A “bootstrap” configuration has been proposed for multistage pulse-tube coolers that, for instance, provide final-stage cooling to temperatures as low as 20 K. The bootstrap configuration supplants the conventional configuration, in which customarily the warm heat exchangers of all stages reject heat at ambient temperature. In the bootstrap configuration, the warm heat exchanger, the inertance tube, and the reservoir of each stage would be thermally anchored to the cold heat exchanger of the next warmer stage. The boot-strapped configuration is superior to the conventional setup, in some cases increasing the 20 K cooler’s coefficient of performance two-fold over that of an otherwise equivalent conventional layout. The increased efficiency could translate into less power consumption, less cooler mass, and/or lower cost for a given amount of cooling.
This work was done by Ali Kashani and Ben Helvensteijn of Atlas Scientific for Johnson Space Center.