Thermally Actuated 3He Pulse Tube Cooler
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An isotope of Helium gas, 3He, is an attractive working gas for cryocoolers that strive to efficiently provide cooling temperatures below 4 K. The drawback of this gas is that it is extremely expensive. To minimize the total amount of gaseous 3He, a hybrid cycle has been proposed. A single-stage pulse tube cooler using 4 He as the working gas and either a Stirling-type or GM-type compressor system can provide a cooling temperature around 40 K, starting from room temperature. A secondary cycle using 3He can then be thermally attached to this cold head to produce a secondary cooling temperature below 4 K. The operating frequency of the secondary cycle should be lower than 2 Hz to prevent degradation of the performance of the lower-stage regenerator.
In this study, a thermally actuated pressure wave generator driven between the temperatures of 40 K and 300 K was selected; it has no difficulty in generating a pressure wave below a frequency of 2 Hz. Workflow analysis calculations indicate that the total amount of 3He working gas required for this secondary cycle may be minimized by the use of a warm expander type of phase control.
KeywordsWarm Regenerator Pulse Tube Enthalpy Flow Primary Cycle Pulse Tube Refrigerator
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