Living research: a week to build your own thermoacoustic engine


The week from June 24th-29th students who are having an outstanding performance at their courses were personally invited to an inmersion in a hot research topic: thermoacoustics. Finally a group of 16 enthusiastic young engineers participated. They were obviously provided with a background but the aim was to build their own thermoacoustic engine, i.e. a machine that is able to use thermal energy to produce pressure waves that can be transformed in electric energy. It was a busy and interesting week. The seminar was given by Prof. Carmen Iniesta and Prof. Jaime Gros with the support of the GREEN research group. The students also had the opportunity to chat with experts form KTH in Sweden and Mondragon Componentes.

Sessions were distributed over 5 days, from Monday 24th to Friday 28th June 2019. There was 4 sessions per day of two hours each, except Friday, which only had two sessions in the morning.

Guidance distribution of activities:

Monday, 24 June 2019. Thermoacoustic Theory and DeltaEC Theory Presentation program (9:00 to 9:30). Create groups. (All) First session (9:30 to 11:30). Introduction to thermoacoustic technology (Carmen Iniesta) Second session (11:30 to 13:30). DeltaEC (Carmen Iniesta) Basic Management Guide.  Rest – food. Third session (14:30 to 16:30). Concentrated elements and DeltaEC (Carmen Iniesta). Fourth session (16:30 to 18:30). Power distribution in thermoacoustic motors (Carmen Iniesta).

Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Practical work with DeltaEC Fifth session (9:30 to 11:30). Delta EC Practice: Stationary wave motors at the computational and demonstrative level (Jaime Gros).  Sixth session (11:30 to 13: 13:30). Delta EC Practice: Progressive wave motors at the computational and demonstrative level (Basic model with compliant and inertancia of the same diameter) (Jaime Gros). Rest – food. Seventh session (14:30 to 16:30). Delta EC free session. The teams outline their first designs (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Eighth session (16:30 to 18:30). DeltaEC free session. Students make their tests and designs at the computational level and prepare final design report. (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Practical work in additive manufacturing and construction. Parts are designed for 3D printers or the necessary tubes are adapted. Ninth session (9:30 to 11:30). Free session FABLAB. Recommendations for the construction and manufacture of prototypes. Material available (Jaime Gros).  Tenth session (11:30 to 13:30). Free session FABLAB. Prototype construction. CAD design for 3D printing. (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Rest – food. Eleventh session (14:30 to 16:30). Free session FABLAB. Prototype construction/Launch 3D parts and tests (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Twelfth session (16:30 to 18:30). Guest university-company talk (Mikael Karlsson, KTH – VOLVO, Sweden.) 

Thursday, June 27, 2019. Construction completion and first tests with acoustic resonator. The most advanced implementation of mechanical resonator. Thirteenth session (9:30 to 11:30). Final prototype and acoustic resonator testing (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Fourteenth session (11:30 to 13:30). Final prototype and testing with mechanical resonator (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Rest – food. Fifteenth session (14:30 to 15:30). Final prototype production and testing with linear alternator and bidirectional turbine (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Sixteenth session (15:30 to 17:30). Presentation of the prototype to the court (Carmen Iniesta – Jaime Gros – Other teachers) Seventeenth session (17:30 to 18:30). Talk of research center-guest company (Javier Aranceta, Centro Stirling-– Mondragón Componentes)

Friday, June 28, 2019. Testing with several extraction branches Eighteenth session (9:30 to 11:30). Last touch-ups. FABLAB (Jaime Gros-Carmen Iniesta) Nineteenth session (11:30 to 13:30). Tests, essays and presentation group (Carmen Iniesta – Jaime Gros – Other teachers) Award and farewell.