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Sample records for 110-we stirling radioisotope

  1. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    High-efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high-specific-power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and the Department of Energy (DOE) called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered, which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provided about 50 to 450 W of direct current (DC) to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator, which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific

  2. Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    High efficiency radioisotope power generators will play an important role in future NASA space exploration missions. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRG) have been identified as a candidate generator technology capable of providing mission designers with an efficient, high specific power electrical generator. SRGs high conversion efficiency has the potential to extend the limited Pu-238 supply when compared with current Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). Due to budgetary constraints, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) was canceled in the fall of 2013. Over the past year a joint study by NASA and DOE called the Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) recommended that Stirling technologies continue to be explored. During the mission studies of the NPAS, spare SRGs were sometimes required to meet mission power system reliability requirements. This led to an additional mass penalty and increased isotope consumption levied on certain SRG-based missions. In an attempt to remove the spare power system, a new generator architecture is considered which could increase the reliability of a Stirling generator and provide a more fault-tolerant power system. This new generator called the Modular Stirling Radioisotope Generator (MSRG) employs multiple parallel Stirling convertor/controller strings, all of which share the heat from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. For this design, generators utilizing one to eight GPHS modules were analyzed, which provide about 50 to 450 watts DC to the spacecraft, respectively. Four Stirling convertors are arranged around each GPHS module resulting in from 4 to 32 Stirling/controller strings. The convertors are balanced either individually or in pairs, and are radiatively coupled to the GPHS modules. Heat is rejected through the housing/radiator which is similar in construction to the ASRG. Mass and power analysis for these systems indicate that specific power may be slightly lower than the ASRG and

  3. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Life Certification Plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rusick, Jeffrey J.; Zampino, Edward

    2013-01-01

    An Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) power supply is being developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) in partnership with NASA for potential future deep space science missions. Unlike previous radioisotope power supplies for space exploration, such as the passive MMRTG used recently on the Mars Curiosity rover, the ASRG is an active dynamic power supply with moving Stirling engine mechanical components. Due to the long life requirement of 17 years and the dynamic nature of the Stirling engine, the ASRG project faced some unique challenges trying to establish full confidence that the power supply will function reliably over the mission life. These unique challenges resulted in the development of an overall life certification plan that emphasizes long-term Stirling engine test and inspection when analysis is not practical. The ASRG life certification plan developed is described.

  4. Status of the NASA Stirling Radioisotope Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines that used linkages and rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were able to achieve long life by lightly loading the linkages; however, the live was nonetheless limited. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability based on wear-free operation. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope space power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: hardware that has demonstrated long-life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in space, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both space and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for space power, and for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status of development with regard to space power, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  5. GRC Supporting Technology for NASA's Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported a NASA project to develop a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions. Lockheed Martin was selected as the System Integration Contractor for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The potential applications included deep space missions, and Mars rovers. The project was redirected in 2006 to make use of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) that was being developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to GRC, which would reduce the mass of the generator and increase the power output. This change would approximately double the specific power and result in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The SRG110 supporting technology effort at GRC was replanned to support the integration of the Sunpower convertor and the ASRG. This paper describes the ASRG supporting technology effort at GRC and provides details of the contributions in some of the key areas. The GRC tasks include convertor extended-operation testing in air and in thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet characterization and aging tests, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization, evaluation of organic materials, reliability studies, and analysis to support controller development.

  6. Reliability Issues in Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    Stirling power conversion is a potential candidate for use in a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) for space science missions because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power and reduced requirement of radioactive material. Reliability of an RPS that utilizes Stirling power conversion technology is important in order to ascertain long term successful performance. Owing to long life time requirement (14 years), it is difficult to perform long-term tests that encompass all the uncertainties involved in the design variables of components and subsystems comprising the RPS. The requirement for uninterrupted performance reliability and related issues are discussed, and some of the critical areas of concern are identified. An overview of the current on-going efforts to understand component life, design variables at the component and system levels, and related sources and nature of uncertainties are also discussed. Current status of the 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) reliability efforts is described. Additionally, an approach showing the use of past experience on other successfully used power systems to develop a reliability plan for the SRG110 design is outlined.

  7. Supporting Development for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-02-01

    A high-efficiency, 110-We (watts electric) Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for possible use on future NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Potential mission use includes providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in SRG110 development. One-, three-, and six-month heater head structural benchmark tests have been completed in support of a heater head life assessment. Testing is underway to evaluate the key epoxy bond of the permanent magnets to the linear alternator stator lamination stack. GRC has completed over 10,000 hours of extended duration testing of the Stirling convertors for the SRG110, and a three-year test of two Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment will be starting shortly. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall generator. Sunpower, Inc. has begun the development of a lightweight Stirling convertor, under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) award, that has the potential to double the system specific power to about 8 We/kg. GRC has performed random vibration testing of a lower-power version of this convertor to evaluate robustness for surviving launch vibrations. STC has also completed the initial design of a lightweight convertor. Status of the development of a multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code and high-temperature materials work on advanced superalloys, refractory metal alloys, and ceramics are also discussed.

  8. Stirling Convertor Technologies Being Developed for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA space science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. On Mars, rovers with SRGs would be used for missions that might not be able to use photovoltaic power systems, such as exploration at high Martian latitudes and missions of long duration. The projected SRG system efficiency of 23 percent will reduce the required amount of radioisotope by a factor of 4 or more in comparison to currently used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators. The Department of Energy recently named Lockheed Martin as the system integration contractor. Lockheed Martin has begun to develop the SRG engineering unit under contract to the Department of Energy, and has contract options to develop the qualification unit and the first flight units. The developers expect the SRG to produce about 114 Wdc at the beginning of mission, using two opposed Stirling convertors and two General Purpose Heat Source modules. STC previously developed the Stirling convertor under contract to the Department of Energy and is now providing further development as a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin. Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. A key milestone was recently reached with the accumulation of 12 000 hr of long-term aging on two types of neodymium-iron boron permanent magnets. These tests are characterizing any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator. Preparations are underway for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration and unattended operation during endurance testing of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors. In addition, Glenn is developing a

  9. Thermal Model Predictions of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen J.; Fabanich, William Anthony; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    This presentation describes the capabilities of three-dimensional thermal power model of advanced stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG). The performance of the ASRG is presented for different scenario, such as Venus flyby with or without the auxiliary cooling system.

  10. Reliability of Radioisotope Stirling Convertor Linear Alternator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin; Korovaichuk, Igor; Geng, Steven M.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Onboard radioisotope power systems being developed and planned for NASA s deep-space missions would require reliable design lifetimes of up to 14 years. Critical components and materials of Stirling convertors have been undergoing extensive testing and evaluation in support of a reliable performance for the specified life span. Of significant importance to the successful development of the Stirling convertor is the design of a lightweight and highly efficient linear alternator. Alternator performance could vary due to small deviations in the permanent magnet properties, operating temperature, and component geometries. Durability prediction and reliability of the alternator may be affected by these deviations from nominal design conditions. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the effect of these uncertainties in predicting the reliability of the linear alternator performance. This paper presents a study in which a reliability-based methodology is used to assess alternator performance. The response surface characterizing the induced open-circuit voltage performance is constructed using 3-D finite element magnetic analysis. Fast probability integration method is used to determine the probability of the desired performance and its sensitivity to the alternator design parameters.

  11. Lightweight Radiators Being Developed or Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.; Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2001-01-01

    The thermodynamic heat-to-electric power conversion efficiency of Stirling systems is 3 to 5 times higher than that of thermoelectric converters. Hence for unmanned deep space probes, Stirling advanced radioisotope power systems (ARPS) could deliver up to 5 times as much power as radioisotope thermoelectric generators for the same amount of radioisotope, or they could require one-third to one-fifth as much isotope inventory for the same power output. However, Stirling power systems reject unconverted heat at much lower temperatures than radioisotope thermoelectric generators. Normally, this requires larger and heavier heat-rejection subsystems because of the greater radiator areas, which are proportional to the first power of the heat rejected and the fourth power of the absolute heat-rejection temperature, as specified by the Stefan-Boltzmann radiation heat transfer law. The development of directly coupled disk radiators using very high conductivity encapsulated thermopyrolitic graphite materials represents a significant advance in Stirling ARPS space heat-rejection subsystem technology. A conceptual Stirling ARPS with two engines coupled to a radioisotope general-purpose heat source (GPHS) is shown in the illustration.

  12. Sodium Variable Conductance Heat Pipe for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Walker, Kara

    2009-01-01

    In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling convertor provides this cooling. If the converter stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, and also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) has been designed to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor in an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). When the Stirling convertor is turned off, the VCHP will activate when the temperatures rises 30 C above the setpoint temperature. A prototype VCHP with sodium as the working fluid was fabricated and tested in both gravity aided and against gravity conditions for a nominal heater head temperature of 790 C. The results show very good agreement with the predictions and validate the model. The gas front was located at the exit of the reservoir when heater head temperature was 790 C while cooling was ON, simulating an operating Advanced Stirling Converter (ASC). When cooling stopped, the temperature increased by 30 C, allowing the gas front to move past the radiator, which transferred the heat to the case. After resuming the cooling flow, the front returned at the initial location turning OFF the VCHP. The against gravity working conditions showed a colder reservoir and faster transients.

  13. Development of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Wood, J. Gary; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology is being developed for potential future space missions. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and New Horizons) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in PuO2 fuel, thereby saving cost and reducing radiation exposure to support personnel. With the advancement of state-of-the-art Stirling technology development under the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) project, the Stirling Radioisotope Generator program has evolved to incorporate the advanced Stirling convertor (ASC), provided by Sunpower, into an engineering unit. Due to the reduced envelope and lighter mass of the ASC compared to the previous Stirling convertor, the specific power of the flight generator is projected to increase from 3.5 to 7 We/kg, along with a 25 percent reduction in generator length. Modifications are being made to the ASC design to incorporate features for thermal, mechanical, and electrical integration with the engineering unit. These include the heat collector for hot end interface, cold-side flange for waste heat removal and structural attachment, and piston position sensor for ASC control and power factor correction. A single-fault tolerant, active power factor correction controller is used to synchronize the Stirling convertors, condition the electrical power from AC to DC, and to control the ASCs to maintain operation within temperature and piston stroke limits. Development activities at Sunpower and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are also being conducted on the ASC to demonstrate the capability for long life, high reliability, and flight qualification needed for use in future missions.

  14. Supporting Development for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A high-efficiency, 110-We (watts electric) Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for possible use on future NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Potential mission use includes providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in SRG110 development. One-, three-, and six-month heater head structural benchmark tests have been completed in support of a heater head life assessment. Testing is underway to evaluate the key epoxy bond of the permanent magnets to the linear alternator stator lamination stack. GRC has completed over 10,000 hours of extended duration testing of the Stirling convertors for the SRG110, and a three-year test of two Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment will be starting shortly. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall generator. Sunpower, Inc. has begun the development of a lightweight Stirling convertor, under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) award, that has the potential to double the system specific power to about 8 We/kg. GRC has performed random vibration testing of a lower-power version of this convertor to evaluate robustness for surviving launch vibrations. STC has also completed the initial design of a lightweight convertor. Status of the development of a multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code and high-temperature materials work on advanced superalloys, refractory metal alloys, and ceramics are also discussed.

  15. High Temperature Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Walker, Kara L.; Anderson, William G.

    2009-01-01

    In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the GPHS modules, to maintain the GPHS modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling convertor provides this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, but also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) is under development to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. The status of the ongoing effort in developing this technology is presented in this paper. An earlier, preliminary design had a radiator outside the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) casing, used NaK as the working fluid, and had the reservoir located on the cold side adapter flange. The revised design has an internal radiator inside the casing, with the reservoir embedded inside the insulation. A large set of advantages are offered by this new design. In addition to reducing the overall size and mass of the VCHP, simplicity, compactness and easiness in assembling the VCHP with the ASRG are significantly enhanced. Also, the permanently elevated temperatures of the entire VCHP allows the change of the working fluid from a binary compound (NaK) to single compound (Na). The latter, by its properties, allows higher performance and further mass reduction of the system. Preliminary design and analysis shows an acceptable peak temperature of the ASRG case of 140 C while the heat losses caused by the addition of the VCHP are 1.8 W.

  16. Characterization of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Niholas A.

    2016-01-01

    Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) 140-W radioisotope power system. While the ASRG flight development project has ended, the hardware that was designed and built under the project is continuing to be tested to support future Stirling-based power system development. NASA Glenn Research Center recently completed the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2). The ASRG EU2 consists of the first pair of Sunpower's Advanced Stirling Convertor E3 (ASC-E3) Stirling convertors mounted in an aluminum housing, and Lockheed Martin's Engineering Development Unit (EDU) 4 controller (a fourth-generation controller). The ASC-E3 convertors and Generator Housing Assembly (GHA) closely match the intended ASRG Qualification Unit flight design. A series of tests were conducted to characterize the EU2, its controller, and the convertors in the flight-like GHA. The GHA contained an argon cover gas for these tests. The tests included measurement of convertor, controller, and generator performance and efficiency; quantification of control authority of the controller; disturbance force measurement with varying piston phase and piston amplitude; and measurement of the effect of spacecraft direct current (DC) bus voltage on EU2 performance. The results of these tests are discussed and summarized, providing a basic understanding of EU2 characteristics and the performance and capability of the EDU 4 controller.

  17. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase II SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors and a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations compared to an unbalanced convertor. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over the mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper presents the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also discusses a new NASA Glenn in-house project to provide supporting technology for the overall Stirling radioisotope power system development. Tasks for this new effort include convertor performance verification, controls development, heater head structural life assessment, magnet characterization and thermal aging tests, FEA analysis for a lightweight alternator concept, and demonstration of convertor operation under launch and orbit transfer load conditions.

  18. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 5 copies in the file.

  19. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    2012-01-19

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 2 copies in the file.

  20. High Temperature Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Tarau, Calin; Walker, Kara L.; Anderson, William G.

    2009-03-16

    In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the GPHS modules, to maintain the GPHS modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling converter provides this cooling. If the Stirling engine stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, but also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) is under development to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling engine. The status of the ongoing effort in developing this technology is presented in this paper. An earlier, preliminary design had a radiator outside the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) casing, used NaK as the working fluid, and had the reservoir located on the cold side adapter flange. The revised design has an internal radiator inside the casing, with the reservoir embedded inside the insulation. A large set of advantages are offered by this new design. In addition to reducing the overall size and mass of the VCHP, simplicity, compactness and easiness in assembling the VCHP with the ASRG are significantly enhanced. Also, the permanently elevated temperatures of the entire VCHP allows the change of the working fluid from a binary compound (NaK) to single compound (Na). The latter, by its properties, allows higher performance and further mass reduction of the system. Preliminary design and analysis shows an acceptable peak temperature of the ASRG case of 140 deg. C while the heat losses caused by the addition of the VCHP are 1.8 W.

  1. Characterization of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator EU2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-watt radioisotope power system. While the ASRG flight development project has ended, the hardware that was designed and built under the project is continuing to be tested to support future Stirling-based power system development. NASA GRC recently completed the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2). The ASRG EU2 consists of the first pair of Sunpower's ASC-E3 Stirling convertors mounted in an aluminum housing, and Lockheed Martin's Engineering Development Unit (EDU) 4 controller (a fourth generation controller). The ASC-E3 convertors and Generator Housing Assembly (GHA) closely match the intended ASRG Qualification Unit flight design. A series of tests were conducted to characterize the EU2, its controller, and the convertors in the flight-like GHA. The GHA contained an argon cover gas for these tests. The tests included: measurement of convertor, controller, and generator performance and efficiency, quantification of control authority of the controller, disturbance force measurement with varying piston phase and piston amplitude, and measurement of the effect of spacecraft DC bus voltage on EU2 performance. The results of these tests are discussed and summarized, providing a basic understanding of EU2 characteristics and the performance and capability of the EDU 4 controller.

  2. Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, William G.; Tarau, Calin

    2008-01-01

    In a Stirling radioisotope system, heat must continually be removed from the GPHS modules, to maintain the GPHS modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. Normally, the Stirling convertor provides this cooling. If the Stirling engine stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, but also ending the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) was designed to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling engine. A VCHP turns on with a delta T of 30 C, which is high enough to not risk standard ASRG operation but low enough to save most heater head life. This VCHP has a low mass, and low thermal losses for normal operation. In addition to the design, a proof-of-concept NaK VCHP was fabricated and tested. While NaK is normally not used in heat pipes, it has an advantage in that it is liquid at the reservoir operating temperature, while Na or K alone would freeze. The VCHP had two condensers, one simulating the heater head, and the other simulating the radiator. The experiments successfully demonstrated operation with the simulated heater head condenser off and on, while allowing the reservoir temperature to vary over 40 to 120 C, the maximum range expected. In agreement with previous NaK heat pipe tests, the evaporator delta T was roughly 70 C, due to distillation of the NaK in the evaporator.

  3. Testing to Characterize the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward; Schreiber, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a high efficiency generator, is being considered for space missions. Lockheed Martin designed and fabricated an engineering unit (EU), the ASRG EU, under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently undergoing extended operation testing at the NASA Glenn Research Center to generate performance data and validate life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. It has also undergone performance tests to characterize generator operation while varying control parameters and system inputs. This paper summarizes and explains test results in the context of designing operating strategies for the generator during a space mission and notes expected differences between the EU performance and future generators.

  4. Parametric System Model for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    A Parametric System Model (PSM) was created in order to explore conceptual designs, the impact of component changes and power level on the performance of Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). Using the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS approximately 250 watt thermal) modules as the thermal building block around which a SRG is conceptualized, trade studies are performed to understand the importance of individual component scaling on isotope usage. Mathematical relationships based on heat and power throughput, temperature, mass and volume were developed for each of the required subsystems. The PSM uses these relationships to perform component and system level trades.

  5. Parametric System Model for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.

    2015-01-01

    A Parametric System Model (PSM) was created in order to explore conceptual designs, the impact of component changes and power level on the performance of the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). Using the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS approximately 250 Wth) modules as the thermal building block from which a SRG is conceptualized, trade studies are performed to understand the importance of individual component scaling on isotope usage. Mathematical relationships based on heat and power throughput, temperature, mass, and volume were developed for each of the required subsystems. The PSM uses these relationships to perform component- and system-level trades.

  6. Advanced Stirling Convertor Development for NASA Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Scott D.; Collins, Josh

    2015-01-01

    Sunpower Inc.'s Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) initiated development under contract to the NASA Glenn Research Center and after a series of successful demonstrations, the ASC began transitioning from a technology development project to a flight development project. The ASC has very high power conversion efficiency making it attractive for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) in order to make best use of the low plutonium-238 fuel inventory in the United States. In recent years, the ASC became part of the NASA and Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Integrated Project. Sunpower held two parallel contracts to produce ASCs, one with the DOE and Lockheed Martin to produce the ASC-F flight convertors, and one with NASA Glenn for the production of ASC-E3 engineering units, the initial units of which served as production pathfinders. The integrated ASC technical team successfully overcame various technical challenges that led to the completion and delivery of the first two pairs of flightlike ASC-E3 by 2013. However, in late fall 2013, the DOE initiated termination of the Lockheed Martin ASRG flight development contract driven primarily by budget constraints. NASA continues to recognize the importance of high-efficiency ASC power conversion for RPS and continues investment in the technology including the continuation of ASC-E3 production at Sunpower and the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit #2. This paper provides a summary of ASC technical accomplishments, overview of tests at Glenn, plans for continued ASC production at Sunpower, and status of Stirling technology development.

  7. Final Results for the GRC Supporting Technology Development Project for the 110-Watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2007-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported the development of a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions, including deep space missions, Mars rovers, and lunar applications. Lockheed Martin (LM) was the system integrator for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia Corporation (formerly Stirling Technology Company) developed the Stirling convertor, first as a contractor to DOE and then under subcontract to LM. The SRG110 development has been redirected, and recent program changes have been made to significantly increase the specific power of the generator. System development of an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has now begun, using a lightweight, advanced convertor from Sunpower, Inc. This paper summarizes the results of the supporting technology effort that GRC completed for the SRG110. GRC tasks included convertor extended-duration testing in air and thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet aging characterization, linear alternator evaluations, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) characterization, organic materials evaluations, reliability studies, and development of an end-to-end system dynamic model. Related efforts are now continuing in many of these areas to support ASRG development.

  8. Final Results for the GRC Supporting Technology Development Project for the 110-Watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2007-01-01

    From 1999-2006, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) supported the development of a high-efficiency, nominal 110-We Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for potential use on NASA missions, including deep space missions, Mars rovers, and lunar applications. Lockheed Martin (LM) was the system integrator for the SRG110, under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia Corporation (formerly Stirling Technology Company) developed the Stirling convertor, first as a contractor to DOE and then under subcontract to LM. The SRG110 development has been redirected, and recent program changes have been made to significantly increase the specific power of the generator. System development of an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has now begun, using a lightweight, advanced convertor from Sunpower, Inc. This paper summarizes the results of the supporting technology effort that GRC completed for the SRG110. GRC tasks included convertor extended-duration testing in air and thermal vacuum environments, heater head life assessment, materials studies, permanent magnet aging characterization, linear alternator evaluations, structural dynamics testing, electromagnetic interference (EMI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) characterization, organic materials evaluations, reliability studies, and development of an end-to-end system dynamic model. Related efforts are now continuing in many of these areas to support ASRG development.

  9. Supporting Development for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator and Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA Glenn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A high-efficiency, 110-W(sub e) (watts electric) Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for possible use on future NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Potential mission use includes providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in SRG110 development. One-, three-, and six-month heater head structural benchmark tests have been completed in support of a heater head life assessment. Testing is underway to evaluate the key epoxy bond of the permanent magnets to the linear alternator stator lamination stack. GRC has completed over 10,000 hours of extended duration testing of the Stirling convertors for the SRG110, and a three-year test of two Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment will be starting shortly. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall generator. Sunpower, Inc. has begun the development of a lightweight Stirling convertor, under a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) award, that has the potential to double the system specific power to about 8 W(sub e) per kilogram. GRC has performed random vibration testing of a lowerpower version of this convertor to evaluate robustness for surviving launch vibrations. STC has also completed the initial design of a lightweight convertor. Status of the development of a multi-dimensional computational fluid dynamics code and high-temperature materials work on advanced superalloys, refractory metal alloys, and ceramics are also discussed.

  10. Development and Buildup of a Stirling Radioisotope Generator Electrical Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prokop, Norman F.; Krasowski, Michael J.; Greer, Lawrence C.; Flatico, Joseph M.; Spina, Dan C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) Simulator for use in a prototype lunar robotic rover. The SRG developed at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is a promising power source for the robotic exploration of the sunless areas of the moon. The simulator designed provides a power output similar to the SRG output of 5.7 A at 28 Vdc, while using ac wall power as the input power source. The designed electrical simulator provides rover developers the physical and electrical constraints of the SRG supporting parallel development of the SRG and rover. Parallel development allows the rover design team to embrace the SRG s unique constraints while development of the SRG is continued to a flight qualified version.

  11. Reliability Demonstration Approach for Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ha, CHuong; Zampino, Edward; Penswick, Barry; Spronz, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Developed for future space missions as a high-efficiency power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) has a design life requirement of 14 yr in space following a potential storage of 3 yr after fueling. In general, the demonstration of long-life dynamic systems remains difficult in part due to the perception that the wearout of moving parts cannot be minimized, and associated failures are unpredictable. This paper shows a combination of systematic analytical methods, extensive experience gained from technology development, and well-planned tests can be used to ensure a high level reliability of ASRG. With this approach, all potential risks from each life phase of the system are evaluated and the mitigation adequately addressed. This paper also provides a summary of important test results obtained to date for ASRG and the planned effort for system-level extended operation.

  12. Summary of Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in Support of Stirling Radioisotope Power System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schifer, Nicholas A.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing 100 We class, free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for space science and exploration missions. Free-piston Stirling convertors are capable of achieving a 38% conversion efficiency, making Stirling attractive for meeting future power system needs in light of the shrinking U.S. plutonium fuel supply. Convertors currently on test include four Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs), manufactured by the Stirling Technology Company (STC), and six Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), manufactured by Sunpower, Inc. Total hours of operation is greater than 514,000 hours (59 years). Several tests have been initiated to demonstrate the functionality of Stirling convertors for space applications, including: in-air extended operation, thermal vacuum extended operation. Other tests have also been conducted to characterize Stirling performance in anticipated mission scenarios. Data collected during testing has been used to support life and reliability estimates, drive design changes and improve quality, and plan for expected mission scenarios. This paper will provide a summary of convertors tested at NASA GRC and discuss lessons learned through extended testing.

  13. Thermal Model Predictions of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen J.; Fabanich, William Anthony; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents recent thermal model results of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The three-dimensional (3D) ASRG thermal power model was built using the Thermal Desktop(trademark) thermal analyzer. The model was correlated with ASRG engineering unit test data and ASRG flight unit predictions from Lockheed Martin's (LM's) I-deas(trademark) TMG thermal model. The auxiliary cooling system (ACS) of the ASRG is also included in the ASRG thermal model. The ACS is designed to remove waste heat from the ASRG so that it can be used to heat spacecraft components. The performance of the ACS is reported under nominal conditions and during a Venus flyby scenario. The results for the nominal case are validated with data from Lockheed Martin. Transient thermal analysis results of ASRG for a Venus flyby with a representative trajectory are also presented. In addition, model results of an ASRG mounted on a Cassini-like spacecraft with a sunshade are presented to show a way to mitigate the high temperatures of a Venus flyby. It was predicted that the sunshade can lower the temperature of the ASRG alternator by 20 C for the representative Venus flyby trajectory. The 3D model also was modified to predict generator performance after a single Advanced Stirling Convertor failure. The geometry of the Microtherm HT insulation block on the outboard side was modified to match deformation and shrinkage observed during testing of a prototypic ASRG test fixture by LM. Test conditions and test data were used to correlate the model by adjusting the thermal conductivity of the deformed insulation to match the post-heat-dump steady state temperatures. Results for these conditions showed that the performance of the still-functioning inboard ACS was unaffected.

  14. Stirling Convertor for the Stirling Radioisotope Generator Tested as a Prelude to Transition to Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2004-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Valley Forge, PA) under contract to the Department of Energy (Germantown, MD). In support of this project, the NASA Glenn Research Center has established a near-term technology effort to provide some of the critical data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system to be used in space. The generator will be a high-efficiency electric power source for potential use on NASA space science missions. The generator will be able to operate in the vacuum of deep space or in an atmosphere such as on the surface of Mars. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power-conversion technology. The power output of the generator will be greater than 100 W at the beginning of life, with the slow decline in power being largely due to decay of the plutonium heat source. Previously, Glenn's supporting technology efforts focused only on the most critical technical issues.

  15. Extended Operation Testing of Stirling Convertors in Support of Stirling Radioisotope Power System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Wilson, Scott D.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Peggy; Schifer, Nicholas

    2009-01-01

    100 We class Stirling convertors began extended operation testing at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in 2003 with a pair of Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) operating in air. Currently, the number of convertors on extended operation test has grown to 12, including both TDCs and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) operating both in air and in thermal vacuum. Additional convertors and an electrically heated radioisotope generator will be put on test in the near future. This testing has provided data to support life and reliability estimates and the quality improvements and design changes that have been made to the convertor. The convertors operated 24/7 at the nominal amplitude and power levels. Performance data were recorded on an hourly basis. Techniques to monitor the convertors for change in internal operation included gas analysis, vibration measurements, and acoustic emission measurements. This data provided a baseline for future comparison. This paper summarizes the results of over 145,000 hr of TDC testing and 40,000 hr of ASC testing and discusses trends in the data. Data shows the importance of improved materials, hermetic sealing, and quality processes in maintaining convertor performance over long life.

