Thermoacoustic Engine Acoustics 


Organiser:  Terry SCHARTON

Organisation/Institution: North Carolina State University, USA


Co-Organiser:  William ROBERTS

Organisation/Institution: North Carolina State University, USA



Over a hundred years ago, Rayleigh wrote that acoustic waves can be amplified if heat is periodically added to the gaseous medium at the moment of greatest condensation, or removed at the moment of rarefaction. In the early 1900’s, research and development began on resonating combustion devices for the generation of power and thrust, and in the 1930’s the pulsejet engine was developed. There is a renewed interest in thermoacoustic engines. In a keynote address at ICSV9, the authors stated that, since Sterling engines were in 1979 recognized to be type of traveling-wave thermoacoustic engine, acousticians can play a key role in the development of powerful, efficient heat engines. However, in many cases, the published literature contains little explanation, and some disagreement, as regards the interaction of acoustics with the combustion, heat transfer, thermodynamic, and fluid mechanic processes, which are usually involved in thermoacoustic engines. For example, there are several comprehensive analyses published on the thermodynamics and fluid dynamics of pulsejets, which are one of the simplest thermoacoustic engine configurations, but little information is available on the role played by acoustics in the operation of pulsejets. And, in different references, the same pulsejet configuration is described as either a Helmholtz, a one-half, a one-quarter, or a one-sixth wave resonator. This session solicits papers, which focus specifically on the acoustics of thermoacoustic engines.