WO2010070555A1 - Rotary regenerator for gas-turbine - Google Patents

Rotary regenerator for gas-turbine Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2010070555A1
WO2010070555A1 PCT/IB2009/055673 IB2009055673W WO2010070555A1 WO 2010070555 A1 WO2010070555 A1 WO 2010070555A1 IB 2009055673 W IB2009055673 W IB 2009055673W WO 2010070555 A1 WO2010070555 A1 WO 2010070555A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
seal
housing
radial
core
rim
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/IB2009/055673
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
David Lior
Original Assignee
Etv Motors Ltd.
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US12282608P priority Critical
Priority to US61/122,826 priority
Application filed by Etv Motors Ltd. filed Critical Etv Motors Ltd.
Publication of WO2010070555A1 publication Critical patent/WO2010070555A1/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D19/00Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus in which the intermediate heat-transfer medium or body is moved successively into contact with each heat-exchange medium
    • F28D19/04Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus in which the intermediate heat-transfer medium or body is moved successively into contact with each heat-exchange medium using rigid bodies, e.g. mounted on a movable carrier
    • F28D19/047Sealing means
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F28HEAT EXCHANGE IN GENERAL
    • F28DHEAT-EXCHANGE APPARATUS, NOT PROVIDED FOR IN ANOTHER SUBCLASS, IN WHICH THE HEAT-EXCHANGE MEDIA DO NOT COME INTO DIRECT CONTACT
    • F28D19/00Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus in which the intermediate heat-transfer medium or body is moved successively into contact with each heat-exchange medium
    • F28D19/04Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus in which the intermediate heat-transfer medium or body is moved successively into contact with each heat-exchange medium using rigid bodies, e.g. mounted on a movable carrier
    • F28D19/041Regenerative heat-exchange apparatus in which the intermediate heat-transfer medium or body is moved successively into contact with each heat-exchange medium using rigid bodies, e.g. mounted on a movable carrier with axial flow through the intermediate heat-transfer medium
    • F28D19/042Rotors; Assemblies of heat absorbing masses
    • F28D19/044Rotors; Assemblies of heat absorbing masses shaped in sector form, e.g. with baskets

Abstract

Disclosed are rotary regenerators (42) including non- contacting seals (52,54,56) having reduced leakage loss that are suitable for use with gas-turbines. In some embodiments, a rotary regenerator includes labyrinth seals.

Description

ROTARY REGENERATOR FOR GAS-TURBINE

RELATED APPLICATION The present application gains priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No.

61/122,826 filed 16 December 2008 which is included by reference as if fully set forth herein.

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention, in some embodiments, relates to the field of rotary regenerators, and more specifically to rotary regenerators useful for improving the thermal efficiency of gas- turbines.

Gas-turbines are known for efficiently converting chemical energy stored in a combustible fuel to mechanical energy. In Figure 1, a typical gas-turbine 10 is schematically depicted includes a combustor 12, a turbine 14 and a compressor 16, turbine 14 and compressor 16 together mounted on a common rotatable shaft 18 constituting a spool.

In typical Brayton-cycle operation, ambient air 20 is forced by compressor 16 into combustor 12. The air is heated by fuel combustion in combustor 12 and expands through and consequently rotates turbine 14 before exiting gas-turbine 10 as exhaust 22. The rotation of turbine 14 rotates compressor 16 through shaft 18.

To increase thermal efficiency, a gas-turbine such as 10 typically includes a heat- exchanging component, such as a recuperator or regenerator, that recovers heat from the exhaust to preheat air entering the combustor.

In Figure 1, the heat-exchanging component is a regenerator 24, generally considered to be the most efficient heat exchanger for use with a gas-turbine. Basic regenerator concepts have been discussed by Wilson DG in Proceedings of ASME Turbo Expo 2003, June 1619, 2003 Atlanta, GA, USA which are included by reference as if fully set forth herein.

Regenerator 24 is schematically depicted in Figure 2A (side cross section) and Figure 2B (front cross section) and comprises a core 26 made of a heat-transfer matrix material (e.g., a porous ceramic such as cordierite) rotatably mounted on a regenerator shaft 28. Core 26 is also schematically depicted in Figure 2C in perspective. The pores in the heat-transfer matrix material of core 26 define axial channels that are substantially parallel to regenerator shaft 28 and allow flow of fluid such as air through from one face of core 26 to the opposite face of core 26. Core 26 is contained within a housing 30 that is divided into two sections: a larger (e.g., 2/3 of the radial area) hot stream section 32 which constitutes a part of hot stream duct 36 guiding exhaust gas from turbine 14, and a smaller (e.g., 1/3 of the radial area) cold stream section 34 which constitutes a part of cold stream duct 38 guiding air into combustor 12. During operation of gas-turbine 10, core 26 is rotated. Hot exhaust gas 22 from combustor 12 expands through turbine 14 and out through hot stream duct 36. When passing through hot stream section 32 of housing 30, the exhaust gas 22 passes through the axial channels of the heat-transfer matrix of core 26, heating the heat-transfer matrix. As core 26 rotates, heated portions of the heat-transfer matrix eventually move into cold stream section 34 of housing 30. Cool ambient inlet air 20 passing through cold stream section 34 of cold stream duct 38 passes through the axial channels of the heat-transfer matrix located in cold stream section 34, absorbing heat from the heat-transfer matrix.

Regenerator effectiveness is the ratio between the heat energy actually transferred to the cold flow divided by the heat energy that could have been theoretically transferred to the cold flow, using an infinitesimal heat transfer area for a counterflow heat exchanger. Thus, the regenerator cold efficiency is the ratio of cold flow outlet temperature (Tl) less cold flow inlet temperature (T2) to hot flow inlet temperature less cold flow inlet temperature (T2).

One of the reasons for low regenerator effectiveness in gas-turbines is leakage loss arising from high pressure hot stream gas from the hot stream section leaking into the ambient pressure cold stream section.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of the invention relate to rotary regenerators, especially rotary regenerators suitable for use with gas-turbines, having reduced leakage losses. According to aspects of some embodiments of the invention, a rotary regenerator is provided with non-contact seals comprising seal strips on a rotating core and seal surfaces in a regenerator housing. When a seal strip faces a respective seal surface, the resulting seal reduces leakage losses and therefore increases regenerator effectiveness.

Thus, according to aspects of some embodiments of the invention there is provided a rotary regenerator comprising: a) a housing defining a chamber including a cold stream section and a hot stream section separated by at least one radial partition on at least one inner wall of the housing, the radial partition including an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface; and b) a core rotatably mounted inside the housing, the core including a heat-transfer matrix part, having a first face and a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between the faces, on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix at least two radial seal strips sectoring the heat-transfer matrix into at least two sectors, wherein the radial seal strips and the partitions are configured so that there exist at least two radial orientations of the core in the housing where radial seal strips of the first face of the heat-transfer matrix part are positioned facing an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface of a radial partition thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal between the hot stream section and the cold stream section. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between a radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, the radial seal strips block passage of fluid through axial channels of the heat- transfer matrix covered by the radial seal strips.

Thus, according to aspects of some embodiments of the invention there is also provided a rotary regenerator comprising: a) a core including an axis, a radius, and an outer-edge, the core including a heat- transfer matrix, the heat-transfer matrix having a first face, a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between the first face and the second face, on the first face radial seal strips sectoring the first face to at least two matrix sectors; b) a regenerator housing defining a chamber in which the core is axially rotatable, the regenerator housing including: a first inner side facing the first face of the core, including a hot stream duct and a cold stream duct passing therethrough, the hot stream duct and the cold stream duct separated by two radial partitions having an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface wherein the radial seal strips on the first face and the radial partitions on the first inner side are configured so that there exist at least two sealing orientations where the core is oriented in the housing so that a radial seal strip of the first face of the heat-transfer matrix is positioned facing a radial housing seal surface of the radial partition of the first inner side of the housing thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between the radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal. In some embodiments the radial seal strips block passage of fluid through axial channels of the heat-transfer matrix covered by the radial seal strips.

In some embodiments, the hot stream duct is a hot stream outlet duct and the cold stream duct is a cold stream inlet duct. In some embodiments, the hot stream duct is a hot stream inlet duct and the cold stream duct is a cold stream outlet duct.

According to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention there is also provided a gas-turbine functionally associated with a rotary regenerator as described herein. In some embodiments, an inlet duct of a combustor of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with the cold stream outlet duct of the regenerator housing. In some embodiments, an exhaust duct of a turbine of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with the hot stream inlet duct of the housing.

