A Fluidyne engine is a liquid piston Stirling engine that uses thermally induced self-sustained oscillations of water and air that are filled in a looped tube and tuning column. It presents high potential for use as a low-temperature-difference Stirling engine with a simple structure. This study analyzes the linear oscillation dynamics of the Fluidyne from a thermoacoustic point of view, with particular emphasis on the local specific acoustic impedance of the working gas, which is given by the ratio of the complex amplitudes of the pressure and velocity oscillations in the regenerator of the Fluidyne. The frequency dependence of the specific acoustic impedance indicates that the gas in the regenerator region undergoes a thermodynamic cycle equivalent to the Stirling cycle when the oscillation frequency is equal to the natural oscillation frequency of the U-shaped liquid column in the Fluidyne. The analysis of the natural oscillation modes determined two key parameters for the desired specific acoustic impedance: the tuning column length and the connecting position to the loop. Experimental verification was achieved via measurements of the onset temperature ratio and acoustic field of a prototype Fluidyne engine.
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