  16. Extended Operation Testing of Stirling Convertors in Support of Stirling Radioisotope Power System Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffre G.; Wilson, Scott D.; oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Peggy; Schifer, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    100 We class Stirling convertors began extended operation testing at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in 2003 with a pair of Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) operating in air. Currently, the number of convertors on extended operation test has grown to 12, including both TDCs and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) operating both in air and in thermal vacuum. Additional convertors and an electrically heated radioisotope generator will be put on test in the near future. This testing has provided data to support life and reliability estimates and the quality improvements and design changes that have been made to the convertor. The convertors operated 24/7 at the nominal amplitude and power levels. Performance data were recorded on an hourly basis. Techniques to monitor the convertors for change in internal operation included gas analysis, vibration measurements and acoustic emission measurements. This data provided a baseline for future comparison. This paper summarizes the results of over 145,000 hours of TDC testing and 40,000 hours of ASC testing and discusses trends in the data. Data shows the importance of improved materials, hermetic sealing, and quality processes in maintaining convertor performance over long life.

  17. Test Program for Stirling Radioisotope Generator Hardware at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Bolotin, Gary S.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2014-01-01

    Stirling-based energy conversion technology has demonstrated the potential of high efficiency and low mass power systems for future space missions. This capability is beneficial, if not essential, to making certain deep space missions possible. Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-watt radioisotope power system. A variety of flight-like hardware, including Stirling convertors, controllers, and housings, was designed and built under the ASRG flight development project. To support future Stirling-based power system development NASA has proposals that, if funded, will allow this hardware to go on test at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). While future flight hardware may not be identical to the hardware developed under the ASRG flight development project, many components will likely be similar, and system architectures may have heritage to ASRG. Thus the importance of testing the ASRG hardware to the development of future Stirling-based power systems cannot be understated. This proposed testing will include performance testing, extended operation to establish an extensive reliability database, and characterization testing to quantify subsystem and system performance and better understand system interfaces. This paper details this proposed test program for Stirling radioisotope generator hardware at NASA GRC. It explains the rationale behind the proposed tests and how these tests will meet the stated objectives.

  18. Test Program for Stirling Radioisotope Generator Hardware at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Bolotin, Gary S.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    Stirling-based energy conversion technology has demonstrated the potential of high efficiency and low mass power systems for future space missions. This capability is beneficial, if not essential, to making certain deep space missions possible. Significant progress was made developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a 140-W radioisotope power system. A variety of flight-like hardware, including Stirling convertors, controllers, and housings, was designed and built under the ASRG flight development project. To support future Stirling-based power system development NASA has proposals that, if funded, will allow this hardware to go on test at the NASA Glenn Research Center. While future flight hardware may not be identical to the hardware developed under the ASRG flight development project, many components will likely be similar, and system architectures may have heritage to ASRG. Thus, the importance of testing the ASRG hardware to the development of future Stirling-based power systems cannot be understated. This proposed testing will include performance testing, extended operation to establish an extensive reliability database, and characterization testing to quantify subsystem and system performance and better understand system interfaces. This paper details this proposed test program for Stirling radioisotope generator hardware at NASA Glenn. It explains the rationale behind the proposed tests and how these tests will meet the stated objectives.

  19. Development of a Multi-bus, Multi-source Reconfigurable Stirling Radioisotope Power System Test Bed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coleman, Anthony S.

    2004-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has typically used Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) as their source of electric power for deep space missions. A more efficient and potentially more cost effective alternative to the RTG, the high efficiency 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator 110 (SRG110) is being developed by the Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC) and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The SRG110 consists of two Stirling convertors (Stirling Engine and Linear Alternator) in a dual-opposed configuration, and two General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. Although Stirling convertors have been successfully operated as a power source for the utility grid and as a stand-alone portable generator, demonstration of the technology required to interconnect two Stirling convertors for a spacecraft power system has not been attempted. NASA GRC is developing a Power System Test Bed (PSTB) to evaluate the performance of a Stirling convertor in an integrated electrical power system application. This paper will describe the status of the PSTB and on-going activities pertaining to the PSTB in the NASA Thermal-Energy Conversion Branch of the Power and On-Board Propulsion Technology Division.

  20. Integration of Radioisotope Heat Source with Stirling Engine and Cooler for Venus Internal-Structure Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The primary mission goal is to perform long-term seismic measurements on Venus, to study its largely unknown internal structure. The principal problem is that most payload components cannot long survive Venus's harsh environment, 90 bars at 500 degrees C. To meet the mission life goal, such components must be protected by a refrigerated payload bay. JPL Investigators have proposed a mission concept employing a lander with a spherical payload bay cooled to 25 degrees C by a Stirling cooler powered by a radioisotope-heated Sitrling engine. To support JPL's mission study, NASA/Lewis and MTI have proposed a conceptual design for a hydraulically coupled Stirling engine and cooler, and Fairchild Space - with support of the Department of Energy - has proposed a design and integration scheme for a suitable radioisotope heat source. The key integration problem is to devise a simple, light-weight, and reliable scheme for forcing the radioisotope decay heat to flow through the Stirling engine during operation on Venus, but to reject that heat to the external environment when the Stirling engine and cooler are not operating (e.g., during the cruise phase, when the landers are surrounded by heat shields needed for protection during subsequent entry into the Venusian atmosphere.) A design and integration scheme for achieving these goals, together with results of detailed thermal analyses, are described in this paper. There are 7 copies in the file.

  1. Parametric Study of Radiator Concepts for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System Applicable to Deep Space Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.; Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a Stirling converter for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA deep space missions. This high-efficiency converter is being evaluated as an alternative to replace the much lower efficiency radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). The current power requirement (six years after beginning of mission (BOM) for a mission to Jupiter) is 210 W(sub e) (watts electric) to be generated by two separate power systems, one on each side of the spacecraft. Both two-converter and four-converter system designs are being considered, depending on the amount of required redundancy.

  2. Technology Development for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Qiu, Songgang; White, Maurice A.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA Glenn is addressing key technology issues through the use of two NASA Phase 2 SBIRs with Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Kennewick, WA. Under the first SBIR, STC demonstrated a 40 to 50 fold reduction in vibrations, compared to an unbalanced convertor, with a synchronous connection of two thermodynamically independent free-piston Stirling convertors. The second SBIR is for the development of an Adaptive Vibration Reduction System (AVRS) that will essentially eliminate vibrations over a mission lifetime, even in the unlikely event of a failed convertor. This paper discusses the status and results for these two SBIR projects and also presents results for characterizing the friction factor of high-porosity random fiber regenerators that are being used for this application.

  3. External Magnetic Field Reduction Techniques for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedra, Janis M.; Geng, Steven M.

    2013-01-01

    Linear alternators coupled to high efficiency Stirling engines are strong candidates for thermal-to-electric power conversion in space. However, the magnetic field emissions, both AC and DC, of these permanent magnet excited alternators can interfere with sensitive instrumentation onboard a spacecraft. Effective methods to mitigate the AC and DC electromagnetic interference (EMI) from solenoidal type linear alternators (like that used in the Advanced Stirling Convertor) have been developed for potential use in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator. The methods developed avoid the complexity and extra mass inherent in data extraction from multiple sensors or the use of shielding. This paper discusses these methods, and also provides experimental data obtained during breadboard testing of both AC and DC external magnetic field devices.

  4. Status of an advanced radioisotope space power system using free-piston Stirling technology

    SciTech Connect

    White, M.A,; Qiu, S.; Erbeznik, R.M.; Olan, R.W.; Welty, S.C.

    1998-07-01

    This paper describes a free-piston Stirling engine technology project to demonstrate a high efficiency power system capable of being further developed for deep space missions using a radioisotope (RI) heat source. The key objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for 10 years or longer on deep space missions. Primary issues being addressed for Stirling space power systems are weight and the vibration associated with reciprocating pistons. Similar weight and vibration issues have been successfully addressed with Stirling cryocoolers, which are the accepted standard for cryogenic cooling in space. Integrated long-life Stirling engine-generator (or convertor) operation has been demonstrated by the terrestrial Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) and other Stirling Technology Company (STC) programs. Extensive RSG endurance testing includes more than 40,000 maintenance-free, degradation-free hours for the complete convertor, in addition to several critical component and subsystem endurance tests. The Stirling space power convertor project is being conducted by STC under DOE Contract, and NASA SBIR Phase II contracts. The DOE contract objective is to demonstrate a two-convertor module that represents half of a nominal 150-W(e) power system. Each convertor is referred to as a Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). The ultimate Stirling power system would be fueled by three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules, and is projected to produce substantially more electric power than the 150-watt target. The system is capable of full power output with one failed convertor. One NASA contract, nearing completion, uses existing 350-W(e) RG-350 convertors to evaluate interactivity of two back-to-back balanced convertors with various degrees of electrical and mechanical interaction. This effort has recently provided the first successful synchronization of two convertors by means of parallel

  5. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Thermal Power Model in MATLAB

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen, J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a one-dimensional steady-state mathematical thermal power model of the ASRG. It aims to provide a guideline of understanding how the ASRG works and what can change its performance. The thermal dynamics and energy balance of the generator is explained using the thermal circuit of the ASRG. The Stirling convertor performance map is used to represent the convertor. How the convertor performance map is coupled in the thermal circuit is explained. The ASRG performance characteristics under i) different sink temperatures and ii) over the years of mission (YOM) are predicted using the one-dimensional model. Two Stirling converter control strategies, i) fixing the hot-end of temperature of the convertor by adjusting piston amplitude and ii) fixing the piston amplitude, were tested in the model. Numerical results show that the first control strategy can result in a higher system efficiency than the second control strategy when the ambient gets warmer or the general-purpose heat source (GPHS) fuel load decays over the YOM. The ASRG performance data presented in this paper doesn't pertain to the ASRG flight unit. Some data of the ASRG engineering unit (EU) and flight unit that are available in public domain are used in this paper for the purpose of numerical studies.

  6. NaK Variable Conductance Heat Pipe for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Walker, Kara

    2008-01-01

    In a Stirling radioisotope power system, heat must continually be removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. The Stirling convertor normally provides most of this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS, but also ending use of that convertor for the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) was designed to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. In the design of the VCHP for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator, the VCHP reservoir temperature can vary between 40 and 120 C. While sodium, potassium, or cesium could be used as the working fluid, their melting temperatures are above the minimum reservoir temperature, allowing working fluid to freeze in the reservoir. In contrast, the melting point of NaK is -12 C, so NaK can't freeze in the reservoir. One potential problem with NaK as a working fluid is that previous tests with NaK heat pipes have shown that NaK heat pipes can develop temperature non-uniformities in the evaporator due to NaK's binary composition. A NaK heat pipe was fabricated to measure the temperature non-uniformities in a scale model of the VCHP for the Stirling Radioisotope system. The temperature profiles in the evaporator and condenser were measured as a function of operating temperature and power. The largest delta T across the condenser was 2S C. However, the condenser delta T decreased to 16 C for the 775 C vapor temperature at the highest heat flux applied, 7.21 W/ square cm. This decrease with increasing heat flux was caused by the increased mixing of the sodium and potassium in the vapor. This temperature differential is similar to the temperature variation in this ASRG heat transfer interface without a heat pipe, so NaK can be used as the VCHP working fluid.

  7. Development of a Power Electronics Controller for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leland, Douglas K.; Priest, Joel F.; Keiter, Douglas E.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2008-01-01

    Under a U.S. Department of Energy program for radioisotope power systems, Lockheed Martin is developing an Engineering Unit of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). This is an advanced version of the previously reported SRG110 generator. The ASRG uses Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Incorporated under a NASA Research Announcement contract. The ASRG makes use of a Stirling controller based on power electronics that eliminates the tuning capacitors. The power electronics controller synchronizes dual-opposed convertors and maintains a fixed frequency operating point. The controller is single-fault tolerant and uses high-frequency pulse width modulation to create the sinusoidal currents that are nearly in phase with the piston velocity, eliminating the need for large series tuning capacitors. Sunpower supports this effort through an extension of their controller development intended for other applications. Glenn Research Center (GRC) supports this effort through system dynamic modeling, analysis and test support. The ASRG design arrived at a new baseline based on a system-level trade study and extensive feedback from mission planners on the necessity of single-fault tolerance. This paper presents the baseline design with an emphasis on the power electronics controller detailed design concept that will meet space mission requirements including single fault tolerance.

  8. Effect of Inert Cover Gas on Performance of Radioisotope Stirling Space Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Carpenter, Robert; Kumar, V; Ore, C; Schock, Alfred

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes an updated Orbital design of a radioisotope Stirling power system and its predicted performance at the beginning and end of a six-year mission to the Jovian moon Europa. The design is based on General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules identical to those previously developed and safety-qualified by the Department of Energy (DOE) which were successfully launched to Jupiter and Saturn by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). In each generator, the heat produced by the decay of the Pu-238 isotope is converted to electric power by two free-piston Stirling engines and linear alternators developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC), and their rejected waste heat is transported to radiators by heat pipes. The principal difference between the proposed system design and previous Orbital designs (Or et al. 2000) is the thermal insulation between the heat source and the generator's housing. Previous designs had employed multifoil insulation, whereas the design described here employs Min-K-1800 thermal insulation. Such insulation had been successfully used by Teledyne and GE in earlier RTGs (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators). Although Min-K is a much poorer insulator than multifoil in vacuum and requires a substantially greater thickness for equivalent performance, it offers compensating advantages. Specifically it makes it possible to adjust the generator's BOM temperatures by filling its interior volume with inert cover gas. This makes it possible to meet the generator's BOM and EOM performance goals without exceeding its allowable temperature at the beginning of the mission.

  9. System-Level Testing of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Hardware

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Wiser, Jack; Brown, Greg; Florin, Dominic; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2014-01-01

    To support future NASA deep space missions, a radioisotope power system utilizing Stirling power conversion technology was under development. This development effort was performed under the joint sponsorship of the Department of Energy and NASA, until its termination at the end of 2013 due to budget constraints. The higher conversion efficiency of the Stirling cycle compared with that of the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) used in previous missions (Viking, Pioneer, Voyager, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, Pluto New Horizons and Mars Science Laboratory) offers the advantage of a four-fold reduction in Pu-238 fuel, thereby extending its limited domestic supply. As part of closeout activities, system-level testing of flight-like Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) with a flight-like ASC Controller Unit (ACU) was performed in February 2014. This hardware is the most representative of the flight design tested to date. The test fully demonstrates the following ACU and system functionality: system startup; ASC control and operation at nominal and worst-case operating conditions; power rectification; DC output power management throughout nominal and out-of-range host voltage levels; ACU fault management, and system command / telemetry via MIL-STD 1553 bus. This testing shows the viability of such a system for future deep space missions and bolsters confidence in the maturity of the flight design.

  10. NASA Glenn Research Center Support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Wong, Wayne A.

    2015-01-01

    A high-efficiency radioisotope power system was being developed for long-duration NASA space science missions. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) managed a flight contract with Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company to build Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRGs), with support from NASA Glenn Research Center. DOE initiated termination of that contract in late 2013, primarily due to budget constraints. Sunpower, Inc., held two parallel contracts to produce Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), one with Lockheed Martin to produce ASC-F flight units, and one with Glenn for the production of ASC-E3 engineering unit "pathfinders" that are built to the flight design. In support of those contracts, Glenn provided testing, materials expertise, Government-furnished equipment, inspection capabilities, and related data products to Lockheed Martin and Sunpower. The technical support included material evaluations, component tests, convertor characterization, and technology transfer. Material evaluations and component tests were performed on various ASC components in order to assess potential life-limiting mechanisms and provide data for reliability models. Convertor level tests were conducted to characterize performance under operating conditions that are representative of various mission conditions. Despite termination of the ASRG flight development contract, NASA continues to recognize the importance of high-efficiency ASC power conversion for Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) and continues investment in the technology, including the continuation of the ASC-E3 contract. This paper describes key Government support for the ASRG project and future tests to be used to provide data for ongoing reliability assessments.

  11. Design of a Facility to Test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Meer, David W.; Brace, Michael H.; Dugala, Gina

    2009-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is being considered to power deep space missions. An engineering unit, the ASRG-EU, was designed and fabricated by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently on an extended operation test at NASA Glenn Research Center to generate performance data and validate the life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. A special test facility was designed and built for testing the ASRG-EU. Details of the test facility design are discussed. The facility can operate the convertors under AC bus control or with the ASRG-EU controller. It can regulate input thermal power in either a fixed temperature or fixed power mode. An enclosure circulates cooled air around the ASRG-EU to remove heat rejected from the ASRG-EU by convection. A custom monitoring and data acquisition system supports the test. Various safety features, which allow 2417 unattended operation, are discussed.

  12. Design of a Facility to Test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Meer, David W.; Brace, Michael H.; Dugala, Gina

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), a high efficiency generator, is being considered for space missions. An engineering unit, the ASRG engineering unit (EU), was designed and fabricated by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit is currently under extended operation test at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) to generate performance data and validate the life and reliability predictions for the generator and the Stirling convertors. A special test facility was designed and built for the ASRG EU. This paper summarizes details of the test facility design, including the mechanical mounting, heat-rejection system, argon system, control systems, and maintenance. The effort proceeded from requirements definition through design, analysis, build, and test. Initial testing and facility performance results are discussed.

  13. Integration of Americium Heat Source into the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, Erich; Quinn, Richard

    2014-08-01

    The Lockheed Martin developed Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) design uses similar technology as proposed for the European Space Agency (ESA) Radioisotope Power System (RPS) development program but different isotopes. The RPS uses americium, 241Am isotope, while the ASRG uses plutonium, 238Pu isotope. The 238Pu isotope provides four times greater thermal output per kilogram than the 241Am isotope. Lockheed Martin performed an internally funded feasibility assessment that determined integration of a 241Am fueled heat source into the ASRG is achievable with no changes to ASRG technology and only structural and volumetric design considerations required. Lockheed Martin is interested in developing collaborative partnerships with the United Kingdom (UK) for the ESA RPS development program.

  14. NASA GRC Technology Development Project for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2000-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and Stirling Technology Company (STC) are developing a Stirling convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house project to provide convertor, component, and materials testing and evaluation in support of the overall power system development. A first characterization of the DOE/STC 55-We Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) under the expected launch random vibration environment was recently completed in the NASA GRC Structural Dynamics Laboratory. Two TDCs also completed an initial electromagnetic interference (EMI) characterization at NASA GRC while being tested in a synchronized, opposed configuration. Materials testing is underway to support a life assessment of the heater head, and magnet characterization and aging tests have been initiated. Test facilities are now being established for an independent convertor performance verification and technology development. A preliminary Failure Mode Effect Analysis (FMEA), initial finite element analysis (FEA) for the linear alternator, ionizing radiation survivability assessment, and radiator parametric study have also been completed. This paper will discuss the status, plans, and results to date for these efforts.

  15. Isolated and Passive Power Factor Correction AC/DC Converter for Radioisotope Stirling Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrigos, A.; Blanes, J. M.; Gutierrez, R.; Lizan, J. L.; Carrasco, J. A.; Maset, E.; Montalban, G.; Sanchis-Kilders, E.; Ejea, J. B.; Ferreres, A.

    2014-08-01

    A power processing system is described for low voltage, large inductance, single-phase alternator. This kind of electrical machine appears in Radioisotope Stirling Generators (RSG) as the electrical part attached to the thermodynamic system. The proposed power conditioning system splits into two independent stages; the front-end rectifier performs power factor control by adding a series capacitor in the AC side that forms a resonant filter with the alternator parasitic inductance. Further, the rectifier, thanks to the alternator inductance, behaves as a constant current source that supplies a current-fed, zero-voltage, zero-current push-pull stage. This approach takes advantage of all parasitic elements. Finally, some discussion about linear shunt and reconfigurable power factor filter is provided.

  16. Testing of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is a high-efficiency generator being developed for potential use on a Discovery 12 space mission. Lockheed Martin designed and fabricated the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) under contract to the Department of Energy. This unit was delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center in 2008 and has been undergoing extended operation testing to generate long-term performance data for an integrated system. It has also been used for tests to characterize generator operation while varying control parameters and system inputs, both when controlled with an alternating current (AC) bus and with a digital controller. The ASRG EU currently has over 27,000 hours of operation. This paper summarizes all of the tests that have been conducted on the ASRG EU over the past 3 years and provides an overview of the test results and what was learned.

  17. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Thermal Power Model in Thermal Desktop SINDA/FLUINT Analyzer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, Xiao-Yen; Fabanich, William A.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a three-dimensional Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal power model that was built using the Thermal Desktop SINDA/FLUINT thermal analyzer. The model was correlated with ASRG engineering unit (EU) test data and ASRG flight unit predictions from Lockheed Martin's Ideas TMG thermal model. ASRG performance under (1) ASC hot-end temperatures, (2) ambient temperatures, and (3) years of mission for the general purpose heat source fuel decay was predicted using this model for the flight unit. The results were compared with those reported by Lockheed Martin and showed good agreement. In addition, the model was used to study the performance of the ASRG flight unit for operations on the ground and on the surface of Titan, and the concept of using gold film to reduce thermal loss through insulation was investigated.

  18. Natural Convection Cooling of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Hill, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    After fueling and prior to launch, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) will be stored for a period of time then moved to the launch pad for integration with the space probe and mounting on the launch vehicle. During this time, which could be as long as 3 years, the ASRG will operate continuously with heat rejected from the housing and fins. Typically, the generator will be cooled by forced convection using fans. During some of the ground operations, maintaining forced convection may add significant complexity, so allowing natural convection may simplify operations. A test was conducted on the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) to quantify temperatures and operating parameters with natural convection only and determine if the EU could be safely operated in such an environment. The results show that with natural convection cooling the ASRG EU Stirling convertor pressure vessel temperatures and other parameters had significant margins while the EU was operated for several days in this configuration. Additionally, an update is provided on ASRG EU testing at NASA Glenn Research Center, where the ASRG EU has operated for over 16,000 hr and underwent extensive testing.

  19. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator: Design Processes, Reliability Analyses Impacts, and Extended Operation Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ha, Chuong T.; Fernandez, René; Cornford, Steven L.; Feather, Martin S.

    2008-01-01

    NASA is currently funding an effort involving the Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Sunpower (SP), Inc. to develop a high specific power Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). GRC and SP are responsible for providing the Stirling convertor, while LM is responsible for the generator housing, controller, and system integration. GRC also provides supporting technologies for various components as well as extended operation testing, both in air and in a thermal vacuum environment. Because of the 17-year life requirement of the ASRG, reliability considerations are the main design driver. Components such as the heater head, fasteners, magnets, and planar spring have been studied to ensure high reliability. To encompass unique design features, long lifetimes and extreme environmental conditions, both reliability analyses and qualification tests are used to support the design process. This paper presents an overview of the ASRG reliability approach and the impact of the Reliability Working Group (RWG) on the recently finished design effort. It also provides a summary of current and planned extended operation tests, specifically targeted to demonstrate long-life capability and to support further reliability assessment. In the event of no, or minimal failures during these extended tests, a Weibayes approach will be used to create a trend of improving reliability predictions.

  20. Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit 2 (ASRG EU2) Final Assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has recently completed the assembly of a unique Stirling generator test article for laboratory experimentation. Under the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) flight development contract, NASA GRC initiated a task to design and fabricate a flight-like generator for in-house testing. This test article was given the name ASRG Engineering Unit 2 (EU2) as it was effectively the second engineering unit to be built within the ASRG project. The intent of the test article was to duplicate Lockheed Martin's qualification unit ASRG design as much as possible to enable system-level tests not previously possible at GRC. After the cancellation of the ASRG flight development project, the decision was made to continue the EU2 build, and make use of a portion of the hardware from the flight development project. GRC and Lockheed Martin engineers collaborated to develop assembly procedures, leveraging the valuable knowledge gathered by Lockheed Martin during the ASRG development contract. The ASRG EU2 was then assembled per these procedures at GRC with Lockheed Martin engineers on site. The assembly was completed in August 2014. This paper details the components that were used for the assembly, and the assembly process itself.

  1. Radioisotope Stirling Engine Powered Airship for Atmospheric and Surface Exploration of Titan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony J.; Cataldo, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    The feasibility of an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) powered airship for the near surface exploration of Titan was evaluated. The analysis did not consider the complete mission only the operation of the airship within the atmosphere of Titan. The baseline airship utilized two ASRG systems with a total of four general-purpose heat source (GPHS) blocks. Hydrogen gas was used to provide lift. The ASRG systems, airship electronics and controls and the science payload were contained in a payload enclosure. This enclosure was separated into two sections, one for the ASRG systems and the other for the electronics and payload. Each section operated at atmospheric pressure but at different temperatures. The propulsion system consisted of an electric motor driving a propeller. An analysis was set up to size the airship that could operate near the surface of Titan based on the available power from the ASRGs. The atmospheric conditions on Titan were modeled and used in the analysis. The analysis was an iterative process between sizing the airship to carry a specified payload and the power required to operate the electronics, payload and cooling system as well as provide power to the propulsion system to overcome the drag on the airship. A baseline configuration was determined that could meet the power requirements and operate near the Titan surface. From this baseline design additional trades were made to see how other factors affected the design such as the flight altitude and payload mass and volume.

  2. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dual Convertor Controller Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.; Taylor, Linda M.; Bell, Mark E.; Dolce, James L.; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) developed a non-nuclear representation of a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) consisting of a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC), a Dual Convertor Controller (DCC) EM (engineering model) 2 & 3, and associated support equipment, which were tested in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory (RSIL). The DCC was designed by the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to actively control a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC). The first phase of testing included a Dual Advanced Stirling Convertor Simulator (DASCS) which was developed by JHU/APL and simulates the operation and electrical behavior of a pair of ASC's in real time via a combination of hardware and software. RSIL provides insight into the electrical interactions between a representative radioisotope power generator, its associated control schemes, and realistic electric system loads. The first phase of integration testing included the following spacecraft bus configurations: capacitive, battery, and supercapacitor. A load profile, created based on data from several missions, tested the RPS and RSIL ability to maintain operation during load demands above and below the power provided by the RPS. The integration testing also confirmed the DCC's ability to disconnect from the spacecraft when the bus voltage dipped below 22 V or exceeded 36 V. Once operation was verified with the DASCS, the tests were repeated with actual operating ASC's. The goal of this integration testing was to verify operation of the DCC when connected to a spacecraft and to verify the functionality of the newly designed RSIL. The results of these tests are presented in this paper.

  3. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dual Convertor Controller Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.; Taylor, Linda M.; Bell, Mark E.; Dolce, James L.; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center developed a nonnuclear representation of a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) consisting of a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), Dual Convertor Controller (DCC) EMs (engineering models) 2 and 3, and associated support equipment, which were tested in the Radioisotope Power Systems System Integration Laboratory (RSIL). The DCC was designed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to actively control a pair of ASCs. The first phase of testing included a Dual Advanced Stirling Convertor Simulator (DASCS), which was developed by JHU/APL and simulates the operation and electrical behavior of a pair of ASCs in real time via a combination of hardware and software. RSIL provides insight into the electrical interactions between a representative radioisotope power generator, its associated control schemes, and realistic electric system loads. The first phase of integration testing included the following spacecraft bus configurations: capacitive, battery, and super-capacitor. A load profile, created based on data from several missions, tested the RPS's and RSIL's ability to maintain operation during load demands above and below the power provided by the RPS. The integration testing also confirmed the DCC's ability to disconnect from the spacecraft when the bus voltage dipped below 22 volts or exceeded 36 volts. Once operation was verified with the DASCS, the tests were repeated with actual operating ASCs. The goal of this integration testing was to verify operation of the DCC when connected to a spacecraft and to verify the functionality of the newly designed RSIL. The results of these tests are presented in this paper.

  4. Radioisotope Stirling Engine Powered Airship for Low Altitude Operation on Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony J.