According to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention there is also provided a method of manufacturing a rotary regenerator core comprising, providing a core workpiece comprising a heat-transfer matrix including a first face and a second face fashioned of a material comprising axial channels defining fluid communication between the faces; and securing a seal strip to a face of the core workpiece. In some embodiments, the seal strip is secured to a face of the heat-exchange matrix. In some embodiments, the seal strip is substantially impermeable and securing substantially blocks passage of fluid through axial channels covered by the seal strip.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of the seal strip comprises at least N ridges defining N-I grooves therebetween so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of the seal strip is substantially smooth so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal. In some embodiments, at least the outwardly facing surface of the seal strip comprises a relatively easily abradable material.

In some embodiments, the seal strip is a distinct component, and the securing comprises using an adhesive that bonds the distinct component to the face of the core workpiece.

In some embodiments, the seal strip is a distinct component, and the securing comprises using bolts that penetrate into the heat-transfer matrix. In some embodiments, the bolts penetrate through the heat-transfer matrix and the securing comprises clamping the heat- transfer matrix with the seal strip.

In some embodiments, the securing is by application of a fluid precursor of the seal strip to the face of the core workpiece and hardening the fluid precursor. In some embodiments, surface features of the seal strip are applied to the fluid precursor prior to the hardening. Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. In case of conflict, the patent specification, including definitions, will control.

As used herein, the terms "comprising", "including", "having" and grammatical variants thereof are to be taken as specifying the stated features, integers, steps or components but do not preclude the addition of one or more additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof. These terms encompass the terms "consisting of" and

"consisting essentially of".

The phrase "consisting essentially of" or grammatical variants thereof when used herein are to be taken as specifying the stated features, integers, steps or components but do not preclude the addition of one or more additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof but only if the additional features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof do not materially alter the basic and novel characteristics of the described composition, device or method. As used herein, the indefinite articles "a" and "an" mean "at least one" or "one or more" unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Some embodiments of the invention are herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying figures. The description, together with the figures, makes apparent how embodiments of the invention may be practiced to a person having ordinary skill in the art. The figures are for the purpose of illustrative discussion of embodiments of the invention and no attempt is made to show structural details of an embodiment in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention. For the sake of clarity, some objects depicted in the figures are not to scale.

In the Figures:

FIG. 1 (prior art) is a schematic depiction of a gas-turbine;

FIGS. 2A, 2B and 2C (prior art) are schematic depictions of a rotary regenerator;

FIGS. 3 A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 3E are schematic depictions of an embodiment of a rotary regenerator;

FIG. 4 is a schematic depiction of seal strips of an embodiment of a core;

FIG. 5 is a schematic depiction of an embodiment of a rotary regenerator;

FIG. 6 is a schematic depiction of an embodiment of a rotary regenerator. DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Aspects of some embodiments the invention relate to rotary regenerators especially rotary regenerators for use with gas-turbines, which in some embodiments include non- contact seals to reduce leakage loss and therefore provide high regenerator effectiveness. A gas-turbine operating with some embodiments of a rotary regenerator of the invention has a high thermal efficiency.

The principles, uses and implementations of the teachings of the invention may be better understood with reference to the accompanying description and figures. Upon perusal of the description and figures present herein, one skilled in the art is able to implement the teachings of the invention without undue effort or experimentation. In the figures, like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details set forth herein. The invention can be implemented with other embodiments and can be practiced or carried out in various ways. It is also understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for descriptive purpose and should not be regarded as limiting.

As discussed in the introduction, it is desirable to operate a gas-turbine with a rotary regenerator having a high effectiveness in order to increase the thermal efficiency of the gas- turbine. One significant cause for reduced rotary regenerator effectiveness is carry-over loss, caused by cold air from the cold stream that is trapped in the axial channels of the heat- transfer matrix and transferred into the hot stream by the rotation of the core. The magnitude of this loss is dependent on the ratio between the axial velocity of the flow through the matrix to the rotational velocity of the heat-transfer matrix. A second significant cause for reduced regenerator effectiveness is leakage loss from the high-pressure hot stream section to the low-pressure cold stream section across the faces of the core ('a' in Figure 2C) and around the outer-edge of the core ('b' in Figure 2C), where a typical pressure ratio is 3:1 and to a lesser extent, over the outer-edge of the core from the higher pressure inlet side to the somewhat lower pressure outlet side of the hot stream ('c' in Figure 2B) and the cold stream section ('d' in Figure 2B).

An aspect of the invention is a regenerator having a heat-transfer matrix, which at least one face is sectored into a number of radial sectors separated and/or defined by radial seal strips which are components of a non-contact seal. The regenerator also has a corresponding housing with a hot stream section and a cold stream section, the two sections separated by radial partitions having inwardly facing radial seal surfaces which are also components of the non-contact seal.

As the core rotates inside the housing there are at least two sealing orientations where the radial seal strips on a face of the core face a radial seal surface of the housing. In a sealing orientation, a radial seal (e.g., a labyrinth seal) is constituted which reduces leakage between the hot stream and cold stream sections across the face of the core, leakage "a" in Figure 2C. In some embodiments, the radial seal strips cover axial channels of the heat-transfer matrix and substantially block the passage of fluid through the axial channels. In some embodiments, the regenerator is configured for stepwise rotation of the core between sealing orientations. In such embodiments, the core is static in a sealing orientation for a relatively long time where leakage across the radial seals is reduced, increasing regenerator effectiveness. In some such embodiments, during rotation of the core between any two sealing orientations there is increased leakage, but since the rotation is relatively quick, the effect of the leakage on regenerator effectiveness is substantially insignificant.

In some embodiments, there are seal strips on the inner and/or outer rim of at least one face of a core as well as corresponding seal surfaces on the housing. In some such embodiments, such seal surfaces reduce the leakage over the outer-edge of the core, i.e., leakage 'c' and leakage 'd' in Figure 2C. In some embodiments, there is an outer-edge periphery seal strip on the outer-edge of the core as well as a corresponding seal surface on the housing. In some such embodiments, such seal surfaces reduce the leakage over the outer-edge of the core, i.e., leakage 'c' and leakage 'd' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, there are outer-edge stream seal strips on the outer-edge of the core oriented in-line with the radial seal strips as well as a corresponding seal surface on the housing. In some such embodiments, such seal surfaces reduce the leakage between the hot stream section and the cold stream section along the periphery of the core, i.e., leakage 'b' in Figure 2C.

Embodiments of rotary regenerators of the invention have substantially lower leakage from the hot stream section to the low stream section than known rotary regenerators and, accordingly, have a higher regenerator effectiveness.

In some embodiments, the seals of a rotary regenerator of the invention are narrow and therefore cover a relatively small portion of the heat-transfer matrix faces so a greater portion of the surface area is available for heat-transfer. Thus in some embodiments, a smaller and therefore lighter and cheaper heat-transfer matrix may be used for the same implementation with the same heat-transfer capacity.

Further, in some embodiments, the seals are non-contact seals so there is a reduced level of wear and stress on regenerator components, including stress that potentially leads to cracking of a ceramic heat-transfer matrix.

Further, in some embodiments, the seals are thin and have no moving parts, in some embodiments comprising a seal strip on the rotating core facing a seal surface on an inner side of the regenerator housing. As a result, in some embodiments a rotary regenerator of the invention is significantly thinner, simpler and more reliable than prior art rotary regenerators, yet surprisingly provides comparable if not better effectiveness due to reduced leakage-losses.

For example, prior art rotary regenerators comprising indexed rotation and engaging/disengaging seals require wide sealing pads and complex mechanisms to move the sealing pads against the matrix and have greater leakage than some embodiments of rotary regenerator of the invention.

In some embodiments, the use of the same or similar type of non-contact seal to reduce different types of leakage (leakages depicted in Figure 2C) makes tooling and manufacture simpler and thus, in some embodiments, a rotary regenerator is cheaper.

