The literature relating to inhomogeneity of flow in regenerators is briefly reviewed. It is noted that, in contrast to other applications of regenerators, relatively little attention has been paid to the consequences of flow inhomogeneity for thermal regeneration in Stirling cycle machines. The construction of regenerator capsules for a large stationary Stirling engine is described. A test rig is developed to measure the gas velocity profile across the face of the packed regenerator capsules under steady flow conditions. Measured flow profiles for a number of different matrix materials and construction techniques are presented, and it is noted that stacked-mesh regenerator matrices tend to display marked inhomogeneities of flow. The consequences of flow inhomogeneity for flow friction and regenerator effectiveness are analyzed theoretically, and approximate formulae deduced. One method for reducing flow inhomogeneity in stacked-screen matrices is described.

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