    2012-01-01

    The feasibility of a Stirling engine powered airship for the near surface exploration of Venus was evaluated. The heat source for the Stirling engine was limited to 10 general purpose heat source (GPHS) blocks. The baseline airship utilized hydrogen as the lifting gas and the electronics and payload were enclosed in a cooled insulated pressure vessel to maintain the internal temperature at 320 K and 1 Bar pressure. The propulsion system consisted of an electric motor driving a propeller. An analysis was set up to size the airship that could operate near the Venus surface based on the available thermal power. The atmospheric conditions on Venus were modeled and used in the analysis. The analysis was an iterative process between sizing the airship to carry a specified payload and the power required to operate the electronics, payload and cooling system as well as provide power to the propulsion system to overcome the drag on the airship. A baseline configuration was determined that could meet the power requirements and operate near the Venus surface. From this baseline design additional trades were made to see how other factors affected the design such as the internal temperature of the payload chamber and the flight altitude. In addition other lifting methods were evaluated such as an evacuated chamber, heated atmospheric gas and augmented heated lifting gas. However none of these methods proved viable.

  5. Epoxy Adhesives for Stator Magnet Assembly in Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRG)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cater, George M.

    2004-01-01

    As NASA seeks to fulfill its goals of exploration and understanding through missions planned to visit the moons of Saturn and beyond, a number of challenges arise from the idea of deep space flight. One of the first problems associated with deep space travel is electrical power production for systems on the spacecraft. Conventional methods such as solar power are not practical because efficiency decreases substantially as the craft moves away from the Sun. The criterion for power generation during deep space missions are very specific, the main points requiring high reliability, low mass, minimal vibration and a long lifespan. A Stirling generator, although fairly old in concept, is considered to be a potential solution for electrical power generation for deep space flight. A Stirling generator works on the same electromagnetic principles of a standard generator, using the linear motion of the alternator through the stationary stator which produces electric induction. The motion of the alternator, however, is produced by the heating and cooling dynamics of pressurized gases. Essentially heating one end and cooling another of a contained gas will cause a periodic expansion and compression of the gas from one side to the other, which a displacer translates into linear mechanical motion. NASA needs to confirm that the materials used in the generator will be able to withstand the rigors of space and the life expectancy of the mission. I am working on the verification of the epoxy adhesives used to bond magnets to the steel lamination stack to complete the stator; in terms of in-service performance and durability under various space environments. Understanding the proper curing conditions, high temperature properties, and degassing problems as well as production difficulties are crucial to the long term success of the generator. system and steel substrate used in the stator. To optimize the curing conditions of the epoxies, modulated differential scanning calorimetry

  6. Radioisotope Power System Pool Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rusick, Jeffrey J.; Bolotin, Gary S.

    2015-01-01

    Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for NASA deep space science missions have historically used static thermoelectric-based designs because they are highly reliable, and their radioisotope heat sources can be passively cooled throughout the mission life cycle. Recently, a significant effort to develop a dynamic RPS, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), was conducted by NASA and the Department of Energy, because Stirling based designs offer energy conversion efficiencies four times higher than heritage thermoelectric designs; and the efficiency would proportionately reduce the amount of radioisotope fuel needed for the same power output. However, the long term reliability of a Stirling based design is a concern compared to thermoelectric designs, because for certain Stirling system architectures the radioisotope heat sources must be actively cooled via the dynamic operation of Stirling converters throughout the mission life cycle. To address this reliability concern, a new dynamic Stirling cycle RPS architecture is proposed called the RPS Pool Concept.

  7. Using SpaceClaim/TD Direct for Modeling Components with Complex Geometries for the Thermal Desktop-Based Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fabanich, William

    2014-01-01

    SpaceClaim/TD Direct has been used extensively in the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal model. This paper outlines the workflow for that aspect of the task and includes proposed best practices and lessons learned. The ASRG thermal model was developed to predict component temperatures and power output and to provide insight into the prime contractors thermal modeling efforts. The insulation blocks, heat collectors, and cold side adapter flanges (CSAFs) were modeled with this approach. The model was constructed using mostly TD finite difference (FD) surfaces solids. However, some complex geometry could not be reproduced with TD primitives while maintaining the desired degree of geometric fidelity. Using SpaceClaim permitted the import of original CAD files and enabled the defeaturing repair of those geometries. TD Direct (a SpaceClaim add-on from CRTech) adds features that allowed the mark-up of that geometry. These so-called mark-ups control how finite element (FE) meshes were generated and allowed the tagging of features (e.g. edges, solids, surfaces). These tags represent parameters that include: submodels, material properties, material orienters, optical properties, and radiation analysis groups. TD aliases were used for most tags to allow analysis to be performed with a variety of parameter values. Domain-tags were also attached to individual and groups of surfaces and solids to allow them to be used later within TD to populate objects like, for example, heaters and contactors. These tools allow the user to make changes to the geometry in SpaceClaim and then easily synchronize the mesh in TD without having to redefine these objects each time as one would if using TD Mesher.The use of SpaceClaim/TD Direct has helped simplify the process for importing existing geometries and in the creation of high fidelity FE meshes to represent complex parts. It has also saved time and effort in the subsequent analysis.

  8. Using SpaceClaimTD Direct for Modeling Components with Complex Geometries for the Thermal Desktop-Based Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fabanich, William A., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    SpaceClaim/TD Direct has been used extensively in the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) thermal model. This paper outlines the workflow for that aspect of the task and includes proposed best practices and lessons learned. The ASRG thermal model was developed to predict component temperatures and power output and to provide insight into the prime contractor's thermal modeling efforts. The insulation blocks, heat collectors, and cold side adapter flanges (CSAFs) were modeled with this approach. The model was constructed using mostly TD finite difference (FD) surfaces/solids. However, some complex geometry could not be reproduced with TD primitives while maintaining the desired degree of geometric fidelity. Using SpaceClaim permitted the import of original CAD files and enabled the defeaturing/repair of those geometries. TD Direct (a SpaceClaim add-on from CRTech) adds features that allowed the "mark-up" of that geometry. These so-called "mark-ups" control how finite element (FE) meshes are to be generated through the "tagging" of features (e.g. edges, solids, surfaces). These tags represent parameters that include: submodels, material properties, material orienters, optical properties, and radiation analysis groups. TD aliases were used for most tags to allow analysis to be performed with a variety of parameter values. "Domain-tags" were also attached to individual and groups of surfaces and solids to allow them to be used later within TD to populate objects like, for example, heaters and contactors. These tools allow the user to make changes to the geometry in SpaceClaim and then easily synchronize the mesh in TD without having to redefine the objects each time as one would if using TDMesher. The use of SpaceClaim/TD Direct helps simplify the process for importing existing geometries and in the creation of high fidelity FE meshes to represent complex parts. It also saves time and effort in the subsequent analysis.

  9. Stirling to Flight Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hibbard, Kenneth E.; Mason, Lee S.; Ndu, Obi; Smith, Clayton; Withrow, James P.

    2016-01-01

    NASA has a consistent need for radioisotope power systems (RPS) to enable robotic scientific missions for planetary exploration that has been present for over four decades and will continue into the foreseeable future, as documented in the most recent Planetary Science Decadal Study Report. As RPS have evolved throughout the years, there has also grown a desire for more efficient power systems, allowing NASA to serve as good stewards of the limited plutonium-238 (238Pu), while also supporting the ever-present need to minimize mass and potential impacts to the desired science measurements. In fact, the recent Nuclear Power Assessment Study (NPAS) released in April 2015 resulted in several key conclusion regarding RPS, including affirmation that RPS will be necessary well into the 2030s (at least) and that 238Pu is indeed a precious resource requiring efficient utilization and preservation. Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) combine a Stirling cycle engine powered by a radioisotope heater unit into a single generator system. Stirling engine technology has been under development at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) since the 1970's. The most recent design, the 238Pu-fueled Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), was offered as part of the NASA Discovery 2010 Announcement of Opportunity (AO). The Step-2 selections for this AO included two ASRG-enabled concepts, the Titan Mare Explorer (TiME) and the Comet Hopper (CHopper), although the only non-nuclear concept, InSight, was ultimately chosen. The DOE's ASRG contract was terminated in 2013. Given that SRGs utilize significantly less 238Pu than traditional Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) - approximately one quarter of the nuclear fuel, to produce similar electrical power output - they provide a technology worthy of consideration for meeting the aforementioned NASA objectives. NASA's RPS Program Office has recently investigated a new Stirling to

  10. A Microfabricated Segmented-Involute-Foil Regenerator for Enhancing Reliability and Performance of Stirling Engines. Phase III Final Report for the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Gedeon, David; Wood, Gary; McLean, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Under Phase III of NASA Research Announcement contract NAS3-03124, a prototype nickel segmented-involute-foil regenerator was microfabricated and tested in a Sunpower Frequency-Test-Bed (FTB) Stirling convertor. The team for this effort consisted of Cleveland State University, Gedeon Associates, Sunpower Inc. and International Mezzo Technologies. Testing in the FTB convertor produced about the same efficiency as testing with the original random-fiber regenerator. But the high thermal conductivity of the prototype nickel regenerator was responsible for a significant performance degradation. An efficiency improvement (by a 1.04 factor, according to computer predictions) could have been achieved if the regenerator was made from a low-conductivity material. Also, the FTB convertor was not reoptimized to take full advantage of the microfabricated regenerator s low flow resistance; thus, the efficiency would likely have been even higher had the FTB been completely reoptimized. This report discusses the regenerator microfabrication process, testing of the regenerator in the Stirling FTB convertor, and the supporting analysis. Results of the pre-test computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling of the effects of the regenerator-test-configuration diffusers (located at each end of the regenerator) are included. The report also includes recommendations for further development of involute-foil regenerators from a higher-temperature material than nickel.

  11. Stirling Refrigerator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagawa, Noboru

    A Stirling cooler (refrigerator) was proposed in 1862 and the first Stirling cooler was put on market in 1955. Since then, many Stirling coolers have been developed and marketed as cryocoolers. Recently, Stirling cycle machines for heating and cooling at near-ambient temperatures between 173 and 400K, are recognized as promising candidates for alternative system which are more compatible with people and the Earth. The ideal cycles of Stirling cycle machine offer the highest thermal efficiencies and the working fluids do not cause serious environmental problems of ozone depletion and global warming. In this review, the basic thermodynamics of Stirling cycle are briefly described to quantify the attractive cycle performance. The fundamentals to realize actual Stirling coolers and heat pumps are introduced in detail. The current status of the Stirling cycle machine technologies is reviewed. Some machines have almost achieved the target performance. Also, duplex-Stirling-cycle and Vuilleumier-cycle machines and their performance are introduced.

  12. Stirling Engine Controller

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaze, Gina M.

    2004-01-01

    Stirling technology is being developed to replace RTG s (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators), more specifically a stirling convertor, which is a stirling engine coupled to a linear alternator. Over the past three decades, the stirling engine has been designed to perform different functions. Stirling convertors have been designed to decrease fuel consumption in automobiles. They have also been designed for terrestrial and space applications. Currently NASA Glenn is using the convertor for space based applications. A stiring converter is a better means of power for deep space mission and "dusty" mission, like the Mars Rovers, than solar panels because it is not affected by dust. Spirit and Opportunity, two Mars rovers currently navigating the planet, are losing their ability to generate electricity because dust is collecting on their solar panels. Opportunity is losing more energy because its robotic arm has a heater with a switch that can not be turned off. The heater is not needed at night, but yet still runs. This generates a greater loss of electricity and in turn diminishes the performance of the rover. The stirling cycle has the potential to provide very efficient conversion of heat energy to electric a1 energy, more so than RTG's. The stirling engine converts the thermal energy produced by the decaying radioisotope to mechanical energy; the linear alternator converts this into electricity. convertor. Since the early 1990's tests have been performed to maximize the efficiency of the stirling converter. Many months, even years, are dedicated to preparing and performing tests. Currently, two stirling convertors #'s 13 and 14, which were developed by Stirling Technology Company, are on an extended operation test. As of June 7th, the two convertors reached 7,500 hours each of operation. Before the convertors could run unattended, many safety precautions had to be examined. So, special instrumentation and circuits were developed to detect off nominal conditions

  13. Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Reader, G.T.; Hooper

    1983-01-01

    The Stirling engine was invented by a Scottish clergyman in 1816, but fell into disuse with the coming of the diesel engine. Advances in materials science and the energy crisis have made a hot air engine economically attractive. Explanations are full and understandable. Includes coverage of the underlying thermodynamics and an interesting historical section. Topics include: Introduction to Stirling engine technology, Theoretical concepts--practical realities, Analysis, simulation and design, Practical aspects, Some alternative energy sources, Present research and development, Stirling engine literature.

  14. Optimized Heat Pipe Backup Cooling System Tested with a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Schwendeman, Carl L.; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Anderson, William G.

    2016-01-01

    Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is an attractive energy system for select space missions, and with the addition of a VCHP, it becomes even more versatile. The ASRG is powered through thermal energy from decaying radioisotopes acting as General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS). A Stirling engine converts the thermal energy to electrical energy and cools the GPHS [2]. The Stirling convertor must operate continuously to maintain acceptable temperatures of the GPHS and protect their cladding. The addition of alkali metal VCHP allows the Stirling to cycle on and off during a mission and can be used as a backup cooling system. The benefits of being able to turn the Stirling off are: allowing for a restart of the Stirling and reducing vibrations for sensitive measurements. The VCHP addition should also increase the efficiency of the Stirling by providing a uniform temperature distribution at the heat transfer interface into the heater head.

  15. Summary of Stirling Convertor Testing at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems. These convertors tend to be in the 35 to 80 watt electric power output range. Tests at GRC have accumulated over 80,000 hours of operation. Test articles have been received from Infinia Corporation of Kennewick, WA and from Sunpower of Athens, OH. Infinia designed and built the developmental Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) in addition to the more advanced Test Bed and Engineering Unit convertors. GRC has eight of the TDC's under test including two that operate in a thermal vacuum environment. Sunpower designed and developed the EE- 35 and the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). GRC has six of the EE-35's and is preparing for testing multiple ASC's. Free-piston Stirling convertors for radioisotope power systems make use of non-contacting operation that eliminates wear and is suited for longterm operation. Space missions with radioisotope power systems are often considered that extend from three to 14 years. One of the key capabilities of the GRC test facility is the ability to support continuous, unattended operation. Hardware, software, and procedures for preparing the test articles were developed to support these tests. These included the processing of the convertors for minimizing the contaminants in the working fluid, developing a helium charging system for filling and for gas sample analysis, and the development of new control software and a high-speed protection circuit to insure safe, round-the-clock operation. Performance data of Stirling convertors over time is required to demonstrate that a radioisotope power system is capable of providing reliable power for multi-year missions. This paper will discuss the status of Stirling convertor testing at GRC.

  16. Maturing Technologies for Stirling Space Power Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Nowlin, Brentley C.; Dobbs, Michael W.; Schmitz, Paul C.; Huth, James

    2016-01-01

    Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are being developed as an option to provide power on future space science missions where robotic spacecraft will orbit, flyby, land or rove. A Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) could offer space missions a more efficient power system that uses one fourth of the nuclear fuel and decreases the thermal footprint of the current state of the art. The RPS Program Office, working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), manages projects to develop thermoelectric and dynamic power systems, including Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs). The Stirling Cycle Technology Development (SCTD) Project, located at Glenn Research Center (GRC), is developing Stirling-based subsystems, including convertors and controllers. The SCTD Project also performs research that focuses on a wide variety of objectives, including increasing convertor temperature capability to enable new environments, improving system reliability or fault tolerance, reducing mass or size, and developing advanced concepts that are mission enabling. Research activity includes maturing subsystems, assemblies, and components to prepare them for infusion into future convertor and generator designs. The status of several technology development efforts are described here. As part of the maturation process, technologies are assessed for readiness in higher-level subsystems. To assess the readiness level of the Dual Convertor Controller (DCC), a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) was performed and the process and results are shown. Stirling technology research is being performed by the SCTD Project for NASA's RPS Program Office, where tasks focus on maturation of Stirling-based systems and subsystems for future space science missions.

  17. Technology Assessment of Doe's 55-we Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convector (TDC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Furlong, Richard; Shaltens, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE), Germantown, Maryland and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), Cleveland, Ohio are developing a Stirling Convertor for an advanced radioisotope power system as a potential power source for spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space science missions. The Stirling Convertor is being evaluated as an alternative high efficiency power source to replace Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs). Stirling Technology Company (STC), Kennewick, Washington, is developing the highly efficient, long life 55-We free-piston Stirling Convertor known as the Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC) under contract to DOE. GRC provides Stirling technology expertise under a Space Act Agreement with the DOE. Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA), Valley Forge, Pennsylvania is the current power system integrator for the Advanced Radioisotope Power System (ARPS) Project for the DOE. JPL is responsible for the Outer Planets/Solar Probe Project for NASA.

  18. NASA Radioisotope Power System Program - Technology and Flight Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sutliff, Thomas J.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2009-01-01

    NASA sometimes conducts robotic science missions to solar system destinations for which the most appropriate power source is derived from thermal-to-electrical energy conversion of nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes. Typically the use of a radioisotope power system (RPS) has been limited to medium and large-scale missions, with 26 U,S, missions having used radioisotope power since 1961. A research portfolio of ten selected technologies selected in 2003 has progressed to a point of maturity, such that one particular technology may he considered for future mission use: the Advanced Stirling Converter. The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator is a new power system in development based on this Stirling cycle dynamic power conversion technology. This system may be made available for smaller, Discovery-class NASA science missions. To assess possible uses of this new capability, NASA solicited and funded nine study teams to investigate unique opportunities for exploration of potential destinations for small Discovery-class missions. The influence of the results of these studies and the ongoing development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator system are discussed in the context of an integrated Radioisotope Power System program. Discussion of other and future technology investments and program opportunities are provided.

  19. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, Mary Ellen; Schreiber, Jeffery G.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency 110 W Stirling Radioisotope Generator 110 (SRG110) is being developed for potential NASA exploration missions. The SRG system efficiency is greater than 20%, making it an attractive candidate power system for deep space missions and unmanned rovers. The Department of Energy SRG110 Project team consists of the System Integrator, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). One of the GRC roles is to provide Independent Verification and Validation of the Stirling TDC s. At the request of LM, a part of this effort includes the Extended Operation of the TDC s in the dynamically balanced dual-opposed configuration. Performance data of Stirling Convertors over time is required to demonstrate that an SRG110 can meet long-duration mission requirements. A test plan and test system were developed to evaluate TDC s #13 and #14 steady-state performance for a minimum of 5000 hours. Hardware, software and TDC preparation processes were developed to support this test and insure safe, round-the-clock operation of the TDC s. This paper will discuss the design and development, and status of the Extended Operation Test.

  20. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, Mary Ellen; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator 110 (SRG110) is being developed for potential NASA exploration missions. The SRG system efficiency is greater than 20%, making it an attractive candidate power system for deep space missions and unmanned rovers. The Department of Energy SRG110 Project team consists of the System Integrator, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). One of the GRC roles is to provide Independent Verification and Validation of the Stirling TDC's. At the request of LM, a part of this effort includes the extended operation of the TDC's in the dynamically balanced dual-opposed configuration. Performance data of the Stirling Converters over time is required to demonstrate that an SRG110 can meet long-duration mission requirements. A test plan and test system were developed to evaluate TDC's #13 and #14 steady-state performance for a minimum of 5000 hours and insure safe, round-the-clock operation of the TDC's. This paper will discuss the design and development, and status of the Extended Operation Test.

  1. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Characterization Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Zachary D.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    Testing has been conducted on Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs)-E2 at NASA Glenn Research Center in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) project. This testing has been conducted to understand sensitivities of convertor parameters due to environmental and operational changes during operation of the ASRG in missions to space. This paper summarizes test results and explains the operation of the ASRG during space missions

  2. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Characterization Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Zachary D.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    Testing has been conducted on Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Project. This testing has been conducted to understand sensitivities of convertor parameters due to environmental and operational changes during operation of the ASRG in missions to space. This paper summarizes test results and explains in terms of operation of the ASRG during space missions.

  3. Impact Testing of a Stirling Converter's Linear Alternator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suarez, Vicente J.; Goodnight, Thomas W.; Hughes, William O.; Samorezov, Sergey

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and Stirling Technology Company, are currently developing a Stirling convertor for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). NASA Headquarters and DOE have identified the SRG for potential use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA deep-space and Mars surface missions. Low-level dynamic impact tests were conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center's Structural Dynamics Laboratory as part of the development of this technology. The purpose of this test was to identify dynamic structural characteristics of the Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). This paper addresses the test setup, procedure, and results of the impact testing conducted on the Stirling TDC in May 2001.

  4. Overview of Stirling Technology Research at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Williams, Zachary D.; Metscher, Jonathan F.

    2015-01-01

    Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are under development to provide power on future space science missions where robotic spacecraft will orbit, flyby, land or rove using less than a quarter of the plutonium the currently available RPS uses to produce about the same power. Glenn Research Center's (GRC's) newly formulated Stirling Cycle Technology Development Project (SCTDP) continues development of Stirling-based systems and subsystems, which include a flight-like generator and related housing assembly, controller, and convertors. The project also develops less mature technologies under Stirling Technology Research, with a focus on demonstration in representative environments to increase the technology readiness level (TRL). Matured technologies are evaluated for selection in future generator designs. Stirling Technology Research tasks focus on a wide variety of objectives, including increasing temperature capability to enable new environments, reducing generator mass and/or size, improving reliability or system fault tolerance, and developing alternative designs. The task objectives and status are summarized.

  5. Overview of Stirling Technology Research at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Williams, Zachary D.; Metscher, Jonathan F.

    2016-01-01

    Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) are under development to provide power on future space science missions where robotic spacecraft will orbit, fly by, land, or rove using less than a quarter of the plutonium the currently available RPS uses to produce about the same power. NASA Glenn Research Center's newly formulated Stirling Cycle Technology Development Project (SCTDP) continues development of Stirling-based systems and subsystems, which include a flight-like generator and related housing assembly, controller, and convertors. The project also develops less mature technologies under Stirling Technology Research, with a focus on demonstration in representative environments to increase the technology readiness level (TRL). Matured technologies are evaluated for selection in future generator designs. Stirling Technology Research tasks focus on a wide variety of objectives, including increasing temperature capability to enable new environments, reducing generator mass and/or size, improving reliability and system fault tolerance, and developing alternative designs. The task objectives and status are summarized.

  6. Stirling Convertor Extended Operation Testing and Data Analysis at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Wilson, Scott D.

    2009-01-01

    This paper focuses on extended operation testing and data analysis of free-piston Stirling convertors at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Extended operation testing is essential to the development of radioisotope power systems and their potential use for long duration missions. To document the reliability of the convertors, regular monitoring and analysis of the extended operation data is particularly valuable; allowing us to better understand and quantity the long life characteristics of the convertors. Further, investigation and comparison of the extended operation data to baseline performance data provides us an opportunity for understanding system behavior should any off-nominal performance occur. GRC currently has 14 Stirling convertors under 24-hour unattended extended operation testing, including two operating the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit (ASRG-EU). 10 of the 14 Stirling convertors at GRC are the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) developed by Sunpower, Incorporated. These are highly efficient (up to > 33.5% conversion efficiency), low mass convertors that have evolved through technologically progressive convertor builds. The remaining four convertors at GRC are Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) from Infinia Corporation. They have achieved> 27% conversion efficiency and have accumulated over 178,000 of the total 250,622 hours of extended operation currently at GRC. A synopsis of the Stirling convertor extended operation testing and data analysis at NASA GRC is presented in this paper, as well as how this testing has contributed to the Stirling convertor's progression toward flight.

  7. Assessment of Stirling Technology Has Provided Critical Data Leading Toward Flight Readiness of the Stirling Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center is supporting the development of a Stirling converter with the Department of Energy (DOE, Germantown, Maryland) for an advanced Stirling Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) to provide spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA space science missions. A key technology assessment completed by Glenn and DOE has led to the SRPS being identified as a high-efficiency power source for such deep space missions as the Europa Orbiter and the Solar Probe. In addition, the Stirling system is now being considered for unmanned Mars rovers, especially where mission profiles may exclude the use of photovoltaic power systems, such as exploration at high Martian latitudes or for missions of long duration. The SRPS efficiency of over 20 percent will reduce the required amount of radioisotope by more than a factor of 3 in comparison to current radioisotope thermoelectric generators. This significantly reduces radioisotope cost, radiological inventory, and system cost, and it provides efficient use of scarce radioisotope resources. In support of this technology assessment, Glenn conducted a series of independent evaluations and tests to determine the technology readiness of a 55-We Stirling converter developed by Stirling Technology Company (Kennewick, Washington) and DOE. Key areas evaluated by Glenn included: 1) Radiation tolerance of materials; 2) Random vibration testing of the Stirling converter in Glenn's Structural Dynamics Lab to simulate operation in the launch environment; 3) Electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMI/EMC) of the converter operating in Glenn's EMI lab; Independent failure modes, effects, and criticality analysis, and life and reliability 4. Independent failure modes, effects, and criticality analysis, and life and reliability assessment; and 5) SRPS cost estimate. The data from these evaluations were presented to NASA Headquarters and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission office by a joint industry/Government team

  8. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Program Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudzinski, Leonard A.; Hamley, John A.; McCallum, Peter W.; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Zakrajsek, June F.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program began formal implementation in December 2010. The RPS Program's goal is to make available RPS for the exploration of the solar system in environments where conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet mission needs. To meet this goal, the RPS Program manages investments in RPS system development and RPS technologies. The current keystone of the RPS Program is the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). This generator will be about four times more efficient than the more traditional thermoelectric generators, while providing a similar amount of power. This paper provides the status of the RPS Program and its related projects. Opportunities for RPS generator development and targeted research into RPS component performance enhancements, as well as constraints dealing with the supply of radioisotope fuel, are also discussed in the context of the next ten years of planetary science mission plans.

  9. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Technology Maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Scott; Collins, Josh; Wilson, Kyle

    2015-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) development effort was initiated by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) with contractor Sunpower Inc. to develop high efficiency thermal-to-electric power conversion technology for NASA Radioisotope Power Systems. Early successful performance demonstrations led to the expansion of the project as well as adoption of the technology by the Department of Energy (DOE) and system integration contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company as part of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) flight project. The ASRG integrates a pair of ASCs to convert the heat from a pair of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules into electrical power. The expanded NASA ASC effort included development of several generations of ASC prototypes or Engineering Units to help prepare the ASC technology and Sunpower for flight implementation. Sunpower later had two parallel contracts allowing the last of the NASA Engineering Units called ASC-E3 to serve as pathfinders for the ASC-F flight convertors being built for DOE. The ASC-E3 convertors utilized the ASC-F flight specifications and were built using the ASC-F design and process documentation. Shortly after the first ASC-F Pair achieved initial operation, due to budget constraints, the DOE ASRG flight development contract was terminated. NASA continues to invest in the development of Stirling RPS technology including continued production of the ASC-E3 convertors, seven of which have been delivered with one additional unit in production. Starting in FY2015, Stirling Convertor Technology Maturation has been reorganized as an element of the RPS Stirling Cycle Technology Development (SCTD) Project and long-term plans for continued Stirling technology advancement are in reformulation. This paper provides a status on the ASC project, an overview of advancements made in the design and production of the ASC at Sunpower, and a summary of acceptance tests, reliability tests, and tactical tests at NASA

  10. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Technology Maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Scott; Collins, Josh; Wilson, Kyle

    2016-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) development effort was initiated by NASA Glenn Research Center with contractor Sunpower, Inc., to develop high-efficiency thermal-to-electric power conversion technology for NASA Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs). Early successful performance demonstrations led to the expansion of the project as well as adoption of the technology by the Department of Energy (DOE) and system integration contractor Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company as part of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) flight project. The ASRG integrates a pair of ASCs to convert the heat from a pair of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules into electrical power. The expanded NASA ASC effort included development of several generations of ASC prototypes or engineering units to help prepare the ASC technology and Sunpower for flight implementation. Sunpower later had two parallel contracts allowing the last of the NASA engineering units called ASC-E3 to serve as pathfinders for the ASC-F flight convertors being built for DOE. The ASC-E3 convertors utilized the ASC-F flight specifications and were built using the ASC-F design and process documentation. Shortly after the first ASC-F pair achieved initial operation, due to budget constraints, the DOE ASRG flight development contract was terminated. NASA continues to invest in the development of Stirling RPS technology including continued production of the ASC-E3 convertors, seven of which have been delivered with one additional unit in production. Starting in fiscal year 2015, Stirling Convertor Technology Maturation has been reorganized as an element of the RPS Stirling Cycle Technology Development (SCTD) Project and long-term plans for continued Stirling technology advancement are in reformulation. This paper provides a status on the ASC project, an overview of advancements made in the design and production of the ASC at Sunpower, and a summary of acceptance tests, reliability tests, and tactical

  11. NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are developing a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for potential NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. NASA GRC is conducting an in- house supporting technology project to assist in developing the Stirling convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Preparations are underway for a thermalhacuum system demonstration and unattended operation during endurance testing of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors. Heater head life assessment efforts continue, including verification of the heater head brazing and heat treatment schedules and evaluation of any potential regenerator oxidation. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the permanent magnets used in the linear alternator. Testing of the magnet/lamination epoxy bond for performance and lifetime characteristics is now underway. These efforts are expected to provide key inputs as the system integrator, LM, begins system development of the SRG. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors. Cleveland State University (CSU) is progressing toward a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code, capable of modeling complete convertors. Validation efforts at both CSU and the University of Minnesota are complementing the code development. New efforts have been started this year on a lightweight convertor, advanced controllers, high-temperature materials, and an end-to-end system dynamics model. Performance and mass improvement goals have been established for second- and third-generation Stirling radioisotope power systems.

