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Diagnostics and Optimization of a Miniature High Frequency Pulse Tube Cryocooler



Isaac Garaway, Alexander Veprik, Ray Radebaugh


A miniature, high energy density, Pulse Tube cryocooler has been developed, tested, diagnosed and optimized to provide appropriate cooling for size-limited cryogenic applications demanding fast cool down. This cryocooler, originally designed using REGEN 3.2 for 80 K, an operating frequency of 150 Hz and an average pressure of 5.0 MPa has regenerator dimensions of 4.4 mm inside diameter by 27 mm long and is filled with #635 mesh stainless steel screen. Various design features, such as the use of compact heat exchangers and a miniature linear compressor, resulted in a remarkably compact Pulse Tube cryocooler. In this report we present the preliminary test results and the subsequent diagnostic and optimization sequence performed to improve the overall design and operation of the complete cryocooler. These experimentally determined optimal parameters, though slightly different than those proposed in the initial numerical model, yielded 530 mW of gross cooling power at 120 K with an input electrical power of only 25 W. This study highlights the need to further establish our understanding of miniature, high frequency, regenerative cryocoolers, not only as a collection of independent subcomponents, but as one single working unit. It has also led to a list of additional improvements that may yet be made to even further improve the operating characteristics of such a complete miniature cryocooler.
Proceedings Title
Advances in Cryogenic Engineering
Conference Dates
June 28-July 2, 2009
Conference Location
Tucson, AZ
Conference Title


Miniature Pulse Tube Cryocooler, High Frequency Stirling Pulse Tube


Garaway, I. , Veprik, A. and Radebaugh, R. (2009), Diagnostics and Optimization of a Miniature High Frequency Pulse Tube Cryocooler, Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, Tucson, AZ, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created June 28, 2009, Updated November 10, 2018