Jet Penetration Into a Scaled Microfabricated Stirling Cycle Regenerator

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the 6th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)


The cooler and heater adjacent to the regenerator of a Stirling cycle engine have tubes or channels which form jets that pass into the regenerator while diffusing within the matrix. An inactive part of the matrix, beyond the cores of these jets, does not participate fully in the heat transfer between the flow of working fluid and the regenerator matrix material, weakening the regenerator's ability to exchange heat with the working fluid. The objective of the present program is to document this effect on the performance of the regenerator and to develop a model for generalizing the results. However, the small scales of actual Stirling regenerator matrices (on the order of tens of microns) make direct measurements of this effect very difficult. As a result, jet spreading within a regenerator matrix has not been characterized well and is poorly understood. Also, modeling is lacking experimental verification. To address this, a large-scale mockup of thirty times actual scale was constructed and operated under conditions that are dynamically similar to the engine operation. Jet penetration with round jets and slot jets into the microfabricated regenerator geometry are then measured by conventional means. The results are compared with those from a study of spreading of round jets within woven screen regenerator for further documentation of the comparative performance of the microfabricated regenerator geometry. Copyright © 2008 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.


Paper AIAA 2008- 5719 presented at the 6th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC), Cleveland, Ohio, July 28 - 30, 2008.