According to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention, there is provided a rotary regenerator comprising: a) a housing defining a chamber including a cold stream section and a hot stream section separated by radial partitions on at least one inner wall of the housing the radial partitions including an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface; b) a core rotatably mounted inside the housing, the core including a heat-transfer matrix having a first face and a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between the faces, on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix at least two radial seal strips, the radial seal strips sectoring the heat-transfer matrix into at least two sectors, wherein the radial seal strips and the partitions are configured so that there exist at least two radial orientations of the core in the housing where a the radial seal strip of the first face of the heat-transfer matrix part is positioned facing an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface of a radial partition thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal between the hot stream section and the cold stream section. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between a radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal. According to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention, there is also provided a rotary regenerator comprising: a) a core including an axis, a radius, and an outer-edge, the core including a heat- transfer matrix, the heat-transfer matrix, having a first face and a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between the first face and the second face, on the first face radial seal strips sectoring the first face to at least two matrix sectors; b) a regenerator housing defining a chamber in which the core is axially rotatable, the regenerator housing including: a first inner side facing the first face of the core, including a hot stream duct and a cold stream duct passing therethrough, the hot stream duct and the cold stream duct separated by two radial partitions having an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface wherein the radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix and the radial partitions of the first inner side of the housing are configured so that there exist at least two sealing orientations where the core is oriented (around the axis) in the housing so that a radial seal strip on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix is positioned facing a radial housing seal surface of a radial partition of the first inner side of the housing, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal, which in some embodiments reduces fluid leakage from the hot stream section of the chamber to the cold stream section thereof (leakage 'a' in Figure 2C). In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between a radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, passage of fluid from one sector of the heat-transfer matrix to another sector is prevented: for example in some embodiments the radial seal strips block passage of fluid through axial channels of the heat-transfer matrix covered by the radial seal strips.

In some embodiments, the hot stream duct of the first inner side is a hot stream outlet duct and the cold stream duct of the first inner side is a cold stream inlet duct.

In some embodiments, the hot stream duct of the first inner side is a hot stream inlet duct and the cold stream duct of the first inner side is a cold stream outlet duct. In some such embodiments, a regenerator further comprises: on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix and opposite the radial seal strips on the first face, radial seal strips sectoring the second face to at least two matrix sectors; and the regenerator housing further including a second inner side facing the second face of the core, including a hot stream outlet duct across from the hot stream inlet duct and a cold stream inlet duct across from the cold stream outlet duct passing therethrough, the hot stream outlet duct and the cold stream inlet duct separated by two radial partitions having an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface wherein the radial seal strips on the second face of the core and the radial partitions of the second inner side are configured so that in the sealing orientations, a radial seal strip of the second face of the heat-transfer matrix is positioned facing the radial housing seal surface of a radial partition of the second inner side of the housing thereby together constituting a non- contacting seal. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between a radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, the core is mounted in the housing on a core shaft, collinear with the axis of the core, around which the core rotates in the housing. In some embodiments, the core is mounted in the housing on a plurality of bearings contacting the outer-edge of the core.

In some embodiments, the heat-transfer matrix of the core is substantially ring- shaped. In some embodiments, the heat-transfer matrix of the core is substantially ring- shaped and surrounds a substantially impermeable central support section.

Inner rim seals

In some embodiments, a regenerator includes one or two non-contacting inner rim seals, each seal comprising an inner rim seal strip functionally associated with the core and a corresponding facing housing seal surface. In some embodiments, such inner rim seals reduce leakage from a hot stream section to a cold stream section of a regenerator housing close to the axis of the core, similar to leakage 'a' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, the core further comprises a first inner rim seal strip substantially concentric with and proximal to the axis of the core and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing inner rim housing seal surface on the first inner side of the housing wherein the inner rim housing seal surface of the first inner side faces the first inner rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal. By "proximal to the axis of the core" is meant that the inner rim seal strip is closer to the axis of the core than the greater part, and preferably all, of the face of the heat- transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, a first inner rim seal strip is on the first face of the heat- transfer matrix. In some embodiments, a first inner rim seal strip is located on a different component, for example on a central support section of a core surrounded by a ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the first inner rim seal strip is physically distinct from the radial seal strips on the first face of the core. In some such embodiments, the first inner rim seal strip is substantially contiguous with the radial seal strips on the first face of the heat- transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the first inner rim seal strip is continuous with the radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the core further comprises a second inner rim seal strip substantially concentric with and proximal to the axis of the core and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing inner rim housing seal surface on the second inner side wherein the inner rim housing seal surface of the second inner side faces the second inner rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.

In some embodiments, a second inner rim seal strip is on the second face of the heat- transfer matrix. In some embodiments, a second inner rim seal strip is located on a different component, for example on a central support section of a core surrounded by a ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the second inner rim seal strip is physically distinct from the radial seal strips on the second face of the core. In some such embodiments, the second inner rim seal strip is substantially contiguous with the radial seal strips on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the second inner rim seal strip is continuous with the radial seal strips on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between an inner rim housing seal surface and a corresponding inner rim seal strip constitutes a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, the first inner rim seal strip and/or the second inner rim seal strip are substantially circular.

In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix is substantially ring-shaped and one or both inner rim seal strips are located proximal to the inner periphery of the heat-transfer matrix.

Outer rim seals

In some embodiments, a regenerator includes one or two non-contacting outer rim seals, each seal comprising an outer rim seal strip functionally associated with the core and a corresponding facing housing seal surface. In some embodiments, such outer rim seals reduce leakage from a hot stream inlet to a respective hot stream outlet leakage 'c' in Figure 2C and/or from a cold stream inlet to a respective cold stream outlet leakage 'd' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, the core further comprises a first outer rim seal strip substantially concentric with the axis and proximal to the outer-edge of the core and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing outer rim housing seal surface on the first inner side of the housing wherein the outer rim housing seal surface of the first inner side faces the first outer rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal. By "proximal to the outer-edge of the core" is meant that the outer rim seal strip is closer to the outer-edge of the core than the greater part, and preferably all, of the face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, a first outer rim seal strip is on the first face of the heat- transfer matrix. In some embodiments, a first outer rim seal strip is located on a different component, for example on a ring-shaped outer-edge protector encircling the heat- transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the first outer rim seal strip is physically distinct from the radial seal strips on the first face of the core. In some such embodiments, the first outer rim seal strip is substantially contiguous with the radial seal strips on the first face of the heat- transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the first outer rim seal strip is continuous with the radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the core further comprises a second outer rim seal strip substantially concentric with the axis and proximal to the outer-edge of the core and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing outer rim housing seal surface on the second inner side of the housing wherein the outer rim housing seal surface of the second inner side faces the second outer rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.

In some embodiments, a second outer rim seal strip is on the first face of the heat- transfer matrix. In some embodiments, a second outer rim seal strip is located on a different component, for example on a ring-shaped outer-edge protector encircling the heat- transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the second outer rim seal strip is physically distinct from the radial seal strips on the second face of the core. In some such embodiments, the second outer rim seal strip is substantially contiguous with the radial seal strips on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix. In some embodiments, the second outer rim seal strip is continuous with the radial seal strips on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix.

In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal between an outer rim housing seal surface and a corresponding outer rim seal strip constitutes a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, the first outer rim seal strip and/or the second outer rim seal strip are substantially circular.

In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix is substantially round (has a substantially round outer periphery, e.g., is substantially ring-shaped or disk shaped) and one or both outer rim seal strips are located proximal to the outer periphery of the heat-transfer matrix.

Outer-edge periphery seal

In some embodiments, a regenerator includes a non-contacting outer-edge periphery seal, in addition to or instead of one or both outer rim seals. In some embodiments, an outer- edge periphery seal comprises an outer-edge periphery seal strip encircling the outer-edge of the core and a corresponding facing housing seal surface. In some embodiments, such an outer-edge periphery seals reduces leakage over the periphery of the core from a hot stream inlet to a respective hot stream outlet leakage 'c' in Figure 2C and/or from a cold stream inlet to a respective cold stream outlet leakage 'd' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, a core further comprises an outer-edge periphery seal strip substantially concentric with the axis and encircling the outer-edge of the core; and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface on an inner side of the housing wherein the outer-edge housing seal surface faces the outer-edge periphery seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal, that in some embodiments is configured to substantially reduce leakage over the outer-edge of the core. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal constitutes a labyrinth seal.

Outer-edge stream seal

In some embodiments, a regenerator includes at non-contacting outer-edge stream seals. In some embodiments, the outer-edge stream seals comprise a plurality of outer-edge stream seal strips distributed around the outer-edge of the core and a corresponding facing housing seal surface. In some embodiments, such outer-edge stream seals reduce leakage from the hot stream to the cold stream around the edge of the core 'b' in Figure 2C when the core is in a sealing orientation. In some embodiments, a regenerator further comprises at least two outer-edge stream seal strips distributed around the periphery of the outer-edge of the core, each the outer-edge stream seal strip aligned with a radial seal strip and the housing further comprises an inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface on an inner side of the housing wherein the outer-edge housing seal surface faces the outer-edge stream seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal, that in some embodiments is configured to reduce leakage from the hot stream to the cold stream along the outer-edge of the core. In some embodiments, the non-contacting seal constitutes a labyrinth seal. Generally, the number of outer-edge stream seal strips is equal to the number of radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-exchange matrix and/or the number of radial seal strips on the second face of the heat- exchange matrix.

