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Sample records for brayton space power

  1. A Historical Review of Brayton and Stirling Power Conversion Technologies for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Dynamic power conversion technologies, such as closed Brayton and free-piston Stirling, offer many advantages for space power applications including high efficiency, long life, and attractive scaling characteristics. This paper presents a historical review of Brayton and Stirling power conversion technology for space and discusses on-going development activities in order to illustrate current technology readiness. The paper also presents a forecast of potential future space uses of these power technologies.

  2. Mini-Brayton heat source assembly design study. Volume 1: Space shuttle mission. [feasibility of Brayton isotope power system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    Conceptual design definitions of a heat source assembly for use in nominal 500 watt electrical (W(e)) 1200 W(e)and 2000 W(e) mini-Brayton isotope power systems are reported. The HSA is an independent package which maintains thermal and nuclear control of an isotope fueled heat source and transfers the thermal energy to a Brayton rotating unit turbine-alternator-compressor power conversion unit.

  3. A small, 1400 deg Kelvin, reactor for Brayton space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lantz, E.; Mayo, W.

    1972-01-01

    A preliminary cost estimate for a small reactor in Brayton space power systems with (u-233)n or (pu-239)n as the fuel in the T-111 fuel elements totaled to about four million dollars; considered is a 22.8 in. diameter reactor with 247 fuel elements.

  4. Miniature turbo-Brayton technologies for space-borne thermal-to-electric power converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, Mark V.; Swift, Walter L.; McCormick, John A.; Izenson, Michael G.

    2002-01-01

    Preliminary design studies show that a low-power, turbomachine-based, Brayton-cycle power unit is an extremely attractive option for thermal-to-electric power conversion on long-duration, deep-space missions. A 100 We power unit promises to achieve a thermal efficiency of 38% and weigh only 2.4 kg while requiring a single general-purpose heat source. The design of this unit is based on miniature, high-performance components that have been developed by Creare Inc. for space-borne, Brayton-cycle refrigerators. The components include high-speed, high-efficiency rotors and alternators: high-speed, precision gas bearings, and high-performance, compact recuperators. Miniaturization and performance goals for these components have been achieved through unique microscale fabrication techniques that have enabled high precision in miniature components. The resulting refrigerators are lightweight, highly efficient, vibration-free, highly reliable, and have long, maintenance-free life (greater than 5 years). These refrigerators and their components have been demonstrated to meet rigorous requirements for vibration emittance and susceptibility, acoustic susceptibility, electromagnetic interference and susceptibility, environmental cycling and endurance. A Creare Brayton-cycle refrigerator has been successfully space flight qualified and tested. The application of the underlying turbo-Brayton technologies to thermal-to-electric power conversion is the subject of this paper. .

  5. A small, 1400 K, reactor for Brayton space power systems.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lantz, E.; Mayo, W.

    1972-01-01

    An investigation was conducted to determine minimum dimensions and minimum weight obtainable in a design for a reactor using uranium-233 nitride or plutonium-239 nitride as fuel. Such a reactor had been considered by Krasner et al. (1971). Present space power status is discussed, together with questions of reactor design and power distribution in the reactor. The characteristics of various reactor types are compared, giving attention also to a zirconium hydride reactor.

  6. Performance and Mass Modeling Subtleties in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the following: 1. Closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) thermal energy conversion is one available option for future spacecraft and surface systems. 2. Brayton system conceptual designs for milliwatt to megawatt power converters have been developed 3. Numerous features affect overall optimized power conversion system performance: Turbomachinery efficiency. Heat exchanger effectiveness. Working-fluid composition. Cycle temperatures and pressures.

  7. Compressor and Turbine Models of Brayton Units for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gallo, Bruno M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2007-01-30

    Closed Brayton Cycles with centrifugal flow, single-shaft turbo-machines are being considered, with gas cooled nuclear reactors, to provide 10's to 100's of electrical power to support future space exploration missions and Lunar and Mars outposts. Such power system analysis is typically based on the cycle thermodynamics, for given operating pressures and temperatures and assumed polytropic efficiencies of the compressor and turbine of the Brayton energy conversion units. Thus the analysis results not suitable for modeling operation transients such as startup and changes in the electric load. To simulate these transients, accurate models of the turbine and compressor in the Brayton rotating unit, which calculate the changes in the compressor and turbine efficiencies with system operation are needed. This paper presents flow models that account for the design and dimensions of the compressor impeller and diffuser, and the turbine stator and rotor blades. These models calculate the various enthalpy losses and the polytropic efficiencies along with the pressure ratios of the turbine and compressor. The predictions of these models compare well with reported performance data of actual hardware. In addition, the results of a parametric analysis to map the operations of the compressor and turbine, as functions of the rotating shaft speed and inlet Mach number of the gas working fluid, are presented and discussed. The analysis used a binary mixture of He-Xe with a molecular weight of 40 g/mole as the working fluid.

  8. Compressor and Turbine Models of Brayton Units for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, Bruno M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2007-01-01

    Closed Brayton Cycles with centrifugal flow, single-shaft turbo-machines are being considered, with gas cooled nuclear reactors, to provide 10's to 100's of electrical power to support future space exploration missions and Lunar and Mars outposts. Such power system analysis is typically based on the cycle thermodynamics, for given operating pressures and temperatures and assumed polytropic efficiencies of the compressor and turbine of the Brayton energy conversion units. Thus the analysis results not suitable for modeling operation transients such as startup and changes in the electric load. To simulate these transients, accurate models of the turbine and compressor in the Brayton rotating unit, which calculate the changes in the compressor and turbine efficiencies with system operation are needed. This paper presents flow models that account for the design and dimensions of the compressor impeller and diffuser, and the turbine stator and rotor blades. These models calculate the various enthalpy losses and the polytropic efficiencies along with the pressure ratios of the turbine and compressor. The predictions of these models compare well with reported performance data of actual hardware. In addition, the results of a parametric analysis to map the operations of the compressor and turbine, as functions of the rotating shaft speed and inlet Mach number of the gas working fluid, are presented and discussed. The analysis used a binary mixture of He-Xe with a molecular weight of 40 g/mole as the working fluid.

  9. Carbon-Carbon Recuperators in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Nuclear Space Power Systems: A Feasibility Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2004-01-01

    The feasibility of using carbon-carbon recuperators in closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) nuclear space power conversion systems (PCS) was assessed. Recuperator performance expectations were forecast based on projected thermodynamic cycle state values for a planetary mission. Resulting thermal performance, mass and volume for a plate-fin carbon-carbon recuperator were estimated and quantitatively compared with values for a conventional offset-strip-fin metallic design. Material compatibility issues regarding carbon-carbon surfaces exposed to the working fluid in the CBC PCS were also discussed.

  10. Performance and Mass Modeling Subtleties in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2006-01-01

    A number of potential NASA missions could benefit from closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. The human and robotic mission power applications include spacecraft, surface base, and rover scenarios. Modeling of CBC subsystems allows system engineers, mission planners and project managers to make informed decisions regarding power conversion system characteristics and capabilities. To promote thorough modeling efforts, a critical review of CBC modeling techniques is presented. Analysis of critical modeling elements, component influences and cycle sensitivities is conducted. The analysis leads to quantitative results addressing projections on converter efficiency and overall power conversion system mass. Even moderate modeling errors are shown to easily over-predict converter efficiencies by 30% and underestimate mass estimates by 20%. Both static and dynamic modeling regimes are evaluated. Key considerations in determining model fidelity requirements are discussed. Conclusions and recommendations are presented that directly address ongoing modeling efforts in solar and nuclear space power systems.

  11. Performance and Mass Modeling Subtleties in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2005-01-01

    A number of potential NASA missions could benefit from closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. The human and robotic mission power applications include spacecraft, surface base, and rover scenarios. Modeling of CBC subsystems allows system engineers, mission planners and project managers to make informed decisions regarding power conversion system characteristics and capabilities. To promote thorough modeling efforts, a critical review of CBC modeling techniques is presented. Analysis of critical modeling elements, component influences and cycle sensitivities is conducted. The analysis leads to quantitative results addressing projections on converter efficiency and overall power conversion system mass. Even moderate modeling errors are shown to easily over-predict converter efficiencies by 30 percent and underestimate mass estimates by 20 percent. Both static and dynamic modeling regimes are evaluated. Key considerations in determining model fidelity requirements are discussed. Conclusions and recommendations are presented that directly address ongoing modeling efforts in solar and nuclear space power systems.

  12. Computer study of emergency shutdowns of a 60-kilowatt reactor Brayton space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, R. C.; Jefferies, K. S.

    1974-01-01

    A digital computer study of emergency shutdowns of a 60-kWe reactor Brayton power system was conducted. Malfunctions considered were (1) loss of reactor coolant flow, (2) loss of Brayton system gas flow, (3)turbine overspeed, and (4) a reactivity insertion error. Loss of reactor coolant flow was the most serious malfunction for the reactor. Methods for moderating the reactor transients due to this malfunction are considered.

  13. A Closed Brayton Power Conversion Unit Concept for Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyner, Claude Russell; Fowler, Bruce; Matthews, John

    2003-01-01

    In space, whether in a stable satellite orbit around a planetary body or traveling as a deep space exploration craft, power is just as important as the propulsion. The need for power is especially important for in-space vehicles that use Electric Propulsion. Using nuclear power with electric propulsion has the potential to provide increased payload fractions and reduced mission times to the outer planets. One of the critical engineering and design aspects of nuclear electric propulsion at required mission optimized power levels is the mechanism that is used to convert the thermal energy of the reactor to electrical power. The use of closed Brayton cycles has been studied over the past 30 or years and shown to be the optimum approach for power requirements that range from ten to hundreds of kilowatts of power. It also has been found to be scalable to higher power levels. The Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engine power conversion unit (PCU) is the most flexible for a wide range of power conversion needs and uses state-of-the-art, demonstrated engineering approaches. It also is in use with many commercial power plants today. The long life requirements and need for uninterrupted operation for nuclear electric propulsion demands high reliability from a CBC engine. A CBC engine design for use with a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system has been defined based on Pratt & Whitney's data from designing long-life turbo-machines such as the Space Shuttle turbopumps and military gas turbines and the use of proven integrated control/health management systems (EHMS). An integrated CBC and EHMS design that is focused on using low-risk and proven technologies will over come many of the life-related design issues. This paper will discuss the use of a CBC engine as the power conversion unit coupled to a gas-cooled nuclear reactor and the design trends relative to its use for powering electric thrusters in the 25 kWe to 100kWe power level.

  14. Carbon-Carbon Recuperators in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2006-01-01

    The use of carbon-carbon (C-C) recuperators in closed-Brayton-cycle space power conversion systems was assessed. Recuperator performance was forecast based on notional thermodynamic cycle state values for planetary missions. Resulting thermal performance, mass and volume for plate-fin C-C recuperators were estimated and quantitatively compared with values for conventional offset-strip-fin metallic designs. Mass savings of 40-55% were projected for C-C recuperators with effectiveness greater than 0.9 and thermal loads from 25-1400 kWt. The smaller thermal loads corresponded with lower mass savings; however, at least 50% savings were forecast for all loads above 300 kWt. System-related material challenges and compatibility issues were also discussed.

  15. Carbon-Carbon Recuperators in Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.; Naples, Andrew G.

    2006-01-01

    The feasibility of using carbon-carbon (C-C) recuperators in conceptual closed-Brayton-cycle space power conversion systems was assessed. Recuperator performance expectations were forecast based on notional thermodynamic cycle state values for potential planetary missions. Resulting thermal performance, mass and volume for plate-fin C-C recuperators were estimated and quantitatively compared with values for conventional offset-strip-fin metallic designs. Mass savings of 30 to 60 percent were projected for C-C recuperators with effectiveness greater than 0.9 and thermal loads from 25 to 1400 kWt. The smaller thermal loads corresponded with lower mass savings; however, 60 percent savings were forecast for all loads above 300 kWt. System-related material challenges and compatibility issues were also discussed.

  16. Advances in defining a closed Brayton conversion system for future ARIANE 5 space nuclear power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Tilliette, Z.P.

    1987-01-01

    The present European ARIANE space program will expand into the large ARIANE 5 launch vehicle from 1995. It is assumed that important associated missions would require the generation of 200 kWe or more in space during several years at the very beginning of the next century. For this reason, in 1983, the French C.N.E.S. (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and C.E.A. (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique) have initiated preliminary studies of a space nuclear power system. The currently selected conversion system is a closed Brayton cycle. Reasons for this choice are given: high efficiency of a dynamic system; monophasic, inert working fluid; extensive turbomachinery experience, etc. A key aspect of the project is the adaptation to heat rejection conditions, namely to the radiator geometry which depends upon the dimensions of the ARIANE 5 spacecraft. In addition to usual concepts already studied for space applications, another cycle arrangement is being investigated which could offer satisfactory compromises among many considerations, increase the efficiency of the system, and make it more attractive as far as the specific mass (kg/lWe), the specific radiator area (m/sup 2//kWe), and various technological aspects are concerned. Comparative details are presented.

  17. Performance of a flight-type laminar radiator with a Brayton power system. [for space electric power plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cintula, T. C.; Prok, G. M.; Smith, R. B.

    1974-01-01

    A space-type laminar flow radiator was designed and integrated with a 2- to 15-kilowatt Brayton electrical power generating system. The design, fabrication, and testing of this radiator are presented. Test results include performance under steady state and transient conditions. Included in the transient results is performance in a simulated low earth orbit. Results show that the computer design is conservative. Orbital transients show that a further reduction in radiator area over that determined from steady state conditions is possible. Radiator efficiency was always greater than 83 percent.

  18. A Comparison of Brayton and Stirling Space Nuclear Power Systems for Power Levels from 1 Kilowatt to 10 Megawatts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2000-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to assess the performance and mass of Brayton and Stirling nuclear power systems for a wide range of future NASA space exploration missions. The power levels and design concepts were based on three different mission classes. Isotope systems, with power levels from 1 to 10 kW, were considered for planetary surface rovers and robotic science. Reactor power systems for planetary surface outposts and bases were evaluated from 10 to 500 kW. Finally, reactor power systems in the range from 100 kW to 10 mW were assessed for advanced propulsion applications. The analysis also examined the effect of advanced component technology on system performance. The advanced technologies included high temperature materials, lightweight radiators, and high voltage power management and distribution.

  19. Turbo-Brayton Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breedlove, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Future NASA space missions will require advanced thermal-to-electric power converters that are reliable, efficient, and lightweight. Creare, LLC, is developing a turbo-Brayton power converter that offers high efficiency and specific power. The converter employs gas bearings to provide maintenance free, long-life operation. Discrete components can be packaged to fit optimally with other subsystems, and the converter's continuous gas flow can communicate directly with remote heat sources and heat rejection surfaces without the need for ancillary heat-transfer components and intermediate flow loops. Creare has completed detailed analyses, trade studies, fabrication trials, and preliminary designs for the components and converter assembly. The company is fabricating and testing a breadboard converter.

  20. Performance and Operational Characteristics for a Dual Brayton Space Power System With Common Gas Inventory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper provides an analytical evaluation on the operation and performance of a dual Brayton common gas system. The NASA Glenn Research Center in-house computer program Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS) was used to construct a model of two identical 50 kWe-class recuperated closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) power conversion units that share a common gas inventory and single heat source. As operating conditions for each CBC change, the total gas inventory is redistributed between the two units and overall system performance is affected. Several steady-state off-design operating points were analyzed by varying turbine inlet temperature and turbo-alternator shaft rotational speed to investigate the interaction of the two units.

  1. High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2006-01-01

    A high temperature water heat pipes radiator design is developed for a space power system with a sectored gas-cooled reactor and three Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engines, for avoidance of single point failures in reactor cooling and energy conversion and rejection. The CBC engines operate at turbine inlet and exit temperatures of 1144 K and 952 K. They have a net efficiency of 19.4% and each provides 30.5 kWe of net electrical power to the load. A He-Xe gas mixture serves as the turbine working fluid and cools the reactor core, entering at 904 K and exiting at 1149 K. Each CBC loop is coupled to a reactor sector, which is neutronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically decoupled to the other two sectors, and to a NaK-78 secondary loop with two water heat pipes radiator panels. The segmented panels each consist of a forward fixed segment and two rear deployable segments, operating hydraulically in parallel. The deployed radiator has an effective surface area of 203 m2, and when the rear segments are folded, the stowed power system fits in the launch bay of the DELTA-IV Heavy launch vehicle. For enhanced reliability, the water heat pipes operate below 50% of their wicking limit; the sonic limit is not a concern because of the water, high vapor pressure at the temperatures of interest (384 - 491 K). The rejected power by the radiator peaks when the ratio of the lengths of evaporator sections of the longest and shortest heat pipes is the same as that of the major and minor widths of the segments. The shortest and hottest heat pipes in the rear segments operate at 491 K and 2.24 MPa, and each rejects 154 W. The longest heat pipes operate cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa) and because they are 69% longer, reject more power (200 W each). The longest and hottest heat pipes in the forward segments reject the largest power (320 W each) while operating at ~ 46% of capillary limit. The vapor temperature and pressure in these heat pipes are 485 K and 1.97 MPa. By contrast, the

  2. High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2006-01-20

    A high temperature water heat pipes radiator design is developed for a space power system with a sectored gas-cooled reactor and three Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engines, for avoidance of single point failures in reactor cooling and energy conversion and rejection. The CBC engines operate at turbine inlet and exit temperatures of 1144 K and 952 K. They have a net efficiency of 19.4% and each provides 30.5 kWe of net electrical power to the load. A He-Xe gas mixture serves as the turbine working fluid and cools the reactor core, entering at 904 K and exiting at 1149 K. Each CBC loop is coupled to a reactor sector, which is neutronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically decoupled to the other two sectors, and to a NaK-78 secondary loop with two water heat pipes radiator panels. The segmented panels each consist of a forward fixed segment and two rear deployable segments, operating hydraulically in parallel. The deployed radiator has an effective surface area of 203 m2, and when the rear segments are folded, the stowed power system fits in the launch bay of the DELTA-IV Heavy launch vehicle. For enhanced reliability, the water heat pipes operate below 50% of their wicking limit; the sonic limit is not a concern because of the water, high vapor pressure at the temperatures of interest (384 - 491 K). The rejected power by the radiator peaks when the ratio of the lengths of evaporator sections of the longest and shortest heat pipes is the same as that of the major and minor widths of the segments. The shortest and hottest heat pipes in the rear segments operate at 491 K and 2.24 MPa, and each rejects 154 W. The longest heat pipes operate cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa) and because they are 69% longer, reject more power (200 W each). The longest and hottest heat pipes in the forward segments reject the largest power (320 W each) while operating at {approx} 46% of capillary limit. The vapor temperature and pressure in these heat pipes are 485 K and 1.97 MPa. By

  3. Optimization of Brayton Cycle Power Generation for In-Space Electric Propulsion Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon

    2003-01-01

    A Brayton cycle was analyzed and optimized over the power range 60 - 140 kWe, for application to electric propulsion systems. A gas-cooled reactor heat source with exit temperature 1150 K was assumed. Power generation system specific masses (alpha) from 36 kg/kWe at 60 kWe to 22 kg/kWe at 140 kWe were obtained. These masses do not include the thrust production system, which is predicted to add 6 to 8 kg/kWe. Cycle efficiencies varied from 32% at 60 kWe to 36% at 140 kWe. Cycle minimum temperature, cycle pressure ratio, and heat exchanger design parameters were varied for the optimization. Optimization parameters and methods are described.

  4. Supercritical Brayton Cycle Nuclear Power System Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.

    2007-01-30

    Both the NASA and DOE have programs that are investigating advanced power conversion cycles for planetary surface power on the moon or Mars, and for next generation nuclear power plants on earth. The gas Brayton cycle offers many practical solutions for space nuclear power systems and was selected as the nuclear power system of choice for the NASA Prometheus project. An alternative Brayton cycle that offers high efficiency at a lower reactor coolant outlet temperature is the supercritical Brayton cycle (SCBC). The supercritical cycle is a true Brayton cycle because it uses a single phase fluid with a compressor inlet temperature that is just above the critical point of the fluid. This paper describes the use of a supercritical Brayton cycle that achieves a cycle efficiency of 26.6% with a peak coolant temperature of 750 K and for a compressor inlet temperature of 390 K. The working fluid uses a clear odorless, nontoxic refrigerant C318 perflurocarbon (C4F8) that always operates in the gas phase. This coolant was selected because it has a critical temperature and pressure of 388.38 K and 2.777 MPa. The relatively high critical temperature allows for efficient thermal radiation that keeps the radiator mass small. The SCBC achieves high efficiency because the loop design takes advantage of the non-ideal nature of the coolant equation of state just above the critical point. The lower coolant temperature means that metal fuels, uranium oxide fuels, and uranium zirconium hydride fuels with stainless steel, ferretic steel, or superalloy cladding can be used with little mass penalty or reduction in cycle efficiency. The reactor can use liquid-metal coolants and no high temperature heat exchangers need to be developed. Indirect gas cooling or perhaps even direct gas cooling can be used if the C4F8 coolant is found to be sufficiently radiation tolerant. Other fluids can also be used in the supercritical Brayton cycle including Propane (C3H8, Tcritical = 369 K) and Hexane (C6

  5. Supercritical Brayton Cycle Nuclear Power System Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Steven A.

    2007-01-01

    Both the NASA and DOE have programs that are investigating advanced power conversion cycles for planetary surface power on the moon or Mars, and for next generation nuclear power plants on earth. The gas Brayton cycle offers many practical solutions for space nuclear power systems and was selected as the nuclear power system of choice for the NASA Prometheus project. An alternative Brayton cycle that offers high efficiency at a lower reactor coolant outlet temperature is the supercritical Brayton cycle (SCBC). The supercritical cycle is a true Brayton cycle because it uses a single phase fluid with a compressor inlet temperature that is just above the critical point of the fluid. This paper describes the use of a supercritical Brayton cycle that achieves a cycle efficiency of 26.6% with a peak coolant temperature of 750 K and for a compressor inlet temperature of 390 K. The working fluid uses a clear odorless, nontoxic refrigerant C318 perflurocarbon (C4F8) that always operates in the gas phase. This coolant was selected because it has a critical temperature and pressure of 388.38 K and 2.777 MPa. The relatively high critical temperature allows for efficient thermal radiation that keeps the radiator mass small. The SCBC achieves high efficiency because the loop design takes advantage of the non-ideal nature of the coolant equation of state just above the critical point. The lower coolant temperature means that metal fuels, uranium oxide fuels, and uranium zirconium hydride fuels with stainless steel, ferretic steel, or superalloy cladding can be used with little mass penalty or reduction in cycle efficiency. The reactor can use liquid-metal coolants and no high temperature heat exchangers need to be developed. Indirect gas cooling or perhaps even direct gas cooling can be used if the C4F8 coolant is found to be sufficiently radiation tolerant. Other fluids can also be used in the supercritical Brayton cycle including Propane (C3H8, Tcritical = 369 K) and Hexane (C6

  6. An isotope heat source integrated with a 7 kW/e/ to 25 kW/e/ Brayton cycle space power supply.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryan, R. L.; Graham, J. W.; Coombs, M. G.; Bloomfield, H. S.

    1972-01-01

    The power system described is intended for applications in a manned space mission. The Isotope Reentry Vehicle (IRV) developed is considered together with the Heat Source (HS), the Heat Source Heat Exchanger and the Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Module. Other subjects discussed include the IRV/Brayton cycle spacecraft integration concept, abort and deorbit mechanization, emergency cooling methods, and crew shielding requirements. Mounting and integration for the IRV is to a large degree controlled by nuclear safety requirements. Another major factor in the installation concept is the type of emergency cooling or passive heat dump mode used in rejection of HS energy.

  7. Heat Transfer Analysis of a Closed Brayton Cycle Space Radiator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a mathematical analysis of the heat transfer processes taking place in a radiator for a closed cycle gas turbine (CCGT), also referred to as a Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) space power system. The resulting equations and relationships have been incorporated into a radiator sub-routine of a numerical triple objective CCGT optimization program to determine operating conditions yielding maximum cycle efficiency, minimum radiator area and minimum overall systems mass. Study results should be of interest to numerical modeling of closed cycle Brayton space power systems and to the design of fluid cooled radiators in general.

  8. System Mass Variation and Entropy Generation in 100-kWe Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-02-04

    State-of-the-art closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) space power systems were modeled to study performance trends in a trade space characteristic of interplanetary orbiters. For working-fluid molar masses of 48.6, 39.9 and 11.9 kg/kmol, peak system pressures of 1.38 and 3.0 MPa and compressor pressure ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.4, total system masses were estimated. System mass increased as peak operating pressure increased for all compressor pressure ratios and molar mass values examined. Minimum mass point comparison between 72% He at 1.38 MPa peak and 94% He at 3.0 MPa peak showed an increase in system mass of 14%. Converter flow loop entropy generation rates were calculated for 1.38 and 3.0 MPa peak pressure cases. Physical system behavior was approximated using a pedigreed NASA-Glenn modeling code, Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP), which included realistic performance prediction for heat exchangers, radiators and turbomachinery.

  9. System Mass Variation and Entropy Generation in 100-kWe Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-02-01

    State-of-the-art closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) space power systems were modeled to study performance trends in a trade space characteristic of interplanetary orbiters. For working-fluid molar masses of 48.6, 39.9 and 11.9 kg/kmol, peak system pressures of 1.38 and 3.0 MPa and compressor pressure ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.4, total system masses were estimated. System mass increased as peak operating pressure increased for all compressor pressure ratios and molar mass values examined. Minimum mass point comparison between 72% He at 1.38 MPa peak and 94% He at 3.0 MPa peak showed an increase in system mass of 14%. Converter flow loop entropy generation rates were calculated for 1.38 and 3.0 MPa peak pressure cases. Physical system behavior was approximated using a pedigreed NASA-Glenn modeling code, Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP), which included realistic performance prediction for heat exchangers, radiators and turbomachinery.

  10. System Mass Variation and Entropy Generation in 100-kWe Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-01-01

    State-of-the-art closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) space power systems were modeled to study performance trends in a trade space characteristic of interplanetary orbiters. For working-fluid molar masses of 48.6, 39.9, and 11.9 kg/kmol, peak system pressures of 1.38 and 3.0 MPa and compressor pressure ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.4, total system masses were estimated. System mass increased as peak operating pressure increased for all compressor pressure ratios and molar mass values examined. Minimum mass point comparison between 72 percent He at 1.38 MPa peak and 94 percent He at 3.0 MPa peak showed an increase in system mass of 14 percent. Converter flow loop entropy generation rates were calculated for 1.38 and 3.0 MPa peak pressure cases. Physical system behavior was approximated using a pedigreed NASA Glenn modeling code, Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP), which included realistic performance prediction for heat exchangers, radiators and turbomachinery.

