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Multiphysics modeling of a micro-scale Stirling refrigeration system

journal contribution
posted on 01.12.2013, 00:00 by Dongzhi Guo, Alan J.H. McGaughey, Jinsheng Gao, Gary K. Fedder, Minyoung Lee, Shi-Chune Yao

A new micro-scale refrigeration system composed of arrays of silicon MEMS cooling elements that operate on the Stirling cycle has been designed. In this paper, we describe a multiphysics computational approach for analyzing the system performance that considers compressible flow and heat transfer with a large deformable mesh. The regenerator pressure drop and effectiveness are first explored to determine the optimal porosity. A value near 0.9 is found to maximize the coefficient of performance. To overcome the computational complexity brought about by the fine pillar structure in the regenerator, a porous medium model is used to allow for modeling of a full element. Parametric studies demonstrate the effect of the operating frequency on the cooling capacity and the coefficient of performance.