In some embodiments, the outer-edge stream seal strips are physically distinct from radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-exchange matrix, on the second face of the heat- exchange matrix or both. In some such embodiments, the outer-edge stream seal strips are contiguous with radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-exchange matrix, on the second face of the heat-exchange matrix or both.

In some embodiments, the outer-edge stream seal strips are continuous with radial seal strips on the first face of the heat-exchange matrix, on the second face of the heat- exchange matrix or both.

Seals

As noted above, in some embodiments a seal strip physically associated with the core of a rotary regenerator and a facing seal surface on an inner side of the housing of the regenerator together constitute a non-contacting seal, in some embodiments, a labyrinth seal.

In some embodiments, a labyrinth seal comprises N ridges (N an integer at least 2) defining N-I grooves on the surface of a seal strip facing a corresponding seal surface. In some such embodiments, the facing seal surface is smooth.

In some embodiments, a labyrinth seal comprises N ridges (N an integer at least 2) defining N-I grooves on a seal surface facing a corresponding seal strip. In some such embodiments, the facing seal strip surface is smooth.

N is an integer of at least 2. In some embodiments, N is at least 3, at least 4 or even at least 5.

In some embodiments, a seal is abradable, that is to say, one or both facing surfaces are sufficiently soft to abrade during use to provide a seal. In some embodiments, a seal constitutes a labyrinth seal where a first component (seal strip or seal surface) includes N ridges and N-I grooves and the facing surface of the corresponding second component is smooth and abradable, that is to say, made of a material substantially softer than the first component. Contact between the two surfaces during rotation of the core causes the softer surface to abrade.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of a radial seal strip (the side opposite the heat-transfer matrix) comprises at least N radial ridges defining N-I radial grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a facing radial housing seal surface. In such embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are oriented substantially perpendicularly to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the corresponding radial housing seal surface is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the radial housing seal surfaces are of a material substantially softer than the radial seal strips so that if contact is made between a radial housing seal surface and a radial seal strip during rotation of the core, the radial housing seal surface is abraded.

In some embodiments, a radial housing seal surface comprises at least N radial ridges defining N- 1 radial grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a facing radial seal strip. In some embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are oriented substantially perpendicularly to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the outwardly facing surface of the radial seal strips is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the outwardly facing surface of the radial seal strips comprises a material substantially softer than the radial housing seal surfaces so that if contact is made between a radial housing seal surface and a radial seal strip during rotation of the core, the surface of the radial seal strip is abraded.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of a rim seal strip (the side opposite the core) comprises at least N substantially circular ridges defining N-I substantially circular grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a respective rim housing seal surface. In some such embodiments, the ridges are substantially coaxial with the axis of the core and are oriented substantially parallel to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the corresponding rim housing seal surface is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the corresponding rim housing seal surface comprises a material substantially softer than the rim seal strip so that if contact is made between the rim housing seal surface and the corresponding rim seal strip during rotation of the core, the rim housing seal surface is abraded. In some embodiments, a surface of a rim housing seal surface comprises at least N substantially circular ridges defining N-I substantially circular grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a facing rim seal strip. In some such embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are substantially coaxial with the axis of the core and are oriented substantially parallel to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the facing surface of the corresponding rim seal strip is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the surface of the corresponding rim seal strip comprises a material substantially softer than the rim housing seal surface so that if contact is made between the rim housing seal surface and the rim seal strip during rotation of the core, the surface of the rim seal strip is abraded.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of an outer-edge periphery seal strip (the surface opposite the core) comprises at least N substantially circular ridges defining N-I substantially circular grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with the outer-edge housing seal surface. In some such embodiments, the ridges are coaxial with the axis of the core and oriented parallel to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the outer-edge housing seal surface is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the outer-edge housing seal surface comprises a material substantially softer than the outer-edge periphery seal strip so that if contact is made between the outer-edge housing seal surface and the outer-edge periphery seal strip during rotation of the core, the outer-edge housing seal surface is abraded.

In some embodiments, a surface of the outer-edge housing seal surface comprises at least N substantially circular ridges defining N-I substantially circular grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a facing side of an outer-edge periphery seal strip. In some such embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are substantially coaxial with the axis of the core and are oriented substantially parallel to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the outwardly facing surface of the outer-edge periphery seal strip is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the outwardly facing surface of the outer-edge periphery seal strip comprises a material substantially softer than the outer- edge housing seal surface so that if contact is made between the outer-edge housing seal surface and the outer-edge periphery seal strip during rotation of the core, the surface of the outer-edge periphery seal strip is abraded.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of an outer-edge stream seal strip (the side opposite the core) comprises at least N axial ridges defining N-I axial grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a respective outer-edge housing seal surface. In such embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are oriented substantially perpendicularly to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the outer-edge housing seal surface is substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the outer-edge housing seal surface comprises a material substantially softer than the outer-edge stream seal strip so that if contact is made between the outer-edge housing seal surface and the outer-edge seal strip during rotation of the core, the outer-edge housing seal surface is abraded.

In some embodiments, an outer-edge housing seal surface comprises at least N axial ridges defining N-I axial grooves therebetween, thereby constituting a labyrinth seal together with a facing outer-edge stream seal strip. In some embodiments, during rotation of the core, the ridges are oriented substantially perpendicularly to the direction of rotation. In some such embodiments, the facing surfaces of the outer-edge stream seal strips are substantially smooth. In some such embodiments, the facing surfaces of the outer-edge stream seal strips are of a material substantially softer than the outer-edge housing seal surface so that if contact is made between the outer-edge housing seal surface and the outer-edge stream seal strips during rotation of the core, the surfaces of the outer-edge seal strips are abraded.

As noted above, in some embodiments there exist at least two sealing orientations where radial strips face a radial housing seal surface so as to together constitute a non- contacting seal. In some embodiments, during operation of such a rotary regenerator, the core is relatively quickly rotated between sealing orientations and maintained a relatively long time in each sealing orientation in order to maximize the effect of the seals, that is to say, a reduction of leakage from the hot stream to the cold stream across the face of the core (leakage 'b' in Figure 2C).

Driving assembly

In some embodiments, a rotary regenerator comprises a driving assembly (e.g., a motor, transmission, controller and like components) configured to discontinuously rotate the core between the sealing orientations, so that rotation is stopped and the core is static for a certain duration when in a sealing orientation. In some embodiments, the driving assembly comprises a step-motor.

In some embodiments, the driving assembly is configured so that the rate of rotation of the core between two sealing orientations is controllable. In some embodiments, the driving assembly is configured to allow rotation of the core between two sealing orientations in not more than about 0.5 seconds, not more than about 0.2 seconds and even not more than about 0.1 seconds.

In some embodiments, the driving assembly is configured so that the time between two rotations of the core between two sealing orientations is controllable. In some embodiments, the driving assembly is configured to allow a time between two rotations of the core between two sealing orientations that is at least about twice, at least about three times, and even at least about four times the duration of a rotation. In some embodiments, the driving assembly is configured to allow a time of no less than about 0.5 seconds and even no less than about 1 second between two rotations of the core between two sealing orientations.

An embodiment of a regenerator of the invention, rotary regenerator 42 is depicted in Figures 3, embodying a number of features of the invention.

In Figure 3A (side cross section) and in Figure 3B (front view) is depicted a core 26 of rotary regenerator 42, in Figure 3A inside a chamber 43 defined housing 30. It is seen that core 26 comprises a central cylindrical support section 44 surrounded by a ring-shaped heat- transfer matrix 46 including axial channels made of a material known in the art as a standard regenerator matrix material. An outer edge 47 of core 26 is spaced away from the facing surface of housing 30. The faces of central cylindrical support section 44 are impermeable to the passage of gas such as air. The radius of central support section 44 is half that of core 26. Central cylindrical support section 44 is hollow and at least partially contains an electrical step motor 48 configured for discontinuous rotation of core 26 around axis 49.

The axial thickness of ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix 46 is 80 mm. The outer diameter of ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix 46 is 60 cm. In Figure 3B, ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix 46 is viewed from a first face 40a.

