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Title: Application of thermoacoustic technologies for meeting the refrigeration needs of remote and rural communities in developing countries
Authors: Saechan, Patcharin
Supervisors: Rona, Aldo
Award date: 1-May-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This study focuses on the design, construction and experimental evaluation of the prototypes of a thermoacoustic cooler driven by a thermoacoustic engine which is a part of the SCORE (Stove for COoking, Refrigeration and Electricity supply) project. In this study, there are two prototypes considered. The first prototype is the thermoacoustic cooler driven by a combustion-powered thermoacoustic engine based on a travelling-wave looped-tube configuration. A propane gas burner is used to simulate the thermal input from biomass combustion. The system operates at atmospheric pressure using air as a working medium which allows employing PVC pipes as parts for resonators. The locations of the cooler are investigated experimentally in order to find the optimum configuration. The minimum temperatures of -8.3°C and -3.9°C are achieved at the frequencies of 58.6 Hz and 70.3 Hz, respectively. The second rig is a linear configuration of a coaxial travelling-wave thermoacoustic cooler driven by a standing-wave thermoacoustic engine. Due to the requirements of higher cooling performance, compressed air at 10 bar is employed. The operating frequency is 46.4 Hz. The resistance heating wire is applied to simulate the biomass combustion at this stage. The system is optimised experimentally in both geometry and operating conditions, to offer the best performance. So far, the lowest temperature of -19.7°C has been obtained at a drive ratio of 3.25%, while the maximum COPR has been 5.94%. The experimental results also indicate that the proposed prototype can produce a sufficient cooling power for storing vital medicines which meets one of the objectives of the SCORE project. Additionally, some suggestions are made as to the re-design of the linear configuration to ensure a more compact and lightweight device. In the author opinion, the contributions to engineering science are: (i) the design and build of the prototypes based on low cost and simplicity, (ii) the introduction of phase tuning part, matching stub, into the low pressure system to match the cooler to the engine, (iii) the design of the linear configuration of a coaxial travelling-wave thermoacoustic cooler driven by a standing-wave thermoacoustic engine, (iv) improvement of the understanding of thermoacoustic technologies by application of DeltaEC programme, and (v) the application of DeltaEC simulations for optimisation of the coupled system.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Engineering
Leicester Theses

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