This paper considers the role of acoustic impedance, flow resistance, configuration and geometrical dimensions of regenerators on the power produced in travelling-wave thermoacoustic engines. The effects are modelled assuming a pure travelling-wave and ideal gas, which allows defining a pair of dimensionless factors based on the “net” acoustic power production. Based on the analysis provided, the acoustic power flow in the regenerators is investigated numerically. It is shown that impedance essentially reflects the proportion between the acoustic power produced from heat energy through the thermoacoustic processes and the acoustic power dissipated by viscous and thermal-relaxation effects in the regenerators. Viscous resistance of the regenerator mainly determines the magnitude of the volumetric velocity and then affects the magnitude of acoustic impedance. High impedance and high volumetric velocity are both required in the regenerators for high power engines. The results also show that the optimum transverse dimension of the gas passage exists, but depends on the local acoustic impedance. In principle, it is possible to obtain an optimum combination between these two parameters.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Energy Conversion and Management|
|Early online date||27 Oct 2009|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2010|