Associated with first face 40a are three types of seal strips: six radial seal strips 52, an inner rim seal strip 54 and an outer rim seal strip 56. On a second face 40b of ring-shaped heat- transfer matrix 46 opposite first face 40a are substantially identical seal strips, six radial seal strips 52, an inner rim seal strip 54 and an outer rim seal strip 56. All three types of seals 52, 54 and 56 are fashioned from high-temperature superalloy (e.g., Rene™-41) and have a smooth side that faces and contacts a face 40a or 40b of heat-transfer matrix 46 and an outwardly facing side. The width of the seal strips 52, 54 and 56 is 4 mm. Seal strips 52, 54 and 56 all have a substantially identical thickness of 3.5 mm. Seal strips52, 54 and 56 all contact a face 40a or 40b of heat-transfer matrix 46 covering some of the axial channels of heat- transfer matrix 46. The passage of fluid such as air through axial channels of heat- transfer matrix 46 which are covered by seal strips 52, 54 and 56 is blocked as seals 52, 54 and 56 are substantially impermeable to the passage of fluid.

In Figure 3B is seen that first face 40a of heat-transfer matrix 46 is sectored into six equal matrix sectors 50 by radial seal strips 52. In Figure 3B is also seen that both inner rim seal strip 54 and outer rim seal strip 56 are circular and concentric with heat-transfer matrix 46, inner rim seal strip 54 covering the area of first face 40 of heat-transfer matrix 46 proximal to axis 49 and outer rim seal strip 56 covering the area of face 40a of heat-transfer matrix 46 near outer-edge 47 of heat-transfer matrix 46. In Figure 3C a radial seal strip 52, inner rim seal strip 54 and outer rim seal strip 56 are shown in detail. In cross section A-A of outer rim seal strip 56 and cross section B-B of inner rim seal strip 54 is seen that the outwardly facing side of rim seal strips 54 and 56 are not smooth but rather have features: four circular ridges concentric with axis 49 that in cross section appear as four triangular protrusions defining three grooves. In cross section C-C of radial seal strip 52 is seen that the outwardly facing side of seal strip 52 is not smooth but has features, five parallel rows of triangular protrusions defining four parallel grooves.

In Figure 3A, housing 30 is depicted in side cross section.

In Figure 3D, a first inner side 58a of housing 30 which faces face 40a of core 26 is depicted, including a cold stream inlet duct 68 and a hot stream outlet duct 70.

In Figure 3E, a second inner side 58b of housing 30 which faces face 40b of core 26 is depicted, including a cold stream outlet duct 72 and a hot stream inlet duct 74.

In Figure 3D and 3E is seen how partitions 60 separate cold stream ducts 68 and 72 from hot stream ducts 70 and 74. Inner sides 58a and 58b of housing 30 also include seal surfaces 62, 64 and 66, facing and parallel to the outwardly facing surfaces of seal strips 52, 54 and 56, respectively

Outer rim housing seal surface 66 faces outer rim seal strip 56.

Inner rim housing seal surface 64 faces inner rim seal strip 54.

Depending on the radial orientation of core 26, axial housing seal surfaces 62 are either facing a surface of a matrix sector 50 or are both facing a radial seal strip 52. When core 26 is radially oriented so that axial housing seal surfaces 62 face a radial seal strip 52, core 26 is in a sealing orientation.

The distances between the tips of the protrusions on the outwardly facing side of seal strips 52, 54 and 56 and respective seal surfaces 62, 64 and 66 are small enough that a seal strip 52, 54 or 56 and respective facing seal surface 62, 64 or 66 constitute a labyrinth seal. As with known labyrinth seals, fluid found in the cavities (the volume defined by the grooves and a facing seal surface) must accelerate to pass over the restrictions (the space between the ridges and a facing seal surface). After passing a restriction, the fluid expands and decelerates, forming separation eddies as it enters a succeeding cavity. The separation eddies dissipate some of the energy of the fluid. Thus, a seal strip 52, 54 or 56 and a respective facing seal surface 62, 64 or 66 together constitute a non-contact labyrinth seal.

In rotary regenerator 42, the distance between the tips of a protrusion and a respective facing seal surface is such that a labyrinth seal is formed. It is generally preferred that the distance be as small as possible, in some embodiments not more than about 0.5 mm, not more than about 0.2 mm, not more than about 0.1 mm and even not more than about 0.05 mm.

In some embodiments, during manufacture, seal surfaces such as 62, 64 and 66 are coated with a layer (e.g., a thin layer, for example less than about 1 mm) of a relatively soft ceramic material (for example, in some embodiments, using ceramic plasma spray) and the regenerator assembled. The core is rotated so that the ridges of the seal strips abrade the relatively soft ceramic layer so that the gap between the tips of the ridges on the seal strips and respective facing seal surfaces is as small as possible.

When rotary regenerator 42 is assembled for use, step motor 48 is configured to have six static positions corresponding to the six sealing orientations of core 26, where two radial seal strips 52 are located opposite axial housing seal surfaces 62. Thus, a hot stream section 32 of rotary regenerator 42 for guiding hot stream gas 22 to be cooled comprises hot stream inlet duct 74, hot stream outlet duct 70 and the volume of chamber 43 occupied by the four matrix sectors 50 spanned by the two radial seal strips 52 facing partitions 60 and axial housing seal surfaces 62. A cold stream section 34 of rotary regenerator 42 for guiding the ambient air 20 to be heated comprises cold stream inlet duct 68, cold stream outlet duct 72 and the volume of chamber 43 occupied by the two matrix sectors 50 spanned by the two radial seal strips 52 located opposite partitions 60 and axial housing seal surfaces 62.

For operation, a regenerator such as 42 is integrated into a gas-turbine, in a manner substantially analogous to the depicted in Figure 1. In some embodiments, the inlet duct of the combustor of the gas-turbine is placed in fluid communication with cold stream outlet duct 72 and the exhaust duct from the turbine of the gas-turbine is placed in fluid communication with hot stream inlet duct 74.

While core 26 is maintained static in a position where two radial seal strips 52 face axial housing seal surfaces 62 so as to constitute a labyrinth seal, exhaust 22 exiting a turbine 14 of the gas-turbine passes through hot stream inlet duct 74 and through the axial channels of the four sectors 50 of heat-transfer matrix 46 located in hot stream section 32. Exhaust 22 heats sectors 50 of matrix 46 before exiting through hot stream outlet duct 70.

Concurrently, air 20 exiting a compressor 16 of the gas-turbine passes through cold stream inlet duct 68 and through the axial channels of the two sectors 50 of heat-transfer matrix 46 located in cold stream section 34. Air 20 is heated by and cools sectors 50 of matrix 46 before exiting through cold stream outlet duct 72.

Exhaust 22 and air 20 generally passes through axial channels of heat-transfer matrix 46. Some exhaust 22 near partitions 60 leaks through the seals made up of radial seal strips 52 and facing radial housing seal surfaces 62 (leakage 'a' in Figure 2C), but due to the labyrinth effect the leakage is small.

Some exhaust 22 near cylindrical support section 44 leaks through the seals made up of inner rim strips 54 and facing inner rim housing seal surfaces 64 (leakage 'a' in Figure 2C), but due to the labyrinth effect the leakage is small.

Some exhaust 22 in hot stream inlet duct 74 leaks through the seals made up of outer rim seal strips 56 and facing outer rim housing seal surfaces 66 (leakage 'c' in Figure 2C), but due to the labyrinth effect the leakage is small.

Some air 20 in cold stream inlet duct 68 leaks through the seals made up of outer rim seal strips 56 and facing outer rim housing seal surfaces 66 (leakage 'd' in Figure 2C), but due to the labyrinth effect the leakage is small.

After a certain, relatively long time during which core 26 is static, electrical motor 48 rotates core 26 to a following sealing orientation, bringing a cool sector 50 of heat-transfer matrix 46 from cold stream section 34 to hot stream section 32 and a hot sector 50 of heat- transfer matrix 46 from hot stream section 32 to cold stream section 34.

In such a way, rotary regenerator 42 recovers otherwise wasted heat from exhaust 22 to air 20, to increase the thermal efficiency of the gas-turbine.

Any suitable core shape may be used in implementing the teachings herein. In some embodiments a core is disk-shaped, such as core 26 discussed above. In some embodiments, a core has another shape, for example cylindrical, barrel- shaped, lens-shaped or frustoconical.

