The AVC group undertakes research and development in thermoacoustic systems.
The 'thermoacoustic laser' kit from Penn State University was built for demonstration purposes. The standard kit was improved by including thermocouples on the hot and cold side of the stack. The stack is held within the white plastic cylinder. Brass rods are joined to the plastic cylinder to allow the stack to be moved along the length of the test-tube to demonstrate that operation of the device changes as the position of the stack is altered.
Watch this YouTube video of it working.
Loudspeaker Driven Thermoacoustic Refrigerator
A thermoacoustic refrigerator was built and tested that was powered by a loudspeaker. The loudspeaker was modified such that the centre windings were attached to an aluminium piston that compressed the working gas.
Heat Driven Thermoacoustic Refrgierator
A combined thermoacoustic engine and refrigerator was constructed and tested. The device was electrically powered using a custom made heater element, similar to that used in electric stoves. The diameters of the tubes were optimised using DeltaE such that there was pressure amplification from the thermoacoustic engine side to the thermoacoustic refrigeration end.
Waste-Heat Driven Thermoacoustic Engine
A thermoacoustic engine was built and tested that was powered by the heat from the exhaust of an automobile engine. The picture shows the catalytic converter on the right side of the image, a heat exchanger shown in the centre, which is attached to the thermoacoustic engine.
Waste-Heat Driven Thermoacoustic Engine Coupled to Thermoacoustic Refrigerator
A thermoacoustic engine coupled to a thermoacoustic refrigerator that is powered from the exhaust heat from an automobile engine was built and tested. The video shows the system operating. The automobile engine is switched off and the thermal inertia in the system keeps the thermoacoustic engine operating.
Contact Associate Professor Carl Howard for more information.