The paper is concerned with an important issue from the field of thermoacoustics - the numerical modelling of the flow field in the thermoacoustic engine. The presented way of modelling is based on the solution to fundamental fluid mechanics equations that govern the flow of compressible, viscous, and heat-transferring gas. The paper presents the way of modelling the thermoacoustic engine, the way of conducting calculations and the results which illustrate the correctness of the selected computational technique.
A thermoacoustic heat engine (TAHE) converts heat into acoustic power with no moving parts. It exhibits several advantages over traditional engines, such as simple design, stable functionality, and environment-friendly working gas. In order to further improve the performance of TAHE, stack parameters need to be optimized. Stack’s position, length and plate spacing are the three main parameters that have been investigated in this study. Stack’s position dictates both the efficiency and the maximum produced acoustic power of the heat engine. Positioning the stack closer to the pressure anti-node might ensure high efficiency on the expense of the maximum produced acoustic power. It is noticed that the TAHE efficiency can further be improved by spacing the plates of the stack at a value of 2.4 of the thermal penetration depth, δk. Changes in the stack length will not affect the efficiency much as long as the temperature gradient across the stack, as a ratio of the critical temperature gradient Γ; is more than 1. Upon interpreting the effect of these variations, attempts are made towards reaching the engine’s most powerful operating point.