A core of a rotary regenerator is rotatably mounted in a corresponding housing and functionally associated with a driving assembly in any suitable fashion. In the embodiment discussed above, core 26 of rotary regenerator 42 is mounted on core shaft 76 through which motor 48 rotates core 26. In some embodiments, a core is mounted in a corresponding housing differently than in rotary regenerator 42. For example, in some embodiments, a core is mounted in a housing on a plurality of bearings (e.g., roller bearings) disposed about the periphery of the core and contacting the outer-edge of the core. It is generally preferred that a core of a regenerator of the invention remain in one of the sealing orientations as much as possible, while the duration of rotation between any two sealing orientations be as short as possible. Typically, the rotation duration is not more than about 0.5 seconds, not more than about 0.2 seconds and even not more than about 0.1 seconds. In some embodiments, the time spent rotating from one sealing orientation to another is between about 0.01 and about 0.2 seconds.

The duration which the core is maintained in a single sealing orientation is dependent on many factors including the temperature of the exhaust gas, the flow rate, the number of matrix sectors and the material from which the heat-transfer matrix is made. A person having ordinary skill in the art of rotary regenerators is able to calculate the duration which a core is optimally maintained in single sealing orientation. In some embodiments, the duration, that is the time between any two rotations of the core between two sealing orientations is not less than about twice the rotation time, not less that about three times the rotation time and even not less than about four times the rotation time. In some embodiments, the duration, that is the time between any two rotations of the core between two sealing orientations is not less than about 0.5 seconds and even not less than about 1 second.

The overall rate of rotation of a core of a regenerator is dependent on the time spent rotating between sealing orientations and the time spent in a sealing orientation. That said, in a typical embodiment a regenerator core rotates at between about 5 and about 20 seconds per revolution (about 12 to about 3 rpm), for example about 10 second per revolution (about 6 rpm).

In a rotary regenerator such as 42 where core 26 rotates at 10 seconds per revolution with a rotation-duration of 0.1 seconds between any two sealing orientations each of 1.57 seconds duration, the core is static for about 94% of the time and is rotating for about 6% of the time. In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix of a core is substantially a single component, for example, a disk or ring of heat-transfer matrix material such as a monolithic block of porous ceramic or of a metal fashioned to have axial channels, as is known in the art. For example in rotary regenerator 42 discussed above, heat- transfer matrix is a monolithic ring of porous ceramic. In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix is made up of a plurality of components, for example, each sector is an independent component. In the art it is known to assemble a heat- transfer matrix of a rotary regenerator from a plurality of components, each component corresponding to a sector. In some such embodiments, radial seal strips do not cover a portion of the heat- transfer matrix but rather contact a seam between two sector components, and therefore do not necessarily block any axial channels.

Any suitable shape of heat-transfer matrix may be used in implementing the teachings herein. In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix is substantially ring-shaped such as heat- transfer matrix 46 discussed above. In some embodiments, a heat-transfer matrix has another shape, for example, tubular, disk-shaped, cylindrical, barrel- shaped, lens-shaped or frustoconical.

In the embodiment discussed above, the inner radius of ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix 46 is about half that of core 26. In some embodiments, a ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix is a greater proportion of the core. In some embodiments, a ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix is a lesser proportion of the core.

In the embodiment discussed above, heat-transfer matrix 46 is 80 mm thick. A heat- transfer matrix of any suitable thickness may be used in implementing the teachings herein. The thickness of a heat- transfer matrix required for a given implementation is dependent on various design parameters with which one skilled in the art is familiar. In the embodiment discussed above, the diameter of core 42 is 60 cm. A core having any suitable diameter may be used in implementing the teachings herein. The diameter of a core required for a given implementation is dependent on various design parameters with which one skilled in the art is familiar.

In the embodiment discussed above, heat-transfer matrix 46 is sectored by radial seal strips 52 into matrix sectors 50 having an equal angular size. In some embodiments, not all matrix sectors are of an equal angular size. In some embodiments, all matrix sectors of a heat- transfer matrix are of an equal angular size.

In the embodiment discussed above, heat-transfer matrix 46 is sectored into six matrix sectors 50 by radial seal strips 52 and in any of the six sealing orientations of core 26, two matrix sectors 50 are part of cold stream section 34 of rotary regenerator 42 and four matrix sectors 50 are part of hot stream section 32 of rotary regenerator 42.

Some embodiments have different numbers of matrix sectors, e.g., 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8 and even more matrix sectors (see embodiments depicted in Figures 5 and 6). In rotary regenerator 42 discussed above cold stream section 34 comprises 1/3 of matrix sectors 50 while hot stream section 32 comprises 2/3 of matrix sectors 50, giving a hot stream- to-cold- stream face ratio of 2:1. Some embodiments have a different hot stream-to- cold stream face ratio. In some embodiments, the hot stream-to-cold stream face ratio is less than 1, that is the cold stream face is larger than the hot stream face by a ratio of, e.g., 1:4, 2:3, 1:6, 1:7, 2:5, 3:4, 3:5. That said, in some embodiments it is preferred that the hot stream-to- cold stream face ratio is greater than or equal to 1, that is the hot stream face is larger or the same as the cold stream face by a ratio of, e.g., 1: 1, 4:1, 3:2, 6:1, 7:1, 5:2, 4:3, 5:3.

For example, in some embodiments, a core has two matrix sectors and the hot stream- to-cold stream ratio is 1:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has three matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:2 or 2:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has four matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:3, 2:2 or 3:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has five matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:4, 2:3, 3:2 or 4:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has six matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:5, 2:4, 3:3, 4:2 or 5:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has seven matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:6, 2:5, 3:4, 4:3, 5:2 or 6:1. For example, in some embodiments, a core has eight matrix sectors and the hot stream-to-cold stream ratio is 1:7, 2:6, 3:5, 4:4, 5:3, 6:2 or 7:1. In the embodiment discussed above, core 42 comprises four rim seal strips on heat- transfer matrix 46, a first inner rim seal strip 54 and first outer rim seal strip 56 on first face 40a and second inner rim seal strip 54 and second outer rim seal strip 56 on second face 40b. In some embodiments, a core comprises fewer rim seal strips. In some embodiments a core comprises two inner rim seal strips but is devoid of outer rim seal strips. In some embodiments a core comprises two outer rim seal strips but is devoid of inner rim seal strips. In some embodiments, a core comprises an inner rim seal strip only on one face and none, one or two outer rim seal strips. In some embodiments, a core comprises an outer rim seal strip only on one face and none, one or two inner rim seal strips.

In the embodiment discussed above, the four rim seal strips 54 and 56 are on faces 40a and 40b of heat-transfer matrix 46. In some embodiments, one or more seal strips are on a different component. For example, in some embodiments, one or more inner rim seal strips are on a face of a central support section, such as 44, inside the middle of a ring-shaped heat- transfer matrix. For example, in some embodiments, one or more outer rim seal strips are on a face of an outer ring (e.g., an outer-edge protector) encircling the heat-transfer matrix. In the embodiment described above, radial seal strips 42 are components physically distinct from inner rim seal strips 54 and outer rim seal strips 56, but are substantially contiguous therewith. In some embodiments, radial seal strips are continuous with one or more rim seal strips. For example, in Figure 4 is depicted a portion of a first face 40a of a core 26 including a single component 78 that constitutes a continuous radial seal strip 52, inner rim seal strip 54 and outer rim seal strip 56. Component 78 is a single continuous metal component on which surface are continuous grooves and ridges that are parts of radial seals and rim seals.

In the embodiment discussed above, core 42 comprises four rim seal strips 54 and 56 on heat- transfer matrix 46 that are components of rim seals configured to reduce leakage over the periphery of core 42, similar to leakage 'c' and 'd' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, in addition or instead of one or both outer rim seals, a rotary regenerator comprises an outer-edge periphery seal. An embodiment of a rotary regenerator 80 comprising an outer-edge periphery seal is schematically depicted in Figure 5. In Figure 5, an outer-edge periphery seal strip 82 encircling an outer-edge 47 of a core 26 is seen facing an inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface 84 of a housing 30. Outer-edge periphery seal strip 82 includes four circular ridges defining three grooves (substantially as depicted in A-A in Figure 3C) encircling outer-edge 47 of core 26 and together with inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface 84 of housing 30 constitutes a labyrinth seal configured to reduce leakage over outer-edge 47 of core 26, leakage similar to 'c' and 'd' in Figure 2C.

In some embodiments, in addition or instead of one or more seals, a regenerator comprises an outer-edge stream seal. An embodiment of a rotary regenerator 86 comprising an outer-edge stream seal is schematically depicted in Figure 6. In Figure 6, outer-edge stream seal strips 88 are distributed around the periphery of an outer-edge 47 of a core 26 in- line with radial seal strips 52 and facing an inwardly facing ring-shaped housing seal surface 84 of a housing 30. Outer-edge stream seal strips 88 include four straight ridges defining three grooves (substantially as depicted in A-A in Figure 3C), the grooves and ridges parallel to axis 49 of core 26 and together with inwardly facing ring-shaped housing seal surface 84 of housing 30 constitute a labyrinth seal configured to reduce leakage from a hot stream section 32 to cold stream section 34 along outer-edge 47 of core 26 when core 26 is in a sealing orientation.

