Experiments on the Thermodynamic Performance of a “U-Tube” Pulse Tube Expander
As has been extensively discussed in the literature, pulse tube cryocoolers have numerous advantages over other closed-cycle coolers which arise from the absence of moving parts in the pulse tube expander. Advantages in the areas of cost and reliability are of interest to the user community in general, and the additional advantage of cold-tip vibration minimization is of particular importance for cooling applications in electro-optical (E-O) systems for it leads to unique system integration advantages. For example, the low vibration of the expander may make it possible to mount the focal plane directly on the cold tip, eliminating the thermal strap required when using other types of expanders. The ‘U-Tube’ configuration is particularly convenient from the standpoint of system integration because the cold region extends as a tip from a single warm end heat exchanger, unlike the linear pulse tube (LPT) in which the cold region is bounded on either side by warm regions of the expander. A U-Tube expander was recently constructed and tested, and the thermodynamic efficiency was seen to be comparable to that of the LPT design. At an operating temperature of 77K, a cooling capacity of 2.9 W was measured for an input P-V power of 84 W. The expander design and experimental data are discussed.
KeywordsHeat Exchanger Pulse Tube Thermodynamic Efficiency Surge Tank Pulse Tube Refrigerator
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.W.E. Gifford and R.C. Longsworth, Pulse tube refrigeration progress, in: “Advances in Cryogenic Engineering,” vol. 10, (1965), p. 69.Google Scholar
- 2.E.I. Mikulin, A.A. Tarasov, and M.P. Shkrebyonock, Low-temperature expansion pulse tubes, in: “Advances in Cryogenic Engineering,” vol. 29, (1965), p. 629.Google Scholar
- 6.P. Curlier, Cryocooler technologies: 2. Pulse tube miniature cryocoolers, SPIE 2552:791.Google Scholar
- 8.S.C. Russo and G.R. Pruitt, Development of a Low Cost Cryocooler for HTS applications, accepted for publication in “Cryocoolers 9.”Google Scholar
- 9.J.M. Lee, P. Kittel, K.D. Timmerhaus, and R. Radebaugh, Steady secondary momentum and enthalpy streaming in the pulse tube refrigerator, in: “Cryocoolers 8”, R.G. Ross, Jr., ed., Plenum Press, NY (1995), p. 359.Google Scholar
- 10.J.R. Olson and G.W. Swift, Acoustic streaming in pulse tube refrigerators: Tapered pulse tubes, to be published.Google Scholar
- 11.C.S. Kirkconnell, S.C. Soloski, and K.D. Price, Experiments on the effects of pulse tube geometry on PTR performance, accepted for publication in “Cryocoolers 9.”Google Scholar
- 12.C.S. Kirkconnell. “Numerical Analysis of the Mass Flow and Thermal Behavior in High-Frequency Pulse Tubes,” Ph. D. thesis, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, CA (1995).Google Scholar
- 13.K.D. Price, private communication (1994).Google Scholar