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Technical Paper

Multi-Physics and CFD Analysis of an Enclosed Coaxial Carbon Nanotube Speaker for Automotive Exhaust Noise Cancellation

Automotive exhaust noise is one of the major sources of noise pollution and it is controlled by passive control system (mufflers) and active control system (loudspeakers and active control algorithm). Mufflers are heavy, bulky and large in size while loudspeakers have a working temperature limitation. Carbon nanotube (CNT) speakers generate sound due to the thermoacoustic effect. CNT speakers are also lightweight, flexible, have acoustic and light transparency as well as high operating temperature. These properties make them ideal to overcome the limitations of the current exhaust noise control systems. An enclosed, coaxial CNT speaker is designed for exhaust noise cancellation application. The development of a 3D multi-physics (coupling of electrical, thermal and acoustical domains) model, for the coaxial speaker is discussed in this paper. The model is used to simulate the sound pressure level, input power versus ambient temperature and efficiency.
Technical Paper

Continued Drive Signal Development for the Carbon Nanotube Thermoacoustic Loudspeaker Using Techniques Derived from the Hearing Aid Industry

Compared to moving coil loudspeakers, carbon nanotube (CNT) loudspeakers are extremely lightweight and are capable of creating sound over a broad frequency range (1 Hz to 100 kHz). The thermoacoustic effect that allows for this non-vibrating sound source is naturally inefficient and nonlinear. Signal processing techniques are one option that may help counteract these concerns. Previous studies have evaluated a hybrid efficiency metric, the ratio of the sound pressure level at a single point to the input electrical power. True efficiency is the ratio of output acoustic power to the input electrical power. True efficiency data are presented for two new drive signal processing techniques borrowed from the hearing aid industry. Spectral envelope decimation of an AC signal operates in the frequency domain (FCAC) and dynamic linear frequency compression of an AC signal operates in the time domain (TCAC). Each type of processing affects the true efficiency differently.