  12. Advanced Technology Development for Stirling Convertors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-02-01

    A high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for use on potential NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). These missions may include providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions or power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall power system. Performance and mass improvement goals have been established for second- and third-generation Stirling radioisotope power systems. Multiple efforts are underway to achieve these goals, both in-house at GRC and under various grants and contracts. The status and results to date for these efforts will be discussed in this paper. Cleveland State University (CSU) is developing a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code, capable of modeling complete convertors. A 2-D version of the code is now operational, and validation efforts at both CSU and the University of Minnesota are complementing the code development. A screening of advanced superalloy, refractory metal alloy, and ceramic materials has been completed, and materials have been selected for creep and joining characterization as part of developing a high-temperature heater head. A breadboard characterization is underway for an advanced controller using power electronics for active power factor control with a goal of eliminating the heavy tuning capacitors that are typically needed to achieve near unity power factors. Key Stirling developments just initiated under recent NRA (NASA Research Announcement) awards will also be discussed. These include a lightweight convertor to be developed by Sunpower Inc. and an advanced microfabricated regenerator to be done by CSU.

  13. NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are developing a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for potential NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house supporting technology project to assist in developing the Stirling convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Preparations are underway for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration and unattended operation during endurance testing of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors. Heater head life assessment efforts continue, including verification of the heater head brazing and heat treatment schedules and evaluation of any potential regenerator oxidation. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the permanent magnets used in the linear alternator. Testing of the magnet/lamination epoxy bond for performance and lifetime characteristics is now underway. These efforts are expected to provide key inputs as the system integrator, LM, begins system development of the SRG. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors. Cleveland State University (CSU) is progressing toward a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code, capable of modeling complete convertors. Validation efforts at both CSU and the University of Minnesota are complementing the code development. New efforts have been started this year on a lightweight convertor, advanced controllers, high-temperature materials, and an end-to-end system dynamics model. Performance and mass improvement goals have been established for second- and third-generation Stirling radioisotope power systems.

  14. Advanced Technology Development for Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for use on potential NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). These missions may include providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions or power for unmanned Mars rovers. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall power system. Performance and mass improvement goals have been established for second- and thirdgeneration Stirling radioisotope power systems. Multiple efforts are underway to achieve these goals, both in-house at GRC and under various grants and contracts. The status and results to date for these efforts will be discussed in this paper. Cleveland State University (CSU) is developing a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code, capable of modeling complete convertors. A 2-D version of the code is now operational, and validation efforts at both CSU and the University of Minnesota are complementing the code development. A screening of advanced superalloy, refractory metal alloy, and ceramic materials has been completed, and materials have been selected for creep and joining characterization as part of developing a high-temperature heater head. A breadboard characterization is underway for an advanced controller using power electronics for active power factor control with a goal of eliminating the heavy tuning capacitors that are typically needed to achieve near unity power factors. Key Stirling developments just initiated under recent NRA (NASA Research Announcement) awards will also be discussed. These include a lightweight convertor to be developed by Sunpower Inc. and an advanced microfabricated regenerator to be done by CSU.

  15. Stirling Convertor Fasteners Reliability Quantification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Kovacevich, Tiodor; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Onboard Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) being developed for NASA s deep-space science and exploration missions require reliable operation for up to 14 years and beyond. Stirling power conversion is a candidate for use in an RPS because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power and reduced inventory of radioactive material. Structural fasteners are responsible to maintain structural integrity of the Stirling power convertor, which is critical to ensure reliable performance during the entire mission. Design of fasteners involve variables related to the fabrication, manufacturing, behavior of fasteners and joining parts material, structural geometry of the joining components, size and spacing of fasteners, mission loads, boundary conditions, etc. These variables have inherent uncertainties, which need to be accounted for in the reliability assessment. This paper describes these uncertainties along with a methodology to quantify the reliability, and provides results of the analysis in terms of quantified reliability and sensitivity of Stirling power conversion reliability to the design variables. Quantification of the reliability includes both structural and functional aspects of the joining components. Based on the results, the paper also describes guidelines to improve the reliability and verification testing.

  16. Accomplishments in free-piston stirling tests at NASA GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Skupinski, Robert C.

    2002-01-01

    A power system based on the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) has been identified for potential use on deep space missions, as well as for Mars rovers that may benefit from extended operation. The Department of Energy (DOE) has responsibility for developing the generator and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is supporting DOE in this effort. The generator is based on a free-piston Stirling power convertor that has been developed by the Stirling Technology Company (STC) under contract to DOE. The generator would be used as a high-efficiency alternative to the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) that have been used on many previous missions. The increased efficiency leads to a factor of 3 to 4 reduction in the inventory of plutonium required to heat the generator. GRC has been involved in the development of Stirling power conversion technology for over 25 years. The support provided to this project by GRC has many facets and draws upon the lab's scientists and engineers that have gained experience in applying their skills to the previous Stirling projects. This has created a staff with an understanding of the subtleties involved in applying their expertise to Stirling systems. Areas include materials, structures, tribology, controls, electromagnetic interference, permanent magnets, alternator analysis, structural dynamics, and cycle performance. One of the key areas of support to the project is in the performance testing of the free-piston Stirling convertors. Since these power convertors are the smallest, lowest power Stirling machines that have been tested at GRC, a new laboratory was equipped for this project. Procedures and test plans have been created, instrumentation and data systems developed, and Stirling convertors have been tested. This paper will describe the GRC test facility, the test procedures that are used, present some of the test results and outline plans for the future. .

  17. Summary of Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems. These convertors tend to be in the 35 to 80 W electric power output range. Tests at GRC have accumulated over 80,000 hr of operation. Test articles have been received from Infinia Corporation of Kennewick, Washington and from Sunpower of Athens, Ohio. Infinia designed and built the developmental Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) in addition to the more advanced Test Bed and Engineering Unit convertors. GRC has eight of the TDC's under test including two that operate in a thermal vacuum environment. Sunpower designed and developed the EE-35 and the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). GRC has six of the EE- 35 s and is preparing for testing multiple ASC s. Free-piston Stirling convertors for radioisotope power systems make use of non-contacting operation that eliminates wear and is suited for long-term operation. Space missions with radioisotope power systems are often considered that extend from three to 14 years. One of the key capabilities of the GRC test facility is the ability to support continuous, unattended operation. Hardware, software, and procedures for preparing the test articles were developed to support these tests. These included the processing of the convertors for minimizing the contaminants in the working fluid, developing a helium charging system for filling and for gas sample analysis, and the development of new control software and a high-speed protection circuit to insure safe, round-the-clock operation. Performance data of Stirling convertors over time is required to demonstrate that a radioisotope power system is capable of providing reliable power for multi-year missions. This paper will discuss the status of Stirling convertor testing at GRC.

  18. Vibration Testing of Stirling Power Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, Bill; Goodnight, Thomas; McNelis, Mark E.; Suarez, Vicente J.; Schreiber, Jeff; Samorezov, Sergey

    2003-01-01

    to supply on- board electric spacecraft power for future NASA Deep-Space Missions, performing as an attractive alternative to Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). Usage of the Stirling technology is also being considered as the electric power source for future Mars rovers, whose mission profiles may exclude the use of photovoltaic power systems (such as exploring at high Martian latitudes or for missions of lengthy durations). GRC s Thermo-Mechanical Systems Branch (5490) provides Stirling technology expertise under a Space Act Agreement with the DOE. Additional vibration testing, by GRC s Structural Systems Dynamics Branch (7733, is planned to continue to demonstrate the Stirling power system s vibration capability as its technology and flight system designs progress.

  19. The NASA Next Generation Stirling Technology Program Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, J. G.; Shaltens, R. K.; Wong, W. A.

    2005-12-01

    NASAs Science Mission Directorate is developing the next generation Stirling technology for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for surface and deep space missions. The next generation Stirling convertor is one of two advanced power conversion technologies currently being developed for future NASA missions, and is capable of operating for both planetary atmospheres and deep space environments. The Stirling convertor (free-piston engine integrated with a linear alternator) produces about 90 We(ac) and has a specific power of about 90 We/kg. Operating conditions of Thot at 850 degree C and Trej at 90 degree C results in the Stirling convertor estimated efficiency of about 40 per cent. Using the next generation Stirling convertor in future RPS, the "system" specific power is estimated at 8 We/kg. The design lifetime is three years on the surface of Mars and fourteen years in deep space missions. Electrical power of about 160 We (BOM) is produced by two (2) free-piston Stirling convertors heated by two (2) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. This development is being performed by Sunpower, Athens, OH with Pratt & Whitney, Rocketdyne, Canoga Park, CA under contract to Glenn Research Center (GRC), Cleveland, Ohio. GRC is guiding the independent testing and technology development for the next generation Stirling generator.

  20. Update on the NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2000-01-01

    The Department of Energy, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), and Stirling Technology Company (STC) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a Stirling radioisotope power system (SRPS) to provide spacecraft on-board electric power for NASA deep space missions. The SRPS has recently been identified for potential use on the Europa Orbiter and Solar Probe Space Science missions. Stirling is also now being considered for unmanned Mars rovers. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house project to assist in developing the Stirling convertor for readiness for space qualification and mission implementation. As part of this continuing effort, the Stirling convertor will be further characterized under launch environment random vibration testing, methods to reduce convertor electromagnetic interference (EMI) will be developed, and an independent performance verification will be completed. Convertor life assessment and permanent magnet aging characterization tasks are also underway. Substitute organic materials for the linear alternator and piston bearing coatings for use in a high radiation environment have been identified and have now been incorporated in Stirling convertors built by STC for GRC. Electromagnetic and thermal finite element analyses for the alternator are also being conducted. This paper discusses the recent results and status for this NASA GRC in-house project.

  1. NASA Multidimensional Stirling Convertor Code Developed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2004-01-01

    A high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for use on potential NASA Space Science missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company, and the NASA Glenn Research Center. These missions may include providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions or power for unmanned Mars rovers. Glenn is also developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and the overall power system. Performance and mass improvement goals have been established for second- and third-generation Stirling radioisotope power systems. Multiple efforts are underway to achieve these goals, both in house at Glenn and under various grants and contracts. These efforts include the development of a multidimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code, high-temperature materials, advanced controllers, an end-to-end system dynamics model, low-vibration techniques, advanced regenerators, and a lightweight convertor. Under a NASA grant, Cleveland State University (CSU) and its subcontractors, the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Gedeon Associates, have developed a twodimensional computer simulation of a CSUmod Stirling convertor. The CFD-ACE commercial software developed by CFD Research Corp. of Huntsville, Alabama, is being used. The CSUmod is a scaled version of the Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC), which was designed and fabricated by the Stirling Technology Company and is being tested by NASA. The schematic illustrates the structure of this model. Modeled are the fluid-flow and heat-transfer phenomena that occur in the expansion space, the heater, the regenerator, the cooler, the compression space, the surrounding walls, and the moving piston and displacer. In addition, the overall heat transfer, the indicated power, and the efficiency can be calculated. The CSUmod model is being converted to a two

  2. Radioisotope trithiol complexes

    DOEpatents

    Jurisson, Silvia S.; Cutler, Cathy S.; Degraffenreid, Anthony J.

    2016-08-30

    The present invention is directed to a series of stable radioisotope trithiol complexes that provide a simplified route for the direct complexation of radioisotopes present in low concentrations. In certain embodiments, the complex contains a linking domain configured to conjugate the radioisotope trithiol complex to a targeting vector. The invention is also directed to a novel method of linking the radioisotope to a trithiol compound to form the radioisotope trithiol complex. The inventive radioisotope trithiol complexes may be utilized for a variety of applications, including diagnostics and/or treatment in nuclear medicine.

  3. Reliability Assessment Approach for Stirling Convertors and Generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Zampino, Edward; Best, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    Stirling power conversion is being considered for use in a Radioisotope Power System for deep-space science missions because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power. Quantifying the reliability of a Radioisotope Power System that utilizes Stirling power conversion technology is important in developing and demonstrating the capability for long-term success. A description of the Stirling power convertor is provided, along with a discussion about some of the key components. Ongoing efforts to understand component life, design variables at the component and system levels, related sources, and the nature of uncertainties is discussed. The requirement for reliability also is discussed, and some of the critical areas of concern are identified. A section on the objectives of the performance model development and a computation of reliability is included to highlight the goals of this effort. Also, a viable physics-based reliability plan to model the design-level variable uncertainties at the component and system levels is outlined, and potential benefits are elucidated. The plan involves the interaction of different disciplines, maintaining the physical and probabilistic correlations at all the levels, and a verification process based on rational short-term tests. In addition, both top-down and bottom-up coherency were maintained to follow the physics-based design process and mission requirements. The outlined reliability assessment approach provides guidelines to improve the design and identifies governing variables to achieve high reliability in the Stirling Radioisotope Generator design.

  4. Stirling technology development at NASA GRC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA GRC is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) built by STC includes mapping of a second pair of TDC's, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a non-magnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDC's with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. GRC is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at GRC when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multi-dimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss predictions and assist in

  5. Stirling Technology Development at NASA GRC. Revised

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA Glenn) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing, of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC's) built by STC includes mapping, of a second pair of TDC's, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a nonmagnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDC's with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. NASA Glenn is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at NASA Glenn when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multidimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss

  6. Stirling Technology Development at NASA GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Mason, Lee S.

    2001-01-01

    The Department of Energy, Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA Glenn) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for NASA Space Science missions. The SRG is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and deep space missions. NASA Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for space qualification and mission implementation. Recent testing of 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) built by STC includes mapping of a second pair of TDCs, single TDC testing, and TDC electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization on a nonmagnetic test stand. Launch environment tests of a single TDC without its pressure vessel to better understand the convertor internal structural dynamics and of dual-opposed TDCs with several engineering mounting structures with different natural frequencies have recently been completed. A preliminary life assessment has been completed for the TDC heater head, and creep testing of the IN718 material to be used for the flight convertors is underway. Long-term magnet aging tests are continuing to characterize any potential aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets used in the linear alternator (LA). Evaluations are now beginning on key organic materials used in the LA and piston/rod surface coatings. NASA Glenn is also conducting finite element analyses for the LA, in part to look at the demagnetization margin on the permanent magnets. The world's first known integrated test of a dynamic power system with electric propulsion was achieved at NASA Glenn when a Hall-effect thruster was successfully operated with a free-piston Stirling power source. Cleveland State University is developing a multidimensional Stirling computational fluid dynamics code to significantly improve Stirling loss

  7. Stirling Power Convertors Demonstrated in Extended Operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    A 110-W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, under contract to the Department of Energy of Germantown, Maryland. The generator will be a high-efficiency electric power source for NASA space exploration missions that can operate in the vacuum of deep space or in a gaseous atmosphere, such as on the surface of Mars. The generator converts heat supplied by the decay of a plutonium heat source into electric power for the spacecraft. In support of the SRG110 project, the NASA Glenn Research Center has established a technology effort that will provide some of the key data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system to be used in space. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power-conversion technology. Glenn tasks include in-house testing of Stirling convertors and controllers, materials evaluation and heater head life assessment, structural dynamics, evaluation of electromagnetic interference, assessment of organics, and reliability analysis. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary to the near-term technology effort, intended to reduce the mass of the Stirling convertor and increase efficiency.

  8. NASA Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.

    2005-01-01

    The focus of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Development program is aimed at developing nuclear power and technologies that would improve the effectiveness of space science missions. The Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) is an important mechanism through which research and technology activities are supported in the Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Development program. The purpose of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide higher efficiencies and specific powers than existing systems. These advances would enable a factor of two to four decrease in the amount of fuel and a reduction of waste heat required to generate electrical power, and thus could result in more cost effective science missions for NASA. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100 W(sub e) scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, a summary of the power conversion technologies approaches being pursued, and a brief digest of first year accomplishments.

  9. NASA Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.

    2005-01-01

    The focus of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Development program is aimed at developing nuclear power and technologies that would improve the effectiveness of space science missions. The Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) is an important mechanism through which research and technology activities are supported in the Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Development program. The purpose of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide higher efficiencies and specific powers than existing systems. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel and a reduction of waste heat required to generate electrical power, and thus could result in more cost effective science missions for NASA. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100We scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, a summary of the power conversion technologies approaches being pursued, and a brief digest of first year accomplishments.

  10. Advanced 80 We Stirling Convertor Development Progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Carroll, Cliff; Penswick, L. B.

    2005-02-01

    This paper presents progress on the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) being developed by Sunpower and Boeing/Rocketdyne under NASA NRA funding. The ASC will use a high temperature heater head to allow for operation at 850 °C. The ASC is projected to have an efficiency approaching 40% (AC electrical out/ heat in) when operating at a temperature ratio of 3.0, and to have a convertor specific power of 90 We/kg (AC). An early developmental unit, the Frequency Test Bed (FTB) convertor, has already demonstrated 36% efficiency (based on AC electrical out) at this temperature ratio. The ASC is being developed for potential use in advanced radioisotope space power systems. The increased efficiency of this Stirling convertor compared to RTGs, would reduce the required amount of Plutonium fuel by a factor of approximately 5.

  11. Investigation of Insulation Materials for Future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Hurwitz, Frances I.; Ellis, David L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power System (RPS) Technology Advancement Project is developing next generation high temperature insulation materials that directly benefit thermal management and improve performance of RPS for future science missions. Preliminary studies on the use of multilayer insulation (MLI) for Stirling convertors used on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) have shown the potential benefits of MLI for space vacuum applications in reducing generator size and increasing specific power (W/kg) as compared to the baseline Microtherm HT (Microtherm, Inc.) insulation. Further studies are currently being conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) on candidate MLI foils and aerogel composite spacers. This paper presents the method of testing of foils and spacers and experimental results to date.

  12. Investigation of Insulation Materials for Future Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Hurwitz, Frances I.; Ellis, David L.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Technology Advancement Project is developing next generation high-temperature insulation materials that directly benefit thermal management and improve performance of RPS for future science missions. Preliminary studies on the use of multilayer insulation (MLI) for Stirling convertors used on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) have shown the potential benefits of MLI for space vacuum applications in reducing generator size and increasing specific power (W/kg) as compared to the baseline Microtherm HT (Microtherm, Inc.) insulation. Further studies are currently being conducted at NASA Glenn Research Center on candidate MLI foils and aerogel composite spacers. This paper presents the method of testing of foils and spacers and experimental results to date.

  13. Integrated Stirling Convertor and Hall Thruster Test Conducted

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2002-01-01

    An important aspect of implementing Stirling Radioisotope Generators on future NASA missions is the integration of the generator and controller with potential spacecraft loads. Some recent studies have indicated that the combination of Stirling Radioisotope Generators and electric propulsion devices offer significant trip time and payload fraction benefits for deep space missions. A test was devised to begin to understand the interactions between Stirling generators and electric thrusters. An electrically heated RG- 350 (350-W output) Stirling convertor, designed and built by Stirling Technology Company of Kennewick, Washington, under a NASA Small Business Innovation Research agreement, was coupled to a 300-W SPT-50 Hall-effect thruster built for NASA by the Moscow Aviation Institute (RIAME). The RG-350 and the SPT-50 shown, were installed in adjacent vacuum chamber ports at NASA Glenn Research Center's Electric Propulsion Laboratory, Vacuum Facility 8. The Stirling electrical controller interfaced directly with the Hall thruster power-processing unit, both of which were located outside of the vacuum chamber. The power-processing unit accepted the 48 Vdc output from the Stirling controller and distributed the power to all the loads of the SPT-50, including the magnets, keeper, heater, and discharge. On February 28, 2001, the Glenn test team successfully operated the Hall-effect thruster with the Stirling convertor. This is the world's first known test of a dynamic power source with electric propulsion. The RG-350 successfully managed the transition from the purely resistive load bank within the Stirling controller to the highly capacitive power-processing unit load. At the time of the demonstration, the Stirling convertor was operating at a hot temperature of 530 C and a cold temperature of -6 C. The linear alternator was producing approximately 250 W at 109 Vac, while the power-processing unit was drawing 175 W at 48 Vdc. The majority of power was delivered to the

  14. Work Began on Contracts for Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA has had a history of successful space flight missions that depended on radioisotope-fueled power systems. These Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) converted the heat generated from the decay of radioisotope material into useful electrical power. An RPS is most attractive in applications where photovoltaics are not optimal, such as deep-space applications where the solar flux is too low or extended applications on planets such as Mars where the day/night cycle, settling of dust, and life requirements limit the usefulness of photovoltaics. NASA s Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) Program is developing next-generation power-conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by the two RPS flight systems currently being developed by the Department of Energy for NASA: the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator and the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG).

  15. Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology program is developing next generation power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by either the ubiquitous photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. Performance goals of advanced radioisotope power systems include improvement over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. NASA has awarded ten contracts in the technology areas of Brayton, Stirling, Thermoelectric, and Thermophotovoltaic power conversion including five development contracts that deal with more mature technologies and five research contracts. The Advanced RPS Systems Assessment Team includes members from NASA GRC, JPL, DOE and Orbital Sciences whose function is to review the technologies being developed under the ten Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology contracts and assess their relevance to NASA's future missions. Presented is an overview of the ten radioisotope power conversion technology contracts and NASA's Advanced RPS Systems Assessment Team.

  16. Demagnetization Tests Performed on a Linear Alternator for a Stirling Power Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Niedra, Janis M.; Schwarze, Gene E.

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is conducting in-house research on rare-earth permanent magnets and linear alternators to assist in developing free-piston Stirling convertors for radioisotope space power systems and for developing advanced linear alternator technology. This research continues at GRC, but, with the exception of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator references, the work presented in this paper was conducted in 2005. A special arc-magnet characterization fixture was designed and built to measure the M-H characteristics of the magnets used in Technology Demonstration Convertors developed under the 110-W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) project. This fixture was used to measure these characteristics of the arc magnets and to predict alternator demagnetization temperatures in the SRG110 application. Demagnetization tests using the TDC alternator on the Alternator Test Rig were conducted for two different magnet grades: Sumitomo Neomax 44AH and 42AH. The purpose of these tests was to determine the demagnetization temperatures of the magnets for the alternator under nominal loads. Measurements made during the tests included the linear alternator terminal voltage, current, average power, magnet temperatures, and stator temperatures. The results of these tests were found to be in good agreement with predictions. Alternator demagnetization temperatures in the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-developed under the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator project) were predicted as well because the prediction method had been validated through the SRG110 alternator tests. These predictions led to a specification for maximum temperatures of the ASC pressure vessel.

  17. New 5 Kilowatt Free-piston Stirling Space Convertor Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.; Chapman, Peter A., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Vision for Exploration of the moon may someday require a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kW. In the 1990s, Mechanical Technology Inc. s Stirling Engine Systems Division (some of whose Stirling personnel are now at Foster-Miller, Inc.) developed a 25 kW free piston Stirling Space Power Demonstrator Engine under the SP-100 program. This system consisted of two 12.5 kW engines connected at their hot ends and mounted in tandem to cancel vibration. Recently, NASA and DoE have been developing dual 55 W and 80 W Stirling convertor systems for potential use with radioisotope heat sources. Total test times of all convertors in this effort exceed 120,000 hours. Recently, NASA began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kW, single convertor for potential use in a lunar surface reactor power system. Goals of this development program include a specific power in excess of 140 W/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and a control system that will safely manage the convertors in case of an emergency. Auburn University awarded a subcontract to Foster-Miller, Inc. to undertake development of the 5 kW Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  18. Alkali Metal Backup Cooling for Stirling Systems - Experimental Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwendeman, Carl; Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Cornell, Peggy A.

    2013-01-01

    In a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (RPS), heat must be continuously removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. The Stirling convertor normally provides this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS at the cost of an early termination of the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) can be used to passively allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. In a previous NASA SBIR Program, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) developed a series of sodium VCHPs as backup cooling systems for Stirling RPS. The operation of these VCHPs was demonstrated using Stirling heater head simulators and GPHS simulators. In the most recent effort, a sodium VCHP with a stainless steel envelope was designed, fabricated and tested at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) with a Stirling convertor for two concepts; one for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) back up cooling system and one for the Long-lived Venus Lander thermal management system. The VCHP is designed to activate and remove heat from the stopped convertor at a 19 degC temperature increase from the nominal vapor temperature. The 19 degC temperature increase from nominal is low enough to avoid risking standard ASRG operation and spoiling of the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI). In addition, the same backup cooling system can be applied to the Stirling convertor used for the refrigeration system of the Long-lived Venus Lander. The VCHP will allow the refrigeration system to: 1) rest during transit at a lower temperature than nominal; 2) pre-cool the modules to an even lower temperature before the entry in Venus atmosphere; 3) work at nominal temperature on Venus surface; 4) briefly stop multiple times on the Venus surface to allow scientific measurements. This paper presents the experimental

  19. Alkali Metal Backup Cooling for Stirling Systems - Experimental Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwendeman, Carl; Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Cornell, Peggy A.

    2013-01-01

    In a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (RPS), heat must be continuously removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. The Stirling convertor normally provides this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS at the cost of an early termination of the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) can be used to passively allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. In a previous NASA SBIR Program, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) developed a series of sodium VCHPs as backup cooling systems for Stirling RPS. The operation of these VCHPs was demonstrated using Stirling heater head simulators and GPHS simulators. In the most recent effort, a sodium VCHP with a stainless steel envelope was designed, fabricated and tested at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) with a Stirling convertor for two concepts; one for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) back up cooling system and one for the Long-lived Venus Lander thermal management system. The VCHP is designed to activate and remove heat from the stopped convertor at a 19 C temperature increase from the nominal vapor temperature. The 19 C temperature increase from nominal is low enough to avoid risking standard ASRG operation and spoiling of the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI). In addition, the same backup cooling system can be applied to the Stirling convertor used for the refrigeration system of the Long-lived Venus Lander. The VCHP will allow the refrigeration system to: 1) rest during transit at a lower temperature than nominal; 2) pre-cool the modules to an even lower temperature before the entry in Venus atmosphere; 3) work at nominal temperature on Venus surface; 4) briefly stop multiple times on the Venus surface to allow scientific measurements. This paper presents the experimental

  20. Recent Stirling Conversion Technology Developments and Operational Measurements at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2010-01-01

    In support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) project and other potential applications, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has initiated convertor technology development efforts in the areas of acoustic emission, electromagnetic field mitigation, thermoacoustic Stirling conversion, and multiple-cylinder alpha arrangements of Stirling machines. The acoustic emission measurement effort was developed as a health monitoring metric for several Stirling convertors undergoing life testing. While accelerometers have been used in the past to monitor dynamic signature, the acoustic sensors were chosen to monitor cycle events, such gas bearing operation. Several electromagnetic interference (EMI) experiments were performed on a pair of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC). These tests demonstrated that a simple bucking coil was capable of reducing the alternating current (ac) magnetic field below the ASRG system specification. The thermoacoustic Stirling concept eliminates the displacer typically found in Stirling machines by making use of the pressure oscillations of a traveling acoustic wave. A 100 W-class thermoacoustic Stirling prototype manufactured by Northrop Grumman Space and Technology was received and tested. Another thermoacoustic prototype designed and fabricated by Sunpower, Inc., will be tested in the near future. A four cylinder free piston alpha prototype convertor was received from Sunpower, Inc. and has been tested at GRC. This hardware was used as a proof of concept to validate thermodynamic models and demonstrate stable operation of multiple-cylinder free-piston Stirling conversion. This paper will discuss each of these activities and the results they produced.

