UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Heat transfer from a circular cylinder subject to an oscillating crossflow as in a stirling engine regenerator Stowe, Robert Alan


An experiment was designed and carried out on the fundamental, but poorly understood problem of oscillating flow past a single, transverse, circular cylinder. This is an approximation of the flow about a single element in a matrix-type regenerator used in Stirling-cycle engines. The experimental rig was designed and built to allow tests to be carried out for the wide range of fluid flow parameters characteristic of various Stirling engines. The influence of these parameters on convective heat transfer rates was measured so the approximate effects of these same parameters on a Stirling engine regenerator could be determined. The main conclusion from the experiment was that average Nusselt numbers, based on test-cylinder diameter and subject to flow conditions similar to those found in Stirling engine regenerators, were 40 to 80% higher than those predicted by a steady flow correlation, for a given Reynolds number. This may be due to the high levels of turbulence generated near the test-cylinder. A secondary conclusion is that the compression and expansion of the working fluid due to a 90 degree phase angle difference between the motion of the pistons raises convective heat transfer rates from the test-cylinder substantially over the 180 degree phase angle, or "sloshing" motion case.

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