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Acoustic characteristics of bi-directional turbines for thermoacoustic generators

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Bi-directional turbines combined with rotary motors may be a feasible option for developing high power thermoacoustic generators with low cost. A general expression for the acoustic characteristics of the bi-directional turbine was proposed based on theoretical derivation, which was validated by computational fluid dynamics modeling of an impulse turbine with fixed guide vanes. The structure of the turbine was optimized primarily using steady flow with an efficiency of near 70% (the shaft power divided by the total energy consumed by the turbine). The turbine in the oscillating flow was treated in a lumped-parameter model to extract the acoustic impedance characteristics from the simulation results. The key acoustic impedance characteristic of the turbine was the resistance and inertance due to complex flow condition in the turbine, whereas the capacitance was treated as an adiabatic case because of the large-scale flow channel relative to the heat penetration depth. Correlations for the impedance were obtained from both theoretical predictions and numerical fittings. The good fit of the correlations shows that these characteristics are valid for describing the bi-directional turbine, providing the basis for optimization of the coupling between the thermoacoustic engine and the turbine using quasi-one-dimensional theory in the frequency domain.

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This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFB-0901403), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51606208).

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Correspondence to Dongdong Liu or Yanyan Chen.

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Liu, D., Chen, Y., Dai, W. et al. Acoustic characteristics of bi-directional turbines for thermoacoustic generators. Front. Energy 16, 1027–1036 (2022).

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