A Combustion-Heated, Thermally Actuated Vuilleumier Refrigerator
Applications exist for closed-cycle cryogenic refrigerators for Army field portable infrared night-vision systems that require the lightest possible system including the weight of the energy supply. A feasibility model of a combustion-heated, thermally actuated Vuilleumier refrigerator has been built and is described that provides significant weight advantages. This weight saving is achieved by exploiting the high energy density of fossil fuels. The thermocatalytic combustion of 40 g/hr of propane provides the sole energy for this refrigerator that (1) produces 1.6 W of refrigeration at 77 K, (2) produces 16 W of mechanical energy to operate the internal refrigerator mechanism, and (3) provides 2 W of power to operate the external heat sink fan.
KeywordsCrank Angle Stirling Cycle Cold Space Guide Shoe Piston Seal
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