  11. System Mass Variation and Entropy Generation in 100k We Closed-Brayton-Cycle Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-01-01

    State-of-the-art closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) space power systems were modeled to study performance trends in a trade space characteristic of interplanetary orbiters. For working-fluid molar masses of 48.6, 39.9, and 11.9 kg/kmol, peak system pressures of 1.38 and 3.0 MPa and compressor pressure ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.4, total system masses were estimated. System mass increased as peak operating pressure increased for all compressor pressure ratios and molar mass values examined. Minimum mass point comparison between 72 percent He at 1.38 MPa peak and 94 percent He at 3.0 MPa peak showed an increase in system mass of 14 percent. Converter flow loop entropy generation rates were calculated for 1.38 and 3.0 MPa peak pressure cases. Physical system behavior was approximated using a pedigreed NASA Glenn modeling code, Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP), which included realistic performance prediction for heat exchangers, radiators and turbomachinery.

  12. Performance Expectations of Closed-Brayton-Cycle Heat Exchangers in 100-kWe Nuclear Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Performance expectations of closed-Brayton-cycle heat exchangers to be used in 100-k We nuclear space power systems were forecast. Proposed cycle state points for a system supporting a mission to three of Jupiter's moons required effectiveness values for the heat-source exchanger, recuperator and rejection exchanger (gas cooler) of 0.98, 0.95, and 0.97, respectively. Performance parameters such as number of thermal units (Ntu), equivalent thermal conductance (UA), and entropy generation numbers (Ns) varied from 11 to 19, 23 to 39 kW/K, and 0.019 to 0.023 for some standard heat exchanger configurations. Pressure-loss contributions to entropy generation were significant; the largest frictional contribution was 114% of the heat transfer irreversibility. Using conventional recuperator designs, the 0.95 effectiveness proved difficult to achieve without exceeding other performance targets; a metallic, plate-fin counterflow solution called for 15% more mass and 33% higher pressure-loss than the target values. Two types of gas-coolers showed promise. Single-pass counterflow and multipass cross-counterflow arrangements both met the 0.97 effectiveness requirement. Potential reliability-related advantages of the cross-counterflow design were noted. Cycle modifications, enhanced heat transfer techniques and incorporation of advanced materials were suggested options to reduce system development risk. Carbon-carbon sheeting or foam proved an attractive option to improve overall performance.

  13. Performance Expectations of Closed-Brayton-Cycle Heat Exchangers in 100-kWe Nuclear Space Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

    Performance expectations of closed-Brayton-cycle heat exchangers to be used in 100-kWe nuclear space power systems were forecast. Proposed cycle state points for a system supporting a mission to three of Jupiter s moons required effectiveness values for the heat-source exchanger, recuperator and rejection exchanger (gas cooler) of 0.98,0.95 and 0.97, respectively. Performance parameters such as number of thermal units (Nm), equivalent thermal conductance (UA), and entropy generation numbers (Ns) varied from 11 to 19,23 to 39 kWK, and 0.019 to 0.023 for some standard heat exchanger configurations. Pressure-loss contributions to entropy generation were significant; the largest frictional contribution was 114% of the heat-transfer irreversibility. Using conventional recuperator designs, the 0.95 effectiveness proved difficult to achieve without exceeding other performance targets; a metallic, plate-fin counterflow solution called for 15% more mass and 33% higher pressure-loss than the target values. Two types of gas-coolers showed promise. Single-pass counterflow and multipass cross-counterflow arrangements both met the 0.97 effectiveness requirement. Potential reliability-related advantages of the cross-countefflow design were noted. Cycle modifications, enhanced heat transfer techniques and incorporation of advanced materials were suggested options to reduce system development risk. Carbon-carbon sheeting or foam proved an attractive option to improve overall performance.

  14. Heat Rejection Concepts for Brayton Power Conversion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee; Beach, Duane; Yuko, James

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes potential heat rejection design concepts for closed Brayton cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. Brayton conversion systems are currently under study by NASA for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) applications. The Heat Rejection Subsystem (HRS) must dissipate waste heat generated by the power conversion system due to inefficiencies in the thermal-to-electric conversion process. Space Brayton conversion system designs tend to optimize at efficiencies of about 20 to 25 percent with radiator temperatures in the 400 to 600 K range. A notional HRS was developed for a 100 kWe-class Brayton power system that uses a pumped sodium-potassium (NaK) heat transport loop coupled to a water heat pipe radiator. The radiator panels employ a sandwich construction consisting of regularly-spaced circular heat pipes contained within two composite facesheets. Heat transfer from the NaK fluid to the heat pipes is accomplished by inserting the evaporator sections into the NaK duct channel. The paper evaluates various design parameters including heat pipe diameter, heat pipe spacing, and facesheet thickness. Parameters were varied to compare design options on the basis of NaK pump pressure rise and required power, heat pipe unit power and radial flux, radiator panel areal mass, and overall HRS mass.

  15. Design tradeoffs for a Space Station solar-Brayton power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klann, J. L.; Staiger, P. J.

    1985-01-01

    Mass, area, and station-keeping propellant needs have been estimated for a typical system. And, although important criteria such as cost, Shuttle packaging, and erection/deployment schemes were not considered, the documented trends should aid in many of the design choices to be made. Effects on system characteristics were examined for: three heat storage salts with melting temperatures from 743 to 1121 K; parabolic and Cassegrainian mirrors; module power levels of 20 and 40 kW; and, alternate pumped-loop, tube-and-fin radiator configurations, with and without micrometeoroid armoring.

  16. Design of a three-phase, 15-kilovolt-ampere static inverter for motor-starting a Brayton space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frye, R. J.; Birchenough, A. G.

    1971-01-01

    The design of a three-phase, 400-Hz, 15-kVA static inverter for motor-starting the 2- to 15-kWe Brayton electrical space power system is described. The inverter operates from a nominal 56-V dc source to provide a 28-V, rms, quasi-square-wave output. The inverter is capable of supplying a 200-A peak current. Integrated circuitry is used to generate the three-phase, 400-Hz reference signals. Performance data for a drive stage that improves switching speed and provides efficient operation over a range of output current and drive supply voltage are presented. A transformerless, transistor output stage is used.

  17. Status of Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Development at NASA GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Shaltens, Richard K.; Dolce, James L.; Cataldo, Robert L.

    2002-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is pursuing the development of Brayton cycle power conversion for various NASA initiatives. Brayton cycle power systems offer numerous advantages for space power generation including high efficiency, long life, high maturity, and broad scalability. Candidate mission applications include surface rovers and bases, advanced propulsion vehicles, and earth orbiting satellites. A key advantage is the ability for Brayton converters to span the wide range of power demands of future missions from several kilowatts to multi-megawatts using either solar, isotope, or reactor heat sources. Brayton technology has been under development by NASA since the early 1960's resulting in engine prototypes in the 2 to 15 kW-class that have demonstrated conversion efficiency of almost 30% and cumulative operation in excess of 40,000 hours. Present efforts at GRC are focusing on a 2 kW testbed as a proving ground for future component advances and operational strategies, and a 25 kW engine design as a modular building block for 100 kW-class electric propulsion and Mars surface power applications.

  18. Progress on Low-Power Turbo-Brayton Converters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, Mark V.; Crowley, Christopher J.; Swift, Walter L.

    2004-02-01

    Previous work has shown that closed-loop Brayton cycle power converters are an extremely attractive option for long-duration (> 10 years) space missions. To date, this technology has been only demonstrated at power levels above 1 kWe. Creare's progress towards the demonstration of the first-generation, low-power converter for use with radioisotope power sources is the subject of this paper. At the 100 We power level, Brayton systems should attain conversion efficiencies of 20% to 40% depending upon the operating conditions. The converter mass for a flight unit is expected to be about 3 kg. The detailed design, performance predictions, and test plans for the first-generation converter are reviewed in this paper.

  19. An Advanced Turbo-Brayton Converter for Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, Mark V.; Izenson, Michael G.; Breedlove, Jeffrey J.; O'Connor, George M.; Ketchum, Andrew C.; Jetley, Richard L.; Simons, James K.

    2005-02-01

    Past work has shown that Brayton power converters are an attractive option for high power, long-duration space missions. More recently, Creare has shown that Brayton technology could be scaled with high efficiency and specific power to lower power levels suitable for radioisotope power conversion systems. Creare is currently leading the development of an advanced turbo-Brayton converter under NASA's Prometheus Program. The converter design is based on space-proven cryocooler technologies that have been shown to be safe; to provide long, maintenance-free lifetimes; and to have high reliability, negligible vibration emittance, and low EMI/EMC. The predicted performance of a converter at the beginning of life is greater than 20% (including electronic inefficiencies and overhead) with a converter specific power of greater than 8 We/kg for a test unit and greater than 15 We/kg for a flight unit. The degradation in performance over a 14-year mission lifetime is predicted to be negligible, and the primary life limiting factor is not expected to be an issue for greater than twice the mission duration. Work during the last year focused on the material and fabrication issues associated with a high temperature turbine and a lightweight recuperator, and the performance issues associated with the high-temperature insulation and power conversion electronics. The development of the converter is on schedule. Thermal vacuum testing to demonstrate a technology readiness level of 5 is currently planned for 2006.

  20. Conceptual Design Study of a Closed Brayton Cycle Turbogenerator for Space Power Thermal-To-Electric Conversion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Jeff L.

    2000-01-01

    A conceptual design study was completed for a 360 kW Helium-Xenon closed Brayton cycle turbogenerator. The selected configuration is comprised of a single-shaft gas turbine engine coupled directly to a high-speed generator. The engine turbomachinery includes a 2.5:1 pressure ratio compression system with an inlet corrected flow of 0.44 kg/sec. The single centrifugal stage impeller discharges into a scroll via a vaned diffuser. The scroll routes the air into the cold side sector of the recuperator. The hot gas exits a nuclear reactor radiator at 1300 K and enters the turbine via a single-vaned scroll. The hot gases are expanded through the turbine and then diffused before entering the hot side sector of the recuperator. The single shaft design is supported by air bearings. The high efficiency shaft mounted permanent magnet generator produces an output of 370 kW at a speed of 60,000 rpm. The total weight of the turbogenerator is estimated to be only 123 kg (less than 5% of the total power plant) and has a volume of approximately 0.11 cubic meters. This turbogenerator is a key element in achieving the 40 to 45% overall power plant thermal efficiency.

  1. Study of reactor Brayton power systems for nuclear electric spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    The feasibility of using Brayton power systems for nuclear electric spacecraft was investigated. The primary performance parameters of systems mass and radiator area were determined for systems from 100 to 1000 kW sub e. Mathematical models of all system components were used to determine masses and volumes. Two completely independent systems provide propulsion power so that no single-point failure can jeopardize a mission. The waste heat radiators utilize armored heat pipes to limit meteorite puncture. The armor thickness was statistically determined to achieve the required probability of survival. A 400 kW sub e reference system received primary attention as required by the contract. The components of this system were defined and a conceptual layout was developed with encouraging results. An arrangement with redundant Brayton power systems having a 1500 K (2240 F) turbine inlet temperature was shown to be compatible with the dimensions of the space shuttle orbiter payload bay.

  2. Technology Concept for a Near-Term Closed Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foti, John; Halsey, Dave; Bauch, Tim; Smith, Glen

    2003-01-01

    There is a need in the space science community for nuclear-powered electric propulsion systems to enable high-value, deep space and planetary exploration. Certain missions are driven by once-in-a-lifetime or highly infrequent occurrences that require the near-term development of a flight-capable nuclear space power and electric propulsion system in order to take advantage of the scientific opportunity. The broader applicability of Brayton power systems to the commercial and military aircraft markets has provided fertile ground for the continued development and implementation of new technologies applicable to a closed Brayton cycle space Power Conversion Unit (PCU). One concept for effectively achieving a near-term Brayton space power capability is based on the development work associated with the Integrated Power Unit (IPU). This unit embodies the state of the art in turbomachinery, generators, bearing systems and electric power management and distribution capability that can readily be evolved into a closed Brayton cycle PCU. This paper provides an overview of aircraft-based Brayton power system technologies, their implementation into the IPU and one approach for leveraging this capability into a near-term closed Brayton cycle space power conversion unit.

  3. A Brayton cycle solar dynamic heat receiver for space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sedgwick, L. M.; Nordwall, H. L.; Kaufmann, K. J.; Johnson, S. D.

    1989-01-01

    The detailed design of a heat receiver developed to meet the requirements of the Space Station Freedom, which will be assembled and operated in low earth orbit beginning in the mid-1990's, is described. The heat receiver supplies thermal energy to a nominal 25-kW closed-Brayton-cycle power conversion unit. The receiver employs an integral thermal energy storage system utilizing the latent heat of a eutectic-salt phase-change mixture to store energy for eclipse operation. The salt is contained within a felt metal matrix which enhances heat transfer and controls the salt void distribution during solidification.

  4. Closed Brayton cycle power conversion systems for nuclear reactors :

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.; Lipinski, Ronald J.; Vernon, Milton E.; Sanchez, Travis

    2006-04-01

    This report describes the results of a Sandia National Laboratories internally funded research program to study the coupling of nuclear reactors to gas dynamic Brayton power conversion systems. The research focused on developing integrated dynamic system models, fabricating a 10-30 kWe closed loop Brayton cycle, and validating these models by operating the Brayton test-loop. The work tasks were performed in three major areas. First, the system equations and dynamic models for reactors and Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) systems were developed and implemented in SIMULINKTM. Within this effort, both steady state and dynamic system models for all the components (turbines, compressors, reactors, ducting, alternators, heat exchangers, and space based radiators) were developed and assembled into complete systems for gas cooled reactors, liquid metal reactors, and electrically heated simulators. Various control modules that use proportional-integral-differential (PID) feedback loops for the reactor and the power-conversion shaft speed were also developed and implemented. The simulation code is called RPCSIM (Reactor Power and Control Simulator). In the second task an open cycle commercially available Capstone C30 micro-turbine power generator was modified to provide a small inexpensive closed Brayton cycle test loop called the Sandia Brayton test-Loop (SBL-30). The Capstone gas-turbine unit housing was modified to permit the attachment of an electrical heater and a water cooled chiller to form a closed loop. The Capstone turbine, compressor, and alternator were used without modification. The Capstone systems nominal operating point is 1150 K turbine inlet temperature at 96,000 rpm. The annular recuperator and portions of the Capstone control system (inverter) and starter system also were reused. The rotational speed of the turbo-machinery is controlled by adjusting the alternator load by using the electrical grid as the load bank. The SBL-30 test loop was operated at

  5. Key Factors Influencing the Decision on the Number of Brayton Units for the Prometheus Space Reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashcroft, John; Belanger, Sean; Burdge, Wayne; Clementoni, Eric; Jensen, Krista; Proctor, N. Beth; Zemo-Fulkerson, Annie

    2007-01-01

    The Naval Reactors (NR) Program and its DOE Laboratories, KAPL and Bettis, were assigned responsibility to develop space reactor systems for the Prometheus Program. After investigating all of the potential reactor and energy conversion options, KAPL and Bettis selected a direct gas Brayton system as the reference approach for the nuclear electric propulsion missions, including the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). In order to determine the optimal plant architecture for the direct gas system, KAPL and Bettis investigated systems with one or two active Brayton units and up to two spare units. No final decision was made on the optimal system configuration for the NEP gas-Brayton system prior to closeout of the project. The two most promising options appear to be a single system without spares and a three Brayton system with two operating units, each producing half of the required load, with a single spare unit. The studies show that a single Brayton system, without spares, offers the lowest mass system, with potential for lower operating temperature, and a minimum of system and operational complexity. The lower required mass and increased system efficiency inherent in the single Brayton system may be exploited to satisfy other design objectives such as reduced reactor and radiator operating temperatures. While Brayton system lifetimes applicable to a JIMO or other nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) mission have not been demonstrated, there is no fundamental limit on the lifetime of the Brayton hardware. Use of additional Brayton units with installed spares will allow for continued operation in the event of a failure of an individual Brayton unit. However, preliminary system reliability evaluations do not point to any substantial reliability benefit provided by carrying spare Brayton units. If a spare unit is used, operating two of the units at full power with an unpowered spare proved more efficient than operating all three units at a reduced power and temperature

  6. Speculations on future opportunities to evolve Brayton powerplants aboard the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    English, Robert E.

    1987-01-01

    The Space Station provides a unique, low-risk environment in which to evolve new capabilities. In this way, the Space Station will grow in capacity, in its range of capabilities, and its economy of operation as a laboratory and as a center for space operations. Although both Rankine and Brayton cycles, two concepts for solar dynamic power generation, now compete to power the station, this paper confines its attention to the Brayton cycle using a mixture of He and Xe as its working fluid. Such a Brayton powerplant to supply the station's increasing demands for both electric power and heat has the potential to gradually evolve higher and higher performance by exploiting already-evolved materials (ASTAR-811C and molten-Li heat storage), its peak cycle temperature rising ultimately to 1500 K. Adapting the station to exploit long tethers (200 to 300 km long) could yield increases in payloads to LEO, to GEO, and to distant destinations in the solar system. Such tethering of the Space Station would not only require additional power for electric propulsion but also would so increase nuclear safety that nuclear powerplants might provide this power. From an 8000-kWt SP-100 reactor, thermoelectric power generation could produce 300 kWe, or adapted solar-Brayton cycle, 2400 to 2800 kWe.

  7. A power and load priority control concept as applied to a Brayton cycle turbo-electric generator.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelsey, E. L.; Young, R. N.

    1972-01-01

    This paper describes a system to regulate the speed and power output of a Brayton Cycle Power System under varying load. A typical user load profile is applied and a simple load priority and parasitic load is used for system regulation. Power storage is provided by batteries with charge and discharge converters to demonstrate support capability. The breadboard system is tested with the Brayton Cycle Demonstrator at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Manned Space Craft Center, Houston, Texas.

  8. Speculations on future opportunities to evolve Brayton powerplants aboard the space station

    SciTech Connect

    English, R.E.

    1994-09-01

    The Space Station provides a unique, low-risk environment in which to evolve new capabilities. In this way, the Station will grow in capacity, in its range of capabilities, and in its economy of operation as a laboratory, as a center for materials processing, and as a center for space operations. Although both Rankine and Brayton cycles, two concepts for solar-dynamic power generation, now compete to power the Station, this paper confines its attention to the Brayton cycle using a mixture of He and Xe as its working fluid. Such a Brayton powerplant to supply the Station`s increasing demands for both electric power and heat has the potential to gradually evolve higher and higher performance by exploiting already-evolved materials (ASTAR-811C and molten-Li heat storage), its peak cycle temperature rising ultimately to 1500 K. Adapting the Station to exploit long tethers (200 to 300 km long) could yield large increases in payloads to LEO, to GEO, and to distant destinations in the solar system. Such tethering of the Space Station would not only require additional power for electric propulsion but also would so increase nuclear safety that nuclear powerplants might provide this power. From an 8000-kWt SP-100 reactor, thermoelectric power generation could produce 300 kWe, or adapted solar-Brayton cycle, 2400 to 2800 kWe.

  9. Power enhancement of the Brayton cycle by steam utilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jesionek, Krzysztof; Chrzczonowski, Andrzej; Ziółkowski, Paweł; Badur, Janusz

    2012-09-01

    The paper presents thermodynamic analysis of the gas-steam unit of the 65 MWe combined heat and power station. Numerical analyses of the station was performed for the nominal operation conditions determining the Brayton and combined cycle. Furthermore, steam utilization for the gas turbine propulsion in the Cheng cycle was analysed. In the considered modernization, steam generated in the heat recovery steam generator unit is directed into the gas turbine combustion chamber, resulting in the Brayton cycle power increase. Computational flow mechanics codes were used in the analysis of the thermodynamic and operational parameters of the unit.

  10. Research and Technology Activities Supporting Closed-Brayton-Cycle Power Conversion System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    The elements of Brayton technology development emphasize power conversion system risk mitigation. Risk mitigation is achieved by demonstrating system integration feasibility, subsystem/component life capability (particularly in the context of material creep) and overall spacecraft mass reduction. Closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) power conversion technology is viewed as relatively mature. At the 2-kWe power level, a CBC conversion system Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of six (6) was achieved during the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (SD-GTD) in 1998. A TRL 5 was demonstrated for 10 kWe-class CBC components during the development of the Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU) from 1968 to 1976. Components currently in terrestrial (open cycle) Brayton machines represent TRL 4 for similar uses in 100 kWe-class CBC space systems. Because of the baseline component and subsystem technology maturity, much of the Brayton technology task is focused on issues related to systems integration. A brief description of ongoing technology activities is given.

  11. Effects of vibration and shock on the performance of gas-bearing space-power Brayton cycle turbomachinery. 2: Sinusoidal and random vibration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tessarzik, J. M.; Chiang, T.; Badgley, R. H.

    1973-01-01

    The vibration response of a gas-bearing rotor-support system was analyzed experimentally documented for sinusoidal and random vibration environments. The NASA Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU), 36,000 rpm; 10 KWe turbogenerator; was subjected in the laboratory to sinusoidal and random vibrations to evaluate the capability of the BRU to (1) survive the vibration levels expected to be encountered during periods of nonoperation and (2) operate satisfactorily (that is, without detrimental bearing surface contacts) at the vibration levels expected during normal BRU operation. Response power spectral density was calculated for specified input random excitation, with particular emphasis upon the dynamic motions of the thrust bearing runner and stator. A three-mass model with nonlinear representation of the engine isolator mounts was used to calculate axial rotor-bearing shock response.

  12. Self-Driven Decay Heat Removal in a GCR Closed Brayton Cycle Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.; Lipinski, Ronald J.

    2006-07-01

    Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) systems that are driven by Gas Cooled Reactors (GCR) are being evaluated for high-efficiency electricity generation. These systems were also selected by the Naval Reactor Prime Contractor team for use as space power systems. This paper describes the decay heat removal performance of these systems. A key question for such space or terrestrial based CBC systems is how to shut down the reactor while still removing the decay heat without using substantial amounts of auxiliary power. Tests in the Sandia Brayton Loop (SBL) show that the Brayton cycle is capable of operating on sensible heat for very long times ({approx} hour) after the reactor is shut down. This paper describes the measured and predicted results of generated electrical power produced as a function of time after the heat source had been turned off in the Sandia Brayton Loop. The measured results were obtained from an electrically heated closed Brayton cycle test loop (SBL) that Sandia fabricated and has operating within the laboratories. The predicted behavior is based on integrated dynamic system models that are capable of predicting both the transient and steady state behavior of nuclear heated or electrically heated Brayton cycle systems. The measured data was obtained by running the SBL and shutting off the electrical heater while adjusting the flow through the loop to keep the system operating at (or just above) its self-sustaining operating power level. During the test we were able to produce {approx}500 W of power for over 73 minutes after the heater power was turned off. Thus the Brayton loop was able to operate at self-sustaining conditions (or better) for over one hour. During this time the turbo-compressor was transporting the sensible heat in the heater, ducting, and recuperator to the waste heat rejection system for over an hour. For a reactor-driven system in space, this would give the shutdown decay power sufficient time to decay to levels where it could be

  13. Hybrid Stirling / Reverse Brayton and Multi-stage Brayton Cryocoolers for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkconnell, C. S.; Zagarola, M. V.; Russo, J. T.

    2006-04-01

    Space infrared (IR) sensor applications place demanding requirements on the cryogenic cooling system. These systems must typically have 8+ year life and very high reliability, typically >0.95 at eight years. This has been achieved by several companies, including Raytheon with Stirling-class machines and by Creare with reverse turbo Brayton (RTB) devices. Other requirements virtually always present for space cryocoolers include low mass, high efficiency, and low vibration output. For typical space infrared sensor cryogenic cooling applications, existing Stirling-class cryocoolers (which includes pulse tubes) excel relative to the RTB with respect to mass and often efficiency, but the RTB exports much less vibration. An additional requirement sometimes present for a given payload is that the refrigeration must be provided remotely, perhaps several meters from the ambient environment where the cryocooler machinery typically resides and to which the waste heat must be rejected. A Stirling-class machine cannot meet this last requirement unless it is coupled with a single- or two-phase pumped loop, a cryogenic heat pipe, or a recirculating cooling system. One approach is to combine a Stirling-class machine with a Joule-Thomson (JT) cooling system. Another approach, one that embodies important reliability and integration benefits, is to combine a Stirling-class cryocooler with a RTB cryocooler. The case study results for a particular Stirling-Brayton hybrid system are presented, along with a discussion of its integration characteristics. Such a hybrid system, if properly designed, accentuates the advantages and mitigates the weaknesses of the individual technologies. Finally, the hybrid approach is compared to a straightforward multi-stage RTB cryocooler.

  14. Phase 2 Brayton/Rankine 10-ton gas-fired space-conditioning system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1982-07-01

    The technical accomplishments to date in the design, development, and demonstration program leading to commercialization of a 10 ton heat actuated space conditioning system for light commercialization of a 10 ton heat actuated space conditioning system for light commercial building applications are summarized. The system consists of a natural gas powered Brayton cycle engine and a Rankine cycle heat pump, combined in a single roof top package. The heat actuated space conditioning system provides more efficient use of natural gas and is intended as an all gas alternative to the electric heat pump. The system employs a subatmospheric natural gas fired heat pump. A centrifugal R-12 refrigerant compressor is driven directly from the Brayton engine rotating group through a hermetically sealed coupling. Unique features that offer high life cycle performance include a permanent magnet coupling, foil bearings, an atmospheric in-line combustor, and a high temperature recuperator.

  15. Utilization of recently developed codes for high power Brayton and Rankine cycle power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1993-01-01

    Two recently developed FORTRAN computer codes for high power Brayton and Rankine thermodynamic cycle analysis for space power applications are presented. The codes were written in support of an effort to develop a series of subsystem models for multimegawatt Nuclear Electric Propulsion, but their use is not limited just to nuclear heat sources or to electric propulsion. Code development background, a description of the codes, some sample input/output from one of the codes, and state future plans/implications for the use of these codes by NASA's Lewis Research Center are provided.

  16. Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft

    DOEpatents

    Bennett, Charles L.

    2012-03-13

    A solar thermal powered aircraft powered by heat energy from the sun. A Rankine-Brayton hybrid cycle heat engine is carried by the aircraft body for producing power for a propulsion mechanism, such as a propeller or other mechanism for enabling sustained free flight. The Rankine-Brayton engine has a thermal battery, preferably containing a lithium-hydride and lithium mixture, operably connected to it so that heat is supplied from the thermal battery to a working fluid. A solar concentrator, such as reflective parabolic trough, is movably connected to an optically transparent section of the aircraft body for receiving and concentrating solar energy from within the aircraft. Concentrated solar energy is collected by a heat collection and transport conduit, and heat transported to the thermal battery. A solar tracker includes a heliostat for determining optimal alignment with the sun, and a drive motor actuating the solar concentrator into optimal alignment with the sun based on a determination by the heliostat.

  17. Rankine-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft

    DOEpatents

    Bennett, Charles L.

