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Effect of Flow-Pressure Phase on Performance of Regenerators in the Range of 4 K to 20 K



Michael A. Lewis, Ryan P. Taylor, Peter E. Bradley, Ray Radebaugh


Modeling with REGEN3.3 has shown that the phase between flow and pressure at the cold end of 4 K regenerators has a large effect on their second-law efficiency. The use of inertance tubes in small 4 K pulse tube cryocoolers have limited phase shifting ability, and their phase shift cannot be varied unless their dimensions are varied. We report here on the use of a miniature linear compressor, operating at the pulse tube warm end of about 30 K, as a controllable expander that can be used to vary the phase over 360°. We also use the back EMF of the linear motor to measure the acoustic power, flow rate amplitude, and phase between flow and pressure at the piston face. We discuss the measurements of the linear motor parameters that are required to determine the piston velocity from the back EMF as well as the measurement procedures to determine the back EMF when the expander is operating at a temperature around 30 K. Our experimental results on the performance of a regenerator/pulse tube stage operating below 30 K show an optimum performance when the flow at the phase shifter lags the pressure by about 65° to 80°, which is close to the model results of about 60°. Temperatures below 10 K were achieved at the cold end in these measurements. The efficiency of the compressor operating as an expander is also discussed.
Advances in Cryogenic Engineering


Keywords: Regenerator, Expander, EMF, Acoustic Power, Phase Shift


Lewis, M. , Taylor, R. , Bradley, P. and Radebaugh, R. (2013), Effect of Flow-Pressure Phase on Performance of Regenerators in the Range of 4 K to 20 K, Advances in Cryogenic Engineering, [online], (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created June 17, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018