Wave rotors, used in a gas turbine topping cycle, offer a potential route to higher specific power and lower specific fuel consumption. In order to exploit this potential properly, it is necessary to have some realistic means of calculating wave rotor performance, taking losses into account, so that wave rotors can be designed for good performance. This in turn requires a knowledge of the loss mechanisms. The experiment reported here was designed as a statistical experiment to identify the losses due to finite passage opening time, friction, and leakage. For simplicity, the experiment used a 3-port, flow divider, wave cycle, but the results should be applicable to other cycles. A 12” diameter rotor was used, with two different lengths, 9” and 18”, and two different passage widths, 0.25” and 0.54”, in order to vary friction and opening time. To vary leakage, moveable end-walls were provided so that the rotor to end-wall gap could be adjusted. The experiment is described, and the results are presented, together with a parametric fit to the data. The fit shows that there will be an optimum passage width for a given wave rotor, since, as the passage width increases, friction losses decrease, but opening-time losses increase, and vice-versa. Leakage losses can be made small at reasonable gap sizes.

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