    2009-12-29

    A solar thermal powered aircraft powered by heat energy from the sun. A Rankine-Brayton hybrid cycle heat engine is carried by the aircraft body for producing power for a propulsion mechanism, such as a propeller or other mechanism for enabling sustained free flight. The Rankine-Brayton engine has a thermal battery, preferably containing a lithium-hydride and lithium mixture, operably connected to it so that heat is supplied from the thermal battery to a working fluid. A solar concentrator, such as reflective parabolic trough, is movably connected to an optically transparent section of the aircraft body for receiving and concentrating solar energy from within the aircraft. Concentrated solar energy is collected by a heat collection and transport conduit, and heat transported to the thermal battery. A solar tracker includes a heliostat for determining optimal alignment with the sun, and a drive motor actuating the solar concentrator into optimal alignment with the sun based on a determination by the heliostat.

  18. Experimental Results From a 2kW Brayton Power Conversion Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hervol, David; Mason, Lee; Birchenough, Arthur

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents experimental test results from operation of a 2 kWe Brayton power conversion unit. The Brayton converter was developed for a solar dynamic power system flight experiment planned for the Mir Space Station in 1997. The flight experiment was cancelled, but the converter was tested at Glenn Research Center as part of the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration system which included a solar concentrator, heat receiver, and space radiator. In preparation for the current testing, the heat receiver was removed and replaced with an electrical resistance heater, simulating the thermal input of a steady-state nuclear source. The converter was operated over a full range of thermal input power levels and rotor speeds to generate an overall performance map. The converter unit will serve as the centerpiece of a Nuclear Electric Propulsion Testbed at Glenn. Future potential uses for the Testbed include high voltage electrical controller development, integrated electric thruster testing and advanced radiator demonstration testing to help guide high power Brayton technology development for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  19. Brayton-Cycle Power-Conversion Unit Tested With Ion Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hervol, David S.

    2005-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion has been identified as an enabling technology for future NASA space science missions, such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) now under study. An important element of the nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft is the power conversion system, which converts the reactor heat to electrical power for use by the ion propulsion system and other spacecraft loads. The electrical integration of the power converter and ion thruster represents a key technical challenge in making nuclear electric propulsion technology possible. This technical hurdle was addressed extensively on December 1, 2003, when a closed- Brayton-cycle power-conversion unit was tested with a gridded ion thruster at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The test demonstrated end-to-end power throughput and marked the first-ever coupling of a Brayton turbo alternator and a gridded ion thruster, both of which are candidates for use on JIMO-type missions. The testing was conducted at Glenn's Vacuum Facility 6, where the Brayton unit was installed in the 3-m-diameter vacuum test port and the ion thruster was installed in the 7.6-m-diameter main chamber.

  20. Design point characteristics of a 500 - 2500 watt isotope-Brayton power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barna, G. J.

    1972-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to investigate the potential performance characteristics of an isotope-Brayton space power system at electric power levels from 500 - 2500 watts. Utilization of the Pu(238) heat source, or capsule, was assumed. A single-loop system design concept was selected. The design concept and results of first-order trade-off studies of the effects of major system parameters on system performance are presented. Results of the study indicate the potential for high system efficiency and high specific power over the entire power range.

  1. Design point characteristics of a 500 - 2500 watt isotope-Brayton power system.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barna, G. J.

    1972-01-01

    An analytical study was conducted to investigate the potential performance characteristics of an isotope-Brayton space power system at electric power levels from 500 to 2500 W. Utilization of the Pu 238 heat source, or capsule, being developed for the Multi-Hundred Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator was assumed. A single-loop system design concept was selected. The design concept and results of first-order tradeoff studies of the effects of major system parameters on system performance are presented. Results of the study indicate the potential for high system efficiency and high specific power over the entire power range.

  2. Closed-Cycle Engine Program Used to Study Brayton Power Conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.

    2005-01-01

    One form of power conversion under consideration in NASA Glenn Research Center's Thermal Energy Conversion Branch is the closed-Brayton-cycle engine. In the tens-of-kilowatts to multimegawatt class, the Brayton engine lends itself to potential space nuclear power applications such as electric propulsion or surface power. The Thermal Energy Conversion Branch has most recently concentrated its Brayton studies on electric propulsion for Prometheus. One piece of software used for evaluating such designs over a limited tradeoff space has been the Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP). The CCEP originated in the mid-1980s from a Fortran aircraft engine code known as the Navy/NASA Engine Program (NNEP). Components such as a solar collector, heat exchangers, ducting, a pumped-loop radiator, a nuclear heat source, and radial turbomachinery were added to NNEP, transforming it into a high-fidelity design and performance tool for closed-Brayton-cycle power conversion and heat rejection. CCEP was used in the 1990s in conjunction with the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration conducted at Glenn. Over the past year, updates were made to CCEP to adapt it for an electric propulsion application. The pumped-loop radiator coolant can now be n-heptane, water, or sodium-potassium (NaK); liquid-metal pump design tables were added to accommodate the NaK fluid. For the reactor and shield, a user can now elect to calculate a higher fidelity mass estimate. In addition, helium-xenon working-fluid properties were recalculated and updated.

  3. Experimental Data for Two Different Alternator Configurations in a Solar Brayton Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Shaltens, Richard K.; Espinosa, William D.

    1997-01-01

    A solar dynamic (SD) space power system has been under test at the NASA Lewis Research Center since 1994. The SD Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) system includes a solar concentrator, heat receiver with thermal energy storage, Brayton power conversion unit, and radiator installed in a thermal-vacuum chamber with a solar simulator. The Brayton unit has been operated with two different turboalternator compressor (TAC) assemblies, one which included a Rice Lundell alternator and another which incorporated a permanent magnet (PM) alternator. The Rice alternator was part of the mini-Brayton rotating unit, designed and built during the 1970's and refurbished for the GTD. The PM TAC was a development unit from the Joint US/Russian SD Flight Project. This paper highlights the operational differences (and similarities) between the Rice and PM TAC configurations including a comparative evaluation of startup characteristics and operating performance. The two alternator configurations were tested under similar thermal conditions, as an interchangeable component within the SD system. The electrical characteristics of the two units, however, dictated the use of significantly different power conditioning and control strategies. The electrical control architectures are described and compared. Test data are presented on TAC startup and system operating performance for both configurations.

  4. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion - Phase I

    SciTech Connect

    Frye, Patrick E.; Allen, Robert; Delventhal, Rex

    2005-02-06

    To investigate and mature space based nuclear power conversion technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC). The conceptual design effort performed included BPCS (Brayton power conversion system) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass (with a target of less than 3000 kg), and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to operate in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments within the Jovian system. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NBP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future potential missions with a sound technology plan for TRL (Technical Readiness Level) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature {approx} 100C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues identified and an approach for resolution developed. Analyses and evaluations of six HRS (heat rejection subsystem) concepts and PMAD (Power Management and Distribution) architecture trades will be discussed in the paper.

  5. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion — Phase I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frye, Patrick E.; Allen, Robert; Delventhal, Rex

    2005-02-01

    To investigate and mature space based nuclear power conversion technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC). The conceptual design effort performed included BPCS (Brayton power conversion system) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass (with a target of less than 3000 kg), and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to operate in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments within the Jovian system. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NBP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future potential missions with a sound technology plan for TRL (Technical Readiness Level) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature ˜ 100C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues identified and an approach for resolution developed. Analyses and evaluations of six HRS (heat rejection subsystem) concepts and PMAD (Power Management and Distribution) architecture trades will be discussed in the paper.

  6. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Bog; Delventhal, Rex; Frye, Patrick

    2004-01-01

    Recently, there has been significant interest within the aerospace community to develop space based nuclear power conversion technologies especially for exploring the outer planets of our solar system where the solar energy density is very low. To investigate these technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC).The investigation performed included BPCS (Brayton Power Conversion System) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to be capable of operation in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments surrounding Jupiter. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NEP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future missions with a sound technology plan for technology readiness level (TRL) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature approx. 100 C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues and related development tasks identified. Analyses and evaluations of six different HRS (heat rejection system) designs and three primary power management and distribution (PMAD) configurations will be discussed in the paper.

  7. Brayton Power Conversion Unit Tested: Provides a Path to Future High-Power Electric Propulsion Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2003-01-01

    Closed-Brayton-cycle conversion technology has been identified as an excellent candidate for nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) power conversion systems. Advantages include high efficiency, long life, and high power density for power levels from about 10 kWe to 1 MWe, and beyond. An additional benefit for Brayton is the potential for the alternator to deliver very high voltage as required by the electric thrusters, minimizing the mass and power losses associated with the power management and distribution (PMAD). To accelerate Brayton technology development for NEP, the NASA Glenn Research Center is developing a low-power NEP power systems testbed that utilizes an existing 2- kWe Brayton power conversion unit (PCU) from previous solar dynamic technology efforts. The PCU includes a turboalternator, a recuperator, and a gas cooler connected by gas ducts. The rotating assembly is supported by gas foil bearings and consists of a turbine, a compressor, a thrust rotor, and an alternator on a single shaft. The alternator produces alternating-current power that is rectified to 120-V direct-current power by the PMAD unit. The NEP power systems testbed will be utilized to conduct future investigations of operational control methods, high-voltage PMAD, electric thruster interactions, and advanced heat rejection techniques. The PCU was tested in Glenn s Vacuum Facility 6. The Brayton PCU was modified from its original solar dynamic configuration by the removal of the heat receiver and retrofitting of the electrical resistance gas heater to simulate the thermal input of a steady-state nuclear source. Then, the Brayton PCU was installed in the 3-m test port of Vacuum Facility 6, as shown. A series of tests were performed between June and August of 2002 that resulted in a total PCU operational time of about 24 hr. An initial test sequence on June 17 determined that the reconfigured unit was fully operational. Ensuing tests provided the operational data needed to characterize PCU

  8. Technology for Brayton-cycle space powerplants using solar and nuclear energy

    SciTech Connect

    English, R.E.

    1986-02-01

    Brayton-cycle gas turbines have the potential to use either solar heat or nuclear reactors to generate from tens of kilowatts to tens of megawatts of power in space, all this from a single technology for the power-generating system. Their development for solar-energy dynamic power generation for the space station could be the first step in an evolution of such powerplants for a very wide range of applications. At the low power level of only 10 kWe, a power-generating system has already demonstrated overall efficiency of 0.29 and operated for 38,000 hr. Tests of improved components show that, if installed in the power-generating system, these components would raise that efficiency to 0.32; this efficiency is twice that so far demonstrated by any alternate concept, a characteristic especially important for solar power systems. Because of this high efficiency, solar-heat Brayton-cycle power generators offer the potential to increase power per unit of solar-collector area to levels exceeding four times that from photovoltaic powerplants based on present technology for silicon solar cells. For the heat source, paraboloidal mirrors have been assembled from sectors here on Earth. One mirror, 1.5-m diameter, had a standard error for its surface of only 1 arc-min and a specific mass of only 1.3 kg/m 2. A heavier mirror (nearly 5 kg/m{sup 2}), assembled from 12 sectors, had a standard surface error of 3 arc-min but was 6 m in diameter. Either of these mirrors is sufficiently accurate for use with the Brayton cycle, but the techniques for actually assembling large mirrors in space must yet be worked out. For use during the shadow period of a low Earth orbit (LEO), heat could be stored in LiF, a salt that melts at 1121 K (1558{degrees}F) and whose latent heat of fusion exceeds 1 MJ/kg. Because of the prior experience with its fabrication and of its tolerance of the thermal cycling in LEO, Nb-1Zr was selected to contain the LiF.

  9. A Comparison of Coolant Options for Brayton Power Conversion Heat Rejection Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee

    2006-01-20

    This paper describes potential heat rejection design concepts for Brayton power conversion systems. Brayton conversion systems are currently under study by NASA for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and surface power applications. The Brayton Heat Rejection Subsystem (HRS) must dissipate waste heat generated by the power conversion system due to inefficiencies in the thermal-to-electric conversion process. Sodium potassium (NaK) and H2O are two coolant working fluids that have been investigated in the design of a pumped loop and heat pipe space HRS. In general NaK systems are high temperature (300 to 1000 K) low pressure systems, and H2O systems are low temperature (300 to 600 K) high pressure systems. NaK is an alkali metal with health and safety hazards that require special handling procedures. On the other hand, H2O is a common fluid, with no health hazards and no special handling procedures. This paper compares NaK and H2O for the HRS pumped loop coolant working fluid. A detailed excel analytical model, HRS{sub O}pt, was developed to evaluate the various HRS design parameters. It is capable of analyzing NaK or H2O coolant, parallel or series flow configurations, and numerous combinations of other key parameters (heat pipe spacing, diameter and radial flux, radiator facesheet thickness, fluid duct system pressure drop, system rejected power, etc.) of the HRS. This paper compares NaK against water for the HRS coolant working fluid with respect to the relative mass, performance, design and implementation issues between the two fluids.

  10. A Comparison of Coolant Options for Brayton Power Conversion Heat Rejection Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes potential heat rejection design concepts for Brayton power conversion systems. Brayton conversion systems are currently under study by NASA for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and surface power applications. The Brayton Heat Rejection Subsystem (HRS) must dissipate waste heat generated by the power conversion system due to inefficiencies in the thermal-to-electric conversion process. Sodium potassium (NaK) and H2O are two coolant working fluids that have been investigated in the design of a pumped loop and heat pipe space HRS. In general NaK systems are high temperature (300 to 1000 K) low pressure systems, and H2O systems are low temperature (300 to 600 K) high pressure systems. NaK is an alkali metal with health and safety hazards that require special handling procedures. On the other hand, H2O is a common fluid, with no health hazards and no special handling procedures. This paper compares NaK and H2O for the HRS pumped loop coolant working fluid. A detailed Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA) analytical model, HRS_Opt, was developed to evaluate the various HRS design parameters. It is capable of analyzing NaK or H2O coolant, parallel or series flow configurations, and numerous combinations of other key parameters (heat pipe spacing, diameter and radial flux, radiator facesheet thickness, fluid duct system pressure drop, system rejected power, etc.) of the HRS. This paper compares NaK against water for the HRS coolant working fluid with respect to the relative mass, performance, design and implementation issues between the two fluids.

  11. A Comparison of Coolant Options for Brayton Power Conversion Heat Rejection Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Siamidis, John

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes potential heat rejection design concepts for Brayton power conversion systems. Brayton conversion systems are currently under study by NASA for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and surface power applications. The Brayton Heat Rejection Subsystem (HRS) must dissipate waste heat generated by the power conversion system due to inefficiencies in the thermal-to-electric conversion process. Sodium potassium (NaK) and H2O are two coolant working fluids that have been investigated in the design of a pumped loop and heat pipe space HRS. In general NaK systems are high temperature (300 to 1000 K) low pressure systems, and H2O systems are low temperature (300 to 600 K) high pressure systems. NaK is an alkali metal with health and safety hazards that require special handling procedures. On the other hand, H2O is a common fluid, with no health hazards and no special handling procedures. This paper compares NaK and H20 for the HRS pumped loop coolant working fluid. A detailed Microsoft Excel (Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA) analytical model, HRS_Opt, was developed to evaluate the various HRS design parameters. It is capable of analyzing NaK or H2O coolant, parallel or series flow configurations, and numerous combinations of other key parameters (heat pipe spacing, diameter and radial flux, radiator facesheet thickness, fluid duct system pressure drop, system rejected power, etc.) of the HRS. This paper compares NaK against water for the HRS coolant working fluid with respect to the relative mass, performance, design and implementation issues between the two fluids.

  12. Design, manufacture, and test of coolant pump-motor assembly for Brayton power conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gabacz, L. E.

    1973-01-01

    The design, development, fabrication, and testing of seven coolant circulating pump-motor assemblies are discussed. The pump-motor assembly is driven by the nominal 44.4-volt, 400-Hz, 3-phase output of a nominal 56-volt dc input inverter. The pump-motor assembly will be used to circulate Dow Corning 200 liquid coolant for use in a Brayton cycle space power system. The pump-motor assembly develops a nominal head of 70 psi at 3.7 gpm with an over-all efficiency of 26 percent. The design description, drawings, photographs, reliability results, and developmental and acceptance test results are included.

  13. Test Results from a Direct Drive Gas Reactor Simulator Coupled to a Brayton Power Conversion Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hervol, David S.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Owen, Albert K.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    Component level testing of power conversion units proposed for use in fission surface power systems has typically been done using relatively simple electric heaters for thermal input. These heaters do not adequately represent the geometry or response of proposed reactors. As testing of fission surface power systems transitions from the component level to the system level it becomes necessary to more accurately replicate these reactors using reactor simulators. The Direct Drive Gas-Brayton Power Conversion Unit test activity at the NASA Glenn Research Center integrates a reactor simulator with an existing Brayton test rig. The response of the reactor simulator to a change in Brayton shaft speed is shown as well as the response of the Brayton to an insertion of reactivity, corresponding to a drum reconfiguration. The lessons learned from these tests can be used to improve the design of future reactor simulators which can be used in system level fission surface power tests.

  14. Neon turbo-Brayton cycle refrigerator for HTS power machines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirai, Hirokazu; Hirokawa, M.; Yoshida, Shigeru; Nara, N.; Ozaki, S.; Hayashi, H.; Okamoto, H.; Shiohara, Y.

    2012-06-01

    We developed a prototype turbo-Brayton refrigerator whose working fluid is neon gas. The refrigerator is designed for a HTS (High Temperature Superconducting) power transformer and its cooling power is more than 2 kW at 65 K. The refrigerator has a turboexpander and a turbo-compressor, which utilize magnetic bearings. These rotational machines have no rubbing parts and no oil-components. Those make a long maintenance interval of the refrigerator. The refrigerator is very compact because our newly developed turbo-compressor is volumetrically smaller than a displacement type compressor in same operating specification. Another feature of the refrigerator is a wide range operation capability for various heat-loads. Cooling power is controlled by the input-power of the turbo-compressor instead of the conventional method of using an electric heater. The rotational speed of the compressor motor is adjusted by an inverter. This system is expected to be more efficient. We show design details, specification and cooling test results of the new refrigerator in this paper.

  15. Brayton-Cycle Baseload Power Tower CSP System

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Bruce

    2013-12-31

    The primary objectives of Phase 2 of this Project were: 1. Engineer, fabricate, and conduct preliminary testing on a low-pressure, air-heating solar receiver capable of powering a microturbine system to produce 300kWe while the sun is shining while simultaneously storing enough energy thermally to power the system for up to 13 hours thereafter. 2. Cycle-test a high-temperature super alloy, Haynes HR214, to determine its efficacy for the system’s high-temperature heat exchanger. 3. Engineer the thermal energy storage system This Phase 2 followed Wilson’s Phase 1, which primarily was an engineering feasibility study to determine a practical and innovative approach to a full Brayton-cycle system configuration that could meet DOE’s targets. Below is a summary table of the DOE targets with Wilson’s Phase 1 Project results. The results showed that a Brayton system with an innovative (low pressure) solar receiver with ~13 hours of dry (i.e., not phase change materials or molten salts but rather firebrick, stone, or ceramics) has the potential to meet or exceed DOE targets. Such systems would consist of pre-engineered, standardized, factory-produced modules to minimize on-site costs while driving down costs through mass production. System sizes most carefully analyzed were in the range of 300 kWe to 2 MWe. Such systems would also use off-the-shelf towers, blowers, piping, microturbine packages, and heliostats. Per DOE’s instructions, LCOEs are based on the elevation and DNI levels of Daggett, CA, for a 100 MWe power plant following 2 GWe of factory production of the various system components. Success criteria DOE targets Wilson system LCOE DOE’s gas price $6.75/MBtu 9 cents/kWh 7.7 cents/kWh LCOE Current gas price $4.71/MBtu NA 6.9 cents/kWh Capacity factor 75% (6500hr) 75-100% Solar fraction 85% (5585hr) >5585hr Receiver cost $170/kWe $50/kWe Thermal storage cost $20/kWhth $13/kWhth Heliostat cost $120/m2 $89.8/m2

  16. Design and Off-Design Performance of 100 kWe-Class Brayton Power Conversion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2005-02-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center in-house computer model Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP) was used to explore the design trade space and off-design performance characteristics of 100 kWe-class recuperated Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. Input variables for a potential design point included the number of operating units (1, 2, 4), cycle peak pressure (0.5, 1, 2 MPa), and turbo-alternator shaft speed (30,45, 60 kRPM). The design point analysis assumed a fixed turbine inlet temperature (1150 K), compressor inlet temperature (400 K), helium-xenon working-fluid molecular weight (40 g/mol), compressor pressure ratio (2.0), recuperator effectiveness (0.95), and a Sodium-Potassium (NaK) pumped-loop radiator. The design point options were compared on the basis of thermal input power, radiator area, and mass. For a nominal design point with defined Brayton components and radiator area, off-design cases were examined by reducing turbine inlet temperature (as low as 900 K), reducing shaft speed (as low as 50% of nominal), and circulating a percentage (up to 20%) of the compressor exit flow back to the gas cooler. The off-design examination sought approaches to reduce thermal input power without freezing the radiator.

  17. Design and Off-design Performance of 100 Kwe-class Brayton Power Conversion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center in-house computer model Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP) was used to explore the design trade space and off-design performance characteristics of 100 kWe-class recuperated Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. Input variables for a potential design point included the number of operating units (1, 2, 4), cycle peak pressure (0.5, 1, 2 MPa), and turbo-alternator shaft speed (30, 45, 60 kRPM). The design point analysis assumed a fixed turbine inlet temperature (1150 K), compressor inlet temperature (400 K), working-fluid molecular weight (40 g/mol), compressor pressure ratio (2.0), recuperator effectiveness (0.95), and a Sodium-Potassium (NaK) pumped-loop radiator. The design point options were compared on the basis of thermal input power, radiator area, and mass. For a nominal design point with defined Brayton components and radiator area, off-design cases were examined by reducing turbine inlet temperature (as low as 900 K), reducing shaft speed (as low as 50% of nominal), and circulating a percentage (up to 20%) of the compressor exit flow back to the gas cooler. The off-design examination sought approaches to reduce thermal input power without freezing the radiator.

  18. Design and Off-Design Performance of 100 kWe-Class Brayton Power Conversion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center in-house computer model Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP) was used to explore the design trade space and off-design performance characteristics of 100 kWe-class recuperated Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. Input variables for a potential design point included the number of operating units (1, 2, 4), cycle peak pressure (0.5, 1, 2 MPa), and turbo-alternator shaft speed (30, 45, 60 kRPM). The design point analysis assumed a fixed turbine inlet temperature (1150 K), compressor inlet temperature (400 K), helium-xenon working-fluid molecular weight (40 g/mol), compressor pressure ratio (2.0), recuperator effectiveness (0.95), and a Sodium-Potassium (NaK) pumped-loop radiator. The design point options were compared on the basis of thermal input power, radiator area, and mass. For a nominal design point with defined Brayton components and radiator area, off-design cases were examined by reducing turbine inlet temperature (as low as 900 K), reducing shaft speed (as low as 50 percent of nominal), and circulating a percentage (up to 20 percent) of the compressor exit flow back to the gas cooler. The off-design examination sought approaches to reduce thermal input power without freezing the radiator.

  19. Innovative open air brayton combined cycle systems for the next generation nuclear power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zohuri, Bahman

    The purpose of this research was to model and analyze a nuclear heated multi-turbine power conversion system operating with atmospheric air as the working fluid. The air is heated by a molten salt, or liquid metal, to gas heat exchanger reaching a peak temperature of 660 0C. The effects of adding a recuperator or a bottoming steam cycle have been addressed. The calculated results are intended to identify paths for future work on the next generation nuclear power plant (GEN-IV). This document describes the proposed system in sufficient detail to communicate a good understanding of the overall system, its components, and intended uses. The architecture is described at the conceptual level, and does not replace a detailed design document. The main part of the study focused on a Brayton --- Rankine Combined Cycle system and a Recuperated Brayton Cycle since they offer the highest overall efficiencies. Open Air Brayton power cycles also require low cooling water flows relative to other power cycles. Although the Recuperated Brayton Cycle achieves an overall efficiency slightly less that the Brayton --- Rankine Combined Cycle, it is completely free of a circulating water system and can be used in a desert climate. Detailed results of modeling a combined cycle Brayton-Rankine power conversion system are presented. The Rankine bottoming cycle appears to offer a slight efficiency advantage over the recuperated Brayton cycle. Both offer very significant advantages over current generation Light Water Reactor steam cycles. The combined cycle was optimized as a unit and lower pressure Rankine systems seem to be more efficient. The combined cycle requires a lot less circulating water than current power plants. The open-air Brayton systems appear to be worth investigating, if the higher temperatures predicted for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant do materialize.

  20. Test Results From a Direct Drive Gas Reactor Simulator Coupled to a Brayton Power Conversion Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hervol, David S.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Owen, Albert K.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.

    2009-01-01

    The Brayton Power Conversion Unit (BPCU) located at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, OH is a closed cycle system incorporating a turboaltemator, recuperator, and gas cooler connected by gas ducts to an external gas heater. For this series of tests, the BPCU was modified by replacing the gas heater with the Direct Drive Gas heater or DOG. The DOG uses electric resistance heaters to simulate a fast spectrum nuclear reactor similar to those proposed for space power applications. The combined system thermal transient behavior was the focus of these tests. The BPCU was operated at various steady state points. At each point it was subjected to transient changes involving shaft rotational speed or DOG electrical input. This paper outlines the changes made to the test unit and describes the testing that took place along with the test results.

  1. Design of a nuclear isotope heat source assembly for a spaceborne mini-Brayton power module.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wein, D.; Gorland, S. H.

    1973-01-01

    Results of a study to develop a feasible design definition of a heat source assembly (HSA) for use in nominal 500-, 1200-, or 2000-W(e) mini-Brayton spacecraft power systems. The HSA is a modular design which is used either as a single unit to provide thermal energy to the 500-W(e) mini-Brayton power module or in parallel with one or two additional HSAs for the 1200- or 2000-W(e) power module systems. Principal components consist of a multihundred watt RTG isotope heat source, a heat source heat exchanger which transfers the thermal energy from the heat source to the mini-Brayton power conversion system, an auxiliary cooling system which provides requisite cooling during nonoperation of the power conversion module and an emergency cooling system which precludes accidental release of isotope fuel in the event of system failure.

  2. Evaluation of Active Working Fluids for Brayton Cycles in Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conklin, J. C.; Courville, G. E.; Scott, J. H.

    2004-02-01

    The main parameter of interest for space thermal power conversion to electricity is specific power, defined as the total electric power output per unit of system mass, rather than the cycle thermal efficiency. For a closed Brayton cycle, performance with two active working fluids, nitrogen tetroxide and aluminum chloride, is compared to that with an inert mixture of helium and xenon having a molecular mass of 40. A chemically active working fluid is defined here as a chemical compound that has a relatively high molecular weight at temperatures appropriate for the compressor inlet and dissociates to a lighter molecular weight fluid at typical turbine inlet temperatures. The active working fluids may have the advantage of a higher net turbomachinery work output and an advantageous enhancement of the heat transfer coefficient in the heat exchangers. The fundamental theory of the active working fluid concept is presented to demonstrate these potential advantages. Scoping calculations of the heat exchanger mass for a selected spacecraft application of 36.4 kW of electrical power output show that the nitrogen tetroxide active working fluid has an advantageous 7% to 30% lower mass-to-power ratio than that for the inert noble gas mixture, depending on the allowable turbine inlet temperature. The calculations for the aluminum chloride system suggest only a slight improvement in performance relative to the inert noble gas mixture.

