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Title: Intrinsically irreversible heat engine

Abstract

A class of heat engines based on an intrinsically irreversible heat transfer process is disclosed. In a typical embodiment the engine comprises a compressible fluid that is cyclically compressed and expanded while at the same time being driven in reciprocal motion by a positive displacement drive means. A second thermodynamic medium is maintained in imperfect thermal contact with the fluid and bears a broken thermodynamic symmetry with respect to the fluid. The second thermodynamic medium is a structure adapted to have a low fluid flow impedance with respect to the compressible fluid, and which is further adapted to be in only moderate thermal contact with the fluid. In operation, thermal energy is pumped along the second medium due to a phase lag between the cyclical heating and cooling of the fluid and the resulting heat conduction between the fluid and the medium. In a preferred embodiment the engine comprises an acoustical drive and a housing containing a gas which is driven at a resonant frequency so as to be maintained in a standing wave. Operation of the engine at acoustic frequencies improves the power density and coefficient of performance. The second thermodynamic medium can be coupled to suitable heat exchangersmore » to utilize the engine as a simple refrigeration device having no mechanical moving parts. Alternatively, the engine is reversible in function so as to be utilizable as a prime mover by coupling it to suitable sources and sinks of heat.« less

Inventors:
; ;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5215234
Application Number:
ON: DE84005927
Assignee:
EDB-84-051279
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions are illegible in microfiche products
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; HEAT ENGINES; DESIGN; SOUND WAVES; WORKING FLUIDS; ENGINES; FLUIDS; 425007* - Engineering- Power Cycles- Other- (1980-)

Citation Formats

Wheatley, J.C., Swift, G.W., and Migliori, A. Intrinsically irreversible heat engine. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Wheatley, J.C., Swift, G.W., & Migliori, A. Intrinsically irreversible heat engine. United States.
Wheatley, J.C., Swift, G.W., and Migliori, A. Sun . "Intrinsically irreversible heat engine". United States.
@article{osti_5215234,
title = {Intrinsically irreversible heat engine},
author = {Wheatley, J.C. and Swift, G.W. and Migliori, A.},
abstractNote = {A class of heat engines based on an intrinsically irreversible heat transfer process is disclosed. In a typical embodiment the engine comprises a compressible fluid that is cyclically compressed and expanded while at the same time being driven in reciprocal motion by a positive displacement drive means. A second thermodynamic medium is maintained in imperfect thermal contact with the fluid and bears a broken thermodynamic symmetry with respect to the fluid. The second thermodynamic medium is a structure adapted to have a low fluid flow impedance with respect to the compressible fluid, and which is further adapted to be in only moderate thermal contact with the fluid. In operation, thermal energy is pumped along the second medium due to a phase lag between the cyclical heating and cooling of the fluid and the resulting heat conduction between the fluid and the medium. In a preferred embodiment the engine comprises an acoustical drive and a housing containing a gas which is driven at a resonant frequency so as to be maintained in a standing wave. Operation of the engine at acoustic frequencies improves the power density and coefficient of performance. The second thermodynamic medium can be coupled to suitable heat exchangers to utilize the engine as a simple refrigeration device having no mechanical moving parts. Alternatively, the engine is reversible in function so as to be utilizable as a prime mover by coupling it to suitable sources and sinks of heat.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1984},
month = {1}
}