Numerical study of oscillatory flow and heat transfer in a loaded thermoacoustic stack

Aniruddha S. Worlikar, Omar M. Knio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


A two-dimensional, low-Mach-number computational model is used to analyze the unsteady flow and temperature fields in the neighborhood of an idealized stack heat exchanger configuration. The model relies on a vorticity-based formulation of the mass, momentum, and energy equations in the low-Mach-number, short-stack limit. The stack and heat exchangers are assumed to consist of flat plates of equal thickness. The heat exchanger plates are assumed isothermal and in perfect thermal contact with the stack plates. The simulations are used to study the effect of heat exchanger size and operating conditions on the heat transfer and stack performance. Computed results show that optimum stack performance is achieved when the length of the heat exchanger is nearly equal to the peak-to-peak particle displacement. Numerical estimates of the mean enthalpy flux within the channel are in good agreement with the predictions of linear theory. However, the results reveal that a portion of the heat exchangers is ineffective due to reverse heat transfer. Details of the energy flux density around the heat exchangers are visualized, and implications regarding heat exchanger design and model exension are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalNumerical Heat Transfer; Part A: Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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