  3. Closed Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Unit for Fission Surface Power Phase I Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

    A Closed Brayton cycle power conversion system has been developed to support the NASA fission surface power program. The goal is to provide electricity from a small nuclear reactor heat source for surface power production for lunar and Mars environments. The selected media for a heat source is NaK 78 with water as a cooling source. The closed Brayton cycle power was selected to be 12 kWe output from the generator terminals. A heat source NaK temperature of 850 K plus or minus 25 K was selected. The cold source water was selected at 375 K plus or minus 25 K. A vacuum radiation environment of 200 K is specified for environmental operation. The major components of the system are the power converter, the power controller, and the top level data acquisition and control unit. The power converter with associated sensors resides in the vacuum radiation environment. The power controller and data acquisition system reside in an ambient laboratory environment. Signals and power are supplied across the pressure boundary electrically with hermetic connectors installed on the vacuum vessel. System level analyses were performed on working fluids, cycle design parameters, heater and cooling temperatures, and heat exchanger options that best meet the needs of the power converter specification. The goal is to provide a cost effective system that has high thermal-to-electric efficiency in a compact, lightweight package.

  4. Optimization of a Brayton cryocooler for ZBO liquid hydrogen storage in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deserranno, D.; Zagarola, M.; Li, X.; Mustafi, S.

    2014-11-01

    NASA is evaluating and developing technology for long-term storage of cryogenic propellant in space. A key technology is a cryogenic refrigerator which intercepts heat loads to the storage tank, resulting in a reduced- or zero-boil-off condition. Turbo-Brayton cryocoolers are particularly well suited for cryogen storage applications because the technology scales well to high capacities and low temperatures. In addition, the continuous-flow nature of the cycle allows direct cooling of the cryogen storage tank without mass and power penalties associated with a cryogenic heat transport system. To quantify the benefits and mature the cryocooler technology, Creare Inc. performed a design study and technology demonstration effort for NASA on a 20 W, 20 K cryocooler for liquid hydrogen storage. During the design study, we optimized these key components: three centrifugal compressors, a modular high-capacity plate-fin recuperator, and a single-stage turboalternator. The optimization of the compressors and turboalternator were supported by component testing. The optimized cryocooler has an overall flight mass of 88 kg and a specific power of 61 W/W. The coefficient of performance of the cryocooler is 23% of the Carnot cycle. This is significantly better performance than any 20 K space cryocooler existing or under development.

  5. Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) Power Generation from an Electric Systems Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halsey, David G.; Fox, David A.

    2006-01-01

    Several forms of closed cycle heat engines exist to produce electrical energy suitable for space exploration or planetary surface applications. These engines include Stirling and Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC). Of these two, CBC has often been cited as providing the best balance of mass and efficiency for deep space or planetary power systems. Combined with an alternator on the same shaft, the hermetically sealed system provides the potential for long life and reliable operation. There is also a list of choices for the type of alternator. Choices include wound rotor machines, induction machines, switched reluctance machines, and permanent magnet generators (PMGs). In trades involving size, mass and efficiency the PMG is a favorable solution. This paper will discuss the consequences of using a CBC-PMG source for an electrical power system, and the system parameters that must be defined and controlled to provide a stable, useful power source. Considerations of voltage, frequency (including DC), and power quality will be discussed. Load interactions and constraints for various power types will also be addressed. Control of the CBC-PMG system during steady state operation and startup is also a factor.s

  6. Operational Curves for HTGR's Coupled to Closed Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.; Lipinski, Ronald J.

    2006-07-01

    Gas Cooled Reactors (GCR) that drive Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) systems are being evaluated by the Department of Energy (DOE) Next Generation Program for high-efficiency electricity generation. This paper describes the operational performance of measured and predicted closed Brayton cycles. The measured results were obtained from an electrically driven closed Brayton cycle test loop that Sandia fabricated and has operating within the laboratories. The predicted behavior is based on integrated dynamic system models that are capable of predicting both the transient and steady state behavior of reactor driven Brayton cycle systems. Sandia contracted Barber Nichols Corporation to modify a Capstone C30 open-cycle Brayton engine so that it could be operated in a closed loop. We are currently operating the test loop to validate the models and to study control issues. Operation of the test-loop and developing the system models has allowed Sandia to develop and validate a set of tools and models that are being used to determine how nuclear reactors operate with gas turbine power conversion systems. Both measured and modeled operational performance curves will be presented to show how the electrical load (or power generated) varies as a function of shaft speed for various turbine inlet temperatures and for a fixed fill gas inventory. The measured and modeled behavior of the test loop both reveal the non-linear nature of the reactor and Brayton cycle loop because for a fixed electrical load there are two shaft speeds that can produce this steady-state power. Closer examination of the system of equations shows that only one of these steady-state solutions is dynamically stable. An active electronic control system will be required to operate at the more efficient but dynamically unstable point, and some means of controlling the flow via inventory control or bypass flow valves will also be required. (authors)

  7. Experimental and Analytical Performance of a Dual Brayton Power Conversion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavelle, Thomas A.; Hervol, David S.; Briggs, Maxwell; Owen, A. Karl

    2009-01-01

    The interactions between two closed Brayton cycle (CBC) power conversion units (PCU) which share a common gas inventory and heat source have been studied experimentally using the Dual Brayton Power Conversion System (DBPCS) and analytically using the Closed- Cycle System Simulation (CCSS) computer code. Selected operating modes include steady-state operation at equal and unequal shaft speeds and various start-up scenarios. Equal shaft speed steady-state tests were conducted for heater exit temperatures of 840 to 950 K and speeds of 50 to 90 krpm, providing a system performance map. Unequal shaft speed steady-state testing over the same operating conditions shows that the power produced by each Brayton is sensitive to the operating conditions of the other due to redistribution of gas inventory. Startup scenarios show that starting the engines one at a time can dramatically reduce the required motoring energy. Although the DBPCS is not considered a flight-like system, these insights, as well as the operational experience gained from operating and modeling this system provide valuable information for the future development of Brayton systems.

  8. Effects of vibration and shock on the performance of gas-bearing space-power Brayton cycle turbomachinery. Part 3: Sinusoidal and random vibration data reduction and evaluation, and random vibration probability analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tessarzik, J. M.; Chiang, T.; Badgley, R. H.

    1973-01-01

    The random vibration response of a gas bearing rotor support system has been experimentally and analytically investigated in the amplitude and frequency domains. The NASA Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU), a 36,000 rpm, 10 KWe turbogenerator had previously been subjected in the laboratory to external random vibrations, and the response data recorded on magnetic tape. This data has now been experimentally analyzed for amplitude distribution and magnetic tape. This data has now been experimentally analyzed for amplitude distribution and frequency content. The results of the power spectral density analysis indicate strong vibration responses for the major rotor-bearing system components at frequencies which correspond closely to their resonant frequencies obtained under periodic vibration testing. The results of amplitude analysis indicate an increasing shift towards non-Gaussian distributions as the input level of external vibrations is raised. Analysis of axial random vibration response of the BRU was performed by using a linear three-mass model. Power spectral densities, the root-mean-square value of the thrust bearing surface contact were calculated for specified input random excitation.

  9. Digital computer study of nuclear reactor thermal transients during startup of 60-kWe Brayton power conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jefferies, K. S.; Tew, R. C.

    1974-01-01

    A digital computer study was made of reactor thermal transients during startup of the Brayton power conversion loop of a 60-kWe reactor Brayton power system. A startup procedure requiring the least Brayton system complication was tried first; this procedure caused violations of design limits on key reactor variables. Several modifications of this procedure were then found which caused no design limit violations. These modifications involved: (1) using a slower rate of increase in gas flow; (2) increasing the initial reactor power level to make the reactor respond faster; and (3) appropriate reactor control drum manipulation during the startup transient.

  10. Effects of vibration and shock on the performance of gas-bearing space-power Brayton cycle turbomachinery. Part 4: Suppression of rotor-bearing system vibrations through flexible bearing support damping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tessarzik, J. M.; Chiang, T.; Badgley, R. H.

    1974-01-01

    A bearing damper, operating on the support flexure of a pivoted pad in a tilting-pad type gas-lubricated journal bearing, has been designed, built, and tested under externally-applied random vibrations. The NASA Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU), a 36,000 rpm, 10-Kwe turbogenerator had previously been subjected in the MTI Vibration Test Laboratory to external random vibrations, and vibration response data had been recorded and analyzed for amplitude distribution and frequency content at a number of locations in the machine. Based on data from that evaluation, a piston-type damper was designed and developed for each of the two flexibly-supported journal bearing pads (one in each of the two three-pad bearings). A modified BRU, with dampers installed, has been re-tested under random vibration conditions. Root-mean-square vibration amplitudes were determined from the test data, and displacement power spectral density analyses have been performed. Results of these data reduction efforts have been compared with vibration tolerance limits. Results of the tests indicate significant reductions in vibration levels in the bearing gas-lubricant films, particularly in the rigidly-mounted pads. The utility of the gas-lubricated damper for limiting rotor-bearing system vibrations in high-speed turbomachinery has thus been demonstrated.

  11. Reactor/Brayton power systems for nuclear electric spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Layton, J. P.

    1980-01-01

    Studies are currently underway to assess the technological feasibility of a nuclear-reactor-powered spacecraft propelled by electric thrusters. This vehicle would be capable of performing detailed exploration of the outer planets of the solar system during the remainder of this century. The purpose of this study was to provide comparative information on a closed cycle gas turbine power conversion system. The results have shown that the performance is very competitive and that a 400 kWe space power system is dimensionally compatible with a single Space Shuttle launch. Performance parameters of system mass and radiator area were determined for systems from 100 to 1000 kWe. A 400 kWe reference system received primary attention. The components of this system were defined and a conceptual layout was developed with encouraging results. The preliminary mass determination for the complete power system was very close to the desired goal of 20 kg/kWe. Use of more advanced technology (higher turbine inlet temperature) will substantially improve system performance characteristics.

  12. Initial Test Results of a Dual Closed-Brayton-Cycle Power Conversion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2007-01-01

    The dual Brayton power conversion system constructed for NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) was acceptance tested April 2007 at Barber-Nichols, Inc., Arvada, Colorado. This uniquely configured conversion system is built around two modified commercial Capstone C30 microturbines and employs two closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) converters sharing a common gas inventory and common heat source. Because both CBCs share the gas inventory, behavior of one CBC has an impact on the performance of the other CBC, especially when one CBC is standby or running at a different shaft speed. Testing performed to date includes the CBCs operating at equal and unequal shaft speeds. A test was also conducted where one CBC was capped off and the other was operated as a single CBC converter. The dual Brayton configuration generated 10.6 kWe at 75 krpm and a turbine inlet temperature of 817 K. Single Brayton operation generated 14.8 kWe at 90 krpm and a turbine inlet temperature of 925 K.

  13. Preheating of fluid in a supercritical Brayton cycle power generation system at cold startup

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Steven A.; Fuller, Robert L.

    2016-07-12

    Various technologies pertaining to causing fluid in a supercritical Brayton cycle power generation system to flow in a desired direction at cold startup of the system are described herein. A sensor is positioned at an inlet of a turbine, wherein the sensor is configured to output sensed temperatures of fluid at the inlet of the turbine. If the sensed temperature surpasses a predefined threshold, at least one operating parameter of the power generation system is altered.

  14. Space Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Appropriate directions for the applied research and technology programs that will develop space power systems for U.S. future space missions beyond 1995 are explored. Spacecraft power supplies; space stations, space power reactors, solar arrays, thermoelectric generators, energy storage, and communication satellites are among the topics discussed.

  15. A parametric study of motor starting for a 2- to 10-kilowatt Brayton power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cantoni, D. A.

    1971-01-01

    A study of the motor starting of a Brayton cycle power system was conducted to provide estimates of system sensitivity to several controllable parameters. These sensitivity estimates were used as a basis for selection of an optimum motor-start scheme to be implemented on the 2- to 10-kilowatt Brayton power system designed and presently under test. The studies were conducted with an analog simulation of the Brayton power system and covered a range of frequencies from 400 Hz (33 percent design) to 1200 Hz (design), voltage-to-frequency ratios of 0.050 (50 percent design) to 0.100 (design), turbine-inlet temperatures of 800 K (1440 R, 70 percent design) to 1140 K (2060 deg R, design), and prestart pressure levels of 14.5 psia to 29.0 psia. These studies have shown the effect of selected system variables on motor starting. The final selection of motor-start variables can therefore be made on the basis of motor-start inverter complexity, battery size and weight, desired steady-state pressure level after startup, and other operational limitations. In general, the study showed the time required for motor starting to be inversely proportional to motor frequency, voltage, turbine-inlet temperature, and pressure level. An increase in any of these parameters decreases startup time.

  16. Isotope Brayton electric power system for the 500 to 2500 watt range

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macosko, R. P.; Barna, G. J.; Block, H. B.; Ingle, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    An extensive study was conducted at the Lewis Research Center to evaluate an isotope Brayton electric power system for use in the 500 to 2500 W power range. Overall system simplicity was emphasized in order to reduce parasitic power losses and improve system reliability. Detailed parametric cycle analysis, conceptual component designs, and evaluation of system packaging were included. A single-loop system (gas) with six major components including one rotating unit was selected. Calculated net system efficiency varies from 23 to 28 percent over the power range.

  17. Preliminary design study of an alternate heat source assembly for a Brayton isotope power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, H. J.

    1978-01-01

    Results are presented for a study of the preliminary design of an alternate heat source assembly (HSA) intended for use in the Brayton isotope power system (BIPS). The BIPS converts thermal energy emitted by a radioactive heat source into electrical energy by means of a closed Brayton cycle. A heat source heat exchanger configuration was selected and optimized. The design consists of a 10 turn helically wound Hastelloy X tube. Thermal analyses were performed for various operating conditions to ensure that post impact containment shell (PICS) temperatures remain within specified limits. These limits are essentially satisfied for all modes of operation except for the emergency cooling system for which the PICS temperatures are too high. Neon was found to be the best choice for a fill gas for auxiliary cooling system operation. Low cycle fatigue life, natural frequency, and dynamic loading requirements can be met with minor modifications to the existing HSA.

  18. Analysis of a Helium Brayton Power Cycle for a Direct-Drive Inertial Fusion Energy Power Reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, Scott; Gentile, Charles; Parsells, Robert; Priniski, Craig

    2008-11-01

    Presented is a thermodynamic model analysis and optimization of a helium Brayton power cycle for direct-drive inertial fusion energy (IFE) reactor. Preliminary reactor design goals include production of 2GW of thermal power and an estimated 700MW of electricity using a tertiary indirect helium Brayton cycle. A thermodynamic analysis of the proposed helium Brayton cycle is performed using baseline technology specifications and generalized thermodynamic assumptions. Analytic equations are developed using first and second law analysis. The model constraints are the turbine inlet temperature and pressure set by the reactor temperature of ˜700^oC and current turbine specifications of 7MPa, respectively. Optimization of this model is then performed using iterative numerical programming for key variables. Previous analysis shows a 51% cycle efficiency using current technology; best estimates of near-term technology increase the cycle efficiency to 64%. Results will be presented. R. Schleicher, A. R. Raffray, C. P. Wong, ``An Assessment of the Brayton Cycle for High Performance Power Plant,'' Fusion Technology, 39 (2), 823-827, March 2001.

  19. Efficiency at Maximum Power Output of a Quantum-Mechanical Brayton Cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Yuan; He, Ji-Zhou; Gao, Yong; Wang, Jian-Hui

    2014-03-01

    The performance in finite time of a quantum-mechanical Brayton engine cycle is discussed, without introduction of temperature. The engine model consists of two quantum isoenergetic and two quantum isobaric processes, and works with a single particle in a harmonic trap. Directly employing the finite-time thermodynamics, the efficiency at maximum power output is determined. Extending the harmonic trap to a power-law trap, we find that the efficiency at maximum power is independent of any parameter involved in the model, but depends on the confinement of the trapping potential.

  20. Models for multimegawatt space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Edenburn, M.W.

    1990-06-01

    This report describes models for multimegawatt, space power systems which Sandia's Advanced Power Systems Division has constructed to help evaluate space power systems for SDI's Space Power Office. Five system models and models for associated components are presented for both open (power system waste products are exhausted into space) and closed (no waste products) systems: open, burst mode, hydrogen cooled nuclear reactor -- turboalternator system; open, hydrogen-oxygen combustion turboalternator system; closed, nuclear reactor powered Brayton cycle system; closed, liquid metal Rankine cycle system; and closed, in-core, reactor therminonic system. The models estimate performance and mass for the components in each of these systems. 17 refs., 8 figs., 15 tabs.

  1. Initial Test Results from a 6 K-10 K Turbo-Brayton Cryocooler for Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swift, W. L.; Zagarola, M. V.; Breedlove, J. J.; McCormick, J. A.; Sixsmith, H.

    2004-06-01

    In March 2002, a single-stage turbo-Brayton cryocooler was installed on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to re-establish cooling to the detectors in the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrograph (NICMOS). The system has maintained the detectors at their operating temperature near 77 K since that time. Future NASA space missions require comparable low-vibration cooling for periods of five to ten years in the 6 K-10 K temperature range. Creare is extending the NICMOS cryocooler technology to meet these lower temperatures. The primary activities address the need for smaller turbomachines. Two helium compressors for a 6 K turbo-Brayton cycle have been developed and tested in a cryogenic test facility. They have met performance goals at design speeds of about 9,500 rev/s. A miniature, dual-temperature high specific speed turboalternator has been installed in this test facility and has been used to obtain extended operational life data during low temperature cryogenic tests. A smaller, low specific speed turboalternator using advanced gas bearings is under development to replace the original dual-temperature design. This machine should provide improvements in the thermodynamic performance of the cycle. This paper presents life test results for the low temperature system and discusses the development of the smaller turboalternator.

  2. Motor starting a Brayton cycle power conversion system using a static inverter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curreri, J. S.; Edkin, R. A.; Kruchowy, R.

    1973-01-01

    The power conversion module of a 2- to 15-kWe Brayton engine was motor started using a three-phase, 400-hertz static inverter as the power source. Motor-static tests were conducted for initial gas loop pressures of 10, 14, and 17 N/sq cm (15, 20, and 25 psia) over a range of initial turbine inlet temperatures from 366 to 550 K (200 to 530 F). The data are presented to show the effects of temperature and pressure on the motor-start characteristics of the rotating unit. Electrical characteristics during motoring are also discussed.

  3. Advanced Rankine and Brayton cycle power systems: Materials needs and opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grisaffe, S. J.; Guentert, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    Conceptual advanced potassium Rankine and closed Brayton power conversion cycles offer the potential for improved efficiency over steam systems through higher operating temperatures. However, for utility service of at least 100,000 hours, materials technology advances will be needed for such high temperature systems. Improved alloys and surface protection must be developed and demonstrated to resist coal combustion gases as well as potassium corrosion or helium surface degradation at high temperatures. Extensions in fabrication technology are necessary to produce large components of high temperature alloys. Long time property data must be obtained under environments of interest to assure high component reliability.

  4. Comparison of Analytical Predictions and Experimental Results for a Dual Brayton Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul

    2007-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) contracted Barber- Nichols, Arvada, CO to construct a dual Brayton power conversion system for use as a hardware proof of concept and to validate results from a computational code known as the Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS). Initial checkout tests were performed at Barber- Nichols to ready the system for delivery to GRC. This presentation describes the system hardware components and lists the types of checkout tests performed along with a couple issues encountered while conducting the tests. A description of the CCSS model is also presented. The checkout tests did not focus on generating data, therefore, no test data or model analyses are presented.

  5. Advanced Rankine and Brayton cycle power systems - Materials needs and opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grisaffe, S. J.; Guentert, D. C.

    1974-01-01

    Conceptual advanced potassium Rankine and closed Brayton power conversion cycles offer the potential for improved efficiency over steam systems through higher operating temperatures. However, for utility service of at least 100,000 hours, materials technology advances will be needed for such high temperature systems. Improved alloys and surface protection must be developed and demonstrated to resist coal combustion gases as well as potassium corrosion or helium surface degradation at high temperatures. Extensions in fabrication technology are necessary to produce large components of high temperature alloys. Long-time property data must be obtained under environments of interest to assure high component reliability.

  6. Comparison of Analytical Predictions and Experimental Results for a Dual Brayton Power System (Discussion on Test Hardware and Computer Model for a Dual Brayton System)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.

    2007-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) contracted Barber-Nichols, Arvada, CO to construct a dual Brayton power conversion system for use as a hardware proof of concept and to validate results from a computational code known as the Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS). Initial checkout tests were performed at Barber- Nichols to ready the system for delivery to GRC. This presentation describes the system hardware components and lists the types of checkout tests performed along with a couple issues encountered while conducting the tests. A description of the CCSS model is also presented. The checkout tests did not focus on generating data, therefore, no test data or model analyses are presented.

  7. Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Power Conversion Cycle Design for Optimized Battery-Type Integral Reactor System

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Won J.; Kim, Tae W.; Sohn, Myoung S.; Suh, Kune Y.

    2006-07-01

    Supercritical carbon dioxide (SCO{sub 2}) promises a high power conversion efficiency of the recompression Brayton cycle due to its excellent compressibility reducing the compression work at the bottom of the cycle and to a higher density than helium or steam decreasing the component size. Therefore, the high SCO{sub 2} Brayton cycle efficiency as high as 45 % furnishes small sized nuclear reactors with economical benefits on the plant construction and maintenance. A 23 MWth BORIS (Battery Optimized Reactor Integral System) is being developed as a multipurpose reactor. BORIS, an integral-type optimized fast reactor with an ultra long life core, is coupled to the SCO{sub 2} Brayton cycle needing less room relative to the Rankine steam cycle because of its smaller components. The SCO{sub 2} Brayton cycle of BORIS consists of a 16 MW turbine, a 32 MW high temperature recuperator, a 14 MW low temperature recuperator, an 11 MW pre-cooler and 2 and 2.8 MW compressors. Entering six heat exchangers between primary and secondary system at 19.9 MPa and 663 K, the SCO{sub 2} leaves the heat exchangers at 19.9 MPa and 823 K. The promising secondary system efficiency of 45 % was calculated by a theoretical method in which the main parameters include pressure, temperature, heater power, the turbine's, recuperators' and compressors' efficiencies, and the flow split ratio of SCO{sub 2} going out from the low temperature recuperator. Test loop SOLOS (Shell-and-tube Overall Layout Optimization Study) is utilized to develop advanced techniques needed to adopt the shell-and-tube type heat exchanger in the secondary loop of BORIS by studying the SCO{sub 2} behavior from both thermal and hydrodynamic points of view. Concurrently, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code analysis is being conducted to develop an optimal analytical method of the SCO{sub 2} turbine efficiency having the parameters of flow characteristics of SCO{sub 2} passing through buckets of the turbine. These

  8. Dual Brayton cycle gas turbine pressurized fluidized bed combustion power plant concept

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, X.L.; Lidsky, L.M.

    1998-07-01

    High generating efficiency has compelling economic and environmental benefits for electric power plants. There are particular incentives to develop more efficient and cleaner coal-fired power plants in order to permit use of the world`s most abundant and secure energy source. This paper presents a newly conceived power plant design, the Dual Brayton Cycle Gas Turbine PFBC, that yields 45% net generating efficiency and fires on a wide range of fuels with minimum pollution, of which coal is a particularly intriguing target for its first application. The DBC-GT design allows power plants based on the state-of-the-art PFBC technology to achieve substantially higher generating efficiencies, while simultaneously providing modern gas turbine and related heat exchanger technologies access to the large coal power generation market.

  9. Isotope Brayton electric power system for the 500 to 2500 watt range.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macosko, R. P.; Barna, G. J.; Block, H. B.; Ingle, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    An extensive study was conducted at the Lewis Research Center to evaluate an isotope Brayton electric power system for use in the 500 to 2500 W power range. The study emphasized overall system simplicity in order to reduce parasitic power losses and improve system reliability. The study included detailed parametric cycle analysis, conceptual component designs, and evaluation of system packaging. The study has resulted in the selection of a single-loop system (gas) with six major components including one rotating unit. Calculated net system efficiency varies from 23 to 28% over the power range. The use of the Pu-238 heat source being developed for the Multi-Hundred-Watt Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator program was assumed.

  10. Numerical Comparison of NASA's Dual Brayton Power Generation System Performance Using CO2 or N2 as the Working Fluid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ownens, Albert K.; Lavelle, Thomas M.; Hervol, David S.

    2010-01-01

    A Dual Brayton Power Conversion System (DBPCS) has been tested at the NASA Glenn Research Center using Nitrogen (N2) as the working fluid. This system uses two closed Brayton cycle systems that share a common heat source and working fluid but are otherwise independent. This system has been modeled using the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) environment. This paper presents the results of a numerical study that investigated system performance changes resulting when the working fluid is changed from gaseous (N2) to gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2).

  11. Power and entropy generation of an extended irreversible Brayton cycle: optimal parameters and performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrera, Carlos A.; Sandoval, Jairo A.; Rosillo, Miguel E.

    2006-08-01

    Finite time thermodynamics is used to solve a new model of an extended Brayton cycle with variable-temperature heat reservoirs and finite size heat exchangers. The model takes into account external and internal entropy generation and handles heat recovery and heat leaks to the environment in a novel way. The extended system considerations are very important for minimizing entropy generation and maximizing second law efficiency, profit and ecological criterion. An optimization analysis was developed on this new model to determine its maximum power and minimum entropy generation, and amid the most important findings were the global maximum net power, global minimum entropy generation, optimum global heat exchangers size distribution, best working fluid specific heat ratio and optimal fluid heat capacities, some of these never having been published previously.

  12. Thulium heat sources for space power applications

    SciTech Connect

    Alderman, C.J.

    1992-05-01

    Reliable power supplies for use in transportation and remote systems will be an important part of space exploration terrestrial activities. A potential power source is available in the rare earth metal, thulium. Fuel sources can be produced by activating Tm-169 targets in the space station reactor. The resulting Tm-170 heat sources can be used in thermoelectric generators to power instrumentation and telecommunications located at remote sites such as weather stations. As the heat source in a dynamic Sterling or Brayton cycle system, the heat source can provide a lightweight power source for rovers or other terrestrial transportation systems.

  13. Experimental Investigation from the Operation of a 2 kW Brayton Power Conversion Unit and a Xenon Ion Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hervol, David; Mason, Lee; Birchenough, Art; Pinero, Luis

    2004-01-01

    A 2kW Brayton Power Conversion Unit (PCU) and a xenon ion thruster were integrated with a Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) system as part of a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) Testbed at NASA's Glenn Research Center. Brayton Converters and ion thrusters are potential candidates for use on future high power NEP mission such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). The use of a existing lower power test hardware provided a cost effective means to investigate the critical electrical interface between the power conversion system and the propulsion system. The testing successfully demonstrated compatible electrical operations between the converter and the thruster, including end-to-end electric power throughput, high efficiency AC to DC conversion, and thruster recycle fault protection. The details of this demonstration are reported herein.