In general, the width of the seal strips (radial dimension for rim seal strips, width for radial seal strips outer-edge stream seal strips and, axial width for outer-edge periphery seal strips) is any suitable width. A seal strip on a face of a heat-transfer matrix is advantageously as narrow as possible to reduce the portion of heat-transfer matrix obstructed in order to minimize flow interference. That said, a seal strip must be sufficiently wide to effectively serve as a component of a seal. In some embodiments, a radial seal strip is as wide as a partition separating the cold stream section of the housing chamber from the hot stream section. In some embodiments, a radial seal strip is narrower than such a partition.

A seal strip of any suitable width may be used in implementing the teachings herein. In rotary regenerator 42 described above, the seal strips have a width of 4 mm. In some embodiments, some or all seal strips have the same width. In some embodiments, some or all seal strips have different widths. In some embodiments, the width of some or all seal strips is less than about 4 mm. In some embodiments, the width of some or all seal strips is greater than about 4 mm. In some embodiments, the width of some or all seal strips is not less than about 3 mm and even not less than about 4 mm. That said, in some embodiments the seal strips are wider. In some embodiments of a ring-shaped heat-transfer matrix having a diameter of between about 50 cm and about 100 cm and a hole diameter of between about 10 cm and about 50 cm such as described above, the seal strips are not more than 80 mm wide, not more than about 60 mm wide and even not more than about 50 mm wide.

In general, the thickness of the seal strips is any suitable thickness. In some embodiments, the thickness is determined by considerations including material strength of the seal strips, cost, and ease of manufacture. In some embodiments, the thickness of a seal strip is between about 1 mm and about 5 mm wide.

In the embodiment discussed above, a non-contacting seal between inner rim seal strip 54 and outer rim seal strip 56 and facing housing seal surfaces 64 and 66 respectively comprise a labyrinth seal with 4 ridges and 3 interstitial volumes (grooves). In the embodiment discussed above, a non-contacting seal between a radial seal strip 52 and a facing radial housing seal surface 62 comprises a labyrinth seal with 5 ridges and 4 interstitial volumes (grooves). In general, embodiments are implemented using any suitable number of interstitial volumes. In some embodiments, some or all labyrinth seals of a rotary regenerator have the same number of interstitial volumes. In some embodiments, some or all labyrinth seals of a rotary regenerator have a different number of interstitial volumes. In some embodiments, the number of interstitial volumes is less than 3, i.e., 1 or 2 interstitial volumes. In some embodiments, the number of interstitial volumes is 3, 4, 5 or even more.

In the embodiment discussed above, the ridges and the grooves making up the interstitial volumes have a triangular cross section. In general, any suitable shape and size of features such as ridges and grooves may be used in implementing the teachings herein. In some embodiments, ridges constituting a labyrinth seal have a cross section that is not triangular. In some embodiments, grooves constituting a labyrinth seal have a cross section that is not triangular.

Aspects of the invention are applicable to rotary regenerators used in any implementation. That said, some aspects of the invention are exceptionally applicable for use with gas-turbines.

Thus according to an aspect of some embodiments of the invention there is also provided a gas-turbine functionally associated with a rotary regenerator as described herein. In some embodiments, an inlet duct of a combustor of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with the cold stream outlet duct of the regenerator housing. In some embodiments, an exhaust duct of a turbine of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with the hot stream inlet duct of the housing. The reduced leakage loss in the rotary regenerator increases regenerator effectiveness with a concomitant increase of gas-turbine thermal efficiency.

The teachings of the invention may be implemented in any suitable fashion using any of the techniques with which one skilled in the art is familiar. Specifically, a person having ordinary skill in the art is able to fashion a rotary regenerator and the components thereof upon perusal of the description herein.

Specifically, a core of a rotary regenerator of the invention may be manufactured using techniques known in the art. That said, a preferred method of manufacturing a rotary regenerator core is the method of the invention.

According to the method, a core workpiece (that is to say, a core in the process of manufacture devoid of at least one seal strip) comprising a heat-transfer matrix including a first face and a second face fashioned of a material comprising axial channels defining fluid communication between the faces is provided and at least one seal strip is secured to a face of the core. The seal strip or seal strips applied are seal strips discussed herein, including radial seal strips, inner rim seal strip and outer rim seal strip. In some embodiments, the seal strip is secured to a face of the heat-exchange matrix. In some embodiments, the seal strip is substantially impermeable and securing substantially blocks passage of fluid through axial channels covered by the seal strip.

Generally, any suitable material, especially suitable materials known in the art of rotary regenerators such as porous ceramics and metals may be used as a heat-transfer matrix. Suitable porous ceramics materials include silicon nitride or cordierite. Suitable metals include rolled corrugated sheets or honeycomb structures, for example of nickel alloys, fashioned to define the required axial channels.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of a seal strip comprises at least N ridges defining N-I grooves therebetween so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal. As discussed above, N may be any suitable integer, including 2, 3, 4, 5 and even more.

In some embodiments, an outwardly facing surface of a seal strip is substantially smooth so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal. In some embodiments, at least the outwardly facing surface of the seal strip comprises a relatively easily abradable material. By "relatively easily abradable material" is meant a material that abrades when in rotating contact with an opposing component of a labyrinth seal, as described herein,

In some embodiments, the seal strip is of a distinct component, and securing comprises using an adhesive that bonds the distinct component to the face of the core. In some such embodiments, a seal strip is of a metal and is secured to the surface of a ceramic heat-transfer matrix with an adhesive. Suitable metals from which to fashion a seal strip are generally metals suitable for high temperature use and include tungsten and tungsten alloys, tantalum and tantalum alloys, high-temperature stainless steels and high-temperature superalloys (e.g., Inconel™-713C or Rene™-41) The proper adhesive is selected according to various considerations including the type of metal and the type of ceramic and are commercially available, for example from Aremco Products, Inc. (Valley Cottage, NY, USA) or Cotronics Corp. (Brooklyn, NY, USA).

For example, in some embodiments a seal strip of tungsten or tungsten alloys are secured to silicon nitride or cordierite ceramics with Cerambond™-690 or Cerambond™- 813A adhesives (Aremco Products, Inc)

For example, in some embodiments a seal strip of stainless steel (e.g., 400 series stainless steel) is secured to cordierite ceramics with Cerambond™-685N adhesive (Aremco Products, Inc).

In some embodiments, a seal strip is a distinct component, and securing comprises using bolts that penetrate into the heat- transfer matrix. In some such embodiments, the bolts penetrate through the heat-transfer matrix and the securing comprises clamping the heat- transfer matrix with the seal strip. In a preferred embodiment, the heat- transfer matrix is clamped between a seal strip located on the first face of the heat-transfer matrix and a seal strip located on the second face of the heat-transfer matrix. In some such embodiments, at least two bolts pass through both seal strips and the heat-transfer matrix, and bolt-heads press against the outwardly facing surface of the seal strips so as to clamp the heat-transfer matrix between the seal strips.

In some embodiments, securing of a seal strip is by application of a fluid (e.g., a paste) precursor of the seal strip to the face of the heat-transfer matrix and hardening the fluid precursor. In some embodiments, surface features of the seal strip (such as the ridges and grooves as described above) are applied (e.g., molded, pressed, embossed, carved, stamped) into the surface of the fluid precursor prior to the hardening. Suitable fluid precursors include high-temperature adhesives available from Aremco Products, Inc. (Valley Cottage, NY, USA) or Cotronics Corp. (Brooklyn, NY, USA). As discussed above, in some embodiments, a component of a seal is abradable. In some embodiments, a seal strip on a core includes features such as ridges and a facing housing seal surface is a smooth abradable surface so that the two components together constitute a labyrinth seal. In some embodiments, a seal strip on a core is a smooth abradable surface and a facing housing seal surface includes features such as ridges, so that the two components together constitute a labyrinth seal. An abradable surface is generally substantially softer than a facing component so that contact by the facing component, such as during rotation of the core, abrades a thin layer of the abradable surface. In some embodiments, during such rotating contact that abrades the abradable surface the opposing components is not substantially eroded or abraded, A person having ordinary skill in the art is able to coat a surface with an abradable layer, for example, with a relatively soft ceramic using plasma spray as taught in US 4,914,794. Such a layer is generally thin, in some embodiments less than about 1 mm, in some embodiments less than about 0.5 mm and in some embodiments even less than about 0.1 mm.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable subcombination or as suitable in any other described embodiment of the invention. Certain features described in the context of various embodiments are not to be considered essential features of those embodiments, unless the embodiment is inoperative without those elements.

Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims.

Citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the invention.

Section headings are used herein to ease understanding of the specification and should not be construed as necessarily limiting.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A rotary regenerator comprising: a) a housing defining a chamber including a cold stream section and a hot stream section separated by radial partitions on at least one inner wall of said housing said radial partitions including an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface; and b) a core rotatably mounted inside said housing, the core including a heat-transfer matrix part, having a first face and a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between said faces, on said first face of said heat-transfer matrix at least two radial seal strips sectoring said heat-transfer matrix into at least two sectors, wherein said radial seal strips and said partitions are configured so that there exist at least two radial orientations of said core in said housing where a said radial seal strip of said first face of said heat-transfer matrix part is positioned facing a said inwardly facing radial housing seal surface of a said radial partition thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal between said hot stream section and said cold stream section.
2. The regenerator of claim 1, wherein said non-contacting seal between a said radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.
3. A rotary regenerator, comprising: a) a core including an axis, a radius, and an outer-edge, said core including a heat- transfer matrix, said heat-transfer matrix having a first face, a second face and axial channels defining fluid communication between said first face and said second face, on said first face radial seal strips sectoring said first face to at least two matrix sectors; b) a regenerator housing defining a chamber in which said core is axially rotatable, said regenerator housing including: a first inner side facing said first face of said core, including a hot stream duct and a cold stream duct passing therethrough, said hot stream duct and said cold stream duct separated by two radial partitions having an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface wherein said radial seal strips on said first face and said radial partitions on said first inner side are configured so that there exist at least two sealing orientations where said core is oriented in said housing so that a said radial seal strip of said first face of said heat-transfer matrix is positioned facing a said radial housing seal surface of a said radial partition of said first inner side of said housing thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
4. The regenerator of claim 3, wherein said non-contacting seal between a said radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.
5. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 4, further comprising: on said second face of said heat-transfer matrix and opposite said radial seal strips on said first face radial seal strips sectoring said second face to at least two matrix sectors; and said regenerator housing further including a second inner side facing said second face of said core, including a hot stream outlet duct across from said hot stream inlet duct and a cold stream inlet duct across from said cold stream outlet duct passing therethrough, said hot stream outlet duct and said cold stream cold stream duct separated by two radial partitions having an inwardly facing radial housing seal surface wherein said radial seal strips on said second face and said radial partitions of said second inner side are configured so that in said sealing orientations, a said radial seal strip of said second face of said heat-transfer matrix is positioned facing said radial housing seal surface of a said radial partition of said second inner side of said housing thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
6. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 5, wherein said non-contacting seal between a said radial seal strip and a facing axial housing seal surface constitutes a labyrinth seal.
7. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 6, wherein an outwardly facing surface of a said radial seal strip comprises at least N radial ridges defining N-I radial grooves therebetween.
8. The regenerator of claim 7, wherein said radial housing seal surface is substantially smooth.
9. The regenerator of claim 8, wherein said radial housing seal surface comprises a material substantially softer than said outwardly facing surface of said radial seal strip so that if contact is made between said radial housing seal surface and said radial seal strip during rotation of said core, said radial housing seal surface is abraded.
10. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 9, wherein a said radial housing seal surface comprises at least N radial ridges defining N-I radial grooves therebetween.
11. The regenerator of claim 10, wherein an outwardly facing surface of a said radial seal strip is substantially smooth.
12. The regenerator of claim 11, wherein said outwardly facing surface of a said radial seal strip comprises a material substantially softer than a said radial housing seal surface so that if contact is made between said radial housing seal surface and said radial seal strip during rotation of said core, said surface of said radial seal strip is abraded.
13. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 12, said core further comprising a first inner rim seal strip substantially concentric with and proximal to said axis of said core; and said housing further comprising an inwardly facing inner rim housing seal surface on said first inner side of said housing wherein said inner rim housing seal surface of said first inner side faces said first inner rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
14. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 13, said core further comprising a second inner rim seal strip substantially concentric with and proximal to said axis of said core; and said housing further comprising an inwardly facing inner rim housing seal surface on said second inner side of said housing wherein said inner rim housing seal surface of said second inner side faces said second inner rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
15. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 14, said core further comprising a first outer rim seal strip substantially concentric with said axis and proximal to said outer-edge of said core; and said housing further comprising an inwardly facing outer rim housing seal surface on said first inner side of said housing wherein said outer rim housing seal surface of said first outer side faces said first outer rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
16. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 15, said core further comprising a second outer rim seal strip substantially concentric with said axis and proximal to said outer-edge of said core; and said housing further comprising an inwardly facing outer rim housing seal surface on said second inner side of said housing wherein said outer rim housing seal surface of said second inner side faces said second outer rim seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal.
17. The regenerator of any of claims 13 to 16, wherein an outwardly facing surface of a said rim seal strip comprises at least N radial ridges defining N-I radial grooves therebetween.
18. The regenerator of claim 17, wherein a said rim housing seal surface facing said rim seal strip is substantially smooth.
19. The regenerator of claim 18, wherein a said rim housing seal surface comprises a material substantially softer than said outwardly facing surface of said rim seal strip so that if contact is made between said rim housing seal surface and said rim seal strip during rotation of said core, said rim housing seal surface is abraded.
20. The regenerator of any of claims 13 to 16, wherein a surface of a said rim housing seal surface comprises at least N radial ridges defining N-I radial grooves therebetween.
21. The regenerator of claim 20, wherein a surface of a said rim seal strip facing said rim housing seal surface is substantially smooth.
22. The regenerator of claim 21, wherein said surface of said rim seal strip comprises a material substantially softer than said rim housing seal surface so that if contact is made between said rim housing seal surface and said rim seal strip during rotation of said core, said surface of said rim seal strip is abraded.
23. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 22, said core further comprising an outer-edge periphery seal strip substantially concentric with said axis and encircling said outer-edge of said core; and said the housing further comprising an inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface on an inner side of said housing wherein said outer-edge housing seal surface faces said outer-edge periphery seal strip, thereby together constituting a non-contacting seal
24. The regenerator of claim 23, wherein said non-contacting seal constitutes a labyrinth seal.
25. The regenerator of any of claims 23 to 24, wherein said non-contacting seal is configured to substantially reduce leakage over said outer-edge of said core.
26. The regenerator of any of claims 3 to 25, said core further comprising at least two outer-edge stream seal strips distributed around the periphery of said outer-edge of said core, each said outer-edge stream seal strip aligned with a said radial seal strip; and said housing further comprising an inwardly facing outer-edge housing seal surface on an inner side of said housing wherein said outer-edge housing seal surface faces said outer-edge stream seal strips, thereby together constituting non-contacting seals.
27. The regenerator of claim 26, wherein said non-contacting seals are labyrinth seals.
28. The rotary regenerator of any of claims 3 to 27, further comprising a driving assembly configured to discontinuously rotate said core between said sealing orientations.
29. A gas-turbine functionally associated with a rotary regenerator of any of claims 1 to
27.
30. The gas-turbine of claim 29, wherein an inlet duct of a combustor of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with said cold stream outlet duct of said regenerator housing.
31. The gas-turbine of any of claims 29 to 30, wherein an exhaust duct of a turbine of the gas-turbine is in fluid communication with said hot stream inlet duct of said housing.
32. A method of manufacturing a rotary regenerator core comprising: a) providing a core workpiece comprising a heat-transfer matrix including a first face and a second face fashioned of a material comprising axial channels defining fluid communication between said faces; and b) securing a seal strip to a face of said core workpiece.
33. The method of claim 32, wherein said seal strip is secured to a said face of said heat- exchange matrix.
34. The method of any of claims 32 to 33, wherein an outwardly facing surface of said seal strip comprises at least N ridges defining N-I grooves therebetween so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal.
35. The method of any of claims 32 to 33, wherein an outwardly facing surface of said seal strip is substantially smooth so as to constitute a component of a labyrinth seal.
36. The method of any of claims 32 to 35, wherein said outwardly facing surface of said seal strip comprises a relatively easily abradable material.
PCT/IB2009/055673 2008-12-16 2009-12-10 Rotary regenerator for gas-turbine WO2010070555A1 (en)

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