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The objective of this paper is to define empirical parameters for an initial thermal non-equilibrium porous-media model for use in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes for simulation of Stirling regenerators. The two codes currently used at Glenn Research Center for Stirling modeling are Fluent and CFD-ACE. The codes’ porous-media models are equilibrium models, which assume solid matrix and fluid are in thermal equilibrium. This is believed to be a poor assumption for Stirling regenerators; Stirling 1–D regenerator models, used in Stirling design, use non-equilibrium regenerator models and suggest regenerator matrix and gas average temperatures can differ by several degrees at a given axial location and time during the cycle. Experimentally based information was used to define: hydrodynamic dispersion, permeability, inertial coefficient, fluid effective thermal conductivity, and fluid-solid heat transfer coefficient. Solid effective thermal conductivity was also estimated. Determination of model parameters was based on planned use in a CFD model of Infinia’s Stirling Technology Demonstration Converter (TDC), which uses a random-fiber regenerator matrix. Emphasis is on use of available data to define empirical parameters needed in a thermal non-equilibrium porousmedia model for Stirling regenerator simulation. Such a model has not yet been implemented by the authors or their associates.


Prepared for the Fourth International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit (IECEC) sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics San Diego, California, June 26–29, 2006. Paper AIAA 2006-4003.


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