Research Papers: Energy Systems Analysis

Design and Experimental Study of a Cascade Thermoacoustic Engine for Remote and Rural Communities

[+] Author and Article Information
Isares Dhuchakallaya

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
Thammasat University,
Klong-Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand
e-mail: dhuchakallaya@yahoo.com

Patcharin Saechan

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering,
King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok,
Bangsue, Bangkok 10800, Thailand

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Internal Combustion Engine Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 6, 2016; final manuscript received December 12, 2016; published online February 8, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Dr. Avinash Kumar Agarwal.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(3), 032004 (Feb 08, 2017) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1322; doi: 10.1115/1.4035749 History: Received August 06, 2016; Revised December 12, 2016

The design, construction, and experimental evaluation of a cascade thermoacoustic engine are presented in this paper. The system was designed and built under the constraint of an inexpensive device to meet the energy needs of the people based in remote and rural areas. From the cost and straightforward system point of view, the air at atmospheric pressure was applied as a working fluid, and the main resonator tubes were then constructed of conventional polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. Such device consists of one standing-wave unit and one traveling-wave unit connected in series. This topology is preferred because the traveling-wave unit provides an efficient energy conversion, and a straight-line series configuration is easy to build and allows no Gedeon streaming. The system was designed to operate at a low frequency of about 57 Hz. The measured results were in a reasonably good agreement with the predicted results. So far, this system can deliver up to 61 W of acoustic power, which was about 17% of the Carnot efficiency. In the further step, the proposed device will be applied as the prime mover for driving the thermoacoustic refrigerator.

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Fig. 2

The optimal configuration of the prototype with measurement setup

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Fig. 5

Distribution of the acoustic power along the system

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagrams of the system

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Fig. 3

Distributions of the simulated acoustic field along the system: (a) pressure amplitude, (b) volumetric velocity, and (c) acoustic impedance

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Fig. 4

(a) distribution of the simulated impedance phase along the system and (b) enlarged view of the distribution of impedance phase in the region of stack and regenerator

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Fig. 6

Distribution of pressure components compared to the experimental results for the as-built cascade thermoacoustic engine

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Fig. 7

Estimated gas temperature along the system compared to the measured values

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Fig. 8

Estimated acoustic power along the system compared to the measured values



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