  14. Experimental Investigations from the Operation of a 2 Kw Brayton Power Conversion Unit and a Xenon Ion Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Birchenough, Arthur; Pinero, Luis

    2004-01-01

    A 2 kW Brayton Power Conversion Unit (PCU) and a xenon ion thruster were integrated with a Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) system as part of a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) Testbed at NASA's Glenn Research Center. Brayton converters and ion thrusters are potential candidates for use on future high power NEP missions such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). The use of existing lower power test hardware provided a cost-effective means to investigate the critical electrical interface between the power conversion system and ion propulsion system. The testing successfully demonstrated compatible electrical operations between the converter and the thruster, including end-to-end electric power throughput, high efficiency AC to DC conversion, and thruster recycle fault protection. The details of this demonstration are reported herein.

  15. Power conditioning for space nuclear reactor systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, Baruch

    1987-01-01

    This paper addresses the power conditioning subsystem for both Stirling and Brayton conversion of space nuclear reactor systems. Included are the requirements summary, trade results related to subsystem implementation, subsystem description, voltage level versus weight, efficiency and operational integrity, components selection, and shielding considerations. The discussion is supported by pertinent circuit and block diagrams. Summary conclusions and recommendations derived from the above studies are included.

  16. Thulium heat sources for space power application

    SciTech Connect

    Alderman, C.J. )

    1993-01-15

    Reliable electrical power supplies for use in transportation and remote systems will be an important part of space exploration activities on planet surfaces. A potential power source is available through the use of thulium, a rare earth metal. Heat sources can be produced by neutron activation of naturally occurring thulium (Tm-169) targets in the base station nuclear power reactor. The resulting Tm-170 heat sources can be used in thermoelectric generators to power instrumentation and telecommunications systems located at remote sites. Combined with a dynamic Sterling or Brayton cycle conversion system, the heat source can power a lightweight electrical source for rovers or other surface transportation systems.

  17. A Preliminary and Simplified Closed Brayton Cycle Modeling for a Space Reactor Application

    SciTech Connect

    Guimaraes, Lamartine Nogueira Frutuoso; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio

    2008-01-21

    The Nuclear Energy Division (ENU) of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) has started a preliminary design study for a Closed Brayton Cycle Loop (CBCL) aimed at a space reactor application. The main objectives of the study are: 1) to establish a starting concept for the CBCL components specifications, and 2) to build a demonstrative simulator of CBCL. This preliminary design study is developing the CBCL around the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. The actual nuclear reactor study is being conducted independently. Because of that, a conventional heat source is being used for the CBCL, in this preliminary design phase. This paper describes the steady state simulator of the CBCL operating with NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. In principle, several gases are being considered as working fluid, as for instance: air, helium, nitrogen, CO{sub 2} and gas mixtures such as helium and xenon. However, for this first application pure helium will be used as working fluid. Simplified models of heat and mass transfer were developed to simulate thermal components. Future efforts will focus on implementing a graphical interface to display the thermal process variables in steady state and to keep track of the modifications being implemented at the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine in order to build the CBCL.

  18. Design of a Simplified Closed Brayton Cycle for a Space Reactor Application

    SciTech Connect

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N. F.; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio; Placco, Guilherme Moreira

    2009-03-16

    The Nuclear Energy Division (ENU) of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) has started a preliminary design study for a Closed Brayton Cycle Loop (CBCL) aimed at a space reactor application. The main objectives of the study are: 1) to establish a starting concept for the CBCL components specifications, and 2) to build a demonstrative simulator of CBCL. This preliminary design study is been developed around the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. The actual nuclear reactor study is being conducted independently. Because of that, a conventional heat source is being used for the CBCL, in this preliminary design phase. This paper describes details of the CBCL mechanical design and the steady state simulator of the CBCL operating with NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. In principle, several gases are being considered as working fluid, as for instance: air, helium, nitrogen, CO2 and gas mixtures such as helium and xenon. However, for this first application pure helium will be used as working fluid. Simplified models of heat and mass transfer were developed to simulate thermal components. A new graphical interface was developed for the simulator to display the thermal process variables in steady state and to keep track of the modifications being implemented at the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine in order to build the CBCL. A set of new results are being produced. These new results help to establish the hot and cold source geometry allowing for price estimating costs for building the actual device. These fresh new results will be presented and discussed.

  19. Nuclear Air-Brayton Combined Cycle Power Conversion Design, Physical Performance Estimation and Economic Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreades, Charalampos

    The combination of an increased demand for electricity for economic development in parallel with the widespread push for adoption of renewable energy sources and the trend toward liberalized markets has placed a tremendous amount of stress on generators, system operators, and consumers. Non-guaranteed cost recovery, intermittent capacity, and highly volatile market prices are all part of new electricity grids. In order to try and remediate some of these effects, this dissertation proposes and studies the design and performance, both physical and economic, of a novel power conversion system, the Nuclear Air-Brayton Combined Cycle (NACC). The NACC is a power conversion system that takes a conventional industrial frame type gas turbine, modifies it to accept external nuclear heat at 670°C, while also maintaining its ability to co-fire with natural gas to increase temperature and power output at a very quick ramp rate. The NACC addresses the above issues by allowing the generator to gain extra revenue through the provision of ancillary services in addition to energy payments, the grid operator to have a highly flexible source of capacity to back up intermittent renewable energy sources, and the consumer to possibly see less volatile electricity prices and a reduced probability of black/brown outs. This dissertation is split into six sections that delve into specific design and economic issues related to the NACC. The first section describes the basic design and modifications necessary to create a functional externally heated gas turbine, sets a baseline design based upon the GE 7FB, and estimates its physical performance under nominal conditions. The second section explores the off-nominal performance of the NACC and characterizes its startup and shutdown sequences, along with some of its safety measures. The third section deals with the power ramp rate estimation of the NACC, a key performance parameter in a renewable-heavy grid that needs flexible capacity. The

  20. Brayton Power Conversion System Parametric Design Modelling for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashe, Thomas L.; Otting, William D.

    1993-01-01

    The parametrically based closed Brayton cycle (CBC) computer design model was developed for inclusion into the NASA LeRC overall Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) end-to-end systems model. The code is intended to provide greater depth to the NEP system modeling which is required to more accurately predict the impact of specific technology on system performance. The CBC model is parametrically based to allow for conducting detailed optimization studies and to provide for easy integration into an overall optimizer driver routine. The power conversion model includes the modeling of the turbines, alternators, compressors, ducting, and heat exchangers (hot-side heat exchanger and recuperator). The code predicts performance to significant detail. The system characteristics determined include estimates of mass, efficiency, and the characteristic dimensions of the major power conversion system components. These characteristics are parametrically modeled as a function of input parameters such as the aerodynamic configuration (axial or radial), turbine inlet temperature, cycle temperature ratio, power level, lifetime, materials, and redundancy.

  1. Gas-injection-start and shutdown characteristics of a 2-kilowatt to 15-kilowatt Brayton power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cantoni, D. A.

    1972-01-01

    Two methods of starting the Brayton power system have been considered: (1) using the alternator as a motor to spin the Brayton rotating unit (BRU), and (2) spinning the BRU by forced gas injection. The first method requires the use of an auxiliary electrical power source. An alternating voltage is applied to the terminals of the alternator to drive it as an induction motor. Only gas-injection starts are discussed in this report. The gas-injection starting method requires high-pressure gas storage and valves to route the gas flow to provide correct BRU rotation. An analog computer simulation was used to size hardware and to determine safe start and shutdown procedures. The simulation was also used to define the range of conditions for successful startups. Experimental data were also obtained under various test conditions. These data verify the validity of the start and shutdown procedures.

  2. Use of High-Power Brayton Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for a 2033 Mars Round-Trip Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Martini, Michael C.; Packard, Thomas W.; Weglian, John E.; Gilland, James H.

    2006-01-01

    The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) team, led by the NASA Langley Research Center, is tasked with exploring revolutionary new approaches to enabling NASA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives in future missions. This paper provides the details from the 2004-2005 RASC study of a point-design that uses a high-power nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) based space transportation architecture to support a manned mission to Mars. The study assumes a high-temperature liquid-metal cooled fission reactor with a Brayton power conversion system to generate the electrical power required by magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The architecture includes a cargo vehicle with an NEP system providing 5 MW of electrical power and a crewed vehicle with an NEP system with two reactors providing a combined total of 10 MW of electrical power. Both vehicles use a low-thrust, high-efficiency (5000 sec specific impulse) MPD system to conduct a spiral-out of the Earth gravity well, a low-thrust heliocentric trajectory, and a spiral-in at Mars with arrival late in 2033. The cargo vehicle carries two moon landers to Mars and arrives shortly before the crewed vehicle. The crewed vehicle and cargo vehicle rendezvous in Mars orbit and, over the course of the 60-day stay, the crew conducts nine-day excursions to Phobos and Deimos with the landers. The crewed vehicle then spirals out of Martian orbit and returns via a low-thrust trajectory to conduct an Earth flyby. The crew separates from the vehicle prior to Earth flyby and aerobrakes for a direct-entry landing.

  3. Use of High-Power Brayton Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for a 2033 Mars Round-Trip Mission

    SciTech Connect

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Martini, Michael C.; Packard, Thomas W.; Weglian, John E.; Gilland, James H.

    2006-01-20

    The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) team, led by the NASA Langley Research Center, is tasked with exploring revolutionary new approaches to enabling NASA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives in future missions. This paper provides the details from the 2004-2005 RASC study of a point-design that uses a high-power nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) based space transportation architecture to support a manned mission to Mars. The study assumes a high-temperature liquid-metal cooled fission reactor with a Brayton power conversion system to generate the electrical power required by magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The architecture includes a cargo vehicle with an NEP system providing 5 MW of electrical power and a crewed vehicle with an NEP system with two reactors providing a combined total of 10 MW of electrical power. Both vehicles use a low-thrust, high-efficiency (5000 sec specific impulse) MPD system to conduct a spiral-out of the Earth gravity well, a low-thrust heliocentric trajectory, and a spiral-in at Mars with arrival late in 2033. The cargo vehicle carries two moon landers to Mars and arrives shortly before the crewed vehicle. The crewed vehicle and cargo vehicle rendezvous in Mars orbit and, over the course of the 60-day stay, the crew conducts nine-day excursions to Phobos and Deimos with the landers. The crewed vehicle then spirals out of Martian orbit and returns via a low-thrust trajectory to conduct an Earth flyby. The crew separates from the vehicle prior to Earth flyby and aerobrakes for a direct-entry landing.

  4. Effects of backlash and dead band on temperature control of the primary loop of a conceptual nuclear Brayton space powerplant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petrick, E. J.

    1973-01-01

    An analytical study was made of the stability of a closed-loop liquid-lithium temperature control of the primary loop of a conceptual nuclear Brayton space powerplant. The operating point was varied from 20 to 120 percent of design. A describing-function technique was used to evaluate the effects of temperature dead band and control coupling backlash. From the system investigation, it was predicted that a limit cycle will not exist with a temperature dead band, but a limit cycle will not exist when backlash is present. The results compare favorably with a digital computer simulation.

  5. Demonstration of a high-capacity turboalternator for a 20 K, 20 W space-borne Brayton cryocooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, M.; Cragin, K.; Deserranno, D.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is considering multiple missions involving long-term cryogenic propellant storage in space. Liquid hydrogen and oxygen are the typical cryogens as they provide the highest specific impulse of practical chemical propellants. Storage temperatures are nominally 20 K for liquid hydrogen and 90 K for liquid oxygen. Heat loads greater than 10 W at 20 K are predicted for hydrogen storage. Current space cryocoolers have been developed for sensor cooling with refrigeration capacities less than 1 W at 20 K. In 2011, Creare Inc. demonstrated an ultra-low-capacity turboalternator for use in a turbo-Brayton cryocooler. The turboalternator produced up to 5 W of turbine refrigeration at 20 K; equivalent to approximately 3 W of net cryocooler refrigeration. This turboalternator obtained unprecedented operating speeds and efficiencies at low temperatures benefitting from new rotor design and fabrication techniques, and new bearing fabrication techniques. More recently, Creare applied these design and fabrication techniques to a larger and higher capacity 20 K turboalternator. The turboalternator was tested in a high-capacity, low temperature test facility at Creare and demonstrated up to 42 W of turbine refrigeration at 20 K; equivalent to approximately 30 W of net cryocooler refrigeration. The net turbine efficiency was the highest achieved to date at Creare for a space-borne turboalternator. This demonstration was the first step in the development of a high-capacity turbo-Brayton cryocooler for liquid hydrogen storage. In this paper, we will review the design, development and testing of the turboalternator.

  6. Transient analysis of an FHR coupled to a helium Brayton power cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Minghui; Kim, In Hun; Sun, Xiaodong; Christensen, Richard; Utgikar, Vivek; Sabharwall, Piyush

    2015-08-01

    The Fluoride salt-cooled High-temperature Reactor (FHR) features a passive decay heat removal system and a high-efficiency Brayton cycle for electricity generation. It typically employs an intermediate loop, consisting of an intermediate heat exchanger (IHX) and a secondary heat exchanger (SHX), to couple the primary system with the power conversion unit (PCU). In this study, a preliminary dynamic system model is developed to simulate transient characteristics of a prototypic 20-MWth Fluoride salt-cooled High-temperature Test Reactor (FHTR). The model consists of a series of differential conservation equations that are numerically solved using the MATLAB platform. For the reactor, a point neutron kinetics model is adopted. For the IHX and SHX, a fluted tube heat exchanger and an offset strip-fin heat exchanger are selected, respectively. Detailed geometric parameters of each component in the FHTR are determined based on the FHTR nominal steady-state operating conditions. Three initiating events are simulated in this study, including a positive reactivity insertion, a step increase in the mass flow rate of the PCU helium flow, and a step increase in the PCU helium inlet temperature to the SHX. The simulation results show that the reactor has inherent safety features for those three simulated scenarios. It is observed that the increase in the temperatures of the fuel pebbles and primary coolant is mitigated by the decrease in the reactor power due to negative temperature feedbacks. The results also indicate that the intermediate loop with the two heat exchangers plays a significant role in the transient progression of the integral reactor system.

  7. Concept definition study of small Brayton cycle engines for dispersed solar electric power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Six, L. D.; Ashe, T. L.; Dobler, F. X.; Elkins, R. T.

    1980-01-01

    Three first-generation Brayton cycle engine types were studied for solar application: a near-term open cycle (configuration A), a near-term closed cycle (configuration B), and a longer-term open cycle (configuration C). A parametric performance analysis was carried out to select engine designs for the three configurations. The interface requirements for the Brayton cycle engine/generator and solar receivers were determined. A technology assessment was then carried out to define production costs, durability, and growth potential for the selected engine types.

  8. Advanced space solar dynamic power systems beyond IOC Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallin, Wayne E.; Dustin, Miles O.

    1987-01-01

    Three different solar dynamic power cycle systems were evaluated for application to missions projected beyond the IOC Space Station. All three systems were found to be superior to two photovoltaic systems (a planar silicon array and a GaAs concentrator array), with both lower weight and area. The alkali-metal Rankine cycle was eliminated from consideration due to low performance, and the Stirling cycle was found to be superior to the closed Brayton cycle in both weight and area. LiF salt, which establishes peak cycle temperatures for both of the considered cycles at about 1090 K, was shown to be the most suitable material for Thermal Energy Storage.

  9. A review of test results on solar thermal power modules with dish-mounted Stirling and Brayton cycle engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaffe, Leonard D.

    1988-01-01

    This paper presents results of development tests of various solar thermal parabolic dish modules and assemblies that used dish-mounted Brayton or Stirling cycle engines for production of electric power. These tests indicate that early modules achieve net efficiencies up to 29 percent in converting sunlight to electricity, as delivered to the grid. Various equipment deficiencies were observed and a number of malfunctions occurred. The performance measurements, as well as the malfunctions and other test experience, provided information that should be of value in developing systems with improved performance and reduced maintenance.

  10. Electrical power system design for the US space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nored, Donald L.; Bernatowicz, Daniel T.

    1986-01-01

    The multipurpose, manned, permanent space station will be our next step toward utilization of space. A multikilowatt electrical power system will be critical to its success. The power systems for the space station manned core and platforms that have been selected in definition studies are described. The system selected for the platforms uses silicon arrays and Ni-H2 batteries. The power system for the manned core is a hybrid employing arrays and batteries identical to those on the platform along with solar dynamic modules using either Brayton or organic Rankine engines. The power system requirements, candidate technologies, and configurations that were considered, and the basis for selection, are discussed.

  11. A preliminary study of the modified Ericsson for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berner, J.; Louis, J. F.; Juhasz, A.

    1985-01-01

    Simple modifications of the Ericsson cycle are analyzed for their application as high power, compact and reliable space power systems. They use the same components as the technologically advanced and reliable Brayton system. These modifications approximate the Ericsson cycle's isothermal expansion by several stages of expansion with reheat and the isothermal compression by several compression stages with intercooling. Preliminary cycle analysis including non-ideal components indicates potential advantages in both power per unit area and efficiency over the Brayton system. Evaluation of the system mass indicates a significant mass and radiator area advantage of a Modified Ericsson cycle using one reheat and one expansion stage when a high temperature titanium radiator is used. Whereas the configuration using one reheat and one intercooling with two stages of compression and expansion provided the lowest mass per unit power using a lower temperature aluminum radiator.

  12. Nuclear safety considerations for the design of a shuttle launched 500 to 2000 watt isotope Brayton power system.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garate, J. A.; Gorland, S. H.

    1973-01-01

    An extensive study was conducted to evaluate the safety requirements for the design of a heat source assembly for use in a shuttle launched, isotope Brayton electric power system for the 500-W(e) to 2 kWe range. The assembly is a self-contained package which supplies heat to a power conversion system. A typical mission profile for a shuttle launched, earth orbital mission was assumed. Critical mission accidents were identified and evaluated to determine their impact upon the design of the Heat Source Assembly. Earth-orbital decay reentry analyses were performed to demonstrate survivability of the heat source. Safety design requirements were developed to ensure survivability under credible accident conditions including loss of the power conversion system in orbit.

  13. Brayton cycle heat exchanger and duct assembly (HXDA, preliminary design and technology tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coombs, M. G.; Morse, C. J.; Graves, R. F.; Gibson, J. C.

    1972-01-01

    A preliminary design of the heat exchanger and duct assembly (HXDA) for a 60 kwe, closed loop, Brayton cycle space power system is presented. This system is weight optimized within the constraints imposed by the defined structural and operational requirements. Also presented are the results of several small scale tests, directed to obtaining specific design data and/or the resolution of a design approach for long life Brayton cycle heat exchanger systems.

  14. A Summary of Closed Brayton Cycle Development Activities at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2009-01-01

    NASA has been involved in the development of Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion technology since the 1960's. CBC systems can be coupled to reactor, isotope, or solar heat sources and offer the potential for high efficiency, long life, and scalability to high power. In the 1960's and 1970's, NASA and industry developed the 10 kW Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU) and the 2 kW mini-BRU demonstrating technical feasibility and performance, In the 1980's, a 25 kW CBC Solar Dynamic (SD) power system option was developed for Space Station Freedom and the technology was demonstrated in the 1990's as part of the 2 kW SO Ground Test Demonstration (GTD). Since the early 2000's, NASA has been pursuing CBC technology for space reactor applications. Before it was cancelled, the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (HMO) mission was considering a 100 kWclass CBC system coupled to a gas-cooled fission reactor. Currently, CBC technology is being explored for Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems to provide base power on the moon and Mars. These recent activities have resulted in several CBC-related technology development projects including a 50 kW Alternator Test Unit, a 20 kW Dual Brayton Test Loop, a 2 kW Direct Drive Gas Brayton Test Loop, and a 12 kW FSP Power Conversion Unit design.

  15. Space Solar Power Program

    SciTech Connect

    Arif, H.; Barbosa, H.; Bardet, C.; Baroud, M.; Behar, A.; Berrier, K.; Berthe, P.; Bertrand, R.; Bibyk, I.; Bisson, J.; Bloch, L.; Bobadilla, G.; Bourque, D.; Bush, L.; Carandang, R.; Chiku, T.; Crosby, N.; De Seixas, M.; De Vries, J.; Doll, S.; Dufour, F.; Eckart, P.; Fahey, M.; Fenot, F.; Foeckersperger, S.; Fontaine, J.E.; Fowler, R.; Frey, H.; Fujio, H.; Gasa, J.M.; Gleave, J.; Godoe, J.; Green, I.; Haeberli, R.; Hanada, T.; Ha

    1992-08-01

    Information pertaining to the Space Solar Power Program is presented on energy analysis; markets; overall development plan; organizational plan; environmental and safety issues; power systems; space transportation; space manufacturing, construction, operations; design examples; and finance.

  16. Goals of thermionic program for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    English, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The thermionic and Brayton reactor concepts were compared for application to space power. For a turbine inlet temperature of 15000 K the Brayton powerplant weighted 5 to 40% less than the thermionic concept. The out of core concept separates the thermionic converters from their reactor. Technical risks are diminished by: (1) moving the insolator out of the reactor; (2) allowing a higher thermal flux for the thermionic converters than is required of the reactor fuel; and (3) eliminating fuel swelling's threat against lifetime of the thermionic converters. Overall performance can be improved by including power processing in system optimization for design and technology on more efficient, higher temperature power processors. The thermionic reactors will be larger than those for competitive systems with higher conversion efficiency and lower reactor operating temperatures. It is concluded that although the effect of reactor size on shield weight will be modest for unmanned spacecraft, the penalty in shield weight will be large for manned or man-tended spacecraft.

  17. Cost Analysis of an Air Brayton Receiver for a Solar Thermal Electric Power System in Selected Annual Production Volumes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Pioneer Engineering and Manufacturing Company estimated the cost of manufacturing and Air Brayton Receiver for a Solar Thermal Electric Power System as designed by the AiResearch Division of the Garrett Corporation. Production costs were estimated at annual volumes of 100; 1,000; 5,000; 10,000; 50,000; 100,000 and 1,000,000 units. These costs included direct labor, direct material and manufacturing burden. A make or buy analysis was made of each part of each volume. At high volumes special fabrication concepts were used to reduce operation cycle times. All costs were estimated at an assumed 100% plant capacity. Economic feasibility determined the level of production at which special concepts were to be introduced. Estimated costs were based on the economics of the last half of 1980. Tooling and capital equipment costs were estimated for ach volume. Infrastructure and personnel requirements were also estimated.

  18. Mini-Brayton heat source assembly development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wein, D.; Zimmerman, W. F.

    1978-01-01

    The work accomplished on the Mini-Brayton Heat Source Assembly program is summarized. Required technologies to design, fabricate and assemble components for a high temperature Heat Source Assembly (HSA) which would generate and transfer the thermal energy for a spaceborne Brayton Isotope Power System (BIPS) were developed.

  19. Design analysis and containment canister life prediction for a Brayton engine solar receiver for Space Station

    SciTech Connect

    Strumpf, H.J.; Avanessian, V.; Ghafourian, R. )

    1994-08-01

    A study has been conducted on the design and development of a solar receiver to be used for electrical power production for Space Station. The receiver incorporates integral thermal storage, using a eutectic mixture of LiF and CaF[sub 2] as a solid-to-liquid phase-change material (PCM). The design comprises a cylindrical receiver cavity. The walls of the cavity are lined with a series of working fluid tubes running the length of the cavity. The PCM is enclosed in individual, sealed metallic containment canisters which are stacked and brazed to the tubes. The compartmentalization of the PCM localizes void formation upon freezing. An additional attribute of compartmentalization is that a containment canister failure affects only that canister; the receiver continues to operate with only a minute loss of capacity. Nevertheless, a considerable effort has been expended to ensure that the containment canisters will survive a 30-year life. A detailed analytical procedure was developed to evaluate the canister creep strain accumulated in 30 years. This accumulated creep strain, which is in the range of 0.03 to 0.79 percent, compares favorably with the preliminary value of four percent for the canister material allowable 30-year creep rupture ductility.

  20. Space Station power system

    SciTech Connect

    Baraona, C.R.

    1984-04-01

    The strategies, reasoning, and planning guidelines used in the development of the United States Space Station Program are outlined. The power required to support Space Station missions and housekeeping loads is a key driver in overall Space Station design. conversely, Space Station requirements drive the power technology. Various power system technology options are discussed. The mission analysis studies resulting in the required Space Station capabilities are also discussed. An example of Space Station functions and a concept to provide them is presented. The weight, area, payload and altitude requirements on draft and mass requirements are described with a summary and status of key power systems technology requirements and issues.

  1. Space Station Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, C. R.

    1984-01-01

    The strategies, reasoning, and planning guidelines used in the development of the United States Space Station Program are outlined. The power required to support Space Station missions and housekeeping loads is a key driver in overall Space Station design. conversely, Space Station requirements drive the power technology. Various power system technology options are discussed. The mission analysis studies resulting in the required Space Station capabilities are also discussed. An example of Space Station functions and a concept to provide them is presented. The weight, area, payload and altitude requirements on draft and mass requirements are described with a summary and status of key power systems technology requirements and issues.

  2. Space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, R. T.

    1972-01-01

    Space nuclear power systems are considered for use in those particular spacecraft applications for which nuclear power systems offer unique advantages over solar and/or chemical space power systems. Both isotopic and reactor heated space electrical power units are described in an attempt to illustrate their operating characteristics, spacecraft integration aspects, and factory-to-end of mission operational considerations. The status of technology developments in nuclear power systems is presented. Some projections of those technologies are made to form a basis for the applications of space nuclear power systems to be expected over the next 10-15 years.

  3. Nuclear power for space based systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livingston, J. M.; Ivanenok, Joseph F., III

    1991-09-01

    A 100 kWe closed Brayton cycle power conversion system utilizing a recuperator coupled to a NERVA derivative reactor for a lunar power plant is presented. Power plant mass versus recuperator effectiveness, compressor inlet temperature, and turbine pressure ratio are described.

  4. Economical space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkholder, J. H.

    1980-01-01

    A commercial approach to design and fabrication of an economical space power system is investigated. Cost projections are based on a 2 kW space power system conceptual design taking into consideration the capability for serviceability, constraints of operation in space, and commercial production engineering approaches. A breakdown of the system design, documentation, fabrication, and reliability and quality assurance estimated costs are detailed.

  5. Multimegawatt space power reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Dearien, J.A.; Whitbeck, J.F.

    1989-01-01

    In response to the need of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and long range space exploration and extra-terrestrial basing by the National Air and Space Administration (NASA), concepts for nuclear power systems in the multi-megawatt levels are being designed and evaluated. The requirements for these power systems are being driven primarily by the need to minimize weight and maximize safety and reliability. This paper will discuss the present requirements for space based advanced power systems, technological issues associated with the development of these advanced nuclear power systems, and some of the concepts proposed for generating large amounts of power in space. 31 figs.

