Modelling of elastocaloric regenerators with enhanced heat transfer structures

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Yuxiang Zhu
  • Jun Hur
  • Siyuan Cheng
  • Qingping Sun
  • Shuhuai Yao


Original languageEnglish
Article number121372
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Online published14 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


The elastocaloric refrigeration utilizing Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) has been actively pursued as an alternative cooling technology to the traditional vapor compression. Many research efforts have been focusing on the thermomechanical cycles, material properties, and fatigue life of the SMAs. However, less effort has been made to achieve optimal heat transfer performance of the entire system. In this work, for the first time, we introduce a porous regenerative heat exchanger to a tube-based compression-loaded elastocaloric cooling device for enhanced cooling performance without compromising its fatigue life. A convective regenerator made of a porous structure is proposed for better thermal coupling between the nickel-titanium (Ni-Ti) tube and the heat transfer fluids. A quasi-1D numerical model has been developed to predict the elastocaloric cooling performance and optimize the heat transfer structures. We demonstrate, at specific operating conditions, the optimized elastocaloric regenerator design can improve the Specific Cooling Power (SCP) and Coefficient of Performance (COP) by 50% and 45%, respectively, as compared to a bare tube design. The numerical framework developed in this work offers a systematic investigation of complex regenerative heat exchanger systems and a detailed understanding of the design parameters that are vital for prototype development.

Research Area(s)

  • Elastocaloric cooling, Optimization, Porous structure, Regenerative heat exchanger