A two-stage traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator with loudspeakers as alternators

Kang, H., Cheng, P., Yu, Z. and Zheng, H. (2015) A two-stage traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator with loudspeakers as alternators. Applied Energy, 137, pp. 9-17. (doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.09.090)

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Abstract

This paper presents the design, construction and tests of a traveling-wave thermoacoustic electric generator. A two-stage travelling-wave thermoacoustic engine converts thermal energy to acoustic power. Two low-impedance linear alternators (i.e., audio loudspeakers) were installed to extract and convert the engine’s acoustic power to electricity. The coupling mechanism between the thermoacoustic engine and alternators has been systematically studied numerically and experimentally, hence the optimal locations for installing the linear alternators were identified to maximize the electric power output and/or the thermal-to-electric conversion efficiency. A ball valve was used in the loop to partly correct the acoustic field that was altered by manufacturing errors. A prototype was built based on this new concept, which used pressurized helium at 1.8 MPa as the working gas and operated at a frequency of about 171 Hz. In the experiment, a maximum electric power of 204 W when the hot end temperature of the two regenerators reaches 512℃ and 452℃, respectively. A maximum thermal-to-electric efficiency of 3.43% was achieved when the hot end temperature of the two regenerators reaches 597℃ and 511℃, respectively. The research results presented in this paper demonstrate that multi-stage travelling-wave thermoacoustic electricity generator has a great potential for developing inexpensive electric generators.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Applied Energy. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Applied Energy 137:9-17 2014 DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.09.090
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Yu, Professor Zhibin
Authors: Kang, H., Cheng, P., Yu, Z., and Zheng, H.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Applied Energy
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
ISSN:0306-2619
ISSN (Online):1872-9118
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
First Published:First published in Applied Energy 137:9-17
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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