  1. Developmental Considerations on the Free-piston Stirling Power Convertor for Use in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines with rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were proposed with lightly loaded linkages to achieve the necessary life. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: demonstration of life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in flight, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both flight and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  2. Developmental Considerations on the Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor for Use in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been considered a candidate for radioisotope power systems for space for more than a decade. Prior to the free-piston Stirling architecture, systems were designed with kinematic Stirling engines with rotary alternators to convert heat to electricity. These systems were proposed with lightly loaded linkages to achieve the necessary life. When the free-piston configuration was initially proposed, it was thought to be attractive due to the relatively high conversion efficiency, acceptable mass, and the potential for long life and high reliability. These features have consistently been recognized by teams that have studied technology options for radioisotope power systems. Since free-piston Stirling power conversion was first considered for space power applications, there have been major advances in three general areas of development: demonstration of life and reliability, the success achieved by Stirling cryocoolers in flight, and the overall developmental maturity of the technology for both flight and terrestrial applications. Based on these advances, free-piston Stirling convertors are currently being developed for a number of terrestrial applications. They commonly operate with the power, efficiency, life, and reliability as intended, and much of the development now centers on system integration. This paper will summarize the accomplishments of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology over the past decade, review the status, and discuss the challenges that remain.

  3. Active Vibration Reduction of the Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Metscher, Jonathan F.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are being developed as an option to provide power on future space science missions where robotic spacecraft will orbit, flyby, land or rove. A Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) could offer space missions a more efficient power system that uses one fourth of the nuclear fuel and decreases the thermal footprint compared to the current state of the art. The Stirling Cycle Technology Development (SCTD) Project is funded by the RPS Program to developing Stirling-based subsystems, including convertors and controller maturation efforts that have resulted in high fidelity hardware like the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), and ASC Controller Unit (ACU). The SCTD Project also performs research to develop less mature technologies with a wide variety of objectives, including increasing temperature capability to enable new environments, improving system reliability or fault tolerance, reducing mass or size, and developing advanced concepts that are mission enabling. Active vibration reduction systems (AVRS), or "balancers", have historically been developed and characterized to provide fault tolerance for generator designs that incorporate dual-opposed Stirling convertors or enable single convertor, or small RPS, missions. Balancers reduce the dynamic disturbance forces created by the power piston and displacer internal moving components of a single operating convertor to meet spacecraft requirements for induced disturbance force. To improve fault tolerance for dual-opposed configurations and enable single convertor configurations, a breadboard AVRS was implemented on the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The AVRS included a linear motor, a motor mount, and a closed-loop controller able to balance out the transmitted peak dynamic disturbance using acceleration feedback. Test objectives included quantifying power and mass penalty and reduction in transmitted force over a range of ASC

  4. Active Vibration Reduction of the Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Metscher, Jonathan F.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2016-01-01

    Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are being developed as an option to provide power on future space science missions where robotic spacecraft will orbit, flyby, land or rove. A Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) could offer space missions a more efficient power system that uses one fourth of the nuclear fuel and decreases the thermal footprint compared to the current state of the art. The Stirling Cycle Technology Development (SCTD) Project is funded by the RPS Program to developing Stirling-based subsystems, including convertors and controller maturation efforts that have resulted in high fidelity hardware like the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), and ASC Controller Unit (ACU). The SCTD Project also performs research to develop less mature technologies with a wide variety of objectives, including increasing temperature capability to enable new environments, improving system reliability or fault tolerance, reducing mass or size, and developing advanced concepts that are mission enabling. Active vibration reduction systems (AVRS), or "balancers", have historically been developed and characterized to provide fault tolerance for generator designs that incorporate dual-opposed Stirling convertors or enable single convertor, or small RPS, missions. Balancers reduce the dynamic disturbance forces created by the power piston and displacer internal moving components of a single operating convertor to meet spacecraft requirements for induced disturbance force. To improve fault tolerance for dual-opposed configurations and enable single convertor configurations, a breadboard AVRS was implemented on the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The AVRS included a linear motor, a motor mount, and a closed-loop controller able to balance out the transmitted peak dynamic disturbance using acceleration feedback. Test objectives included quantifying power and mass penalty and reduction in transmitted force over a range of ASC

  5. Realistic Specific Power Expectations for Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

    Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) are being considered for a wide range of future NASA space science and exploration missions. Generally, RPS offer the advantages of high reliability, long life, and predictable power production regardless of operating environment. Previous RPS, in the form of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG), have been used successfully on many NASA missions including Apollo, Viking, Voyager, and Galileo. NASA is currently evaluating design options for the next generation of RPS. Of particular interest is the use of advanced, higher efficiency power conversion to replace the previous thermoelectric devices. Higher efficiency reduces the quantity of radioisotope fuel and potentially improves the RPS specific power (watts per kilogram). Power conversion options include Segmented Thermoelectric (STE), Stirling, Brayton, and Thermophotovoltaic (TPV). This paper offers an analysis of the advanced 100 watt-class RPS options and provides credible projections for specific power. Based on the analysis presented, RPS specific power values greater than 10 W/kg appear unlikely.

  6. Reliability Assessment Approach for Stirling Convertors and Generators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Zampino, Edward; Best, Timothy

    2003-01-01

    Stirling power conversion is being considered for use in a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) for deep space science missions because it offers a multifold increase in the conversion efficiency of heat to electric power. Quantifying the reliability of an RPS that utilizes Stirling power conversion technology is important to develop and demonstrate the capability for long-term success. A description of the Stirling power convertor is provided, along with a discussion about some of the key components. On-going efforts to understand component life, design variables at the component and system levels, and related sources and nature of uncertainties is discussed. The requirement for reliability is discussed, and some of the critical areas of concern are identified. A section on the objectives of the overall development of the performance model and computation of reliability is included to highlight the goals of this effort. Also, a viable physics based reliability plan to model the design level variable uncertainties at the component level and the system level is outlined, and potential benefits elucidated. The plan encompasses interaction of different disciplines, maintaining the physical and probabilistic correlations at all the levels, and a verification process based on rational short-term tests. Additionally, both top-down and bottom-up coherency has been maintained in order to follow the physics based design process and mission requirements. The outlined reliability assessment approach provides guidelines to improve the design and identifies governing variables to achieve high reliability in the SRG (Stirling Radioisotope Generator) design.

  7. Advanced Controller for the Free-Piston Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerber, Scott S.; Jamison, Mike; Roth, Mary Ellen; Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling power convertor is being considered as an advanced power conversion technology to be used for future NASA deep space missions requiring long life radioisotope power systems. This technology has a conversion efficiency of over 25%, which is significantly higher than the efficiency of the Radioisotope Thermal-electric Generators (RTG) now in use. The NASA Glenn Research Center has long been recognized as a leader in Stirling technology and is responsible for the development of advanced technologies that are intended to significantly improve key characteristics of the Stirling convertor. The advanced technologies identified for development also consider the requirements of potential future missions and the new capabilities that have become available in the associated technical areas. One of the key areas identified for technology development is the engine controller. To support this activity, an advanced controller is being developed for the Stirling power convertor. This controller utilizes active power factor correction electronics and microcontroller-based controls. The object of this paper is to present an overview of the advanced controller concept with modeling, simulation and hardware test data.

  8. Isotope powered stirling generator for terrestrial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tingey, Garth L.; Sorensen, Gerald C.; Ross, Brad A.

    1995-01-01

    An electric power supply, small enough to be man-portable, is being developed for remote, terrestrial applications. This system is designed for an operating lifetime of five years without maintenance or refueling. A small Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) has been developed. The energy source of the generator is a 60 watt plutonium-238 fuel clad used in the General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) developed for space applications. A free piston Stirling ENgine drives a linear alternator to convert the heat to power. The system weighs about 7.5 kg and produces 11 watts AC power with a conversion efficiency of 18.5%. Two engine models have been designed, fabricated, and tested to data: (a) a development model instrumented to confirm and test parameters, and (b) an electrically heated model with an electrical heater equipped power input leads. Critical components have been tested for 10,000 to 20,000 hours. One complete generator has been operating for over 11,000 hours. Radioisotope heated prototypes are expected to be fabricated and tested in late 1995.

  9. Stirling engines for automobiles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beremand, D. G.

    1979-01-01

    The results of recent and ongoing automobile Stirling engine development efforts are reviewed and technology status and requirements are identified. Key technology needs include those for low cost, high temperature (1300 - 1500 F) metal alloys for heater heads, and reliable long-life, low-leakage shaft seals. Various fuel economy projections for Stirling powered automobiles are reviewed and assessed.

  10. Free piston stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, C.

    1985-01-01

    This book presents a basic introduction to free piston Stirling engine technology through a review of specialized background material. It also includes information based on actual construction and operation experience with these machines, as well as theoretical and analytical insights into free piston Stirling engine technology.

  11. Stirling Engine Heat Pump

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kagawa, Noboru

    Recent advances in the feasibility studies related to the Stirling engines and Stirling engine heat pumps which have been considered attractive due to their promising role in helping to solve the global environmental and energy problems,are reviewed. This article begins to describe the brief history of the Stirling engines and theoretical thermodynamic analysis of the Stirling cycle in order to understand several advantages on the Stirling engine. Furthermore,they could throw light on our question why the dream engines had not been promoted to practical applications during two hundred years. The present review shows that the Stirling engines with several unique advantages including 30 to 40% thermal efficiency and preferable exhaust characteristics,had been designed and constructed by recent tackling for the development of the advanced automobile and other applications using them. Based on the current state of art,it is being provided to push the Stirling engines combined with heat pumps based on the reversed Rankine cycle to the market. At present,however, many problems, especially for the durability, cost, and delicate engine parts must be enforced to solve. In addition,there are some possibilities which can increase the attractiveness of the Stirling engines and heat pumps. The review closes with suggestions for further research.

  12. The Stirling Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Stirling Engine's advanced technology engine offers multiple advantages, principal among them reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions than comparable internal combustion auto engines, plus multifuel capability. Stirling can use gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, jet fuel, alcohol, methanol, butane and that's not the whole list. Applications include irrigation pumping, heat pumps, and electricity generation for submarine, Earth and space systems.

  13. Stirling Engine Gets Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Frank

    2010-01-01

    One of the basic truths regarding energy conversion is that no thermodynamic cycle can be devised that is more efficient than a Carnot cycle operating between the same temperature limits. The efficiency of the Stirling cycle (patented by Rev. Robert Stirling in 1816) can approach that of the Carnot cycle and yet has not had the commercial success…

  14. Radioisotopes: Today's Applications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    Radioisotopes are useful because of their three unique characteristics: (1) radiation emission; (2) predictable radioactive lives; and (3) the same chemical properties as the nonradioactive atoms of that element. Researchers are able to "order" a radioisotope with the right radiation, half-life, and chemical property to perform a given task with…

  15. Design and Fabrication of a Stirling Thermal Vacuum Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2004-01-01

    A Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed for potential use on future NASA space science missions. The development effort is being conducted by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The Stirling Technology Company supplies the free-piston Stirling power convertors, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) provides support to the effort in a range of technologies. This generator features higher efficiency and specific power compared to the currently used alternatives. One potential application for the generator would entail significant cruise time in the vacuum of deep space. A test has been conceived at GRC to demonstrate functionality of the Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment. The test article resembles the configuration of the SRG, however the requirement for low mass was not considered. This test will demonstrate the operation of the Stirling convertors in the thermal vacuum environment, simulating deep space, over an extended period of operation. The analysis, design, and fabrication of the test article will be described in this paper.

  16. Stirling Convertor Extended Operation Testing and Data Analysis at Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.; Wilson, Scott D.

    2010-01-01

    Extended operation of Stirling convertors is essential to the development of radioisotope power systems and their potential use for longduration missions. To document the reliability of the convertors, regular monitoring and analysis of the extended operation data is particularly valuable, allowing us to better understand and quantify long-life characteristics of the convertors. Furthermore, investigation and comparison of the extended operation data to baseline performance data provides an opportunity to understand system behavior should any off-nominal performance occur. Glenn Research Center (GRC) has tested 16 Stirling convertors under 24-hr unattended extended operation, including four that have operated in a thermal vacuum environment and two that are operating in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit. Ten of the sixteen convertors are the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) developed by Sunpower, Inc. with GRC. These are highly efficient (conversion efficiency of up to 38 percent for the ASC-1), low-mass convertors that have evolved through technologically progressive convertor builds. Six convertors at GRC are Technology Demonstration Convertors from Infinia Corporation. They have achieved greater than 27 percent conversion efficiency and have accumulated over 185,000 of the total 265,000 hr of extended operation at GRC. This paper presents the extended operation testing and data analysis of free-piston Stirling convertors at NASA GRC as well as how these tests have contributed to the Stirling convertor s progression toward flight.

  17. Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Poriti, Sal

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high-efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems (RPSs) since 1999. The current effort is in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), which is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower, Inc., and the NASA GRC. This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As reliability is paramount to a RPS capable of providing spacecraft power for potential multi-year missions, GRC provides direct technology support to the ASRG flight project in the areas of reliability, convertor and generator testing, high-temperature materials, structures, modeling and analysis, organics, structural dynamics, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and permanent magnets to reduce risk and enhance reliability of the convertor as this technology transitions toward flight status. Convertor and generator testing is carried out in short- and long-duration tests designed to characterize convertor performance when subjected to environments intended to simulate launch and space conditions. Long duration testing is intended to baseline performance and observe any performance degradation over the life of the test. Testing involves developing support hardware that enables 24/7 unattended operation and data collection. GRC currently has 14 Stirling convertors under unattended extended operation testing, including two operating in the ASRG Engineering Unit (ASRG-EU). Test data and high-temperature support hardware are discussed for ongoing and future ASC tests with emphasis on the ASC-E and ASC-E2.

  18. Radioisotope Power Systems Program: A Program Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamley, John A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program continues to plan, mature research in energy conversion, and partners with the Department of Energy (DOE) to make RPS ready and available to support the exploration of the solar system in environments where the use of conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet potential future mission needs. Recent programs responsibilities include providing investment recommendations to NASA stakeholders on emerging thermoelectric and Stirling energy conversion technologies and insight on NASA investments at DOE in readying a generator for the Mars 2020 mission. This presentation provides an overview of the RPS Program content and status and the approach used to maintain the readiness of RPS to support potential future NASA missions.

  19. NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Development Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Sankovic, John; Wilt, David; Abelson, Robert D.; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (ARPS) project is developing the next generation of radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that cannot be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current radioisotope power systems (RPSs). Requirements of advanced RPSs include high efficiency and high specific power (watts/kilogram) in order to meet future mission requirements with less radioisotope fuel and lower mass so that these systems can meet requirements for a variety of future space applications, including continual operation surface missions, outer-planetary missions, and solar probe. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel required to generate electrical power. Advanced RPS development goals also include long-life, reliability, and scalability. This paper provides an update on the contractual efforts under the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology (RPCT) NASA Research Announcement (NRA) for research and development of Stirling, thermoelectric, and thermophotovoltaic power conversion technologies. The paper summarizes the current RPCT NRA efforts with a brief description of the effort, a status and/or summary of the contractor's key accomplishments, a discussion of upcoming plans, and a discussion of relevant system-level benefits and implications. The paper also provides a general discussion of the benefits from the development of these advanced power conversion technologies and the eventual payoffs to future missions (discussing system benefits due to overall improvements in efficiency, specific power, etc.).

  20. Advanced radioisotope power source options for Pluto Express

    SciTech Connect

    Underwood, M.L.

    1995-12-31

    In the drive to reduce mass and cost, Pluto Express is investigating using an advanced power conversion technology in a small Radioisotope Power Source (RPS) to deliver the required mission power of 74 W(electric) at end of mission. Until this year the baseline power source under consideration has been a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG). This RTG would be a scaled down GPHS RTG with an inventory of 6 General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) and a mass of 17.8 kg. High efficiency, advanced technology conversion options are being examined to lower the power source mass and to reduce the amount of radioisotope needed. Three technologies are being considered as the advanced converter technology: the Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Converter (AMTEC), Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters, and Stirling Engines. Conceptual designs for each of these options have been prepared. Each converter would require only 2 GPHSs to provide the mission power and would have a mass of 6.1, 7.2, and 12.4 kg for AMTEC, TPV, and Stirling Engines respectively. This paper reviews the status of each technology and the projected performance of an advanced RPS based on each technology. Based on the projected performance and spacecraft integration issues, Pluto Express would prefer to use the AMTEC based RPS. However, in addition to technical performance, selection of a power technology will be based on many other factors.

  1. A 3-D Magnetic Analysis of a Linear Alternator For a Stirling Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Schwarze, Gene E.; Niedra, Janis M.

    2000-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing advanced radioisotope Stirling convertors, under contract with Stirling Technology Company (STC), for space applications. Of critical importance to the successful development of the Stirling convertor for space power applications is the development of a lightweight and highly efficient linear alternator. This paper presents a 3-D finite element method (FEM) approach for evaluating Stirling convertor linear alternators. Preliminary correlations with open-circuit voltage measurements provide an encouraging level of confidence in the model. Spatial plots of magnetic field strength (H) are presented in the region of the exciting permanent magnets. These plots identify regions of high H, where at elevated temperature and under electrical load, the potential to alter the magnetic moment of the magnets exists. This implies the need for further testing and analysis.

  2. Multi-d CFD Modeling of a Free-piston Stirling Convertor at NASA Glenn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Tew, Roy C.; Ibrahim, Mounir B.

    2004-01-01

    A high efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is being developed for possible use in long duration space science missions. NASA s advanced technology goals for next generation Stirling convertors include increasing the Carnot efficiency and percent of Carnot efficiency. To help achieve these goals, a multidimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code is being developed to numerically model unsteady fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena of the oscillating working gas inside Stirling convertors. Simulations of the Stirling convertors for the SRG will help characterize the thermodynamic losses resulting from fluid flow and heat transfer between the working gas and solid walls. The current CFD simulation represents approximated 2-dimensional convertor geometry. The simulation solves the Navier Stokes equations for an ideal helium gas oscillating at low speeds. The current simulation results are discussed.

  3. Thermodynamics: A Stirling effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horowitz, Jordan M.; Parrondo, Juan M. R.

    2012-02-01

    The realization of a single-particle Stirling engine pushes thermodynamics into stochastic territory where fluctuations dominate, and points towards a better understanding of energy transduction at the microscale.

  4. Stirling machine operating experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Brad; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1991-01-01

    Numerous Stirling machines have been built and operated, but the operating experience of these machines is not well known. It is important to examine this operating experience in detail, because it largely substantiates the claim that Stirling machines are capable of reliable and lengthy lives. The amount of data that exists is impressive, considering that many of the machines that have been built are developmental machines intended to show proof of concept, and were not expected to operate for any lengthy period of time. Some Stirling machines (typically free-piston machines) achieve long life through non-contact bearings, while other Stirling machines (typically kinematic) have achieved long operating lives through regular seal and bearing replacements. In addition to engine and system testing, life testing of critical components is also considered.

  5. Radioisotopic heat source

    DOEpatents

    Sayell, E.H.

    1973-10-23

    A radioisotopic heat source is described which includes a core of heat productive, radioisotopic material, an impact resistant layer of graphite surrounding said core, and a shell of iridium metal intermediate the core and the impact layer. The source may also include a compliant mat of iridium between the core and the iridium shell, as well as an outer covering of iridium metal about the entire heat source. (Official Gazette)

  6. Stirling engine application study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teagan, W. P.; Cunningham, D.

    1983-01-01

    A range of potential applications for Stirling engines in the power range from 0.5 to 5000 hp is surveyed. Over one hundred such engine applications are grouped into a small number of classes (10), with the application in each class having a high degree of commonality in technical performance and cost requirements. A review of conventional engines (usually spark ignition or Diesel) was then undertaken to determine the degree to which commercial engine practice now serves the needs of the application classes and to detemine the nature of the competition faced by a new engine system. In each application class the Stirling engine was compared to the conventional engines, assuming that objectives of ongoing Stirling engine development programs are met. This ranking process indicated that Stirling engines showed potential for use in all application classes except very light duty applications (lawn mowers, etc.). However, this potential is contingent on demonstrating much greater operating life and reliability than has been demonstrated to date by developmental Stirling engine systems. This implies that future program initiatives in developing Stirling engine systems should give more emphasis to life and reliability issues than has been the case in ongoing programs.

  7. Structural Dynamics Testing of Advanced Stirling Convertor Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Sal; Williams, Zach

    2013-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center has been supporting the development of Stirling energy conversion for use in space. Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the Department of Energy to design and fabricate flight-unit Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators, which utilize Sunpower, Inc., free-piston Advanced Stirling Convertors. The engineering unit generator has demonstrated conversion efficiency in excess of 20 percent, offering a significant improvement over existing radioisotope-fueled power systems. NASA Glenn has been supporting the development of this generator by developing the convertors through a technology development contract with Sunpower, and conducting research and experiments in a multitude of areas, such as high-temperature material properties, organics testing, and convertor-level extended operation. Since the generator must undergo launch, several launch simulation tests have also been performed at the convertor level. The standard test sequence for launch vibration exposure has consisted of workmanship and flight acceptance levels. Together, these exposures simulate what a flight convertor will experience. Recently, two supplementary tests were added to the launch vibration simulation activity. First was a vibration durability test of the convertor, intended to quantify the effect of vibration levels up to qualification level in both the lateral and axial directions. Second was qualification-level vibration of several heater heads with small oxide inclusions in the material. The goal of this test was to ascertain the effect of the inclusions on launch survivability to determine if the heater heads were suitable for flight.

  8. Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Blaze, Gina M.

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems (LMSS), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science and exploration missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. The ASRG will utilize two Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source to electricity. NASA GRC has initiated several experiments to demonstrate the functionality of the ASC, including: in-air extended operation, thermal vacuum extended operation, and ASRG simulation for mobile applications. The in-air and thermal vacuum test articles are intended to provide convertor performance data over an extended operating time. These test articles mimic some features of the ASRG without the requirement of low system mass. Operation in thermal vacuum adds the element of simulating deep space. This test article is being used to gather convertor performance and thermal data in a relevant environment. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto devices powered directly by the convertors, such as a rover. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these experiments.

  9. Optimized Heat Pipe Backup Cooling System Tested with a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwendeman, Carl L.; Tarau, Calin; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Anderson, William G.; Garner, Scott

    2016-01-01

    In a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (RPS), heat must be continuously removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. The Stirling convertor normally provides this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS at the cost of an early termination of the mission. An alkali-metal variable conductance heat pipe (VCHP) can be used to passively allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor by bypassing the heat during stops. In a previous NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) developed a series of sodium VCHPs as backup cooling systems for the Stirling RPS. In 2012, one of these VCHPs was successfully tested at NASA Glenn Research Center with a Stirling convertor as an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) backup cooling system. The prototype; however, was not optimized and did not reflect the final heat rejection path. ACT through further funding has developed a semioptimized prototype with the finalized heat path for testing at Glenn with a Stirling convertor. The semioptimized system features a two-phase radiator and is significantly smaller and lighter than the prior prototype to reflect a higher level of flight readiness. The VCHP is designed to activate and remove heat from the GPHS during stoppage with a small temperature increase from the nominal vapor temperature. This small temperature increase from nominal is low enough to avoid risking standard ASRG operation and spoiling of the multilayer insulation (MLI). The VCHP passively allows the Stirling convertor to be turned off multiple times during a mission with potentially unlimited off durations. Having the ability to turn the Stirling off allows for the Stirling to be reset and reduces vibrations on the platform during sensitive measurements or

  10. Assessment of the Free-piston Stirling Convertor as a Long Life Power Convertor for Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2001-01-01

    There is currently a renewed interest in the use of free-piston Stirling power convertors for space power applications. More specifically, the Stirling convertor is being developed to be part of the Stirling Radioisotope Power System to supply electric power to spacecraft for NASA deep space science missions. The current development effort involves the Department of Energy, Germantown, MD, the NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, and the Stirling Technology Company, Kennewick, WA. The Stirling convertor will absorb heat supplied from the decay of plutonium dioxide contained in the General Purpose Heat Source modules and convert it into electricity to power the spacecraft. For many years the "potentials" of the free-piston Stirling convertor have been publicized by it's developers. Among these "potentials" were long life and high reliability. This paper will present an overview of the critical areas that enable long life of the free-piston Stirling power convertor, and present some of the techniques that have been used when long life has been achieved.

  11. Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Dankanich, John; Colozza, Anthony; Schmitz, Paul; Khan, Omair; Drexler, Jon; Fittje, James

    2011-01-01

    A joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.

  12. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP): A Near-Term Approach to Nuclear Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Manzella, David H.; Kamhawi, Hani; Kremic, Tibor; Oleson, Steven R.; Dankanich, John W.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies over the last decade have shown radioisotope-based nuclear electric propulsion to be enhancing and, in some cases, enabling for many potential robotic science missions. Also known as radioisotope electric propulsion (REP), the technology offers the performance advantages of traditional reactor-powered electric propulsion (i.e., high specific impulse propulsion at large distances from the Sun), but with much smaller, affordable spacecraft. Future use of REP requires development of radioisotope power sources with system specific powers well above that of current systems. The US Department of Energy and NASA have developed an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) engineering unit, which was subjected to rigorous flight qualification-level tests in 2008, and began extended lifetime testing later that year. This advancement, along with recent work on small ion thrusters and life extension technology for Hall thrusters, could enable missions using REP sometime during the next decade.

  13. Recent Stirling Conversion Technology Developments and Operational Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore; Schifer, Nicholas

    2009-01-01

    Under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) has been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The use of Stirling technology introduces a four-fold increase in conversion efficiency over Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), and thus the ASRG in an attractive power system option for future science missions. In August of 2008, the ASRG engineering unit (EU) was delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The engineering unit design resembles that of a flight unit, with the exception of electrical heating in place of a radioisotope source. Prior to delivery, GRC personnel prepared a test station continuous, unattended operation of the engineering unit. This test station is capable of autonomously monitoring the unit's safe operation and recording. , .. , .... performance data. Generator parameters recorded include temperatures, electrical power output, and thelmal power input. Convertor specific parameters are also recorded such as alternator voltage, current, piston amplitude, and frequency. Since November 2008, the ASRG EU has accumulated over 4,000 hours of operation. Initial operation was conducted using the AC bus control method in lieu of the LMSSC active power factor connecting controller. Operation on the LMSSC controller began in February 2009. This paper discusses the entirety of ASRG EU operation thus far, as well as baseline performance data at GRC and LMSSC, and comparison of performance using each control method.

