purpose-built rig providing a travelling-wave phasing) and numerically. A two-dimensional ANSYS FLUENT CFD model, capturing the important features of the experimental conditions, has been developed. The findings suggest that a steady-state correlation, commonly used in designing thermoacoustic systems, is applicable provided that the travelling-wave phase angle is maintained. However, for coarse mesh regenerators, the results show interesting “phase shifting” phenomena, which may limit the correlation validity. Current experimental and CFD studies are important for predicting the viscous losses in future models of thermoacoustic systems.
Mohd Saat, F. A. Z., & Jaworski, A. J. (2017). Friction Factor Correlation for Regenerator Working in a Travelling-Wave Thermoacoustic System. Applied Sciences, 7(3), . https://doi.org/10.3390/app7030253