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Yu, Z; Jaworski, AJ; Backhaus, S (2010)
Publisher: Sage Publications
Languages: English
Types: Article
This article describes the construction and preliminary testing of a pre-prototype thermoacoustic electricity generator to test the concept of a low-cost device for application in remote or rural areas of developing countries. A travelling-wave thermoacoustic engine with a configuration of a looped-tube resonator is designed and constructed to convert heat to acoustic power. Air at atmospheric pressure is used as the working gas, PVC tubing is utilized for the feedback pipe, whereas an inexpensive commercially available loudspeaker is adopted to convert the acoustic power, produced by the engine, to electricity. Preliminary experimental results are presented and discussed in detail. The results show that the approach is feasible in principle and it is possible to produce the electrical power levels in the order of 4-5 W with overall heat-to-electric efficiencies in the order of 1 per cent. Further work towards optimizing the device from the performance, manufacturing, and cost points of view is outlined.
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    • [1] Swift GW 1992 Analysis and Performance of a Large Thermoacoustic Engine, J. Acous Soc. Am., 92 (3): 1551- 1563
    • [2] Backhaus S and Swift GW 2000 A Thermoacoustic-Stirling Heat Engine: Detailed study, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 107: 3148-3166
    • [3] De Blok CM 2008 Low Operating Temperature Integral Thermoacoustic Devices for Solar Cooling and Waste Heat Recovery, Proc. of Acoustics'08, June 29-July 4 2008, Paris, France
    • [4] Wollan JJ, Swift GW, Backhaus S and Gardner DL 2002 Development of a Thermoacoustic Natural Gas Liquefier, Proceedings of AIChE Meeting, New Orleans LA
    • [5] Backhaus S, Tward E and Petach M 2004 Travelling-wave Thermoacoustic Electric Generator Applied Physics Letters, 85 (6): 1085-1087
    • [6] Riley PH and Johnson M 2008 Generating Electricity from Burning Wood Using Thermo-acoustics for Use in Developing Countries, Proc. of Acoustics'08, June 29-July 4 2008, Paris, France
    • [7] Riley PH, Saha C and Johnson CJ 2010 Functional and Cost Requirements for a Low-Cost, Electricity Generating Cooking Stove for Developing Countries, Technology and Society Magazine IEEE (in press)
    • [8] Jordan EJ Loudspeakers, London, Focal Press, 1963
    • [9] Swift GW Thermoacoustics, a Unifying Perspective for Some Engine and Refrigerators, Acoustical Society of America, New York, 2002
    • [10] B&C SPEAKERS, Data Sheet of 6PS38, URL: http://www.bcspeakers.com
    • [11] Ward WC and Swift GW 1994 Design environment for low-amplitude thermoacoustic engines, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 95 (6): 3671- 3672
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