Abstract

Thermoacoustics (TA) deals with the conversion of heat into sound and vice versa. The device that transfers energy from a low temperature reservoir to a high temperature one by utilizing acoustic work is called TA cooler (TAC). The main components of a typical TA device are a resonator, a regenerator (stack of parallel plates) and two heat exchangers. The thermoacoustic phenomenon takes place in the stack when a nonzero temperature gradient imposed along the regenerator (i.e. parallel to the direction of the sound wave propagation) interacts with the sound wave oscillations. The low temperature at the cold of TAC can be used to condense humid water from the air and also reduce the moisture in the air at some humid areas.

In the current study, the high intensity sound waves was produced by the speaker to drive a TA cooler to produce cooling power at a cold temperature of around 18°C. The drainage of condensate in the regenerator is the key for the system performance, because if the porous structure will be blocked by the condensate, TA phenomenon cannot take place in the regenerator. This work is dedicated to investigate the effect from temperature gradient created in TAC for condensation enhancement. 3D printer was used to design and fabricate different structures of regenerator, and then the systematic cooling capacity was measured and compared with different designs of regenerators. Energy balance was also discussed for each type of regenerator. The potential application of this investigation can be an autonomous thermoacoustic cooler system for water harvesting in arid areas. This work can be used to evaluate how the TA effect can be affected by the condensation if humid air is used as the working fluid.

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