  6. Nuclear Power in Space

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    1994-01-01

    In the early years of the United States space program, lightweight batteries, fuel cells, and solar modules provided electric power for space missions. As missions became more ambitious and complex, power needs increased and scientists investigated various options to meet these challenging power requirements. One of the options was nuclear energy. By the mid-1950s, research had begun in earnest on ways to use nuclear power in space. These efforts resulted in the first radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs), which are nuclear power generators build specifically for space and special terrestrial uses. These RTGs convert the heat generated from the natural decay of their radioactive fuel into electricity. RTGs have powered many spacecraft used for exploring the outer planets of the solar system and orbiting the sun and Earth. They have also landed on Mars and the moon. They provide the power that enables us to see and learn about even the farthermost objects in our solar system.

  7. Verification of a 2 kWe Closed-Brayton-Cycle Power Conversion System Mechanical Dynamics Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ludwiczak, Damian R.; Le, Dzu K.; McNelis, Anne M.; Yu, Albert C.; Samorezov, Sergey; Hervol, Dave S.

    2005-01-01

    Vibration test data from an operating 2 kWe closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) power conversion system (PCS) located at the NASA Glenn Research Center was used for a comparison with a dynamic disturbance model of the same unit. This effort was performed to show that a dynamic disturbance model of a CBC PCS can be developed that can accurately predict the torque and vibration disturbance fields of such class of rotating machinery. The ability to accurately predict these disturbance fields is required before such hardware can be confidently integrated onto a spacecraft mission. Accurate predictions of CBC disturbance fields will be used for spacecraft control/structure interaction analyses and for understanding the vibration disturbances affecting the scientific instrumentation onboard. This paper discusses how test cell data measurements for the 2 kWe CBC PCS were obtained, the development of a dynamic disturbance model used to predict the transient torque and steady state vibration fields of the same unit, and a comparison of the two sets of data.

  8. Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 3, technologies 2: Power conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    The major power conversion concepts considered for the Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System (MCNSPS) are discussed. These concepts include: (1) Rankine alkali-metal-vapor turbine alternators; (2) in-core thermionic conversion; (3) Brayton gas turbine alternators; and (4) free piston Stirling engine linear alternators. Considerations important to the coupling of these four conversion alternatives to an appropriate nuclear reactor heat source are examined along with the comparative performance characteristics of the combined systems meeting MCNSPS requirements.

  9. Nuclear power in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Written and verbal testimony presented before the House Subcommittee on Energy Research and Development is documented. Current research efforts related to space nuclear power are discussed including the SP-100 Space Reactor Program, development of radioisotope thermoelectric generators, and the Advanced Nuclear Systems Program. Funding, research and test facilities, specific space mission requirements, and the comparison of solar and nuclear power systems are addressed. Witnesses included representatives from DOD, NASA, DOE, universities, and private industry.

  10. Nuclear power in space

    SciTech Connect

    Aftergood, S. ); Hafemeister, D.W. ); Prilutsky, O.F.; Rodionov, S.N. ); Primack, J.R. )

    1991-06-01

    Nuclear reactors have provided energy for satellites-with nearly disastrous results. Now the US government is proposing to build nuclear-powered boosters to launch Star Wars defenses. These authors represent scientific groups that are opposed to the use of nuclear power in near space. The authors feel that the best course for space-borne reactors is to ban them from Earth orbit and use them in deep space.

  11. Millimeterwave Space Power Grid architecture development 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komerath, Narayanan; Dessanti, Brendan; Shah, Shaan

    This is an update of the Space Power Grid architecture for space-based solar power with an improved design of the collector/converter link, the primary heater and the radiator of the active thermal control system. The Space Power Grid offers an evolutionary approach towards TeraWatt-level Space-based solar power. The use of millimeter wave frequencies (around 220GHz) and Low-Mid Earth Orbits shrinks the size of the space and ground infrastructure to manageable levels. In prior work we showed that using Brayton cycle conversion of solar power allows large economies of scale compared to the linear mass-power relationship of photovoltaic conversion. With high-temperature materials permitting 3600 K temperature in the primary heater, over 80 percent cycle efficiency was shown with a closed helium cycle for the 1GW converter satellite which formed the core element of the architecture. Work done since the last IEEE conference has shown that the use of waveguides incorporated into lighter-than-air antenna platforms, can overcome the difficulties in transmitting millimeter wave power through the moist, dense lower atmosphere. A graphene-based radiator design conservatively meets the mass budget for the waste heat rejection system needed for the compressor inlet temperature. Placing the ultralight Mirasol collectors in lower orbits overcomes the solar beam spot size problem of high-orbit collection. The architecture begins by establishing a power exchange with terrestrial renewable energy plants, creating an early revenue generation approach with low investment. The approach allows for technology development and demonstration of high power millimeter wave technology. A multinational experiment using the International Space Station and another power exchange satellite is proposed to gather required data and experience, thus reducing the technical and policy risks. The full-scale architecture deploys pairs of Mirasol sunlight collectors and Girasol 1 GW converter satellites t

  12. Space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, Cosmo R.

    1987-01-01

    The major requirements and guidelines that affect the space station configuration and power system are explained. The evolution of the space station power system from the NASA program development-feasibility phase through the current preliminary design phase is described. Several early station concepts are described and linked to the present concept. Trade study selections of photovoltaic system technologies are described in detail. A summary of present solar dynamic and power management and distribution systems is also given.

  13. Advanced solar receivers for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, H. J.; Coombs, M. G.; Lacy, D. E.

    1988-01-01

    A study has been conducted to generate and evaluate advanced solar heat receiver concepts suitable for orbital application with Brayton and Stirling engine cycles in the 7-kW size range. The generated receiver designs have thermal storage capability and, when implemented, will be lighter, smaller, and/or more efficient than baseline systems such as the configuration used for the Brayton solar receiver under development by Garrett AiResearch for the NASA Space Station. In addition to the baseline designs, four other receiver concepts were designed and evaluated with respect to Brayton and Stirling engines. These concepts include a higher temperature version of the baseline receiver, a packed bed receiver, a plate-fin receiver, and a heat pipe receiver. The thermal storage for all designs is provided by the melting and freezing of a salt.

  14. Space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forestieri, A. F.; Baraona, C. R.

    1984-01-01

    It is pointed out that space station planning at NASA began when NASA was created in 1958. However, the initiation of the program for a lunar landing delayed the implementation of plans for a space station. The utility of a space station was finally demonstrated with Skylab, which was launched in 1972. In May 1982, the Space Station Task Force was established to provide focus and direction for space station planning activities. The present paper provides a description of the planning activities, giving particular attention to the power system. The initial space station will be required to supply 75 kW of continuous electrical power, 60 kW for the customer and 15 kW for space station needs. Possible alternative energy sources for the space station include solar planar or concentrator arrays of either silicon or gallium arsenide.

  15. Solar dynamic power for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labus, Thomas L.; Secunde, Richard R.; Lovely, Ronald G.

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station Freedom Program is presently planned to consist of two phases. At the completion of Phase 1, Freedom's manned base will consist of a transverse boom with attached manned modules and 75 kW of available electric power supplied by photovoltaic (PV) power sources. In Phase 2, electric power available to the manned base will be increased to 125 kW by the addition of two solar dynamic (SD) power modules, one at each end of the transverse boom. Power for manned base growth beyond Phase 2 will be supplied by additional SD modules. Studies show that SD power for the growth eras will result in life cycle cost savings of $3 to $4 billion when compared to PV-supplied power. In the SD power modules for Space Station Freedom, an offset parabolic concentrator collects and focuses solar energy into a heat receiver. To allow full power operation over the entire orbit, the receiver includes integral thermal energy storage by means of the heat of fusion of a salt mixture. Thermal energy is removed from the receiver and converted to electrical energy by a power conversion unit (PCU) which includes a closed brayton cycle (CBC) heat engine and an alternator. The receiver/PCU/radiator combination will be completely assembled and charged with gas and cooling fluid on earth before launch to orbit. The concentrator subassemblies will be pre-aligned and stowed in the orbiter bay before launch. On orbit, the receiver/PCU/radiator assembly will be installed as a unit. The pre-aligned concentrator panels will then be latched together and the total concentrator attached to the receiver/PCU/radiator by the astronauts. After final electric connections are made and checkout is complete, the SD power module will be ready for operation.

  16. Solar dynamic power for space station freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labus, Thomas L.; Secunde, Richard R.; Lovely, Ronald G.

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station Freedom Program is presently planned to consist of two phases. At the completion of Phase 1, Freedom's manned base will consist of a transverse boom with attached manned modules and 75 kW of available electric power supplied by photovoltaic (PV) power sources. In Phase 2, electric power available to the manned base will be increased to 125 kW by the addition of two solar dynamic (SD) power modules, one at each end of the transverse boom. Power for manned base growth beyond Phase 2 will be supplied by additional SD modules. Studies show that SD power for the growth eras will result in life cycle cost savings of $3 to $4 billion when compared to PV-supplied power. In the SD power modules for Space Station Freedom, an offset parabolic concentrator collects and focuses solar energy into a heat receiver. To allow full power operation over the entire orbit, the receiver includes integral thermal energy storage by means of the heat of fusion of a salt mixture. Thermal energy is removed from the receiver and converted to electrical energy by a power conversion unit (PCU) which includes a closed brayton cycle (CBC) heat engine and an alternator. The receiver/PCU/radiator combination will be completely assembled and charged with gas and cooling fluid on Earth before launch to orbit. The concentrator subassemblies will be pre-aligned and stowed in the orbiter bay before launch. On orbit, the receiver/PCU/radiator assembly will be installed as a unit. The pre-aligned concentrator panels will then be latched together and the total concentrator attached to the receiver/PCU/radiator by the astronauts. After final electric connections are made and checkout is complete, the SD power module will be ready for operation.

  17. International Space Station Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Propp, Timothy William

    2001-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives a general overview of the International Space Station Power Systems. The topics include: 1) The Basics of Power; 2) Space Power Systems Design Constraints; 3) Solar Photovoltaic Power Systems; 4) Energy Storage for Space Power Systems; 5) Challenges of Operating Power Systems in Earth Orbit; 6) and International Space Station Electrical Power System.

  18. Space Power System Modeling with EBAL

    SciTech Connect

    Zillmer, Andrew; Hanks, David; Wen-Hsiung 'Tony' Tu

    2006-07-01

    Pratt and Whitney Rocket dyne's Engine Balance (EBAL) thermal/fluid system code has been expanded to model nuclear power closed Brayton cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. EBAL was originally developed to perform design analysis of hypersonic vehicle propellant and thermal management systems analysis. Later, it was adapted to rocket engine cycles. The new version of EBAL includes detailed, physics-based models of all key CBC system components. Some component examples are turbo-alternators, heat exchangers, heat pipe radiators, and liquid metal pumps. A liquid metal cooled reactor is included and a gas cooled reactor model is in work. Both thermodynamic and structural analyses are performed for each component. EBAL performs steady-state design analysis with optimization as well as off-design performance analysis. Design optimization is performed both at the component level by the component models and on the system level with a global optimizer. The user has the option to manually drive the optimization process or run parametric analysis to better understand system trade-off. Although recent EBAL developments have focused on a CBC conversion system, the code is easily extendible to other power conversion cycles. This new, more powerful version of EBAL allows for rapid design analysis and optimization of space power systems. A notional example of EBAL's capabilities is included. (authors)

  19. Space station systems analysis study. Part 3: Documentation. Volume 7: SCB alternate EPS evaluation, task 10

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Power levels up to 100 kWe average were baselined for the electrical power system of the space construction base, a long-duration manned facility capable of supporting manufacturing and large scale construction projects in space. Alternatives to the solar array battery systems discussed include: (1) solar concentrator/brayton; (2) solar concentrator/thermionic; (3) isotope/brayton; (4) nuclear/brayton; (5) nuclear thermoelectric; and (6) nuclear thermionic.

  20. Space solar power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toliver, C.

    1977-01-01

    Studies were done on the feasibility of placing a solar power station called POwersat, in space. A general description of the engineering features are given as well as a brief discussion of the economic considerations.

  1. Distributed Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fork, Richard L.

    2001-01-01

    The objective was to assess the feasibility of safely collecting solar power at geostationary orbit and delivering it to earth. A strategy which could harness a small fraction of the millions of gigawatts of sunlight passing near earth could adequately supply the power needs of earth and those of space exploration far into the future. Light collected and enhanced both spatially and temporally in space and beamed to earth provides probably the only practical means of safe and efficient delivery of this space solar power to earth. In particular, we analyzed the feasibility of delivering power to sites on earth at a comparable intensity, after conversion to a usable form, to existing power needs. Two major obstacles in the delivery of space solar power to earth are safety and the development of a source suitable for space. We focused our approach on: (1) identifying system requirements and designing a strategy satisfying current eye and skin safety requirements; and (2) identifying a concept for a potential space-based source for producing the enhanced light.

  2. Space power demonstration stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freitag, R. F.

    1976-01-01

    NASA major planning decisions from 1955 to date are summarized and new concepts connected with the advent of the Space Transportation Systems (STS) are set forth. The future Shuttle utilizations are considered, from 'manned booster' function for space transportation to such operations as deployment of modules and stations and assembly of large structures in space. The permanent occupancy of space will be a major goal of the space systems development in the 1980's with the following main phases: (1) achievement of easy access to earth orbit by means of the Shuttle and Spacelab; (2) achievement of permanent occupancy (Space Stations); (3) self-sufficiency of man in space. New techniques of space operation will become possible, using much larger, complicated satellites and simplified ground stations. Orbital assembly of large stations, using a permanent base in orbit, will enable practical utilization of space systems for everyday needs. Particular attention is given to the space solar power concept, involving the location in space of large satellite systems. Results of the studies on Manned Orbital Systems Concept (MOSC) and some future possibilities of Space Stations are analyzed.

  3. NASA 30,000 hour test demonstration of closed Brayton cycle reliability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccormick, J. E.; Dunn, J. H.

    1977-01-01

    Four Brayton rotating units (BRU) developed by an American company were tested in connection with studies concerning the feasibility to use closed Brayton power conversion systems for space applications. The rotating assembly operates at a speed of 36,000 rpm and consists of a radial outflow compressor, a four-pole Rice alternator/motor, and a radial inflow turbine. The cycle working fluid consists of a mixture of helium and xenon. After 20,000 hours of operation, there was no apparent wear on failure mode to prevent attainment of the 5-year BRU design life objective.

  4. Nuclear Power in Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Nuclear Energy Office.

    Research has shown that nuclear radioisotope power generators can supply compact, reliable, and efficient sources of energy for a broad range of space missions. These missions range from televising views of planetary surfaces to communicating scientific data to Earth. This publication presents many applications of the advancing technology and…

  5. Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2012-01-01

    Fission power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system.

  6. Space Power Engineering Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senkevich, V. P.

    2002-01-01

    Development of space power engineering in the first half of XXI century shall be aimed at preventing the forthcoming energy crisis and ecological catastrophes. The problem can be solved through using solar energy being perpetual, endless, and ecologically safe. As of now, issues on the development and employment of solar power stations and its beaming to the ground stations in the SHF band are put on the agenda. The most pressing problem is to develop orbital solar reflectors to illuminate towns in the polar regions, agricultural regions, and areas of processing sea products. Space-based technologies can be used to deal with typhoons, green house effects, and "ozone holes". Recently, large, frameless film structures formed by centrifugal forces offer the promise of structures for orbital power plants, reflectors, and solar sails. A big success is achieved in the development of power generating solar array elements of amorphous silicon. These innovations would make the development of orbital solar power plants dozens of times cheaper. Such solar arrays shall be used in the nearest future on heavy communication satellites and the Earth remote sensing platforms for generation of 140-160 kW at a specific power beyond 300 W/kg. The cargo traffic needed to develop and maintain the orbital power plants and reflector systems could be equipped with solar sails as the future low thrust propulsion. In 2000, the mankind witnessed an unexpected beginning of energy crisis along with strong hydro- meteorological events (typhoons, floods) that shocked the USA, the Western Europe, England, Japan, and other countries. The total damage is estimated as 90 billions of dollars. The mankind is approaching a boundary beyond which its further existence would depend on how people would learn to control weather and use ecologically safe power sources. Space technology base on the research potential accumulated in the previous century could serve for the solution of this problem.

  7. Radiator selection for Space Station Solar Dynamic Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, Mike; Hoehn, Frank

    A study was conducted to define the best radiator for heat rejection of the Space Station Solar Dynamic Power System. Included in the study were radiators for both the Organic Rankine Cycle and Closed Brayton Cycle heat engines. A number of potential approaches were considered for the Organic Rankine Cycle and a constructable radiator was chosen. Detailed optimizations of this concept were conducted resulting in a baseline for inclusion into the ORC Preliminary Design. A number of approaches were also considered for the CBC radiator. For this application a deployed pumped liquid radiator was selected which was also refined resulting in a baseline for the CBC preliminary design. This paper reports the results and methodology of these studies and describes the preliminary designs of the Space Station Solar Dynamic Power System radiators for both of the candidate heat engine cycles.

  8. Laser-powered MHD generators for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jalufka, N. W.

    1986-01-01

    Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) energy conversion systems of the pulsed laser-supported detonation (LSD) wave, plasma MHD, and liquid-metal MHD (LMMHD) types are assessed for their potential as space-based laser-to-electrical power converters. These systems offer several advantages as energy converters relative to the present chemical, nuclear, and solar devices, including high conversion efficiency, simple design, high-temperature operation, high power density, and high reliability. Of these systems, the Brayton cycle liquid-metal MHD system appears to be the most attractive. The LMMHD technology base is well established for terrestrial applications, particularly with regard to the generator, mixer, and other system components. However, further research is required to extend this technology base to space applications and to establish the technology required to couple the laser energy into the system most efficiently. Continued research on each of the three system types is recommended.

  9. Liquid Metal Cooled Reactor for Space Power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitzberg, Abraham

    2003-01-01

    The conceptual design is for a liquid metal (LM) cooled nuclear reactor that would provide heat to a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) power conversion subsystem to provide electricity for electric propulsion thrusters and spacecraft power. The baseline power level is 100 kWe to the user. For long term power generation, UN pin fuel with Nb1Zr alloy cladding was selected. As part of the SP-100 Program this fuel demonstrated lifetime with greater than six atom percent burnup, at temperatures in the range of 1400-1500 K. The CBC subsystem was selected because of the performance and lifetime database from commercial and aircraft applications and from prior NASA and DOE space programs. The high efficiency of the CBC also allows the reactor to operate at relatively low power levels over its 15-year life, minimizing the long-term power density and temperature of the fuel. The scope of this paper is limited to only the nuclear components that provide heated helium-xenon gas to the CBC subsystem. The principal challenge for the LM reactor concept was to design the reactor core, shield and primary heat transport subsystems to meet mission requirements in a low mass configuration. The LM concept design approach was to assemble components from prior programs and, with minimum change, determine if the system met the objective of the study. All of the components are based on technologies having substantial data bases. Nuclear, thermalhydraulic, stress, and shielding analyses were performed using available computer codes. Neutronics issues included maintaining adequate operating and shutdown reactivities, even under accident conditions. Thermalhydraulic and stress analyses calculated fuel and material temperatures, coolant flows and temperatures, and thermal stresses in the fuel pins, components and structures. Using conservative design assumptions and practices, consistent with the detailed design work performed during the SP-100 Program, the mass of the reactor, shield, primary heat

  10. SEI needs for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, H. W.; Cataldo, R. L.

    1991-01-01

    The use of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) for transportation to the moon and Mars is examined, and the use on Mars and moon bases of thermal conversion subsystems based on either a Brayton or a Stirling cycle is examined. It is shown that both cycles are attractive alternatives for those applications where continuous field operation is desired. Nuclear power systems have a clear advantage with regard to the moon and a lesser one with regard to Mars.

  11. Space power technology into the 21st Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faymon, K. A.; Fordyce, J. S.

    1983-01-01

    The space power systems of the early 21st century are discussed. The capabilities which are anticipated to evolve from today's state of the art and the technology development programs presently in place or planned for the remainder of the century are emphasized. The power system technologies considered include: solar thermal, nuclear, radioisotope, photovoltaic, thermionic, thermoelectric, and dynamic conversion systems such as the Brayton and Stirling cycles. Energy storage technologies considered include: nickel hydrogen biopolar batteries, advanced high energy rechargeable batteries, regenerative fuel cells, and advanced primary batteries. The present state of the art of these space power and energy technologies is discussed along with their projections, trends and goals. A speculative future mission model is postulated which includes manned orbiting space stations, manned lunar bases, unmanned Earth orbital and interplanetary spacecraft, manned interplanetary missions, military applications, and Earth to space and space to space transportation systems. The various space power/energy system technologies which are anticipated to be operational by the early 21st century are matched to these missions.

  12. Space power technology into the 21st century

    SciTech Connect

    Faymon, K.A.; Fordyce, J.S.

    1984-01-01

    This paper discusses the space power systems of the early 21st century. The focus is on those capabilities which are anticipated to evolve from today's state-of-the-art and the technology development programs presently in place or planned for the remainder of the century. The power system technologies considered include solar thermal, nuclear, radioisotope, photovoltaic, thermionic, thermoelectric, and dynamic conversion systems such as the Brayton and Stirling cycles. Energy storage technologies considered include nickel hydrogen biopolar batteries, advanced high energy rechargeable batteries, regenerative fuel cells, and advanced primary batteries. The present state-of-the-art of these space power and energy technologies is discussed along with their projections, trends and goals. A speculative future mission model is postulated which includes manned orbiting space stations, manned lunar bases, unmanned earth orbital and interplanetary spacecraft, manned interplanetary missions, military applications, and earth to space and space to space transportation systems. The various space power/energy system technologies anticipated to be operational by the early 21st century are matched to these missions.

  13. Thermal energy storage for a space solar dynamic power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faget, N. M.; Fraser, W. M., Jr.; Simon, W. E.

    1985-01-01

    In the past, NASA has employed solar photovoltaic devices for long-duration missions. Thus, the Skylab system has operated with a silicon photovoltaic array and a nickel-cadmium electrochemical system energy storage system. Difficulties regarding the employment of such a system for the larger power requirements of the Space Station are related to a low orbit system efficiency and the large weight of the battery. For this reason the employment of a solar dynamic power system (SDPS) has been considered. The primary components of an SDPS include a concentrating mirror, a heat receiver, a thermal energy storage (TES) system, a thermodynamic heat engine, an alternator, and a heat rejection system. The heat-engine types under consideration are a Brayton cycle engine, an organic Rankine cycle engine, and a free-piston/linear-alternator Stirling cycle engine. Attention is given to a system description, TES integration concepts, and a TES technology assessment.

  14. Preliminary performance of a 4.97-inch radial turbine operating in a Brayton power system with a helium-xenon gas mixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leroy, M. J., Jr.; Ream, L. W.; Curreri, J. S.

    1971-01-01

    The performance characteristics of the Brayton-rotating-unit's 4.97-inch radial turbine were investigated with the turbine part of a power conversion system. The following system parameters were varied: turbine inlet temperature from 1200 to 1600 F, compressor inlet temperature from 60 to 120 F, compressor outlet pressure from 20 to 45 psia, and shaft speed from 90-110 percent of rated speed (36000 rpm). The working fluid of the system was a gas mixture of helium-xenon with a nominal molecular weight of 83.8. Test results indicate that changes in system conditions have little effect on the turbine efficiency. At the design turbine inlet temperature of 1600 F and compressor inlet temperature of 80 F, an average turbine efficiency of 91 percent was obtained.

  15. Gas Foil Bearing Technology Advancements for Closed Brayton Cycle Turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Samuel A.; Bruckner, Robert J.; DellaCorte, Christopher; Radil, Kevin C.

    2007-01-01

    Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) turbine systems are under consideration for future space electric power generation. CBC turbines convert thermal energy from a nuclear reactor, or other heat source, to electrical power using a closed-loop cycle. The operating fluid in the closed-loop is commonly a high pressure inert gas mixture that cannot tolerate contamination. One source of potential contamination in a system such as this is the lubricant used in the turbomachine bearings. Gas Foil Bearings (GFB) represent a bearing technology that eliminates the possibility of contamination by using the working fluid as the lubricant. Thus, foil bearings are well suited to application in space power CBC turbine systems. NASA Glenn Research Center is actively researching GFB technology for use in these CBC power turbines. A power loss model has been developed, and the effects of a very high ambient pressure, start-up torque, and misalignment, have been observed and are reported here.

  16. The OAST space power program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

    The NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) space power program was established to provide the technology base to meet power system requirements for future space missions, including the Space Station, earth orbiting spacecraft, lunar and planetary bases, and solar system exploration. The program spans photovoltaic energy conversion, chemical energy conversion, thermal energy conversion, power management, thermal management, and focused initiatives on high-capacity power, surface power, and space nuclear power. The OAST space power program covers a broad range of important technologies that will enable or enhance future U.S. space missions. The program is well under way and is providing the kind of experimental and analytical information needed for spacecraft designers to make intelligent decisions about future power system options.

  17. Space Station power system options

    SciTech Connect

    Baraona, C.R.; Forestieri, A.F.

    1984-08-01

    This paper outlines the strategies, reasoning, and planning guidelines used in the development of the United States Space Station Program. The power required to support Space Station missions and housekeeping loads is a key driver in overall Space Station design. Conversely, Space Station requirements drive the power technology. Various power system technology options are discussed. The mission analysis studies resulting in the required Space Station capabilities are also discussed. An example of Space Station functions and a concept to provide them is presented. The weight, area, payload and altitude requirements on drag and mass requirements are described in this paper with a summary and status of key power systems technology requirements and issues.

  18. Gas-cooled reactor power systems for space

    SciTech Connect

    Walter, C.E.

    1987-01-01

    Efficiency and mass characteristics for four gas-cooled reactor power system configurations in the 2- to 20-MWe power range are modeled. The configurations use direct and indirect Brayton cycles with and without regeneration in the power conversion loop. The prismatic ceramic core of the reactor consists of several thousand pencil-shaped tubes made from a homogeneous mixture of moderator and fuel. The heat rejection system is found to be the major contributor to system mass, particularly at high power levels. A direct, regenerated Brayton cycle with helium working fluid permits high efficiency and low specific mass for a 10-MWe system.

  19. Experimental Validation of a Closed Brayton Cycle System Transient Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Hervol, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The Brayton Power Conversion Unit (BPCU) located at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, Ohio was used to validate the results of a computational code known as Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS). Conversion system thermal transient behavior was the focus of this validation. The BPCU was operated at various steady state points and then subjected to transient changes involving shaft rotational speed and thermal energy input. These conditions were then duplicated in CCSS. Validation of the CCSS BPCU model provides confidence in developing future Brayton power system performance predictions, and helps to guide high power Brayton technology development.

  20. Experimental Validation of a Closed Brayton Cycle System Transient Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Hervol, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The Brayton Power Conversion Unit (BPCU) located at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in Cleveland, OH was used to validate the results of a computational code known as Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS). Conversion system thermal transient behavior was the focus of this validation. The BPCU was operated at various steady state points and then subjected to transient changes involving shaft rotational speed and thermal energy input. These conditions were then duplicated in CCSS. Validation of the CCSS BPCU model provides confidence in developing future Brayton power system performance predictions, and helps to guide high power Brayton technology development.