  14. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Fast Outer Planetary Orbiters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Benson, Scott; Gefert, Leon; Patterson, Michael; Schreiber, Jeffrey

    2002-01-01

    Recent interest in outer planetary targets by the Office of Space Science has spurred the search for technology options to enable relatively quick missions to outer planetary targets. Several options are being explored including solar electric propelled stages combined with aerocapture at the target and nuclear electric propulsion. Another option uses radioisotope powered electric thrusters to reach the outer planets. Past work looked at using this technology to provide faster flybys. A better use for this technology is for outer planet orbiters. Combined with medium class launch vehicles and a new direct trajectory these small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope generators were found to allow missions as fast as 5 to 12 years for objects from Saturn to Pluto, respectively. Key to the development is light spacecraft and science payload technologies.

  15. Outer Planet Exploration with Advanced Radioisotope Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Gefert, Leon; Patterson, Michael; Schreiber, Jeffrey; Benson, Scott; McAdams, Jim; Ostdiek, Paul

    2002-01-01

    In response to a request by the NASA Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research Center conducted a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power systems was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow a launch slip and still flyby in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With this promising result the study was expanded to use a radioisotope power source for small electrically propelled orbiter spacecraft for outer planet targets such as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

  16. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore, M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of free-piston Stirling conversion technology for spaceflight electrical power generation since 1999. GRC has also been supporting the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance data for the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC is conducting extended operation of several free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. Currently, GRC is operating 18 convertors. This hardware set includes Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) from Infinia Corporation, of which one pair (TDCs #13 and #14) has accumulated over 60,000 hr (6.8 years) of operation. Also under test are various Sunpower, Inc. convertors that were fabricated during the ASC development activity, including ASC-0, ASC-E (including those in the ASRG engineering unit), and ASC-E2. The ASC-E2s also completed, or are in progress of completing workmanship vibration testing, performance mapping, and extended operation. Two ASC-E2 units will also be used for durability testing, during which components will be stressed to levels above nominal mission usage. Extended operation data analyses from these tests are covered in this paper.

  17. Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors in a Thermal Vacuum Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2006-01-01

    A 110 watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) is being developed for potential use on future NASA exploration missions. The development effort is being performed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). Infinia, Corp. supplies the free-piston Stirling power convertors, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) provides support to the effort in a range of technologies. This generator features higher efficiency and specific power compared to alternatives. One potential application for the generator would entail significant cruise time in the vacuum of deep space. A test has been initiated at GRC to demonstrate functionality of the Stirling convertors in a thermal vacuum environment. The test article resembles the configuration of the SRG110, however the requirement for low mass was not considered. This test demonstrates the operation of the Stirling convertors in the thermal vacuum environment, simulating deep space, over an extended period of operation. The status of the test as well as the data gathered will be presented in this paper.

  18. Status of NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Research and Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Anderson, David J.; Tuttle, Karen L.; Tew, Roy C.

    2006-01-01

    NASA s Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is funding the advancement of next generation power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either the ubiquitous photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Requirements of advanced radioisotope power systems include high efficiency and high specific power (watts/kilogram) in order to meet mission requirements with less radioisotope fuel and lower mass. Other Advanced RPS development goals include long-life, reliability, and scalability so that these systems can meet requirements for a variety of future space applications including continual operation surface missions, outer-planetary missions, and solar probe. This paper provides an update on the Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology Project which awarded ten Phase I contracts for research and development of a variety of power conversion technologies consisting of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectrics, and thermophotovoltaics. Three of the contracts continue during the current Phase II in the areas of thermoelectric and Stirling power conversion. The accomplishments to date of the contractors, project plans, and status will be summarized.

  19. Validation of Organics for Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, E. Eugene; Scheiman, Dan; Cybulski, Michelle; Quade, Derek; Inghram, Linda; Burke, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Organic materials are an essential part of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) construction as adhesives, potting, wire insulation, lubrication coatings, bobbins, bumpers, insulators, thread lockers. Since a long lifetime of such convertors to be used in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), sometimes up to 17 years, is required in various space applications such as Mars rovers, deep space missions, and lunar surface power, performance, durability and reliability of those organics should be critically evaluated in every possible material-process-fabrication-service environment relations. The objective of this study was to evaluate, validate, and recommend organics for use in ASCs. Systematic and extensive evaluation methodologies were developed and conducted for various organic materials. The overall efforts dealing with organics materials for the last several years are summarized in the key areas, e.g., process-fabrication optimization, adhesive bonding integrity, outgassing, thermal stability, and durability

  20. A Miniature TES powered Stirling-cycle engine

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, J.A.; Holl, S.L.; Schalansky, C.P.

    1984-08-01

    Miniature Stirling-cycle engines are under development for use in powering implantable ventricular assist devices. Approaches which have been employed to drive these devices rely on the generation of either hydraulic or pneumatic power. This generated power is converted by hydraulic or pneumatic logic control to mechanical power which, in turn, actuates pusher-plate blood pumps. The logic control enables the blood pump to be cycled synchronously (counter-pulsatile mode) with the heart. Because Stirling-cycle engines are heated externally, a variety of energy sources can be used. Restrictions for this application are for the energy source to be small and self contained while suppling heat in the range of 500 to 850/sup 0/C. Historically these systems were designed to be powered by a radioisotope. More recently, thermal energy system utilizing the latent heat of fusion of fluoride eutectic salts are being developed to power the engine for 8 hours of tether free operation.

  1. Structural Analyses of Stirling Power Convertor Heater Head for Long-Term Reliability, Durability, and Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halford, Gary R.; Shah, Ashwin; Arya, Vinod K.; Krause, David L.; Bartolotta, Paul A.

    2002-01-01

    Deep-space missions require onboard electric power systems with reliable design lifetimes of up to 10 yr and beyond. A high-efficiency Stirling radioisotope power system is a likely candidate for future deep-space missions and Mars rover applications. To ensure ample durability, the structurally critical heater head of the Stirling power convertor has undergone extensive computational analyses of operating temperatures (up to 650 C), stresses, and creep resistance of the thin-walled Inconel 718 bill of material. Durability predictions are presented in terms of the probability of survival. A benchmark structural testing program has commenced to support the analyses. This report presents the current status of durability assessments.

  2. Cyclotron Production of Medical Radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Avila-Rodriguez, M. A.; Zarate-Morales, A.; Flores-Moreno, A.

    2010-08-04

    The cyclotron production of radioisotopes for medical applications is gaining increased significance in diagnostic molecular imaging techniques such as PET and SPECT. In this regard, radioisotope production has never been easier or more convenient until de introduction of compact medical cyclotrons in the last few decades, which allowed the use of short-lived radioisotopes in in vivo nuclear medicine studies on a routine basis. This review outlines some general considerations about the production of radioisotopes using charged particle accelerators.

  3. The Phillips Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Hargreaves, C.M.

    1991-01-01

    This book is about the Stirling engine and its development from the heavy cast-iron machine of the 19th century to that of today. It is a history of a research effort spanning nearly 50 years, together with an outline of principles, and some technical details and descriptions of the more important engines. Contents include: the hot-air engine; the 20th-century revival; the Stirling cycle; rhombic-drive engines; heating and cooling; pistons and seals; electric generators and heat pumps; exotic heat sources; the engine and the environment; swashplate engines; and the past and the future.

  4. Stirling Module Development Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livingston, F. R.

    1984-01-01

    The solar parabolic dish Stirling engine electrically generating module consists of a solar collector coupled to a Stirling engine powered electrical generator. The module is designed to convert solar power to electrical power in parallel with numerous identical units coupled to an electrical utility power grid. The power conversion assembly generates up to 25 kilowatts at 480 volts potential/3 phase/alternating current. Piston rings and seals with gas leakage have not occurred, however, operator failures resulted in two burnt out receivers, while material fatigue resulted in a broken piston rod between the piston rod seal and cap seal.

  5. Lunar Surface Stirling Power Systems Using Isotope Heat Sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Shaltens, Richard K.

    2010-01-01

    For many years, NASA has used the decay of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) (in the form of the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS)) as a heat source for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), which have provided electrical power for many NASA missions. While RTGs have an impressive reliability record for the missions in which they have been used, their relatively low thermal to electric conversion efficiency and the scarcity of plutonium-238 (Pu-238) has led NASA to consider other power conversion technologies. NASA is considering returning both robotic and human missions to the lunar surface and, because of the long lunar nights (14.75 Earth days), isotope power systems are an attractive candidate to generate electrical power. NASA is currently developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) as a candidate higher efficiency power system that produces greater than 160 W with two GPHS modules at the beginning of life (BOL) (32% efficiency). The ASRG uses the same Pu-238 GPHS modules, which are used in RTG, but by coupling them to a Stirling convertor provides a four-fold reduction in the number of GPHS modules. This study considers the use of americium-241 (Am-241) as a substitute for the Pu-238 in Stirling- convertor-based Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for power levels from tens of watts to 5 kWe. The Am-241 is used as a substitute for the Pu-238 in GPHS modules. Depending on power level, different Stirling heat input and removal systems are modeled. It was found that substituting Am-241 GPHS modules into the ASRG reduces power output by about one-fifth while maintaining approximately the same system mass. In order to obtain the nominal 160 W of electrical output of the Pu-238 ASRG requires 10 Am-241 GPHS modules. Higher power systems require changing from conductive coupling heat input and removal from the Stirling convertor to either pumped loops or heat pipes. Liquid metal pumped loops are considered as the primary heat transportation on the hot

  6. Lunar Surface Stirling Power Systems Using Am-241

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Shaltens, Richard K.

    2009-01-01

    For many years NASA has used the decay of Pu-238 (in the form of the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS)) as a heat source for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG), which have provided electrical power for many NASA missions. While RTG's have an impressive reliability record for the missions in which they have been used, their relatively low thermal to electric conversion efficiency (-5% efficiency) and the scarcity of Plutoinium-238 (Pu-238) has led NASA to consider other power conversion technologies. NASA is considering returning both robotic and human missions to the lunar surface and, because of the long lunar nights (14 earth days) isotope power systems are an attractive candidate to generate electrical power. NASA is currently developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) as a candidate higher efficiency power system that produces greater than 160 watts with 2 GPHS modules at the beginning of life (BOL) (-30% efficiency). The ASRG uses the same Pu-238 GPHS modules, which are used in RTG, but by coupling them to a Stirling convertor provides a 4-fold reduction in the number of GPHS modules. This study considers the use of Americium 241 (Am-241) as a substitute for the Pu-238 in Stirling convertor based Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) for power levels from 1 O's of watts to 5 kWe. The Am-241 is used as a replacement for the Pu-238 in GPHS modules. Depending on power level, different Stirling heat input and removal systems are modeled. It was found that substituting Am-241 GPHS modules into the ASRG reduces power output by about 1/5 while maintaining approximately the same system mass. In order to obtain the nominal 160 watts electrical output of the Pu-238 ASRG requires 10 Am-241 GPHS modules. Higher power systems require changing from conductive coupling heat input and removal from the Stirling convertor to either pumped loops or heat pipes. Liquid metal pumped loops are considered as the primary heat transportation on the hot end and

  7. Radioisotopic heat source

    DOEpatents

    Jones, G.J.; Selle, J.E.; Teaney, P.E.

    1975-09-30

    Disclosed is a radioisotopic heat source and method for a long life electrical generator. The source includes plutonium dioxide shards and yttrium or hafnium in a container of tantalum-tungsten-hafnium alloy, all being in a nickel alloy outer container, and subjected to heat treatment of from about 1570$sup 0$F to about 1720$sup 0$F for about one h. (auth)

  8. Development of a Thermoacoustic Stirling Engine Technology Demonstrator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reissner, Alexander; Gerger, Joachim; Hummel, Stefan; Reißig, Jannis; Pawelke, Roland

    2014-08-01

    Waste heat is a primary source of energy loss in many aerospace and terrestrial applications. FOTEC, an Austrian Research Company located in Wiener Neustadt, is presently developing a micro power converter, promising high efficiencies even for small- scale applications. The converter is based on an innovative thermoacoustic stirling engine concept without any moving parts. Such a maintenance-free engine system would be particularly suitable for advanced space power systems (radioisotope, waste heat) or even within the scope of terrestrial energy harvesting. This paper will summarizes the status of our ongoing efforts on this micro power converter technology.

  9. Benchmark Tests for Stirling Convertor Heater Head Life Assessment Conducted

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Halford, Gary R.; Bowman, Randy R.

    2004-01-01

    A new in-house test capability has been developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center, where a critical component of the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is undergoing extensive testing to aid the development of analytical life prediction methodology and to experimentally aid in verification of the flight-design component's life. The new facility includes two test rigs that are performing creep testing of the SRG heater head pressure vessel test articles at design temperature and with wall stresses ranging from operating level to seven times that (see the following photograph).

  10. An Overview and Status of NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Wong, Wayne A.; Tuttle, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is developing next generation radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. The Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced RPS development program is funding research and technology activities through the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) 02-OSS-01, "Research Opportunities in Space Science 2002" entitled "Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology" (RPCT), August 13, 2002. The objective of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide significant improvements over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, and a brief summary of accomplishments over the first 18 months but focusing on advancements made over the last 6 months.

  11. Stirling engine piston ring

    DOEpatents

    Howarth, Roy B.

    1983-01-01

    A piston ring design for a Stirling engine wherein the contact pressure between the piston and the cylinder is maintained at a uniform level, independent of engine conditions through a balancing of the pressure exerted upon the ring's surface and thereby allowing the contact pressure on the ring to be predetermined through the use of a preloaded expander ring.

  12. Stirling in Another Context.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papademetriou, Peter

    1981-01-01

    An analysis and a critique of how remodeling and extension of the Rice University School of Architecture, by James Stirling, Michael Wilford, and Associates, fits into the campus plan and its eclectic style established early in this century. (Author/MLF)

  13. Stirling machine operating experience

    SciTech Connect

    Ross, B.; Dudenhoefer, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    Numerous Stirling machines have been built and operated, but the operating experience of these machines is not well known. It is important to examine this operating experience in detail, because it largely substantiates the claim that stirling machines are capable of reliable and lengthy operating lives. The amount of data that exists is impressive, considering that many of the machines that have been built are developmental machines intended to show proof of concept, and are not expected to operate for lengthy periods of time. Some Stirling machines (typically free-piston machines) achieve long life through non-contact bearings, while other Stirling machines (typically kinematic) have achieved long operating lives through regular seal and bearing replacements. In addition to engine and system testing, life testing of critical components is also considered. The record in this paper is not complete, due to the reluctance of some organizations to release operational data and because several organizations were not contacted. The authors intend to repeat this assessment in three years, hoping for even greater participation.

  14. A Stirling Idea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Stirling Technology Company developed the components for its BeCOOL line of Cryocoolers with the help of a series of NASA SBIRs (Small Business Innovative Research), through Goddard Space Flight Center and Marshall Space Flight Center. Features include a hermetically sealed design, compact size, and silent operation. The company has already placed several units with commercial customers for computer applications and laboratory use.

  15. Stirling Convertor Control for a Concept Rover at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaze-Dugala, Gina M.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for potential use as an electric power system for space science missions. This generator would make use of the free-piston Stirling cycle to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently used alternatives. NASA GRC initiated an experiment with an ASRG simulator to demonstrate the functionality of a Stirling convertor on a mobile application, such as a rover. The ASRG simulator made use of two Advanced Stirling Convertors to convert thermal energy from a heat source to electricity. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto a rover powered directly by the convertors. Support equipment to provide control was designed including a linear AC regulator controller, constant power controller, and Li-ion battery charger controller. The ASRG simulator is controlled by a linear AC regulator controller. The rover is powered by both a Stirling convertor and Li-ion batteries. A constant power controller enables the Stirling convertor to maintain a constant power output when additional power is supplied by the Li-ion batteries. A Li-ion battery charger controller limits the charging current and cut off current of the batteries. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these three controllers.

  16. Assessment of dynamic energy conversion systems for radioisotope heat sources

    SciTech Connect

    Thayer, G.R.; Mangeng, C.A.

    1985-06-01

    The use of dynamic conversion systems to convert the heat generated in a 7500 W(t) 90 Sr radioisotopic heat source to electricity is examined. The systems studies were Stirling; Brayton Cycle; three organic Rankines (ORCs) (Barber-Nichols/ORMAT, Sundstrand, and TRW); and an organic Rankine plus thermoelectrics. The systems were ranked for a North Warning System mission using a Los Alamos Multiattribute Decision Theory code. Three different heat source designs were used: case I with a beginning of life (BOL) source temperature of 640 C, case II with a BOL source temperature of 745/sup 0/C, and case III with a BOL source temperature of 945/sup 0/C. The Stirling engine system was the top-ranked system of cases I and II, closely followed by the ORC systems in case I and ORC plus thermoelectrics in case II. The Brayton cycle system was top-ranked for case III, with the Stirling engine system a close second. The use of /sup 238/Pu in heat source sizes of 7500 W(t) was examined and found to be questionable because of cost and material availability and because of additional requirements for analysis of safeguards and critical mass.

  17. Variable Conductance Heat Pipe Cooling of Stirling Convertor and General Purpose Heat Source

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tarau, Calin; Schwendeman, Carl; Anderson, William G.; Cornell, Peggy A.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2013-01-01

    In a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (RPS), heat must be continuously removed from the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules to maintain the modules and surrounding insulation at acceptable temperatures. The Stirling convertor normally provides this cooling. If the Stirling convertor stops in the current system, the insulation is designed to spoil, preventing damage to the GPHS at the cost of an early termination of the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) can be used to passively allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. In a previous NASA SBIR Program, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) developed a series of sodium VCHPs as backup cooling systems for Stirling RPS. The operation of these VCHPs was demonstrated using Stirling heater head simulators and GPHS simulators. In the most recent effort, a sodium VCHP with a stainless steel envelope was designed, fabricated and tested at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) with a Stirling convertor for two concepts; one for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) back up cooling system and one for the Long-lived Venus Lander thermal management system. The VCHP is designed to activate and remove heat from the stopped convertor at a 19 degC temperature increase from the nominal vapor temperature. The 19 degC temperature increase from nominal is low enough to avoid risking standard ASRG operation and spoiling of the Multi-Layer Insulation (MLI). In addition, the same backup cooling system can be applied to the Stirling convertor used for the refrigeration system of the Long-lived Venus Lander. The VCHP will allow the refrigeration system to: 1) rest during transit at a lower temperature than nominal; 2) pre-cool the modules to an even lower temperature before the entry in Venus atmosphere; 3) work at nominal temperature on Venus surface; 4) briefly stop multiple times on the Venus surface to allow scientific measurements. This paper presents the experimental

  18. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advance radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.

  19. Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1991-01-01

    Free piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advanced radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.

  20. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Semba, Kentaro

    2006-09-01

    The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly furthered the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to synthesize such tagged biological compounds inexpensively on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries. In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the scientist. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses handling, storage, and disposal of the isotopes most frequently used in biological research.

  1. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Semba, Kentaro

    2006-06-01

    The use of radioisotopes to label specific molecules in a defined way has greatly furthered the discovery and dissection of biochemical pathways. The development of methods to synthesize such tagged biological compounds inexpensively on an industrial scale has enabled them to be used routinely in laboratory protocols, including many detailed in this manual. Although most of these protocols involve the use of only microcurie amounts of radioactivity, some (particularly those describing the metabolic labeling of proteins or nucleic acids within cells) require amounts on the order of millicuries. In all cases where radioisotopes are used, depending on the quantity and nature of the isotope, certain precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of the scientist. It is essential to use good safety practices and proper protection to handle radioactive substances. This unit discusses handling, storage, and disposal of the isotopes most frequently used in biological research.

  2. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, R.; Hindes, C.; Battista, R.; Connelly, M.; Cronin, M.; Howarth, R.; Donahue, A.; Slate, E.; Stotts, R.; Lacy, R.

    1988-01-01

    The study of high power kinematic Stirling engines for transportation use, testing of Mod I and Mod II Stirling engines, and component development activities are summarized. Mod II development testing was performed to complete the development of the basic engine and begin characterization of performance. Mod I engines were used for Mod II component development and to obtain independent party (U.S. Air Force) evaluation of Stirling engine vehicle performance.

  3. Taming Highly Charged Radioisotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chowdhury, Usman; Eberhardt, Benjamin; Jang, Fuluni; Schultz, Brad; Simon, Vanessa; Delheij, Paul; Dilling, Jens; Gwinner, Gerald

    2012-10-01

    The precise and accurate mass of short-lived radioisotopes is a very important parameter in physics. Contribution to the improvement of nuclear models, metrological standard fixing and tests of the unitarity of the Caibbibo-Kobayashi-Maskawa (CKM) matrix are a few examples where the mass value plays a major role. TRIUMF's ion trap for atomic and nuclear physics (TITAN) is a unique facility of three online ion traps that enables the mass measurement of short-lived isotopes with high precision (˜10-8). At present TITAN's electron beam ion trap (EBIT) increases the charge state to increase the precision, but there is no facility to significantly reduce the energy spread introduced by the charge breeding process. The precision of the measured mass of radioisotopes is linearly dependent on the charge state while the energy spread of the charged radioisotopes affects the precision adversely. To boost the precision level of mass measurement at TITAN without loosing too many ions, a cooler Penning trap (CPET) is being developed. CPET is designed to use either positively (proton) or negatively (electron) charged particles to reduce the energy spread via sympathetic cooling. Off-line setup of CPET is complete. Details of the working principles and updates are presented

  4. Performance Testing of a High Temperature Linear Alternator for Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan; Geng, Steven

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has conducted performance testing of a high temperature linear alternator (HTLA) in support of Stirling power convertor development for potential future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). The high temperature linear alternator is a modified version of that used in Sunpowers Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), and is capable of operation at temperatures up to 200 C. Increasing the temperature capability of the linear alternator could expand the mission space of future Stirling RPS designs. High temperature Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets were selected for the HTLA application, and were fully characterized and tested prior to uses. Higher temperature epoxy for alternator assembly was also selected and tested for thermal stability and strength. A characterization test was performed on the HTLA to measure its performance at various amplitudes, loads, and temperatures. HTLA endurance testing at 200 C is currently underway.

  5. Performance Testing of a High Temperature Linear Alternator for Stirling Convertors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan F.; Geng, Steven M.

    2016-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has conducted performance testing of a high temperature linear alternator (HTLA) in support of Stirling power convertor development for potential future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). The high temperature linear alternator is a modified version of that used in Sunpower's Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), and is capable of operation at temperatures up to 200 deg. Increasing the temperature capability of the linear alternator could expand the mission set of future Stirling RPS designs. High temperature Neodymium-Iron-Boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets were selected for the HTLA application, and were fully characterized and tested prior to use. Higher temperature epoxy for alternator assembly was also selected and tested for thermal stability and strength. A characterization test was performed on the HTLA to measure its performance at various amplitudes, loads, and temperatures. HTLA endurance testing at 200 deg is currently underway.

  6. Update on Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors in Thermal Vacuum at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems (LMSS), Infinia Corporation, and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing a Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator would make use of Stirling cycle energy conversion to achieve higher efficiency than currently used alternatives. A test has been initiated at GRC to demonstrate functionality of Stirling conversion in a thermal vacuum environment over an extended period of time. The test article resembles the configuration of the SRG, but was designed without the requirement of low mass. Throughout the 8700 cumulative hours of operation, modifications to the supporting hardware were required to attain the desired operating conditions. These modifications, the status of testing, and the data recorded will be discussed in this paper.

  7. Planetary Protection Concerns During Pre-Launch Radioisotope Power System Final Integration Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Fei; McKay, Terri; Spry, James A.; Colozza, Anthony J.; DiStefano, Salvador

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) is a next-generation radioisotope-based power system that is currently being developed as an alternative to the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). Power sources such as these may be needed for proposed missions to solar system planets and bodies that have challenging Planetary Protection (PP) requirements (e.g. Mars, Europa, Enceladus) that may support NASA s search for life, remnants of past life, and the precursors of life. One concern is that the heat from the ASRG could potentially create a region in which liquid water may occur. As advised by the NASA Planetary Protection Officer, when deploying an ASRG to Mars, the current COSPAR/NASA PP policy should be followed for Category IVc mission. Thus, sterilization processing of the ASRG to achieve bioburden reduction would be essential to meet the Planetary Protection requirements. Due to thermal constraints and associated low temperature limits of elements of the ASRG, vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP) was suggested as a candidate alternative sterilization process to complement dry heat microbial reduction (DHMR) for the assembled ASRG. The following proposed sterilization plan for the ASRG anticipates a mission Category IVc level of cleanliness. This plan provides a scenario in which VHP is used as the final sterilization process. Keywords: Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), Planetary Protection (PP), Vapor hydrogen peroxide (VHP) sterilization.

  8. Supporting Technology at GRC to Mitigate Risk as Stirling Power Conversion Transitions to Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.; Wong, Wayne A.

    2008-01-01

    Stirling power conversion technology has been reaching more advanced levels of maturity during its development for space power applications. The current effort is in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), which is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower Inc., and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. Of paramount importance is the reliability of the power system and as a part of this, the Stirling power convertors. GRC has established a supporting technology effort with tasks in the areas of reliability, convertor testing, high-temperature materials, structures, advanced analysis, organics, and permanent magnets. The project utilizes the matrix system at GRC to make use of resident experts in each of the aforementioned fields. Each task is intended to reduce risk and enhance reliability of the convertor as this technology transitions toward flight status. This paper will provide an overview of each task, outline the recent efforts and accomplishments, and show how they mitigate risk and impact the reliability of the ASC s and ultimately, the ASRG.

  9. Fabrication and Testing of a Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor for a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Fralick, Gus c.; Wrbanek, John D.; Sayir, Ali

    2010-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high-efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems since 1999. Stirling convertors are being operated for many years to demonstrate a radioisotope power system capable of providing reliable power for potential multiyear missions. Techniques used to monitor the convertors for change in performance include measurements of temperature, pressure, energy addition, and energy rejection. Micro-porous bulk insulation is used in the Stirling convertor test setup to minimize the loss of thermal energy from the electric heat source to the environment. The insulation is characterized before extended operation, enabling correlation of the net thermal energy addition to the convertor. Aging micro-porous bulk insulation changes insulation efficiency, introducing errors in the correlation for net thermal energy addition. A thin-film heat flux sensor was designed and fabricated to directly measure the net thermal energy addition to the Stirling convertor. The fabrication techniques include slipcasting and using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). One-micron-thick noble metal thermocouples measure temperature on the surface of an alumina ceramic disk and heat flux is calculated. Fabrication, integration, and test results of a thin-film heat flux sensor are presented.

  10. Fabrication and Testing of a Thin-Film Heat Flux Sensor for a Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Fralick, Gustave; Wrbanek, John; Sayir, Ali

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been testing high efficiency free-piston Stirling convertors for potential use in radioisotope power systems since 1999. Stirling convertors are being operated for many years to demonstrate a radioisotope power system capable of providing reliable power for potential multi-year missions. Techniques used to monitor the convertors for change in performance include measurements of temperature, pressure, energy addition, and energy rejection. Micro-porous bulk insulation is used in the Stirling convertor test set up to minimize the loss of thermal energy from the electric heat source to the environment. The insulation is characterized before extended operation, enabling correlation of the net thermal energy addition to the convertor. Aging microporous bulk insulation changes insulation efficiency, introducing errors in the correlation for net thermal energy addition. A thin-mm heat flux sensor was designed and fabricated to directly measure the net thermal energy addition to the Stirling convertor. The fabrication techniques include slip casting and using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD). One micron thick noble metal thermocouples measure temperature on the surface of an Alumina ceramic disc and heat flux is calculated. Fabrication, integration, and test results of a thin film heat flux sensor are presented.

  11. Performance of an Advanced Stirling Convertor Based on Heat Flux Sensor Measurements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Dcott D.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two highefficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower, Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center. The ASCs convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a particular operating frequency, hot-end and cold-end temperatures, and specified electrical power output for a given heat input. It is difficult to measure heat input to Stirling convertors due to the complex geometries of the hot components, temperature limits of sensor materials, and invasive integration of sensors. A thin-film heat flux sensor was used to directly measure heat input to an ASC. The effort succeeded in designing and fabricating unique sensors, which were integrated into a Stirling convertor ground test and exposed to test temperatures exceeding 700 C in air for 10,000 hr. Sensor measurements were used to calculate thermal efficiency for ASC-E (Engineering Unit) #1 and #4. The post-disassembly condition of the sensors is also discussed.

