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Thermal regenerators that use liquid heat transfer ﬂuids are being researched for their application in active caloric cooling/heat pumping systems. The performance of active caloric devices is signiﬁcantly inﬂuenced by the regenerator thermal effectiveness and by viscous losses. The present paper is the ﬁrst part of a study on the thermal–hydraulic evaluation of packed bed regenerators that use water as a ther-mal ﬂuid. Here, a detailed experimental analysis of the thermal–hydraulic performance of regenerative matrices composed of packed beds of stainless steel spheres is carried out. A laboratory apparatus was developed to quantify the viscous losses and thermal effectiveness in oscillating-ﬂow regenerators that use water as the heat transfer ﬂuid. Operating parameters such as frequency and mass ﬂow rate were var-ied to cover broad ranges of utilization and number of transfer units (NTU). The diameter of the spherical particles and the dimensions of the regenerator housing were also changed in order to evaluate their inﬂuence on the behavior of the time-dependent and time-average performance parameters.
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