Novel diaphragm based stirling cryocooler
Caughley, AJ; Tucker, A; Gschwendtner, M; Sellier, M
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Industrial Research Ltd has developed a unique diaphragm-based pressure wave generator technology for employment in pulse tube and Stirling cryocoolers. The system uses a pair of metal diaphragms to separate the clean cryocooler gas circuit from a conventionally lubricated mechanical driver, thus producing a clean pressure wave with a long-life drive. We have now extended the same diaphragm concept to support and seal the displacer in a free piston Stirling expander. The diaphragms allow displacer movement without rubbing or clearance gap seals, hence allowing for the development of costeffective long-life and efficient Stirling cryocoolers. Initial modeling, operating in conjunction with a 200 cc swept volume pressure wave generator, predicted in excess of 300 W cooling at 77 K with a Carnot efficiency of over 25%. A proof-of-concept prototype has achieved cryogenic temperatures. Details of the concept, modeling, and testing will be presented.