Air Force

Pulse tube refrigerator with tunable inertance tube

  • US Patent No. 9784480
  • Issued: October 10, 2017
  • Status: Active
Energy

An inertance tube for a pulse tube refrigerator which can be tuned to optimize performance. Apertures in the inertance tube fluidly communicate the inertance tube with a fluid reservoir. The effective length of the inertance tube is changed by alternatively closing or opening the apertures. Changing the effective length of the inertance tube causes a phase shift between the mass flow and pressure waves in the working gas which, in turn, changes the acoustic power. Controlling the phase angle improves Carnot efficiency. The cooling load capacity of the pulse tube refrigerator is a function of the acoustic power.

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