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CALCULATED REGENERATOR PERFORMANCE AT 4 K WITH HELIUM-4 AND HELIUM-3

Published

Author(s)

Ray Radebaugh, Yonghua Huang, Agnes O¿Gallagher, John Gary

Abstract

The helium-4 working fluid in regenerative cryocoolers operating with the cold end near 4 K deviates considerably from an ideal gas. As a result, losses in the regenerator, given by the time-averaged enthalpy flux, are increased and are strong functions of the operating pressure and temperature. Helium-3, with its lower boiling point, behaves somewhat closer to an ideal gas in this low temperature range and can reduce the losses in 4 K regenerators. An analytical model is used to find the fluid properties that strongly influence the regenerator losses as well as the gross refrigeration power. The thermodynamic and transport properties of helium-3 were incorporated into the latest NIST regenerator numerical model, known as REGEN3.3, which was used to model regenerator performance with either helium-4 or helium-3. With this model we show how the use of helium-3 in place of helium-4 can improve the performance of 4 K regenerative cryocoolers. The effects of operating pressure, warm-end temperature, and frequency on regenerators with helium-4 and helium-3 are investigated and compared. The results are used to find optimum operating conditions. The frequency range investigated varies from 1 Hz to 30 Hz, with particular emphasis on higher frequencies.
Citation
Advances in Cryogenic Engineering
Volume
985

Keywords

Cryocoolers, cryogenics, Gifford-McMahon, helium-3, helium-4, numerical analysis, pulse tubes, real gas, refrigeration, regenerators, Stirling, theory

Citation

Radebaugh, R. , Huang, Y. , O¿Gallagher, A. and Gary, J. (2008), CALCULATED REGENERATOR PERFORMANCE AT 4 K WITH HELIUM-4 AND HELIUM-3, Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, [online], https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2908551 (Accessed June 22, 2024)

Issues

If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact reflib@nist.gov.

Created March 15, 2008, Updated October 12, 2021