  1. Design Development Analyses in Support of a Heatpipe-Brayton Cycle Heat Exchanger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steeve, Brian E.; Kapernick, Richard J.

    2004-01-01

    One of the power systems under consideration for nuclear electric propulsion or as a planetary surface power source is a heatpipe-cooled reactor coupled to a Brayton cycle. In this system, power is transferred from the heatpipes to the Brayton gas via a heat exchanger attached to the heatpipes. This paper discusses the fluid, thermal and structural analyses that were performed in support of the design of the heat exchanger to be tested in the SAFE-100 experimental program at the Marshall Space Flight Center: An important consideration throughout the design development of the heat exchanger w its capability to be utilized for higher power and temperature applications. This paper also discusses this aspect of the design and presents designs for specific applications that are under consideration.

  2. Electric power for space satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mackenzie, C. M.

    1974-01-01

    The development of electric power systems for satellites is discussed as an evolutionary process requiring the integration of power generation, power storage, and power control and distribution. The growth of space electric power systems is traced. The capabilities and limitations of the various elements (i.e. silicon solar cells) are discussed together with their impact on future technological growth.

  3. Free-Space Power Transmission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center organized a workshop on technology availability for free-space power transmission (beam power). This document contains a collection of viewgraph presentations that describes the effort by academia, industry, and the national laboratories in the area of high-frequency, high-power technology applicable to free-space power transmission systems. The areas covered were rectenna technology, high-frequency, high-power generation (gyrotrons, solar pumped lasers, and free electron lasers), and antenna technology.

  4. Manned space flight nuclear system safety. Volume 1: Executive summary. Part 2: Space shuttle nuclear system safety

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    The nuclear safety integration and operational aspects of transporting nuclear payloads to and from an earth orbiting space base by space shuttle are discussed. The representative payloads considered were: (1) zirconium hydride-Brayton power module, (2) isotope-Brayton power module, and (3) small isotope power systems or heat sources. Areas of investigation also include nuclear safety related integration and packaging as well as operational requirements for the shuttle and payload systems for all phases of the mission.

  5. Preliminary design of reactor power systems for the manned space base.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckhann, G. G.; Coggi, J. V.; Diamond, S. D.

    1972-01-01

    The results of design integration studies of uranium-zirconium hydride (UZr-Hx) reactor power systems for the NASA space base study program are presented. The power conversion systems investigated include the Brayton cycle, the organic Rankine cycle, the SNAP-8 mercury Rankine cycle, and thermoelectric (PbTe). The proposed space base has a 10-year life and requires 100 kWe of power. Two 50-kWe power systems with a nominal replacement life of 5 years are utilized. Parametric design data such as life, weight, radiator area, reactor outlet-temperature, reactor thermal power, and power conversion system efficiency are presented and used for the design and integration of the system with the space base.

  6. Closed Brayton Cycle power system with a high temperature pellet bed reactor heat source for NEP applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Harper, William B., Jr.

    1992-01-01

    Capitalizing on past and future development of high temperature gas reactor (HTGR) technology, a low mass 15 MWe closed gas turbine cycle power system using a pellet bed reactor heating helium working fluid is proposed for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) applications. Although the design of this directly coupled system architecture, comprising the reactor/power system/space radiator subsystems, is presented in conceptual form, sufficient detail is included to permit an assessment of overall system performance and mass. Furthermore, an attempt is made to show how tailoring of the main subsystem design characteristics can be utilized to achieve synergistic system level advantages that can lead to improved reliability and enhanced system life while reducing the number of parasitic load driven peripheral subsystems.

  7. Nuclear applications in manned space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brooksbank, W. A., Jr.; Sieren, G. J.

    1972-01-01

    The zirconium hydride reactor, coupled to a thermo-electric or Brayton conversion system, and the Pu 238 isotope/Brayton system, are considered to be the viable nuclear candidates for the modular space station electrical power system. The basic integration aspects of these nuclear electrical power systems are reviewed, including unique requirements imposed by the buildup and incremental utilization considerations of the modular station. Also treated are the various programmatic aspects of nuclear power system design and selection.

  8. Developments in reverse Brayton cycle cryocooler in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Y.; Zhao, H. L.; Chen, C. Z.; Xiong, L. Y.

    2006-05-01

    As one of the primary methods of cryogenic refrigeration, reverse Brayton cycle cryocooler, which includes high-speed turbine using gas bearing and compact heat exchanger, has many advantages such as long-life, high reliability and efficiency. In this paper general aspects of reverse Brayton cycle cryocooler in China are introduced, such as its application in the space simulation program, mechanical cryocooler for lower temperature space applications. The main design parameters and operating performance of cryocoolers are presented in this paper.

  9. Conceptual design study of a 5 kilowatt solar dynamic Brayton power system using a dome Fresnel lens solar concentrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oneill, Mark J.; Mcdanal, A. J.; Spears, Don H.

    1989-01-01

    The primary project objective was to generate a conceptual design for a nominal 5 kW solar dynamic space power system, which uses a unique, patented, transmittance-optimized, dome-shaped, point-focus Fresnel lens as the optical concentrator. Compared to reflective concentrators, the dome lens allows 200 times larger slope errors for the same image displacement. Additionally, the dome lens allows the energy receiver, the power conversion unit (PCU), and the heat rejection radiator to be independently optimized in configuration and orientation, since none of these elements causes any aperture blockage. Based on optical and thermal trade studies, a 6.6 m diameter lens with a focal length of 7.2 m was selected. This lens should provide 87 percent net optical efficienty at 800X geometric concentration ratio. The large lens is comprised of 24 gores, which compactly stow together during launch, and automatically deploy on orbit. The total mass of the microglass lens panels, the graphite/epoxy support structure, and miscellaneous hardware is about 1.2 kg per square meter of aperture. The key problem for the dome lens approach relates to the selection of a space-durable lens material. For the first time, all-glass Fresnel lens samples were successfully made by a sol-gel casting process.

  10. A hybrid Brayton engine concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Six, L. D.; Elkins, R.

    1980-01-01

    A first generation open cycle Brayton engine concept for use in full scale solar module testing was defined. The concept extended to include solar/fossil hybrid capability. The combustion system defined for hybrid operation consists of a wide range combustor liner, a single airblast atomizer, an ignitor and a high-voltage ignition unit. Wide range combustor operation would be achieved through combining pilot and primary zones. The hybrid control mode and the solar only control mode are both based on the concept of maintaining constant turbine inlet temperature and varying the engine speed for part-power operation. In addition, the hybrid control concept will allow the operator to set a minimum thermal power input to the engine by setting a corresponding minimum engine speed. When the solar thermal power input falls below this minimum, fossil fuel would be utilized to augment the solar thermal power input.

  11. Space reactor/Stirling cycle systems for high power Lunar applications

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, P.D.; Mason, L.S.

    1994-09-01

    NASA`s Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) has proposed the use of high power nuclear power systems on the lunar surface as a necessary alternative to solar power. Because of the long lunar night ({approximately} 14 earth days) solar powered systems with the requisite energy storage in the form of regenerative fuel cells or batteries becomes prohibitively heavy at high power levels ({approximately} 100 kWe). At these high power levels nuclear power systems become an enabling technology for variety of missions. One way of producing power on the lunar surface is with an SP-100 class reactor coupled with Stirling power converters. In this study, analysis and characterization of the SP-100 class reactor coupled with Free Piston Stirling Power Conversion (FPSPC) system will be performed. Comparison of results with previous studies of other systems, particularly Brayton and Thermionic, are made.

  12. Design and performance of a no-single-failure control system for the mini-Brayton power conversion system. [for spacecraft power supplies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brichenough, A. G.

    1975-01-01

    The control system consists of the ac-dc conversion, voltage regulation, speed regulation through parasitic load control, and overload control. A no-single-failure configuration was developed to attain the required reliability for a 10-year design life of unattended operation. The design principles, complete schematics, and performance are reported. Testing was performed on an alternator simulator pending construction of the actual Mini-Brayton alternator.

  13. 1987 overview of free-piston Stirling technology for space power application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.; Alger, Donald L.

    1987-01-01

    The Lewis Research Center program concerned with the development of a free-piston Stirling engine for space-power applications is examined. The system mass of a Stirling system is compared to that of a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power; the advantages of the Stirling system are discussed. The predicted and experimental performances of the 25 kWe opposed-piston space power demonstrator engine are evaluated. It is determined that in order to enhance performance the regenerator needs to be modified, and the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston needs to be isolated in order to increase the operating stroke. Identification and correction of the energy losses, the design and operation of the linear alternator, and heat exchange concepts are considered. The design parameters and conceptual design characteristics for a 25 kWe single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter are described.

  14. Power beaming providing a space power infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamberger, J. A.; Coomes, E. P.

    This study, based on two levels of technology, applies the power beaming concept to four planned satellite constellations. The analysis shows that with currently available technology, power beaming can provide mass savings to constellations in orbits ranging from low earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit. Two constellations, space surveillance and tracking system and space based radar, can be supported with current technology. The other two constellations, space-based laser array and boost surveillance and tracking system, will require power and transmission system improvements before their breakeven specific mass is achieved. A doubling of SP-100 conversion efficiency from 10 to 20 percent would meet or exceed breakeven for these constellations.

  15. Power beaming providing a space power infrastructure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamberger, J. A.; Coomes, E. P.

    1992-08-01

    This study, based on two levels of technology, applies the power beaming concept to four planned satellite constellations. The analysis shows that with currently available technology, power beaming can provide mass savings to constellations in orbits ranging from low earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit. Two constellations, space surveillance and tracking system and space based radar, can be supported with current technology. The other two constellations, space-based laser array and boost surveillance and tracking system, will require power and transmission system improvements before their breakeven specific mass is achieved. A doubling of SP-100 conversion efficiency from 10 to 20 percent would meet or exceed breakeven for these constellations.

  16. Power beaming providing a space power infrastructure

    SciTech Connect

    Bamberger, J.A.; Coomes, E.P.

    1992-08-01

    This study, based on two levels of technology, applies the power beaming concept to four planned satellite constellations. The analysis shows that with currently available technology, power beaming can provide mass savings to constellations in orbits ranging from low earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit. Two constellations, space surveillance and tracking system and space based radar, can be supported with current technology. The other two constellations, space-based laser array and boost surveillance and tracking system, will require power and transmission system improvements before their breakeven specific mass is achieved. A doubling of SP-100 conversion efficiency from 10 to 20/% would meet or exceed breakeven for these constellations.

  17. Evaluation of an Integrated Gas-Cooled Reactor Simulator and Brayton Turbine-Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hissam, David Andy; Stewart, Eric T.

    2006-01-01

    A closed-loop brayton cycle, powered by a fission reactor, offers an attractive option for generating both planetary and in-space electric power. Non-nuclear testing of this type of system provides the opportunity to safely work out integration and system control challenges for a modest investment. Recognizing this potential, a team at Marshall Space Flight Center has evaluated the viability of integrating and testing an existing gas-cooled reactor simulator and a modified commercially available, off-the-shelf, brayton turbine-generator. Since these two systems were developed independently of one another, this evaluation had to determine if they could operate together at acceptable power levels, temperatures, and pressures. Thermal, fluid, and structural analyses show that this combined system can operate at acceptable power levels and temperatures. In addition, pressure drops across the reactor simulator, although higher than desired, are also viewed as acceptable. Three potential working fluids for the system were evaluated: N2, He/Ar, and He/Xe. Other potential issues, such as electrical breakdown in the generator and the operation of the brayton foil bearings using various gas mixtures, were also investigated.

  18. The space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The requirements for electrical power by the proposed Space Station Freedom are discussed. The options currently under consideration are examined. The three power options are photovoltaic, solar dynamic, and a hybrid system. Advantages and disadvantages of each system are tabulated. Drawings and artist concepts of the Space Station configuration are provided.

  19. Optimization criteria of a Bose Brayton heat engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Hao; Wu, Guo-Xing

    2012-01-01

    An irreversible cycle model of the quantum Bose Brayton engine is established, in which finite-time processes and irreversibilities in two adiabatic processes are taken into account. Based on the model, expressions for the power output and the efficiency are derived. By using a numerical computation, the optimal relationship between the power output and the efficiency of an irreversible Bose Brayton engine is obtained. The optimal regions of the power output and the efficiency are determined. It is found that the influences of the irreversibility and the quantum degeneracy on the main performance parameters of the Bose Brayton engine are remarkable. The results obtained in the present paper can provide some new theoretical information for the optimal design and the performance improvement of a real Brayton engine.

  20. Space solar power for powering a space elevator

    SciTech Connect

    Laubscher, B. E.; Kellum, M. J.

    2004-01-01

    The Space Elevator (SE) represents a major paradigm shift in space access. If the SE's promise of low cost access can be realized, everything becomes economically more feasible to accomplish in space. In this paper we describe a Space Solar Power (SSP) system capable of powering the climbers of an SE. The initial SE will use laser power beaming from floating platforms near the SE platform. This study outlines an SSP system, based near the SE at geosynchronous altitude (GEO), which powers the climbers traversing the elevator. Such a system would reduce the SE system's dependence on fuel supply from land for its power beaming facilities. Moreover, since deploying SSP systems is anticipated to be a major use for SE's, SSP's could represent an elegant solution to the problem of SE energy consumption. SSP systems for sending usable power to Earth have been designed for well over 30 years. Technologies pertinent to SSP systems are continually evolving. This slightly different application carries the added requirements of aiming the beamed power at a moving target and sending the power in a form the climbers can use. Systems considered include beaming power to the climbers directly from a traditional SSP and reflecting sunlight onto the climbers. One of our designs includes a very new technology, optical rectennas. Mars SEs are conceived as having space-based power systems. Therefore, it is important to consider the problems that will be encountered in these types of applications.

  1. Emerging Space Nuclear Power Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, F. J.; Fornoles, E. V.

    1984-01-01

    Growing interest in new classes of military and civil space systems which demand substantial increases in power over current satellites is generating a renewed interest in space qualified nuclear power systems. Indeed, one can say that power is a limiting technology to the achievement of many future goals in space. The speed of nuclear power system development is currently limited by the lack of a clear distinct definition of system requirements. Emerging system requirements are discussed for the following fields: robust surveillance systems, survivable communication systems with anti-jam capabilities, electric propulsion systems, and weapons applications.

  2. Operational Results of a Closed Brayton Cycle Test-Loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Steven A.; Fuller, Robert; Lipinski, Ronald J.; Nichols, Kenneth; Brown, Nicholas

    2005-02-01

    A number of space and terrestrial power system designs plan to use nuclear reactors that are coupled to Closed-loop Brayton Cycle (CBC) systems to generate electrical power. Because very little experience exists regarding the operational behavior of these systems, Sandia National Laboratories (through its Laboratory Directed Research and Development program) is developing a closed-loop test bed that can be used to determine the operational behavior of these systems and to validate models for these systems. Sandia has contracted Barber-Nichols Corporation to design, fabricate, and assemble a Closed-loop Brayton Cycle (CBC) system. This system was developed by modifying commercially available hardware. It uses a 30 kWe Capstone C-30 gas-turbine unit (www.capstoneturbine.com) with a modified housing that permits the attachment of an electrical heater and a water cooled chiller that are connected to the turbo-machinery in a closed loop. The test-loop reuses the Capstone turbine, compressor, and alternator. The Capstone system's nominal operating point is 1150 K turbine inlet temperature at 96,000 rpm. The annular recuperator and portions of the Capstone control system (inverter) and starter system are also reused. The rotational speed of the turbo-machinery is controlled either by adjusting the alternator load by either using the electrical grid or a separate load bank. This report describes the test-loop hardware SBL-30 (Sandia Brayton Loop-30kWe). Also presented are results of early testing and modeling of the unit. The SBL-30 hardware is currently configured with a heater that is limited to 80 kWth with a maximum outlet temperature of ˜1000 K.

  3. Operational results of a Closed Brayton Cycle test-loop.

    SciTech Connect

    Fuller, Robert; Wright, Steven Alan; Nichols, Kenneth Graham.; Brown, Nicholas; Lipinski, Ronald J.

    2004-11-01

    A number of space and terrestrial power system designs plan to use nuclear reactors that are coupled to Closed-loop Brayton Cycle (CBC) systems to generate electrical power. Because very little experience exists regarding the operational behavior of these systems, Sandia National Laboratories (through its Laboratory Directed Research and Development program) is developing a closed-loop test bed that can be used to determine the operational behavior of these systems and to validate models for these systems. Sandia has contracted Barber-Nichols Corporation to design, fabricate, and assemble a Closed-loop Brayton Cycle (CBC) system. This system was developed by modifying commercially available hardware. It uses a 30 kWe Capstone C-30 gas-turbine unit (www.capstoneturbine.com) with a modified housing that permits the attachment of an electrical heater and a water cooled chiller that are connected to the turbo-machinery in a closed loop. The test-loop reuses the Capstone turbine, compressor, and alternator. The Capstone system's nominal operating point is 1150 K turbine inlet temperature at 96,000 rpm. The annular recuperator and portions of the Capstone control system (inverter) and starter system are also reused. The rotational speed of the turbo-machinery is controlled either by adjusting the alternator load by either using the electrical grid or a separate load bank. This report describes the test-loop hardware SBL-30 (Sandia Brayton Loop-30kWe). Also presented are results of early testing and modeling of the unit. The SBL-30 hardware is currently configured with a heater that is limited to 80 kW{sub th} with a maximum outlet temperature of {approx}1000 K.

  4. Applications of power beaming from space-based nuclear power stations. [Laser beaming to airplanes; microwave beaming to ground

    SciTech Connect

    Powell, J.R.; Botts, T.E.; Hertzberg, A.

    1981-01-01

    Power beaming from space-based reactor systems is examined using an advanced compact, lightweight Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR). Closed Brayton power conversion efficiencies in the range of 30 to 40% can be achieved with turbines, with reactor exit temperatures on the order of 2000/sup 0/K and a liquid drop radiator to reject heat at temperatures of approx. 500/sup 0/K. Higher RBR coolant temperatures (up to approx. 3000/sup 0/K) are possible, but gains in power conversion efficiency are minimal, due to lower expander efficiency (e.g., a MHD generator). Two power beaming applications are examined - laser beaming to airplanes and microwave beaming to fixed ground receivers. Use of the RBR greatly reduces system weight and cost, as compared to solar power sources. Payback times are a few years at present prices for power and airplane fuel.

  5. Solar dynamic power system development for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The development of a solar dynamic electric power generation system as part of the Space Station Freedom Program is documented. The solar dynamic power system includes a solar concentrator, which collects sunlight; a receiver, which accepts and stores the concentrated solar energy and transfers this energy to a gas; a Brayton turbine, alternator, and compressor unit, which generates electric power; and a radiator, which rejects waste heat. Solar dynamic systems have greater efficiency and lower maintenance costs than photovoltaic systems and are being considered for future growth of Space Station Freedom. Solar dynamic development managed by the NASA Lewis Research Center from 1986 to Feb. 1991 is covered. It summarizes technology and hardware development, describes 'lessons learned', and, through an extensive bibliography, serves as a source list of documents that provide details of the design and analytic results achieved. It was prepared by the staff of the Solar Dynamic Power System Branch at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. The report includes results from the prime contractor as well as from in-house efforts, university grants, and other contracts. Also included are the writers' opinions on the best way to proceed technically and programmatically with solar dynamic efforts in the future, on the basis of their experiences in this program.

  6. Space Station power system selection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rice, R. R.

    1986-01-01

    The Space Station power system selection process is described with attention given to management organization and technical considerations. A hybrid power system was chosen because of the large life cycle cost savings. The power management and distribution system that was chosen was the 400 Hz system.

  7. Space power systems technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coulman, George A.

    1994-01-01

    Reported here is a series of studies which examine several potential catalysts and electrodes for some fuel cell systems, some materials for space applications, and mathematical modeling and performance predictions for some solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers. The fuel cell systems have a potential for terrestrial applications in addition to solar energy conversion in space applications. Catalysts and electrodes for phosphoric acid fuel cell systems and for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell and electrolyzer systems were examined.

  8. European Space Power Conference

    SciTech Connect

    Flood, D.J.

    1991-01-01

    Recent, rapid advances in a variety of solar cell technologies offer the potential for significantly enhancing, or enabling entirely new, mission capabilities. Thin film solar cells are of particular interest in that regard. A review is provided of the status of those thin film cell technologies of interest for space applications, and the issues to be resolved before mission planners can consider them. A short summary is also given of recent developments in concentrator and multijunction space solar cell and array technology.

  9. Advanced Developments for Low Temperature Turbo-Brayton Cryocoolers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nellis, G. F.; McCormick, J. A.; Sixsmith, H.; Zagarola, M. V.; Swift, W. L.; Gibbon, J. A.; Reilly, J. P.; Obenschain, Arthur F. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Turbo-Brayton cryocooler technology that has been space qualified and demonstrated on the NICMOS cryocooler is being adapted for applications with lower cooling loads at lower telqoeratures. The applications include sensor cooling for space platforms and telescopes at temperatures between 4 K and 35 K, where long life and reliable, vibration-free operation are important. This paper presents recent advances in the miniaturization of components that are critical to these systems. Key issues addressed in adapting the NICMOS cryocooler technology to lower temperatures involve reducing parasitic losses when scaling to smaller size machines. Recent advances include the successful design and testing of a small, permanent magnet driven compressor that operates at up to 10,000 rev/sec and the successful demonstration of self acting gas bearings supporting a I mm. diameter shaft. The compressor is important for cryocoolers with input powers between 50 W and 100 W. The miniature shaft and bearing system has applications in compressors and turbines at temperatures from 300 K to 6 K. These two technology milestones are fundamental to achieving exceptional thermodynamic performance from the turboBrayton system in low temperature systems. The paper discusses the development of these components and test results, and presents the implications of their performance on cryocooler systems.

  10. Overview of NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine technology activities applicable to space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable candidate. Under this program the research findings of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) are presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators. Projections are made for future space-power requirements over the next few decades. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

  11. Electric power needs in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waltz, D. M.

    1981-01-01

    The power requirements for specific float zone experiments in space are presented. Power figures for the Space Shuttle and projected available power for advanced vehicles are given. The following power related trends are derived: (1) float zone processing of up to 5 cm diameter silicon and 16.0 cm diameter cadmium telluride can be conducted on a Shuttle pallet mission; (2) float zone processing of up to 8.5 cm diameter silicon for 70% total heating efficiency can be conducted on the initial MEC/space platform; (3) projected available host vehicle power for float zone sample heating; (4) induction heating is found to be the most promising heating method; (5) process control and ease of equipment integration into the host vehicle influence heating method selection.

  12. Compatibility of Space Nuclear Power Plant Materials in an Inert He/Xe Working Gas Containing Reactive Impurities

    SciTech Connect

    MM Hall

    2006-01-31

    A major materials selection and qualification issue identified in the Space Materials Plan is the potential for creating materials compatibility problems by combining dissimilar reactor core, Brayton Unit and other power conversion plant materials in a recirculating, inert He/Xe gas loop containing reactive impurity gases. Reported here are results of equilibrium thermochemical analyses that address the compatibility of space nuclear power plant (SNPP) materials in high temperature impure He gas environments. These studies provide early information regarding the constraints that exist for SNPP materials selection and provide guidance for establishing test objectives and environments for SNPP materials qualification testing.

  13. Power Relations and Staffroom Spaces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paechter, Carrie

    2004-01-01

    In this lighthearted article, the author explores how the use of staffroom space can reflect significant hierarchies of power and influence in the school. She contends that who sits where in a staffroom can reflect wider power relations within a school, so understanding this may be a clue as to other ways in which people and groups will interact.

  14. Cold startup and low temperature performance of the Brayton cycle electrical subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vrancik, J. E.; Bainbridge, R. C.

    1971-01-01

    Cold performance tests and startup tests were conducted on the Brayton-cycle inverter, motor-driven pump, dc supply, speed control with parasitic load resistor and the Brayton control system. These tests were performed with the components in a vacuum and mounted on coldplates. A temperature range of ?25 to -50 C was used for the tests. No failures occurred, and component performance gave no indication that there would be any problem with the safe operation of the Brayton power generating system.

  15. Experimental compact space power station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pospisil, M.; Pospisilova, L.; Hanzelka, Z.; Prochazka, M.

    1980-09-01

    A hexagonal structure of 1-km diameter and a weight of 500 metric tons situated at geosynchronous orbit is proposed for testing a space power station of 64 MW peak power in operation and for evaluating materials, means and methods needed for production of large stations. In this compact space power station, solar blankets and microwave sources are situated on one supporting structure, thus saving a lot of auxiliary parts, but the exploitation of solar elements is 3.3 times lower than for an earlier concept.

  16. Power systems for space exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Shipbaugh, C.; Solomon, K.A.

    1992-01-01

    The Outreach Program was designed to solicit creative ideas from academia, research institutions, private enterprises, and the general public and is intended to be helpful in defining promising technical areas and program paths for more detailed study. To the Outreach Program, a number of power system concepts were proposed. In conclusion, there are a number of advanced concepts for space power and propulsion sources that deserve study if we want to expand our ability to not only explore space, but to utilize it. Advanced nuclear concepts and power beaming concepts are two areas worthy of detailed assessments.

  17. Power systems for space exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipbaugh, Calvin; Solomon, Kenneth A.

    The Outreach Program was designed to solicit creative ideas from academia, research institutions, private enterprises, and the general public and is intended to be helpful in defining promising technical areas and program paths for more detailed study. To the Outreach Program, a number of power system concepts were proposed. In conclusion, there are a number of advanced concepts for space power and propulsion sources that deserve study if we want to expand our ability to not only explore space, but to utilize it. Advanced nuclear concepts and power beaming concepts are two areas worthy of detailed assessments.

  18. An approach to space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miley, G. H.; Nadler, J. H.; Hochberg, T.; Barnouin, O.; Gu, Y. B.

    1990-01-01

    Fusion offers the potential for a very high specific power, providing a large specific impulse that can be traded-off with thrust for mission optimization. Thus fusion is a leading candidate for missions beyond the moon. A new approach is discussed for space fusion power, namely Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC). This method offers a high power density in a relatively small, simple device. It appears capable of burning aneutronic fuels which are most desirable for space applications and is well suited for direct conversion. An experimental device to test the concept is described.

  19. Air Brayton Solar Receiver, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, D. K.

    1979-01-01

    A six month analysis and conceptual design study of an open cycle Air Brayton Solar Receiver (ABSR) for use on a tracking, parabolic solar concentrator are discussed. The ABSR, which includes a buffer storage system, is designed to provide inlet air to a power conversion unit. Parametric analyses, conceptual design, interface requirements, and production cost estimates are described. The design features were optimized to yield a zero maintenance, low cost, high efficiency concept that will provide a 30 year operational life.