  12. Supporting Technology at GRC to Mitigate Risk as Stirling Power Conversion Transitions to Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.; Wong, Wayne A.

    2009-01-01

    Stirling power conversion technology has been reaching more advanced levels of maturity during its development for space power applications. The current effort is in support of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), which is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC), Sunpower Inc., and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. Of paramount importance is the reliability of the power system and as a part of this, the Stirling power convertors. GRC has established a supporting technology effort with tasks in the areas of reliability, convertor testing, high-temperature materials, structures, advanced analysis, organics, and permanent magnets. The project utilizes the matrix system at GRC to make use of resident experts in each of the aforementioned fields. Each task is intended to reduce risk and enhance reliability of the convertor as this technology transitions toward flight status. This paper will provide an overview of each task, outline the recent efforts and accomplishments, and show how they mitigate risk and impact the reliability of the ASC s and ultimately, the ASRG.

  13. Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gasser, M. G.; Sherman, A.; Studer, P. A.; Daniels, A.; Goldowsky, M. P. (Inventor)

    1983-01-01

    A long lifetime Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler particularly adapted for space applications is described. It consists of a compressor section centrally aligned end to end with an expansion section, and respectively includes a reciprocating compressor piston and displacer radially suspended in interconnecting cylindrical housings by active magnetic bearings and has adjacent reduced clearance regions so as to be in noncontacting relationship therewith and wherein one or more of these regions operate as clearance seals. The piston and displacer are reciprocated in their housings by linear drive motors to vary the volume of respectively adjacent compression and expansion spaces which contain a gaseous working fluid and a thermal regenerator to effect Stirling cycle cryogenic cooling.

  14. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Technology Maturation in Preparation for Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Cornell, Peggy A.

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is being developed by an integrated team of Sunpower and National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA s) Glenn Research Center (GRC). The ASC development, funded by NASA s Science Mission Directorate, started as a technology development effort in 2003 and has since evolved through progressive convertor builds and successful testing to demonstrate high conversion efficiency, low mass, and capability to meet long-life Radioisotope Power System (RPS) requirements. The technology has been adopted by the Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company s Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), which has been selected for potential flight demonstration on Discovery 12. This paper provides an overview of the status of ASC development including the most recent ASC-E2 convertors that have been delivered to GRC and an introduction to the ASC-E3 and ASC flight convertors that Sunpower will build next. The paper also describes the technology maturation and support tasks being conducted at GRC to support ASC and ASRG development in the areas of convertor and generator extended operation, high-temperature materials, heater head life assessment, organics, nondestructive inspection, spring fatigue testing, and other reliability verification tasks.

  15. Advanced Stirling Technology Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Wong, Wayne A.

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has been developing advanced energy-conversion technologies for use with both radioisotope power systems and fission surface power systems for many decades. Under NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science Theme, Technology Program, Glenn is developing the next generation of advanced Stirling convertors (ASCs) for use in the Department of Energy/Lockheed Martin Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The next-generation power-conversion technologies require high efficiency and high specific power (watts electric per kilogram) to meet future mission requirements to use less of the Department of Energy's plutonium-fueled general-purpose heat source modules and reduce system mass. Important goals include long-life (greater than 14-yr) reliability and scalability so that these systems can be considered for a variety of future applications and missions including outer-planet missions and continual operation on the surface of Mars. This paper provides an update of the history and status of the ASC being developed for Glenn by Sunpower Inc. of Athens, Ohio.

  16. Continued Development of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wood, J. Gary; Wilson, Kyle; Buffalino, Andrew; Frye, Patrick; Matejczyk, Dan; Penswick, L.B.

    2008-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is being developed under contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and is supported by NASA s Science Mission Directorate for potential use in future radioisotope power systems having significantly increased efficiency and higher specific power compared to the current thermoelectric systems. An ASC with a lower temperature (approx.650 C) Inconel heater head is currently being substituted into the DOE/Lockheed Martin Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) program with a predicted convertor efficiency of 34 percent (AC electrical out to heat input ) at a temperature ratio of 2.7 and is expected to deliver approximately 75 W(sub ac). Continued development of the higher temperature (approx.850 C) version using existing materials and fabrication techniques in the hot portions is reported on here. The higher temperature ASC is expected to have 38 percent efficiency (AC electrical out to heat input) at a temperature ratio of 3.1 and is expected to deliver approximately 88 W(sub ac). The high temperature ASC also has approximately 30 C higher rejection temperature, which allows for further reduced system mass because of the reduced radiator size. Six higher temperature and hermetically sealed convertors are being built under this effort for extended life testing at GRC.

  17. Stirling engine power control

    DOEpatents

    Fraser, James P.

    1983-01-01

    A power control method and apparatus for a Stirling engine including a valved duct connected to the junction of the regenerator and the cooler and running to a bypass chamber connected between the heater and the cylinder. An oscillating zone of demarcation between the hot and cold portions of the working gas is established in the bypass chamber, and the engine pistons and cylinders can run cold.

  18. Stirling cycle engine

    DOEpatents

    Lundholm, Gunnar

    1983-01-01

    In a Stirling cycle engine having a plurality of working gas charges separated by pistons reciprocating in cylinders, the total gas content is minimized and the mean pressure equalization among the serial cylinders is improved by using two piston rings axially spaced at least as much as the piston stroke and by providing a duct in the cylinder wall opening in the space between the two piston rings and leading to a source of minimum or maximum working gas pressure.

  19. Stirling engine design manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martini, W. R.

    1978-01-01

    This manual is intended to serve both as an introduction to Stirling engine analysis methods and as a key to the open literature on Stirling engines. Over 800 references are listed and these are cross referenced by date of publication, author and subject. Engine analysis is treated starting from elementary principles and working through cycles analysis. Analysis methodologies are classified as first, second or third order depending upon degree of complexity and probable application; first order for preliminary engine studies, second order for performance prediction and engine optimization, and third order for detailed hardware evaluation and engine research. A few comparisons between theory and experiment are made. A second order design procedure is documented step by step with calculation sheets and a worked out example to follow. Current high power engines are briefly described and a directory of companies and individuals who are active in Stirling engine development is included. Much remains to be done. Some of the more complicated and potentially very useful design procedures are now only referred to. Future support will enable a more thorough job of comparing all available design procedures against experimental data which should soon be available.

  20. Radioisotope Power: A Key Technology for Deep Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George; Sutliff, Tom; Dudzinski, Leonard

    2008-01-01

    A Radioisotope Power System (RPS) generates power by converting the heat released from the nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes, such as Plutonium-238 (Pu-238), into electricity. First used in space by the U.S. in 1961, these devices have enabled some of the most challenging and exciting space missions in history, including the Pioneer and Voyager probes to the outer solar system; the Apollo lunar surface experiments; the Viking landers; the Ulysses polar orbital mission about the Sun; the Galileo mission to Jupiter; the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn; and the recently launched New Horizons mission to Pluto. Radioisotopes have also served as a versatile heat source for moderating equipment thermal environments on these and many other missions, including the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The key advantage of RPS is its ability to operate continuously, independent of orientation and distance relative to the Sun. Radioisotope systems are long-lived, rugged, compact, highly reliable, and relatively insensitive to radiation and other environmental effects. As such, they are ideally suited for missions involving long-lived, autonomous operations in the extreme conditions of space and other planetary bodies. This paper reviews the history of RPS for the U.S. space program. It also describes current development of a new Stirling cycle-based generator that will greatly expand the application of nuclear-powered missions in the future.

  1. Radioisotope Power: A Key Technology for Deep Space Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Duddzinski, Leonard

    2009-01-01

    A Radioisotope Power System (RPS) generates power by converting the heat released from the nuclear decay of radioactive isotopes, such as Plutonium-238 (Pu-238), into electricity. First used in space by the U.S. in 1961, these devices have enabled some of the most challenging and exciting space missions in history, including the Pioneer and Voyager probes to the outer solar system; the Apollo lunar surface experiments; the Viking landers; the Ulysses polar orbital mission about the Sun; the Galileo mission to Jupiter; the Cassini mission orbiting Saturn; and the recently launched New Horizons mission to Pluto. Radioisotopes have also served as a versatile heat source for moderating equipment thermal environments on these and many other missions, including the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The key advantage of RPS is its ability to operate continuously, independent of orientation and distance relative to the Sun. Radioisotope systems are long-lived, rugged, compact, highly reliable, and relatively insensitive to radiation and other environmental effects. As such, they are ideally suited for missions involving long-lived, autonomous operations in the extreme conditions of space and other planetary bodies. This paper reviews the history of RPS for the U.S. space program. It also describes current development of a new Stirling cycle-based generator that will greatly expand the application of nuclear-powered missions in the future.

  2. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Planning and Potential Future Systems Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, June F.; Woerner, Dave F.; Cairns-Gallimore, Dirk; Johnson, Stephen G.; Qualls, Louis

    2016-01-01

    The goal of NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program is to make RPS ready and available to support the exploration of the solar system in environments where the use of conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet the needs of the missions. To meet this goal, the RPS Program, working closely with the Department of Energy, performs mission and system studies (such as the recently released Nuclear Power Assessment Study), assesses the readiness of promising technologies to infuse in future generators, assesses the sustainment of key RPS capabilities and knowledge, forecasts and tracks the Program's budgetary needs, and disseminates current information about RPS to the community of potential users. This process has been refined and used to determine the current content of the RPS Program's portfolio. This portfolio currently includes an effort to mature advanced thermoelectric technology for possible integration into an enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Generator (eMMRTG), sustainment and production of the currently deployed MMRTG, and technology investments that could lead to a future Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). This paper describes the program planning processes that have been used, the currently available MMRTG, and one of the potential future systems, the eMMRTG.

  3. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion Centaur Orbiter Spacecraft Design Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steve; McGuire, Melissa; Sarver-Verhey, Tim; Juergens, Jeff; Parkey, Tom; Dankanich, John; Fiehler, Doug; Gyekenyesi, John; Hemminger, Joseph; Gilland, Jim; Colozza, Tony; Packard, Tom; Nguyen, Thahn; Schmitz, Paul; Ostdiek, Paul; Gold, Rob; Lisse, Carey; Hibbits, Karl

    2009-01-01

    Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) has been shown in past studies to enable missions to outerplanetary bodies including the orbiting of Centaur asteroids. Key to the feasibility for REP missions are long life, low power electric propulsion (EP) devices, low mass radioisotope power systems (RPS) and light spacecraft (S/C) components. In order to determine what are the key parameters for EP devices to perform these REP missions a design study was completed to design an REP S/C to orbit a Centaur in a New Frontiers cost cap. The design shows that an orbiter using several long lived (approximately 200 kg Xenon throughput), low power (approximately 700 W) Hall thrusters teamed with six (150 W each) Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRG) can deliver 60 kg of science instruments to a Centaur in 10 yr within the New Frontiers cost cap. Optimal specific impulses for the Hall thrusters were found to be around 2000 sec with thruster efficiencies over 40%. Not only can the REP S/C enable orbiting a Centaur (when compared to an all chemical mission only capable of flybys) but the additional power from the REP system can be reused to enhance science and simplify communications.

  4. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Planning and Potential Future Systems Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, June F.; Woerner, Dave F.; Cairns-Gallimore, Dirk; Johnson, Stephen G.; Qualis, Louis

    2016-01-01

    The goal of NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program is to make RPS ready and available to support the exploration of the solar system in environments where the use of conventional solar or chemical power generation is impractical or impossible to meet the needs of the missions. To meet this goal, the RPS Program, working closely with the Department of Energy, performs mission and system studies (such as the recently released Nuclear Power Assessment Study), assesses the readiness of promising technologies to infuse in future generators, assesses the sustainment of key RPS capabilities and knowledge, forecasts and tracks the Programs budgetary needs, and disseminates current information about RPS to the community of potential users. This process has been refined and used to determine the current content of the RPS Programs portfolio. This portfolio currently includes an effort to mature advanced thermoelectric technology for possible integration into an enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Generator (eMMRTG), sustainment and production of the currently deployed MMRTG, and technology investments that could lead to a future Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). This paper describes the program planning processes that have been used, the currently available MMRTG, and one of the potential future systems, the eMMRTG.

  5. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Piller, S.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results, progress in manufacturing, assembling and testing of a Mod I engine in the United States, P40 Stirling engine dynamometer and multifuels testing, analog/digital controls system testing, Stirling reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies, components and subsystems, and computer code development are summarized.

  6. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, M. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    Progress is reported in the following: the Stirling reference engine system design; components and subsystems; F-40 baseline Stirling engine installation and test; the first automotive engine to be built on the program; computer development activities; and technical assistance to the Government. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are given.

  7. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Development for NASA RPS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Scott; Collins, Josh

    2014-01-01

    Sunpower's Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) initiated development under contract to the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and after a series of successful demonstrations, the ASC began transitioning from a technology development project to flight development project. The ASC has very high power conversion efficiency making it attractive for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) in order to make best use of the low plutonium-238 fuel inventory in the U.S. In recent years, the ASC became part of the NASA-Department of Energy Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Integrated Project. Sunpower held two parallel contracts to produce ASC convertors, one with the Department of Energy/Lockheed Martin to produce the ASC-F flight convertors, and one with NASA GRC for the production of ASC-E3 engineering units, the initial units of which served as production pathfinders. The integrated ASC technical team successfully overcame various technical challenges that led to the completion and delivery of the first two pairs of flight-like ASC-E3 by 2013. However, in late Fall 2013, the DOE initiated termination of the Lockheed Martin ASRG flight development contract driven primarily by budget constraints. NASA continues to recognize the importance of high efficiency ASC power conversion for RPS and continues investment in the technology including the continuation of ASC-E3 production at Sunpower and the assembly of the ASRG Engineering Unit #2. This paper provides a summary of ASC technical accomplishments, overview of tests at GRC, plans for continued ASC production at Sunpower, and status of Stirling technology development.

  8. Overview of NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2004-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) under contract to the Department of Energy (DOE). The generator will be a high efficiency electric power source for NASA Space Science missions with the ability to operate in vacuum or in an atmosphere such as on Mars. High efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power conversion. Power output will be greater than 100 watts at the beginning of life with the decline in power largely due to the decay of the plutonium heat source. In support of the DOE SRG project, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has established a technology effort to provide data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system in space. Initially, a limited number of areas were selected for the effort, however this is now being expanded to more thoroughly cover key technical issues. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary to the near-term technology effort. Many of the tests use the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC). There have been multiple controller tests to support the LMA flight controller design effort. Preparation is continuing for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration. A pair of flight prototype TDC s have been placed on continuous operation. Heater head life assessment continues, with the material data being refined and the analysis moving toward the system perspective. Magnet aging tests continue to characterize any possible aging in the strength or demagnetization resistance of the magnets in the linear alternator. A reliability effort has been initiated to help guide the development activities with focus on the key components and subsystems. This paper will provide an overview of some of the GRC technical efforts, including the status, and a description of future efforts.

  9. Stirling Powered Van Progam overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, R. K.

    1986-01-01

    The Stirling Powered Van Program (SPVP) is a multiyear, multiphase program to evaluate the automotive Stirling engine (ASE) in Air Force vans under realistic conditions. The objective of the SPVP is to transfer to manufacturer and end user(s) (i.e., on the path to commercialization) the second-generation Mod 2 ASE upon completion of the Automotive Stirling Engine Program in 1987. In order to meet this objective, the SPVP must establish Stirling performance, integrity, reliability, durability and maintainability. The ASE program background leading to the van program is reviewed and plans for evaluating the kinematic Stirling engine in Air Force vans examined. Also discussed are the NASA technology transfers to industry that have been accomplished and those which are currently being developed.

  10. Overview of NASA GRC Stirling Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey; Thieme, Lanny

    2003-01-01

    The Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is currently being developed by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (LMA) under contract to the Depar1ment of Energy (DOE). The generator will be a high efficiency electric power source for NASA Space Science missions with the capability to operate in the vacuum of deep space or in an atmosphere such as on the surface of Mars. High system efficiency is obtained through the use of free-piston Stirling power conversion technology. Power output of the generator will be greater than 100 watts at the beginning of life with the decline in power being largely due to the decay of the plutonium heat source. In suppOl1 of the DOE SRG project, the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has established a near-term technology effort to provide some of the critical data to ensure a successful transition to flight for what will be the first dynamic power system used in space. Initially, a limited number of technical areas were selected for the GRC effort, however this is now being expanded to more thoroughly cover a range of technical issues. The tasks include in-house testing of Stirling convertors and controllers, materials evaluation and heater head life assessment, structural dynamics, electromagnetic interference, organics evaluation, and reliability analysis. Most of these high-level tasks have several subtasks within. There is also an advanced technology effort that is complementary near-term technology effort. Many of the tests make use of the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convel10r (TDC). There have been multiple controller tests to support the LMA flight controller design effort. Preparation is continuing for a thermal/vacuum system demonstration. A pair of flight prototype TDC's have recently been placed on an extended test with unattended, continuous operation. Heater head life assessment efforts continue, with the material data being refined and the analysis moving toward the system perspective. Long-term magnet aging tests are

  11. Design Description of a Planned Breadboard Development of a Stirling Power Conversion System (SPCS) for the European Space Agency (ESA) Powered by a Simulated Nuclear Fuel Module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parfitt, Claire; Vrublevskis, John; Bate, Alan; Summers, David; Edwards, Robin; Bradshaw, Tom; Crook, Martin; Gilley, Geoff; Rawlings, Thomas; Bailey, Paul; Dadd, Mike; Stone, Richard; Jamotton, Pierre; De Cock, Ellen; Linder, Martin; Dowell, Allan; Shaughnessy, Bryan

    2014-08-01

    The design of a breadboard power converter system for use with radioisotopic heat sources will be described. This design is based on the Stirling cycle, taking advantage of long-life technologies developed for past European space cooler systems. Electrical output is a conditioned DC bus of approximately 100 We. The design consists of a Stirling Converter Subsystem, Fuel Module Subsystem, Power Conditioning Electronics and Support Structure. The critical functions of a future Stirling radioisotope power generation system have been identified as safety, long-life, efficiency, mass and scalability. The breadboard (supported by 2 independent models) has been designed to investigate these areas fully and to raise their technology readiness levels (TRLs). Testing of the breadboard is currently planned to start in 2014.

  12. A 3-D Magnetic Analysis of a Stirling Convertor Linear Alternator Under Load

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Schwarze, Gene E.; Niedra, Janis M.; Regan, Timothy F.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Stirling Technology Company (STC) are developing Stirling convertors for Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (SRPS) to provide electrical power for future NASA deep space missions. STC is developing the 55-We Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) under contract to DOE. Of critical importance to the successful development of the Stirling convertor for space power applications is the development of a lightweight and highly efficient linear alternator. This paper presents a 3-dimensional finite element method (FEM) approach for evaluating Stirling convertor linear alternators. The model extends a magnetostatic analysis previously reported at the 35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC) to include the effects of the load current. STC's 55-We linear alternator design was selected to validate the model. Spatial plots of magnetic field strength (H) are presented in the region of the exciting permanent magnets. The margin for permanent magnet demagnetization is calculated at the expected magnet operating temperature for the near earth environment and for various average magnet temperatures. These thermal conditions were selected to represent a worst-case condition for the planned deep space missions. This paper presents plots that identify regions of high H where the potential to alter the magnetic moment of the magnets exists.

  13. Progress in Developing a New 5 Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    SciTech Connect

    Brandhorst, Henry W. Jr.; Kirby, Raymond L.; Chapman, Peter A.

    2008-01-21

    The NASA Vision for Exploration of the Moon envisions a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kWe. In the 1990s, Mechanical Technology, Inc.'s Stirling Engine Systems Division (now a part of Foster-Miller, Inc.) developed a 25 kWe free piston Stirling Space Power Demonstrator Engine under the SP-100 program. This system consisted of two 12.5 kWe engines connected at their hot ends and mounted in tandem to cancel vibration. Recently, NASA and DoE have been developing dual 55 We and 80 We Stirling convertor systems for use with radioisotope heat sources. Total test times of all convertors in this effort exceed 120,000 hours. Recently, NASA began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kWe, single convertor for use in the Lunar power system. Goals of this development program include a specific power in excess of 140 We/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and a control system that will safely manage the convertors in case of an emergency. Auburn University awarded a subcontract to Foster-Miller, Inc. to undertake development of the 5 kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  14. Diaphragm Stirling cryocooler developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stacy, W. D.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reports on the status of several ongoing development programs aimed at the demonstration of diaphragm Stirling cycle cryocooler performance. Key attributes of this technology focus on long reliable operating life and excellent efficiency, making it a candidate for cooling of satellite-borne long wavelength sensors for astrophysics and earth observing missions. Three programs are described, each leading to system or component test hardware: a 2 W 65 K single-stage Standard Spacecraft Cryocooler, a 300 mW 30 K two-stage cooler and a 200 mW 4-20 K single-stage cooler. Design features are described, and breadboard experimental data are presented.

  15. Accelerated Decay of Radioisotopes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    00-01 -2013 Technical June20 l l-June 2012 4 . TITLE AND SUBTITLE Sa. CONTRACT NUMBER DTRA MIPR 11-2362M Accelerated Decay of Radioisotopes Sb...268 x E +2 4.788 026 x E -2 6.894 757 4.535 924 x E -1 4.214 011 x E -2 1.601 846 x E +1 1.000 000 x E -2 2.579 760 x E - 4 1.000 000 x E -8...c a y o f R a d i o i s o t o p e s " P r o p o s a l # B R C A L L 0 7 - N - 2 - 0 0 4 7 I l l u s t r a t i o n o f \\ P F R P a s p o

  16. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Bursik, Steve

    2010-04-01

    The pursuit of scientific knowledge has been considerably advanced by the use of biochemical molecules that incorporate radioisotopes at specific sites. The fate of these labeled molecules, and/or the radiolabeled products that result from biochemical reactions in which the parent molecule was involved, can be traced using a variety of instruments that detect radioactivity. This appendix begins with a discussion of the principles of radioactivity in order to provide the reader/user with knowledge on which to base a common sense approach to the safe use of isotopes. The characteristics of isotopes most commonly used in a molecular biology laboratory are then detailed, as well as the safety precautions and monitoring methods peculiar to each one. Detection and imaging methods used in experimental analysis are reviewed. Finally, an outline of an orderly response to a spill of radioactive material is presented.

  17. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Bursik, Steve

    2007-07-01

    The pursuit of scientific knowledge has been considerably advanced by the use of biochemical molecules that incorporate radioisotopes at specific sites. The fate of these labeled molecules, and/or the radiolabeled products that result from biochemical reactions in which the parent molecule was involved, can be traced using a variety of instruments that detect radioactivity. This appendix begins with a discussion of the principles of radioactivity in order to provide the reader/user with knowledge on which to base a common sense approach to the safe use of isotopes. The characteristics of isotopes most commonly used in a molecular biology laboratory are then detailed, as well as the safety precautions and monitoring methods peculiar to each one. Detection and imaging methods used in experimental analysis are reviewed. Finally, an outline of an orderly response to a spill of radioactive material is presented.

  18. Safe use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Meisenhelder, Jill; Bursik, Steve

    2008-08-01

    The pursuit of scientific knowledge has been considerably advanced by the use of biochemical molecules that incorporate radioisotopes at specific sites. The fate of these labeled molecules, and/or the radiolabeled products that result from biochemical reactions in which the parent molecule was involved, can be traced using a variety of instruments that detect radioactivity. This appendix begins with a discussion of the principles of radioactivity in order to provide the reader/user with knowledge on which to base a common sense approach to the safe use of isotopes. The characteristics of isotopes most commonly used in a molecular biology laboratory are then detailed, as well as the safety precautions and monitoring methods peculiar to each one. Detection and imaging methods used in experimental analysis are reviewed. Finally, an outline of an orderly response to a spill of radioactive material is presented.

  19. Silicon Carbide Radioisotope Batteries

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rybicki, George C.

    2005-01-01

    The substantial radiation resistance and large bandgap of SiC semiconductor materials makes them an attractive candidate for application in a high efficiency, long life radioisotope battery. To evaluate their potential in this application, simulated batteries were constructed using SiC diodes and the alpha particle emitter Americium Am-241 or the beta particle emitter Promethium Pm-147. The Am-241 based battery showed high initial power output and an initial conversion efficiency of approximately 16%, but the power output decayed 52% in 500 hours due to radiation damage. In contrast the Pm-147 based battery showed a similar power output level and an initial conversion efficiency of approximately 0.6%, but no degradation was observed in 500 hours. However, the Pm-147 battery required approximately 1000 times the particle fluence as the Am-242 battery to achieve a similar power output. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of battery and suggestions for future improvements will be discussed.

  20. Advanced Subcritical Assistance Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator: An Imperative Solution for the Future of NASA Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arias, F. J.

    A new generation of radioisotope thermoelectrical generator is proposed for very long space exploration missions. The Advanced Subcritical Assistance Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (ASA-RTG) amplify the power from natural decay of pu-238 by a small subcritical multiplication produced from the small neutron background generated from (α, n) reactions between the α particles from Pu-238 and beryllium, lithium or other low-Z isotope, extracting the maximum advantage and performance from the precious α disintegration, and then of the very scarce pu-238. The process is self controlled by the natural decay of Pu-238 with the progressive reduction of the power output (RTG) and additionally and simultaneously compensate by the natural decay of a neutronic poisson which increase simultaneously the subcritical multiplication resulting in a contrary effect, i.e., causing an increase in the power. ASA-RTG is not in conflict with previous RTG, and could fit within the type of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator developed for NASA space missions as the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) and the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG).

  1. Understanding Stirling engines. Technical paper

    SciTech Connect

    Beale, W.

    1984-01-01

    The paper describes the basic Stirling engine, as well as some of the most promising modern varieties. The intent is to familiarize people in developing countries with the engine's operation and range of applications.

  2. Ceramic automotive Stirling engine program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    The Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program evaluated the application of advanced ceramic materials to an automotive Stirling engine. The objective of the program was to evaluate the technical feasibility of utilizing advanced ceramics to increase peak engine operating temperature, and to evaluate the performance benefits of such an increase. Manufacturing cost estimates were also developed for various ceramic engine components and compared with conventional metallic engine component costs.

  3. Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-08-01

    The Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine Program evaluated the application of advanced ceramic materials to an automotive Stirling engine. The objective of the program was to evaluate the technical feasibility of utilizing advanced ceramics to increase peak engine operating temperature, and to evaluate the performance benefits of such an increase. Manufacturing cost estimates were also developed for various ceramic engine components and compared with conventional metallic engine component costs.

  4. An Overview and Status of NASA's Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology NRA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Wong, Wayne A.; Tuttle, Karen L.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) development program is developing next generation radioisotope power conversion technologies that will enable future missions that have requirements that can not be met by either photovoltaic systems or by current Radioisotope Power System (RPS) technology. The Advanced Power Conversion Research and Technology project of the Advanced RPS development program is funding research and technology activities through the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) 02- OSS-01, "Research Opportunities in Space Science 2002" entitled "Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology" (RPCT), 13 August 2002. The objective of the RPCT NRA is to advance the development of radioisotope power conversion technologies to provide significant improvements over the state-of-practice General Purpose Heat Source/Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator by providing significantly higher efficiency to reduce the number of radioisotope fuel modules, and increase specific power (watts/kilogram). Other Advanced RPS goals include safety, long-life, reliability, scalability, multi-mission capability, resistance to radiation, and minimal interference with the scientific payload. These advances would enable a factor of 2 to 4 decrease in the amount of fuel required to generate electrical power. The RPCT NRA selected advanced RPS power conversion technology research and development proposals in the following three areas: innovative RPS power conversion research, RPS power conversion technology development in a nominal 100We scale; and, milliwatt/multi-watt RPS (mWRPS) power conversion research. Ten RPCT NRA contracts were awarded in 2003 in the areas of Brayton, Stirling, thermoelectric (TE), and thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power conversion technologies. This paper will provide an overview of the RPCT NRA, and a brief summary of accomplishments over the first 18 months but focusing on advancements made over the last 6 months.

