The Influence of Gas Velocity on Surface Heat Pumping for the Orifice Pulse Tube Refrigerator

  • J. M. Lee
  • H. R. Dill
Part of the Advances in Cryogenic Engineering book series (ACRE, volume 35)


The basic pulse tube refrigerator produces cooling by a mechanism known as surface heat pumping. Cyclical compression and expansion of a gas within an enclosed tube produces large temperature gradients. The purpose of the tube is to act as “nodal regenerator”. Heat is stored at node positions along the tube wall and is transported between nodes by moving gas parcels. This process gives rise to refrigeration, with hot temperatures at the closed end and cold temperatures at the open end. Unfortunately, much of the available refrigeration is not realized because the closed end of the basic pulse tube restricts gas movement — gas at the extreme temperatures does not come in contact with the heat exchangers. The orifice pulse tube overcomes this limitation by using a valve and surge volume assembly at the warm, closed end. This allows for a residual gas velocity to remain present during the heat transfer process, thereby permitting more gas to exchange heat at the heat exchangers. This paper describes the pulse tube as a nodal regenerator and the effect residual gas velocity has on the heat transfer mechanism of the orifice pulse tube.


Heat Exchanger Pressure Ratio Pulse Tube Residual Velocity Naval Postgraduate School 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Lee
    • 1
  • H. R. Dill
    • 2
  1. 1.NASA Ames Research Center Moffett FieldCAUSA
  2. 2.Trans Bay Electronics, Inc. RichmondCAUSA

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