  20. Brayton cycle solarized advanced gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Described is the development of a Brayton Engine/Generator Set for solar thermal to electrical power conversion, authorized under DOE/NASA Contract DEN3-181. The objective was to design, fabricate, assemble, and test a small, hybrid, 20-kW Brayton-engine-powered generator set. The latter, called a power conversion assembly (PCA), is designed to operate with solar energy obtained from a parobolic dish concentrator, 11 meters in diameter, or with fossil energy supplied by burning fuels in a combustor, or by a combination of both (hybrid model). The CPA consists of the Brayton cycle engine, a solar collector, a belt-driven 20-kW generator, and the necessary control systems for automatic operation in solar-only, fuel-only, and hybrid modes to supply electrical power to a utility grid. The original configuration of the generator set used the GTEC Model GTP36-51 gas turbine engine for the PCA prime mover. However, subsequent development of the GTEC Model AGT101 led to its selection as the powersource for the PCA. Performance characteristics of the latter, thermally coupled to a solar collector for operation in the solar mode, are presented. The PCA was successfully demonstrated in the fuel-only mode at the GTEC Phoenix, Arizona, facilities prior to its shipment to Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for installation and testing on a test bed concentractor (parabolic dish). Considerations relative to Brayton-engine development using the all-ceramic AGT101 when it becomes available, which would satisfy the DOE heat engine efficiency goal of 35 to 41 percent, are also discussed in the report.

  1. Overview of free-piston Stirling engine technology for space power application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of free-piston Stirling engine activities, directed toward space power applications. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators are discussed. Technology work was conducted on heat-exchanger concepts to minimize the number of joints as well as to enhance the heat transfer in the heater. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space power converter. Projections are made for future space power requirements over the next few decades along with a recommendation to consider the use of dynamic power conversion systems, either solar or nuclear. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits of a Stirling system over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power. A description of a study to investigate the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space power module to the 150 kWe power range is presented.

  2. The space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, C. R.

    1986-01-01

    The manned space station is the next major NASA program. It presents many challenges to the power system designers. The power system in turn is a major driver on the overall configuration. In this paper, the major requirements and guidelines that affect the station configuration and the power system are explained. The evolution of the space station power system from the NASA program development-feasibility phase through the current preliminary design phase is described. Several early station concepts, both fanciful and feasible, are described and linked to the present concept. The recently completed Phase B trade study selections of photovoltaic system technologies are described in detail. A summary of the present solar dynamic and power management and distribution systems is also given for completeness.

  3. Space Solar Power: Satellite Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Little, Frank E.

    1999-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP) applies broadly to the use of solar power for space related applications. The thrust of the NASA SSP initiative is to develop concepts and demonstrate technology for applying space solar power to NASA missions. Providing power from satellites in space via wireless transmission to a receiving station either on earth, another celestial body or a second satellite is one goal of the SSP initiative. The sandwich design is a satellite design in which the microwave transmitting array is the front face of a thin disk and the back of the disk is populated with solar cells, with the microwave electronics in between. The transmitter remains aimed at the earth in geostationary orbit while a system of mirrors directs sunlight to the photovoltaic cells, regardless of the satellite's orientation to the sun. The primary advantage of the sandwich design is it eliminates the need for a massive and complex electric power management and distribution system for the satellite. However, it requires a complex system for focusing sunlight onto the photovoltaic cells. In addition, positioning the photovoltaic array directly behind the transmitting array power conversion electronics will create a thermal management challenge. This project focused on developing designs and finding emerging technology to meet the challenges of solar tracking, a concentrating mirror system including materials and coatings, improved photovoltaic materials and thermal management.

  4. WISPER: Wirless Space Power Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, Joseph

    1993-01-01

    The 1993 Advanced Design Project at the University of Alaska Fairbanks was to design a spacecraft as a technology demonstration of wireless power transmission (WPT). With cost effectiveness as a design constraint, a micro-satellite in low earth orbit (LEO) was chosen for the mission. Existing and near term technologies were analyzed and selected for the project. In addition to the conceptual design of the payload, support systems, and structure, the analysis included attention to safety, environmental impact, cost, and schedule for construction and operation. Wireless power beaming is not a new concept. Experimental demonstrations and study efforts have continued since the early 1960's. With the latest progress in transmitter and receiver technology, the next natural step is to beam power from earth to space. This proposed flight demonstration will advance the science of power beaming and prove the viability of various applications of WPT in space. Two methods of power beaming will be examined during the two separate phases of the spacecraft life. The first phase will demonstrate the technology and examine the theory of microwave power transmission at a high frequency. Special aspects of the first phase will include a highly accurate attitude control system and a 14 m inflatable parabolic antenna. The second phase will investigate the utilization of high intensity laser power using modified photovoltaic arrays. Special instrumentation on the spacecraft will measure the conversion efficiency from the received microwave or laser power to direct current power.

  5. Air Brayton Solar Receiver, phase 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deanda, L. E.

    1981-12-01

    An air Brayton solar receiver (ABSR) is discussed. The ABSR consists of a cylindrical, insulated, offset plate fin heat exchanger which is mounted at the focal plane of a fully tracking parabolic solar collector. The receiver transfer heat from the concentrated solar radiation (which impinges on the inside walls of the heat exchanger) to the working fluid i.e., air. The hot air would then e used to drive a small Brayton cycle heat engine. The engine in turn drives a generator which produces electrical energy. Symmetrical and asymmetrical solar power input into the ABSR are analyzed. The symmetrical cases involve the baseline incident flux and the axially shifted incident fluxes. The asymmetrical cases correspond to the solar fluxes that are obtained by reduced solar input from one half of the concentrator or by receiver offset of plus or minus 1 inch from the concentrator optical axis.

  6. Air Brayton Solar Receiver, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deanda, L. E.

    1981-01-01

    An air Brayton solar receiver (ABSR) is discussed. The ABSR consists of a cylindrical, insulated, offset plate fin heat exchanger which is mounted at the focal plane of a fully tracking parabolic solar collector. The receiver transfer heat from the concentrated solar radiation (which impinges on the inside walls of the heat exchanger) to the working fluid i.e., air. The hot air would then e used to drive a small Brayton cycle heat engine. The engine in turn drives a generator which produces electrical energy. Symmetrical and asymmetrical solar power input into the ABSR are analyzed. The symmetrical cases involve the baseline incident flux and the axially shifted incident fluxes. The asymmetrical cases correspond to the solar fluxes that are obtained by reduced solar input from one half of the concentrator or by receiver offset of plus or minus 1 inch from the concentrator optical axis.

  7. Brayton-cycle heat exchanger technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Killackey, J. J.; Coombs, M. G.; Graves, R. F.; Morse, C. J.

    1976-01-01

    The following five tasks designed to advance this development of heat exchanger systems for close loop Brayton cycle power systems are presented: (1) heat transfer and pressure drop data for a finned tubular heat transfer matrix. The tubes are arranged in a triangular array with copper stainless steel laminate strips helically wound on the tubes to form a disk fin geometry; (2) the development of a modularized waste heat exchanger. Means to provide verified double containment are described; (3) the design, fabrication, and test of compact plate fin heat exchangers representative of full scale Brayton cycle recuperators; (4) the analysis and design of bellows suitable for operation at 1600 F and 200 psia for 1,000 cycles and 50,000 hours creep life; and (5) screening tests used to select a low cost braze alloy with the desirable attributes of a gold base alloy. A total of 22 different alloys were investigated; the final selection was Nicrobraz 30.

  8. Nuclear reactors for space power

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.

    1985-02-01

    The growth in power demands for spacecraft, especially outer planet missions, is driving the development of space nuclear power systems. Nuclear reactors could also be used to process lunar materials to take advantage of order of magnitude lower fuel requirements to move construction components off the moon instead of the earth. Larger, more powerful broadcast satellites which lower the GEO station space demand could use nuclear power, as could navigational systems, orbital transfer vehicles and a manned Mars mission. The SP-100 design is currently undergoing parametric evaluation before engineering studies begin. Safety concerns are concentrated on preventing fissioning until the reactor is on-orbit and keeping the active or discarded reactor out of the atmosphere until the radioactivity has decayed to levels defined by international standards.

  9. Advanced space solar dynamic receivers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, Hal J.; Coombs, Murray G.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    A study has been conducted to generate and evaluate advanced solar heat receiver concepts suitable for orbital application with Brayton and Stirling engine cycles in the 7-kW size range. The generated receiver designs have thermal storage capability (to enable power production during the substantial eclipse period which accompanies typical orbits) and are lighter and smaller than state-of-the-art systems, such as the Brayton solar receiver being designed and developed by AiResearch for the NASA Space Station. Two receiver concepts have been developed in detail: a packed bed receiver and a heat pipe receiver. The packed bed receiver is appropriate for a Brayton engine; the heat pipe receiver is applicable for either a Brayton or Stirling engine. The thermal storage for both concepts is provided by the melting and freezing of a salt. Both receiver concepts offer substantial improvements in size and weight compared to baseline receivers.

  10. Garrett solar Brayton engine/generator status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anson, B.

    1982-01-01

    The solar advanced gas turbine (SAGT-1) is being developed by the Garrett Turbine Engine Company, for use in a Brayton cycle power conversion module. The engine is derived from the advanced gas turbine (AGT101) now being developd by Garrett and Ford Motor Company for automotive use. The SAGT Program is presently funded for the design, fabrication and test of one engine at Garrett's Phoenix facility. The engine when mated with a solar receiver is called a power conversion module (PCU). The PCU is scheduled to be tested on JPL's test bed concentrator under a follow on phase of the program. Approximately 20 kw of electrical power will be generated.

  11. Garrett solar Brayton engine/generator status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anson, B.

    1982-07-01

    The solar advanced gas turbine (SAGT-1) is being developed by the Garrett Turbine Engine Company, for use in a Brayton cycle power conversion module. The engine is derived from the advanced gas turbine (AGT101) now being developd by Garrett and Ford Motor Company for automotive use. The SAGT Program is presently funded for the design, fabrication and test of one engine at Garrett's Phoenix facility. The engine when mated with a solar receiver is called a power conversion module (PCU). The PCU is scheduled to be tested on JPL's test bed concentrator under a follow on phase of the program. Approximately 20 kw of electrical power will be generated.

  12. Technology and applications of space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reck, Gregory M.; Rosen, Robert; Bennett, Gary L.; Schnyer, A. D.

    1991-01-01

    Requirements for a number of potential NASA civil space missions are addressed, and the nuclear power technology base to meet these requirements is described. Particular attention is given to applications of space nuclear power to lunar, Mars, and science missions and the technology status of space nuclear power with emphasis on dynamic isotope and space nuclear reactor power systems.

  13. Recent advances in solar dynamic power for space

    SciTech Connect

    Binz, E.F.; Grosskopf, W.J.; Hallinan, G.J.

    1986-01-01

    The development of a hybrid power system for the Space Station is discussed. The hybrid system consists of photovoltaic modules, solar dynamic modules, and power management and distribution subsystems; the design and components of the modules and subsystems are described. The capabilities of closed Brayton cycle (CBC) and organic Rankine cycle (ORC) solar receivers are examined. The behavior of phase-change materials (PCMs) for ORC and CBC is characterized. It is observed that LiOH with a melting point of 471 C is appropriate for an ORC that operates in the 399 C range, and the LiOH which has a heat fusion of 877 kJ/g can be contained with Ni and Ni-Cr alloys. A mixture of CaF2-LiF was selected for CBC which operates at 732 C; the salt mixture has a melting point of 768 C, a heat fusion of 791 kJ/kg, and can be contained with Ni-Cr and Co-base alloys. Large-scale system tests with PCMs in cylindrical canisters were conducted using a parabolic concentrator to evaluate thermodynamic performance in a LEO environment. The data reveal that the PCM can convert the sunlight of LEO to the constant energy stream necessary for dynamic engine operation.

  14. Space station power semiconductor package

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balodis, Vilnis; Berman, Albert; Devance, Darrell; Ludlow, Gerry; Wagner, Lee

    1987-01-01

    A package of high-power switching semiconductors for the space station have been designed and fabricated. The package includes a high-voltage (600 volts) high current (50 amps) NPN Fast Switching Power Transistor and a high-voltage (1200 volts), high-current (50 amps) Fast Recovery Diode. The package features an isolated collector for the transistors and an isolated anode for the diode. Beryllia is used as the isolation material resulting in a thermal resistance for both devices of .2 degrees per watt. Additional features include a hermetical seal for long life -- greater than 10 years in a space environment. Also, the package design resulted in a low electrical energy loss with the reduction of eddy currents, stray inductances, circuit inductance, and capacitance. The required package design and device parameters have been achieved. Test results for the transistor and diode utilizing the space station package is given.

  15. High temperature solar photon engines. [heat engines for terrestrial and space-based solar power plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hertzberg, A.; Decher, R.; Mattick, A. T.; Lau, C. V.

    1978-01-01

    High temperature heat engines designed to make maximum use of the thermodynamic potential of concentrated solar radiation are described. Plasmas between 2000 K and 4000 K can be achieved by volumetric absorption of radiation in alkali metal vapors, leading to thermal efficiencies up to 75% for terrestrial solar power plants and up to 50% for space power plants. Two machines capable of expanding hot plasmas using practical technology are discussed. A binary Rankine cycle uses fluid mechanical energy transfer in a device known as the 'Comprex' or 'energy exchanger.' The second machine utilizes magnetohydrodynamics in a Brayton cycle for space applications. Absorption of solar energy and plasma radiation losses are investigated for a solar superheater using potassium vapor.

  16. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1992-01-01

    The design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS), based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. The incentive for any dynamic system is that it can save fuel and reduce costs and radiological hazard. Unlike DIPS based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Stirling conversion extends the competitive range for dynamic systems down to a few hundred watts--a power level not previously considered for dynamic systems. The challenge for Stirling conversion will be to demonstrate reliability and life similar to RTG experience. Since the competitive potential of FPSE as an isotope converter was first identified, work has focused on feasibility of directly integrating GPHS with the Stirling heater head. Thermal modeling of various radiatively coupled heat source/heater head geometries has been performed using data furnished by the developers of FPSE and GPHS. The analysis indicates that, for the 1050 K heater head configurations considered, GPHS fuel clad temperatures remain within acceptable operating limits. Based on these results, preliminary characterizations of multihundred-watt units have been established.

  17. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1992-08-01

    The design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS), based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. The incentive for any dynamic system is that it can save fuel and reduce costs and radiological hazard. Unlike DIPS based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Stirling conversion extends the competitive range for dynamic systems down to a few hundred watts--a power level not previously considered for dynamic systems. The challenge for Stirling conversion will be to demonstrate reliability and life similar to RTG experience. Since the competitive potential of FPSE as an isotope converter was first identified, work has focused on feasibility of directly integrating GPHS with the Stirling heater head. Thermal modeling of various radiatively coupled heat source/heater head geometries has been performed using data furnished by the developers of FPSE and GPHS. The analysis indicates that, for the 1050 K heater head configurations considered, GPHS fuel clad temperatures remain within acceptable operating limits. Based on these results, preliminary characterizations of multihundred-watt units have been established.

  18. Space Power Facility Readiness for Space Station Power System Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Roger L.

    1995-01-01

    This document provides information which shows that the NASA Lewis Research Center's Space Power Facility (SPF) will be ready to execute the Space Station electric power system thermal vacuum chamber testing. The SPF is located at LeRC West (formerly the Plum Brook Station), Sandusky, Ohio. The SPF is the largest space environmental chamber in the world, having an inside horizontal diameter of 100 ft. and an inside height at the top of the hemisphere of 122 ft. The vacuum system can achieve a pressure lower than 1 x 10(exp -5) Torr. The cryoshroud, cooled by gaseous nitrogen, can reach a temperature of -250 F, and is 80 ft. long x 40 ft. wide x 22 ft. high. There is access to the chamber through two 50 ft. x 50 ft. doors. Each door opens into an assembly area about 150 ft. long x 70 ft. wide x 80 ft. high. Other available facilities are offices, shop area, data acquisition system with 930 pairs of hard lines, 7 megawatts of power to chamber, 245K gal. liquid nitrogen storage, cooling tower, natural gas, service air, and cranes up to 25 tons.

  19. Thermophotovoltaics for Space Power Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilt, David; Chubb, Donald; Wolford, David; Magari, Patrick; Crowley, Chris

    2007-02-01

    Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) energy conversion has long been considered a potential replacement for thermoelectrics in radioisotope powered deep space power systems. In this application, TPV offers significant potential improvements in both efficiency and mass specific power (W/kg), performance which is considered mission enabling for a variety of mission concepts. TPV systems powered by concentrated solar energy have also been proposed for inner planetary solar system missions. This concept takes advantage of TPV's ability to store energy for shadow periods in the form of heat energy rather than as electrical energy (batteries), as is commonly done for photovoltaic power systems. The simplicity and large number of power cycles offered by the thermal energy storage offers potential system benefits compared to a photovoltaic / battery system. Recent efforts in the development of radioisotope TPV (RTPV) at Creare have resulted in the demonstration of converter efficiencies in excess of 19%. Several independent system mass analyses have been performed for the Creare RTPV system and they predict specific powers above 10W/kg at the system level. Trades have suggested increasing the rejection temperature can result in a 50% reduction in radiator area while only suffering a 15% reduction in mass specific power.

  20. TurboBrayton Cryocooler: A Flight Worthy and Promising Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibbon, Judith A.; Swift, Walt L.; Zagarola, Mark V.; DiPirro, Mike; Whitehouse, Paul

    1999-01-01

    A new development in cryocooler technology, a reverse TurboBrayton cycle cryocooler, developed by Creare, Inc. of Hanover, NH, has now been flight tested. This cooler provides high reliability and long life. With no linear moving components common in current flight cryocoolers, the TurboBrayton cooler requires no active control systems to provide a vibration-free signature. The cooler provides first stage cooling for advanced cryogenic systems and serves as a direct replacement for stored cryogen systems with a longer lifetime. Following a successful flight on STS-95, a TurboBrayton cryocooler will be flown on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in 2000 to provide renewed refrigeration capability for the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). The TurboBrayton cycle cooler is a promising technology already being considered for additional flight programs such as Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) and Constellation X. These future missions require an advanced generation of the cooler that is currently under development to provide cooling at 10K and less. This paper presents an overview of the current generation cooler with recent flight test results and details the current plans and development progress on the next generation TurboBrayton technology for future missions.

  1. Development of an Air Brayton solar receiver

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Various receiver configurations and operating conditions were examined. The interface requirements between the receiver/concentrator/power module were addressed. Production cost estimates were obtained to determine the cost of the receiver during the 1980 timeframe. A conceptual design of an air Brayton solar receiver is presented based on the results. The following design goals were established: (1)peak thermal input power - 85 KWt; (2)receiver outlet air temperature - 1500 F; (3)receiver inlet air temperature - 1050 F; (4)design mass flow rate - 0.533 lb/sec; and (5)design receiver inlet pressure - 36.75 psia.

  2. A Gas-Cooled-Reactor Closed-Brayton-Cycle Demonstration with Nuclear Heating

    SciTech Connect

    Lipinski, Ronald J.; Wright, Steven A.; Dorsey, Daniel J.; Williamson, Joshua; Peters, Curtis D.; Brown, Nicholas; Jablonski, Jennifer

    2005-02-06

    A gas-cooled reactor may be coupled directly to turbomachinery to form a closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) system in which the CBC working fluid serves as the reactor coolant. Such a system has the potential to be a very simple and robust space-reactor power system. Gas-cooled reactors have been built and operated in the past, but very few have been coupled directly to the turbomachinery in this fashion. In this paper we describe the option for testing such a system with a small reactor and turbomachinery at Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia currently operates the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) at steady-state powers up to 4 MW and has an adjacent facility with heavy shielding in which another reactor recently operated. Sandia also has a closed-Brayton-Cycle test bed with a converted commercial turbomachinery unit that is rated for up to 30 kWe of power. It is proposed to construct a small experimental gas-cooled reactor core and attach this via ducting to the CBC turbomachinery for cooling and electricity production. Calculations suggest that such a unit could produce about 20 kWe, which would be a good power level for initial surface power units on the Moon or Mars. The intent of this experiment is to demonstrate the stable start-up and operation of such a system. Of particular interest is the effect of a negative temperature power coefficient as the initially cold Brayton gas passes through the core during startup or power changes. Sandia's dynamic model for such a system would be compared with the performance data. This paper describes the neutronics, heat transfer, and cycle dynamics of this proposed system. Safety and radiation issues are presented. The views expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect agreement by the government.

  3. A Gas-Cooled-Reactor Closed-Brayton-Cycle Demonstration with Nuclear Heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipinski, Ronald J.; Wright, Steven A.; Dorsey, Daniel J.; Peters, Curtis D.; Brown, Nicholas; Williamson, Joshua; Jablonski, Jennifer

    2005-02-01

    A gas-cooled reactor may be coupled directly to turbomachinery to form a closed-Brayton-cycle (CBC) system in which the CBC working fluid serves as the reactor coolant. Such a system has the potential to be a very simple and robust space-reactor power system. Gas-cooled reactors have been built and operated in the past, but very few have been coupled directly to the turbomachinery in this fashion. In this paper we describe the option for testing such a system with a small reactor and turbomachinery at Sandia National Laboratories. Sandia currently operates the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) at steady-state powers up to 4 MW and has an adjacent facility with heavy shielding in which another reactor recently operated. Sandia also has a closed-Brayton-Cycle test bed with a converted commercial turbomachinery unit that is rated for up to 30 kWe of power. It is proposed to construct a small experimental gas-cooled reactor core and attach this via ducting to the CBC turbomachinery for cooling and electricity production. Calculations suggest that such a unit could produce about 20 kWe, which would be a good power level for initial surface power units on the Moon or Mars. The intent of this experiment is to demonstrate the stable start-up and operation of such a system. Of particular interest is the effect of a negative temperature power coefficient as the initially cold Brayton gas passes through the core during startup or power changes. Sandia's dynamic model for such a system would be compared with the performance data. This paper describes the neutronics, heat transfer, and cycle dynamics of this proposed system. Safety and radiation issues are presented. The views expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect agreement by the government.

  4. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    NASA Lewis, through in-house efforts, has begun a study to generate a conceptual design of a sensible heat solar receiver and to determine the feasibility of such a system for space power applications. The sensible heat solar receiver generated in this study uses pure lithium as the thermal storage medium and was designed for a 7 kWe Brayton (PCS) operating at 1100 K. The receiver consists of two stages interconnected via temperature sensing variable conductance sodium heat pipes. The lithium is contained within a niobium vessel and the outer shell of the receiver is constructed of third generation rigid, fibrous ceramic insulation material. Reradiation losses are controlled with niobium and aluminum shields. By nature of design, the sensible heat receiver generated in this study is comparable in both size and mass to a latent heat system of similar thermal capacitance. The heat receiver design and thermal analysis were conducted through the combined use of PATRAN, SINDA, TRASYS, and NASTRAN software packages.

  5. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

    NASA Lewis, through in-house efforts, has begun a study to generate a conceptual design of a sensible heat solar receiver and to determine the feasibility of such a system for space power applications. The sensible heat solar receiver generated in this study uses pure lithium as the thermal storage medium and was designed for a 7 kWe Brayton (PCS) operating at 1100 K. The receiver consists of two stages interconnected via temperature sensing variable conductance sodium heat pipes. The lithium is contained within a niobium vessel and the outer shell of the receiver is constructed of third generation rigid, fibrous ceramic insulation material. Reradiation losses are controlled with niobium and aluminum shields. By nature of design, the sensible heat receiver generated in this study is comparable in both size and mass to a latent heat system of similar thermal capacitance. The heat receiver design and thermal analysis was conducted through the combined use of PATRAN, SINDA, TRASYS, and NASTRAN software packages.

  6. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-11

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power.

  7. Space power subsystem automation technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graves, J. R. (Compiler)

    1982-01-01

    The technology issues involved in power subsystem automation and the reasonable objectives to be sought in such a program were discussed. The complexities, uncertainties, and alternatives of power subsystem automation, along with the advantages from both an economic and a technological perspective were considered. Whereas most spacecraft power subsystems now use certain automated functions, the idea of complete autonomy for long periods of time is almost inconceivable. Thus, it seems prudent that the technology program for power subsystem automation be based upon a growth scenario which should provide a structured framework of deliberate steps to enable the evolution of space power subsystems from the current practice of limited autonomy to a greater use of automation with each step being justified on a cost/benefit basis. Each accomplishment should move toward the objectives of decreased requirement for ground control, increased system reliability through onboard management, and ultimately lower energy cost through longer life systems that require fewer resources to operate and maintain. This approach seems well-suited to the evolution of more sophisticated algorithms and eventually perhaps even the use of some sort of artificial intelligence. Multi-hundred kilowatt systems of the future will probably require an advanced level of autonomy if they are to be affordable and manageable.

  8. Sensible heat receiver for solar dynamic space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.; Petrefski, Chris

    1991-01-01

    A sensible heat receiver is considered which uses a vapor grown carbon fiber-carbon (VGCF/C) composite as the thermal storage medium and which was designed for a 7-kW Brayton engine. This heat receiver stores the required energy to power the system during eclipse in the VGCF/C composite. The heat receiver thermal analysis was conducted through the Systems Improved Numerical Differencing Analyzer and Fluid Integrator (SINDA) software package. The sensible heat receiver compares well with other latent and advanced sensible heat receivers analyzed in other studies, while avoiding the problems associated with latent heat storage salts and liquid metal heat pipes. The concept also satisfies the design requirements for a 7-kW Brayton engine system. The weight and size of the system can be optimized by changes in geometry and technology advances for this new material.

  9. Sensible heat receiver for solar dynamic space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez-Davis, Marla E.; Gaier, James R.; Petrefski, Chris

    1991-01-01

    A sensible heat receiver considered in this study uses a vapor grown carbon fiber-carbon (VGCF/C) composite as the thermal storage media and was designed for a 7 kW Brayton engine. The proposed heat receiver stores the required energy to power the system during eclipse in the VGCF/C composite. The heat receiver thermal analysis was conducted through the Systems Improved Numerical Differencing Analyzer and Fluid Integrator (SINDA) software package. The sensible heat receiver compares well with other latent and advanced sensible heat receivers analyzed in other studies while avoiding the problems associated with latent heat storage salts and liquid metal heat pipes. The concept also satisfies the design requirements for a 7 kW Brayton engine system. The weight and size of the system can be optimized by changes in geometry and technology advances for this new material.

  10. Thermoelectric power conversion in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awaya, Henry I.; Ewell, Richard; Nesmith, Bill; Vandersande, James

    1990-01-01

    A radiatively-heated multicouple for use in the next generation of radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) will employ 20 individual couples within a single cell, so that 40 n- and p-semiconductor legs will be interconnected in series. At the hot end of the RTG, the legs will be electrically interconnected using silicon molybdenum; on the cold side, the legs are interconnected by tungsten. The entire cell is then mechanically attached to a radiator, which conducts heat away and radiates it into space. Deep-space applications will use RTGs developed for vacuum operation; thermoelectric converter power systems using a unicouple configuration have flown on such missions as Pioneers 10 and 11, which used lead telluride thermoelectric converters, and Voyagers I and II, which used silicon germanium-based thermoelectrics.