Design, fabrication and operation experience with periodic-flow heat exchangers used in General Motors regenerative vehicular gas turbines has indicated that analysis techniques available in published reports are too restrictive for accurate performance and thermal-distortion calculations. The design usefulness of previously published anaylses is somewhat limited because fluid and metal-temperature distributions are not part of the calculated results. These distributions are required for primary seal matching and core and structural thermal-stress calculations. A nodal analysis has been accomplished at the General Motors Research Laboratories and a type of finite-difference solution obtained for the periodic-flow heat exchanger. This solution can be used to study the effects of longitudinal thermal conduction, variable heat-transfer coefficients, finite rotation, and provides temperature distributions as functions of time and space for transient as well as “steady state.” This has been checked both with available solutions for more simplified cases and some experimental measured results for periodic-flow heat exchangers designed and built as part of the General Motors vehicular regenerative gas-turbine program. A brief outline of the calculation procedures, program capabilities, and some calculated results are presented. This includes temperature distributions for periodic-flow heat exchanger parameters encountered in the vehicular regenerator application.

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