  5. Stirling material technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, R. H.; Stephens, J. R.; Scheuermann, C. M.

    1984-01-01

    The Stirling engine is an external combustion engine that offers the advantage of high fuel economy, low emissions, low noise, and low vibrations compared to current internal combustion automotive engines. The most critical component from a materials viewpoint is the heater head consisting of the cylinders, heating tubes, and regenerator housing. Materials requirements for the heater head include compatibility with hydrogen, resistance to hydrogen permeation, high temperature oxidation/corrosion resistance, and high temperature creep-rupture and fatigue properties. A materials research and technology program identified the wrought alloys CG-27 and 12RN72 and the cast alloys XF-818, NASAUT 4G-A1, and NASACC-1 as candidate replacements for the cobalt containing alloys used in current prototype engines. It is concluded that manufacture of the engine is feasible from low cost iron-base alloys rather than the cobalt alloys used in prototype engines. Results of research that lead to this conclusion are presented.

  6. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as lateral load tests since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  7. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2011-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC-E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as "lateral load tests" since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  8. Lateral Load Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cornell, Peggy A.; Krause, David L.; Davis, Glen; Robbie, Malcolm G.; Gubics, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are fundamental to the development of NASA s next generation of radioisotope power system, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The ASRG will use General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules as the energy source and Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) to convert heat into electrical energy, and is being developed by Lockheed Martin under contract to the Department of Energy. Achieving flight status mandates that the ASCs satisfy design as well as flight requirements to ensure reliable operation during launch. To meet these launch requirements, GRC performed a series of quasi-static mechanical tests simulating the pressure, thermal, and external loading conditions that will be experienced by an ASC-E2 heater head assembly. These mechanical tests were collectively referred to as "lateral load tests" since a primary external load lateral to the heater head longitudinal axis was applied in combination with the other loading conditions. The heater head was subjected to the operational pressure, axial mounting force, thermal conditions, and axial and lateral launch vehicle acceleration loadings. To permit reliable prediction of the heater head s structural performance, GRC completed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) computer modeling for the stress, strain, and deformation that will result during launch. The heater head lateral load test directly supported evaluation of the analysis and validation of the design to meet launch requirements. This paper provides an overview of each element within the test and presents assessment of the modeling as well as experimental results of this task.

  9. Organic Materials Ionizing Radiation Susceptibility for the Outer Planet/Solar Probe Radioisotope Power Source

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golliher, Eric L.; Pepper, Stephen V.

    2001-01-01

    The Department of Energy is considering the current Stirling Technology Corporation 55 We Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor as a baseline option for an advanced radioisotope power source for the Outer Planets/Solar Probe project of Jet Propulsion Laboratory and other missions. However, since the Technology Demonstration Convertor contains organic materials chosen without any special consideration of flight readiness, and without any consideration of the extremely high radiation environment of Europa, a preliminary investigation was performed to address the radiation susceptibility of the current organic materials used in the Technology Demonstration Convertor. This report documents the results of the investigation. The results of the investigation show that candidate replacement materials have been identified to be acceptable in the harsh Europa radiation environment.

  10. Utilizing Radioisotope Power Systems for Human Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiner, Timothy M.

    2005-01-01

    The Vision for Space Exploration has a goal of sending crewed missions to the lunar surface as early as 2015 and no later than 2020. The use of nuclear power sources could aid in assisting crews in exploring the surface and performing In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) activities. Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) provide constant sources of electrical power and thermal energy for space applications. RPSs were carried on six of the crewed Apollo missions to power surface science packages, five of which still remain on the lunar surface. Future RPS designs may be able to play a more active role in supporting a long-term human presence. Due to its lower thermal and radiation output, the planned Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) appears particularly attractive for manned applications. The MCNPX particle transport code has been used to model the current SRG design to assess its use in proximity with astronauts operating on the surface. Concepts of mobility and ISRU infrastructure were modeled using MCNPX to analyze the impact of RPSs on crewed mobility systems. Strategies for lowering the radiation dose were studied to determine methods of shielding the crew from the RPSs.

  11. Evaluation of Advanced Stirling Convertor Net Heat Input Correlation Methods Using a Thermal Standard

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Schifer, Nicholas A.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower Inc. and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The ASCs convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a particular operating frequency, hot end and cold end temperatures, and specified electrical power output for a given net heat input. In an effort to improve net heat input predictions, numerous tasks have been performed which provided a more accurate value for net heat input into the ASCs, including testing validation hardware, known as the Thermal Standard, to provide a direct comparison to numerical and empirical models used to predict convertor net heat input. This validation hardware provided a comparison for scrutinizing and improving empirical correlations and numerical models of ASC-E2 net heat input. This hardware simulated the characteristics of an ASC-E2 convertor in both an operating and non-operating mode. This paper describes the Thermal Standard testing and the conclusions of the validation effort applied to the empirical correlation methods used by the Radioisotope Power System (RPS) team at NASA Glenn.

  12. Joint Radioisotope Electric Propulsion Studies - Neptune System Explorer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khan, M. Omair; Amini, Rashied; Ervin, Joan; Lang, Jared; Landau, Damon; Oleson, Steven; Spilker, Thomas; Strange, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    The Neptune System Explorer (NSE) mission concept study assessed opportunities to conduct Cassini-like science at Neptune with a radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) based spacecraft. REP is based on powering an electric propulsion (EP) engine with a radioisotope power source (RPS). The NSE study was commissioned under the Joint Radioisotope Electric Propulsion Studies (JREPS) project, which sought to determine the technical feasibility of flagship class REP applications. Within JREPS, special emphasis was given toward identifying tall technology tent poles, as well as recommending any new RPS technology developments that would be required for complicated REP missions. Based on the goals of JREPS, multiple RPS (e.g. thermoelectric and Stirling based RPS) and EP (e.g. Hall and ion engines) technology combinations were traded during the NSE study to determine the most favorable REP design architecture. Among the findings from the study was the need for >400We RPS systems, which was driven by EP operating powers and the requirement for a long-lived mission in the deep solar system. Additionally multiple development and implementation risks were identified for the NSE concept, as well as REP missions in general. Among the strengths of the NSE mission would be the benefits associated with RPS and EP use, such as long-term power (approx. 2-3kW) at Neptune and flexible trajectory options for achieving orbit or tours of the Neptune system. Although there are still multiple issues to mitigate, the NSE concept demonstrated distinct advantages associated with using REP for deep space flagship-class missions.

  13. Utilizing Radioisotope Power System Waste Heat for Spacecraft Thermal Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pantano, David R.; Dottore, Frank; Geng, Steven M.; Schrieber, Jeffrey G.; Tobery, E. Wayne; Palko, Joseph L.

    2005-01-01

    One of the advantages of using a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) for deep space or planetary surface missions is the readily available waste heat, which can be used to maintain electronic components within a controlled temperature range, to warm propulsion tanks and mobility actuators, and to gasify liquid propellants. Previous missions using Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) dissipated a very large quantity of waste heat due to the relatively low efficiency of the thermoelectric conversion technology. The next generation RPSs, such as the 110-watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) will have much higher conversion efficiencies than their predecessors and therefore may require alternate approaches to transferring waste heat to the spacecraft. RTGs, with efficiencies of approx. 6 to 7% and 200 C housing surface temperatures, would need to use large and heavy radiator heat exchangers to transfer the waste heat to the internal spacecraft components. At the same time, sensitive spacecraft instruments must be shielded from the thermal radiation by using the heat exchangers or additional shields. The SRG110, with an efficiency around 22% and 50 C nominal housing surface temperature, can use the available waste heat more efficiently by more direct heat transfer methods such as heat pipes, thermal straps, or fluid loops. The lower temperatures allow the SRG110 much more flexibility to the spacecraft designers in configuring the generator without concern of overheating nearby scientific instruments, thereby eliminating the need for thermal shields. This paper will investigate using a high efficiency SRG110 for spacecraft thermal management and outline potential methods in several conceptual missions (Lunar Rover, Mars Rover, and Titan Lander) to illustrate the advantages with regard to ease of assembly, less complex interfaces, and overall mass savings.

  14. Stirling Energy Systems` (SES) dish-Stirling program

    SciTech Connect

    Stone, K.W.; Braun, H.W.; Moore, M.I.; Clark, T.B.

    1997-12-31

    This paper describes a system to produce electrical power from the sun, and the plans for preparing it for commercial operation. The point-focus, Stirling-engine-based system was designed and tested in the 1980s by McDonnell Douglas Corporation and United Stirling AB of Sweden (now part of Kockums AB). Stirling Energy Systems (SES) has acquired the existing hardware and technology, and plans to upgrade the system in order to utilize its demonstrated performance to produce grid-compatible electrical power. The performance includes a higher solar-to-electric conversion efficiency than any other renewable energy technology (approximately 30%), with the potential of a two to four point increase. The paper presents a summary description of the hardware, its past test program, proposed improvements, and the plan for commercialization.

  15. Experimental and Computational Analysis of Unidirectional Flow Through Stirling Engine Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Tew, Roy C.; Demko, Rikako

    2006-01-01

    A high efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is being developed for possible use in long-duration space science missions. NASA s advanced technology goals for next generation Stirling convertors include increasing the Carnot efficiency and percent of Carnot efficiency. To help achieve these goals, a multi-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code is being developed to numerically model unsteady fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena of the oscillating working gas inside Stirling convertors. In the absence of transient pressure drop data for the zero mean oscillating multi-dimensional flows present in the Technology Demonstration Convertors on test at NASA Glenn Research Center, unidirectional flow pressure drop test data is used to compare against 2D and 3D computational solutions. This study focuses on tracking pressure drop and mass flow rate data for unidirectional flow though a Stirling heater head using a commercial CFD code (CFD-ACE). The commercial CFD code uses a porous-media model which is dependent on permeability and the inertial coefficient present in the linear and nonlinear terms of the Darcy-Forchheimer equation. Permeability and inertial coefficient were calculated from unidirectional flow test data. CFD simulations of the unidirectional flow test were validated using the porous-media model input parameters which increased simulation accuracy by 14 percent on average.

  16. Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than with currently available alternatives. One part of NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. and GRC. The ASC consists of a free-piston Stirling engine integrated with a linear alternator. NASA GRC has been building test facilities to support extended operation of the ASCs for several years. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. One part of the test facility is the test rack, which provides a means for data collection, convertor control, and safe operation. Over the years, the test rack requirements have changed. The initial ASC test rack utilized an alternating-current (AC) bus for convertor control; the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) test rack can operate with AC bus control or with an ASC Control Unit (ACU). A new test rack is being developed to support extended operation of the ASC-E2s with higher standards of documentation, component selection, and assembly practices. This paper discusses the differences among the ASC, ASRG EU, and ASC-E2 test racks.

  17. Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator and Its Applicability to an Illustrative Space Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.; Mukunda, M.; Or, T.; Kumar, V.; Summers, G.

    1994-02-14

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. Instead of conducting a generic study, it was decided to focus the design effort by directing it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by JPL, envisages a direct eight-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a post-encounter cruise lasting up to one year.

  18. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dynamic Test Approach and Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meer, David W.; Hill, Dennis; Ursic, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. As part of the extended operation testing of this power system, the Advanced Stirling Converters (ASC) at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center undergo a vibration test sequence intended to simulate the vibration history of an ASC used in an ASRG for a space mission. This sequence includes testing at Workmanship and Flight Acceptance levels interspersed with periods of extended operation to simulate pre and post fueling. The final step in the test sequence utilizes additional testing at Flight Acceptance levels to simulate launch. To better replicate the acceleration profile seen by an ASC incorporated into an ASRG, the input spectra used in testing the convertors was modified based on dynamic testing of the ASRG Engineering Unit ( ASRG-EU) at Lockheed Martin. This paper presents the vibration test plan for current and future ASC units, including the modified input spectra, and the results of recent tests using these spectra. The test results include data from several accelerometers mounted on the convertors as well as the piston position and output power variables.

  19. Advanced Stirling Convertor Dynamic Test Approach and Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meer, David W.; Hill, Dennis; Ursic, Joseph J.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. As part of the extended operation testing of this power system, the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) at NASA GRC undergo a vibration test sequence intended to simulate the vibration history that an ASC would experience when used in an ASRG for a space mission. This sequence includes testing at workmanship and flight acceptance levels interspersed with periods of extended operation to simulate prefueling and post fueling. The final step in the test sequence utilizes additional testing at flight acceptance levels to simulate launch. To better replicate the acceleration profile seen by an ASC incorporated into an ASRG, the input spectra used in testing the convertors was modified based on dynamic testing of the ASRG Engineering Unit (ASRG EU) at LM. This paper outlines the overall test approach, summarizes the test results from the ASRG EU, describes the incorporation of those results into the test approach, and presents the results of applying the test approach to the ASC-1 #3 and #4 convertors. The test results include data from several accelerometers mounted on the convertors as well as the piston position and output power variables.

  20. Performance Measurement of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC-E3)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2013-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing data of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The latest version of the ASC (ASC-E3, to represent the third cycle of engineering model test hardware) is of a design identical to the forthcoming flight convertors. For this generation of hardware, a joint Sunpower and GRC effort was initiated to improve and standardize the test support hardware. After this effort was completed, the first pair of ASC-E3 units was produced by Sunpower and then delivered to GRC in December 2012. GRC has begun operation of these units. This process included performance verification, which examined the data from various tests to validate the convertor performance to the product specification. Other tests included detailed performance mapping that encompassed the wide range of operating conditions that will exist during a mission. These convertors were then transferred to Lockheed Martin for controller checkout testing. The results of this latest convertor performance verification activity are summarized here.

  1. Permeability of Candidate Stirling Heater Head Materials Measured

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freedman, Marc R.; Singh, Mrityunjay

    2005-01-01

    Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center are evaluating high-temperature materials for Stirling heater heads for second- and third-generation Stirling radioisotope power systems that would help to increase the system efficiency to 30 to 35 percent and the system specific power to 8 to 10+ W/kg. Ceramic materials could make it possible for the convertor hot-end temperature to be increased to 1050 to 1200 C, in comparison to the current 650 C with an Inconel 718 heater head. A hermetically sealed Stirling heater head must retain a constant internal pressure of nearly 400-psi helium (He) throughout its useful life (120,000 hr) at the design operating temperature. Therefore, He permeability was measured for eight potential materials and compared with the permeability of the current heater head material, Inconel 718. The eight materials included silicon nitride (Si3N4), silicon dioxide (SiO2), both sintered and chemical vapor deposited (CVD) silicon carbide (SiC), alumina (Al2O3), two types of melt-infiltrated (MI) SiC/SiC composites, and a carbon/SiC composite (C/SiC). Glenn submitted samples of each material to Porous Materials, Inc., Ithaca, New York, for permeability analysis. At room temperature and 30-psi He, four materials--Si3N4, Al2O3, SiO2, and sintered SiC--demonstrated lower permeability than Inconel 718. The CVD SiC and all the composite materials were significantly more permeable to He than the baseline material.

  2. Advanced Stirling Convertor Durability Testing: Plans and Interim Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meer, Dave; Oriti, Sal

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. In support of this program, NASA?s Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been involved in testing Stirling convertors, including the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), for use in the ASRG. This testing includes electromagnetic interference/compatibility (EMI/EMC), structural dynamics, advanced materials, organics, and unattended extended operation. The purpose of the durability tests is to experimentally demonstrate the margins in the ASC design. Due to the high value of the hardware, previous ASC tests focused on establishing baseline performance of the convertors within the nominal operating conditions. The durability tests present the first planned extension of the operating conditions into regions beyond those intended to meet the product spec, where the possibility exists of lateral contact, overstroke, or over-temperature events. These tests are not intended to cause damage that would shorten the life of the convertors, so they can transition into extended operation at the conclusion of the tests. This paper describes the four tests included in the durability test sequence: 1) start/stop cycling, 2) exposure to constant acceleration in the lateral and axial directions, 3) random vibration at increased piston amplitude to induce contact events, and 4) overstroke testing to simulate potential failures during processing or during the mission life where contact events could occur. The paper also summarizes the analysis and simulation used to predict the results of each of these tests.

  3. Advanced Stirling Convertor Durability Testing: Plans and Interim Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meer, David W.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. In support of this program, GRC has been involved in testing Stirling convertors, including the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), for use in the ASRG. This testing includes electromagnetic interference/compatibility (EMI/EMC), structural dynamics, advanced materials, organics, and unattended extended operation. The purpose of the durability tests is to experimentally demonstrate the margins in the ASC design. Due to the high value of the hardware, previous ASC tests focused on establishing baseline performance of the convertors within the nominal operating conditions. The durability tests present the first planned extension of the operating conditions into regions beyond those intended to meet the product spec, where the possibility exists of lateral contact, overstroke, or over-temperature events. These tests are not intended to cause damage that would shorten the life of the convertors, so they can transition into extended operation at the conclusion of the tests. This paper describes the four tests included in the durability test sequence: 1) start/stop cycling, 2) exposure to constant acceleration in the lateral and axial directions, 3) random vibration at increased piston amplitude to induce contact events, and 4) overstroke testing to simulate potential failures during processing or during the mission life where contact events could occur. The paper also summarizes the analysis and simulation used to predict the results of each of these tests.

  4. The stirling engine for vehicle propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuhlman, P.

    1978-01-01

    The performance data of experimental Stirling engines are considered along with questions of exhaust-gas composition, engine noise, engine volume and weight, engine control, and the engine-starting process. The Stirling engine can use practically any liquid or gaseous fuel for its operation. It is found that technically a use of the Stirling engine in motor vehicles is feasible. Economic questions related to an introduction of the Stirling engine are discussed along with possible new developments which could improve the economic situation in favor of a use of Stirling engine.

  5. The Stirling alternative. Power systems, refrigerants and heat pumps

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, G.; Reader, G.; Fauvel, O.R.; Bingham, E.R. )

    1993-01-01

    This book provides an up-to-date reference on the technology, history, and practical applications of Stirling engines, including recent developments in the field and a convenient survey of the Stirling engine literature. The topics of the book include: fundamentals of Stirling technology, definition and terminology, thermodynamic laws and cycles: some elementary considerations, the Stirling cycle, practical regenerative cycle, theoretical aspects and computer simulation of Stirling machines, mechanical arrangements, control systems, heat exchangers, performance characteristics, working fluids, applications of Stirling machines, advantages of Stirling machines, disadvantages of Stirling machines, Stirling versus internal combustion engines, Stirling versus Rankine engines, applications for Stirling machines, Stirling power systems, the literature and sources of supply, the literature of Stirling engines, and the literature of cryocoolers.

  6. Long-Term Durability Analysis of a 100,000+ Hr Stirling Power Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bartolotta, Paul A.; Bowman, Randy R.; Krause, David L.; Halford, Gary R.

    2000-01-01

    DOE and NASA have identified Stirling Radioisotope Power Systems (SRPS) as the power supply for deep space exploration missions the Europa Orbiter and Solar Probe. As a part of this effort, NASA has initiated a long-term durability project for critical hot section components of the Stirling power convertor to qualify flight hardware. This project will develop a life prediction methodology that utilizes short-term (t < 20,000 hr) test data to verify long-term (t > 100,000 hr) design life. The project consists of generating a materials database for the specific heat of alloy, evaluation of critical hermetic sealed joints, life model characterization, and model verification. This paper will describe the qualification methodology being developed and provide a status for this effort.

  7. Conceptual Trade Study of General Purpose Heat Source Powered Stirling Converter Configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turpin, J. B.

    2007-01-01

    This Technical Manual describes a parametric study of general purpose heat source (GPHS) powered Stirling converter configurations. This study was performed in support of MSFC s efforts to establish the capability to perform non-nuclear system level testing and integration of radioisotope power systems. Six different GPHS stack configurations at a total of three different power levels (80, 250, and 500 W(sub e) were analyzed. The thermal profiles of the integrated GPHS modules (for each configuration) were calculated to determine maximum temperatures for comparison to allowable material limits. Temperature profiles for off-nominal power conditions were also assessed in order to better understand how power demands from the Stirling engine impact the performance of a given configuration.

  8. Thermal Performance Expectations of the Advanced Stirling Convertor Over a Range of Operating Scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Terry V.; Dyson, Rodger W.

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) will enable various missions such as small body sample return, atmospheric missions around Venus, as well as long - duration deep space missions. Analysis of the temperature distributions are performed on an Advanced Stirling Convertor, and the results are compared with available experimental measurements. This analysis includes applied environmental conditions that are similar to those that will be experienced while the convertor is in operation. The applied conditions represent a potential mission profile including pre-takeoff sterilization, launch, transit, and return. The results focus on the anticipated peak temperatures of the magnets in the linear alternator. These results confirm that the ASC can support future missions to deep space targets, extreme environment landers, as well as more conventional goals.

  9. Free-piston Stirling Engine system considerations for various space power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, George R.; Dhar, Manmohan

    Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE) have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, and efficient operation. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for the dynamic power conversion module of a space-based, power-generating system. FPSE can be coupled with many potential heat sources (radioisotope, solar, or nuclear reactor), various heat input systems (pumped loop, heat pipe), heat rejection (pumped loop or heat pipe), and various power management and distribution systems (ac, dc, high or low voltage, and fixed or variable load). This paper reviews potential space missions that can be met using free-piston Stirling engines and discusses options of various system integration approaches. This paper briefly outlines the program and recent progress.

  10. Dish Stirling solar receiver program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haglund, R. A.

    1980-01-01

    A technology demonstration of a Dish Stirling solar thermal electric system can be accomplished earlier and at a much lower cost than previous planning had indicated by employing technical solutions that allow already existing hardware, with minimum modifications, to be integrated into a total system with a minimum of development. The DSSR operates with a modified United Stirling p-40 engine/alternator and the JPL Test Bed Concentrator as a completely integrated solar thermal electric system having a design output of 25 kWe. The system is augmented by fossil fuel combustion which ensures a continuous electrical output under all environmental conditions. Technical and economic studies by government and industry in the United States and abroad identify the Dish Stirling solar electric system as the most appropriate, efficient and economical method for conversion of solar energy to electricity in applications when the electrical demand is 10 MWe and less.

  11. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Farrell, R.; Riecke, G.; Smith, G.; Howarth, R.; Cronin, M.; Simetkosky, M.; Meacher, J.

    1986-01-01

    This is the ninth Semiannual Technical Progress Report prepared under the Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program. It covers the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth quarters of activity after award of the contract. Quarterly Technical Progress Reports related program activities from the first through the thirteenth quarters; thereafter, reporting was changed to a Semiannual format. This report summarizes the study of higher-power kinematic Stirling engines for transportation use, development testing of Mod I Stirling engines, and component development activities. Component development testing included successful conical fuel nozzle testing and functional checkout of Mod II controls and auxiliaries on Mod I engine test beds. Overall program philosophy is outlined and data and test results are presented.

  12. Novel diaphragm based Stirling cryocooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caughley, Alan; Tucker, Alan; Gschwendtner, Michael; Sellier, Mathieu

    2012-06-01

    Industrial Research Ltd has developed a unique diaphragm-based pressure wave generator technology for employment in pulse tube and Stirling cryocoolers. The system uses a pair of metal diaphragms to separate the clean cryocooler gas circuit from a conventionally lubricated mechanical driver, thus producing a clean pressure wave with a long-life drive. We have now extended the same diaphragm concept to support and seal the displacer in a free piston Stirling expander. The diaphragms allow displacer movement without rubbing or clearance gap seals, hence allowing for the development of costeffective long-life and efficient Stirling cryocoolers. Initial modeling, operating in conjunction with a 200 cc swept volume pressure wave generator, predicted in excess of 300 W cooling at 77 K with a Carnot efficiency of over 25%. A proof-of-concept prototype has achieved cryogenic temperatures. Details of the concept, modeling, and testing will be presented.

  13. Stirling Microregenerators Fabricated and Tested

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moran, Matthew E.

    2004-01-01

    A mesoscale Stirling refrigerator patented by the NASA Glenn Research Center is currently under development. This refrigerator has a predicted efficiency of 30 percent of Carnot and potential uses in electronics, sensors, optical and radiofrequency systems, microarrays, and microsystems. The mesoscale Stirling refrigerator is most suited to volume-limited applications that require cooling below the ambient or sink temperature. Primary components of the planar device include two diaphragm actuators that replace the pistons found in traditional-scale Stirling machines and a microregenerator that stores and releases thermal energy to the working gas during the Stirling cycle. Diaphragms are used to eliminate frictional losses and bypass leakage concerns associated with pistons, while permitting reversal of the hot and cold sides of the device during operation to allow precise temperature control. Three candidate microregenerators were fabricated under NASA grants for initial evaluation: two constructed of porous ceramic, which were fabricated by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, and one made of multiple layers of nickel and photoresist, which was fabricated by Polar Thermal Technologies. The candidate regenerators are being tested by Johns Hopkins Applied Physics in a custom piezoelectric-actuated test apparatus designed to produce the Stirling refrigeration cycle. In parallel with the regenerator testing, Johns Hopkins is using deep reactive ion etching to fabricate electrostatically driven, comb-drive diaphragm actuators. These actuators will drive the Stirling cycle in the prototype device. The top photograph shows the porous ceramic microregenerators. Two microregenerators were fabricated with coarse pores and two with fine pores. The bottom photograph shows the test apparatus parts for evaluating the microregenerators, including the layered nickel-and-photoresist regenerator fabricated using LIGA techniques.

  14. Thermal Analysis of Step 2 GPHS for Next Generation Radioisotope Power Source Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantano, David R.; Hill, Dennis H.

    2005-02-01

    The Step 2 General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) is a slightly larger and more robust version of the heritage GPHS modules flown on previous Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) missions like Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini. The Step 2 GPHS is to be used in future small radioisotope power sources, such as the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) and the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). New features include an additional central web of Fine Weave Pierced Fabric (FWPF) graphite in the aeroshell between the two Graphite Impact Shells (GIS) to improve accidental reentry and impact survivability and an additional 0.1-inch of thickness to the aeroshell broad faces to improve ablation protection. This paper details the creation of the thermal model using Thermal Desktop and AutoCAD interfaces and provides comparisons of the model to results of previous thermal analysis models of the heritage GPHS. The results of the analysis show an anticipated decrease in total thermal gradient from the aeroshell to the iridium clads compared to the heritage results. In addition, the Step 2 thermal model is investigated under typical SRG110 boundary conditions, with cover gas and gravity environments included where applicable, to provide preliminary guidance for design of the generator. Results show that the temperatures of the components inside the GPHS remain within accepted design limits during all envisioned mission phases.

  15. How to Handle Radioisotopes Safely.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sulcoski, John W.

    This booklet is one in a series of instructional aids designed for use by elementary and secondary school science teachers. The various units and forms of radioactive materials used by teachers are first considered. Then, the quantities of radioisotopes that a person may possess without a license from the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) are…

  16. Innovation at Stirling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-11-01

    The 24th Stirling Meeting of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Physics was held on 21 May 1998. It was, for the first time, coupled to a Physics Update Course, which then continued in the Heriot-Watt University over the following two days. This encouraged many more exhibitors to come to Stirling where some 220 physics teachers were present. Ten manufacturers, five publishers and, of course, the ASE and the Institute of Physics exhibited materials during the conference. Morning In his introductory remarks Jack Woolsey reminded teachers that a great deal of information about the Scottish Qualifications Authority was available on the web (http://www.sqa.org.uk). Lorna Neill chaired the morning session, which was devoted to teaching chips and assessing pupils! Tony Joyce (Motorola) emphasized the need to invest in the skills required by the electronics industry. There has been an explosion in the demand for microchips and Motorola, together with Edinburgh University, Compugraphics and Scottish Enterprise, have produced a number of `teaching chips' which are being used throughout Britain and abroad. Les Haworth (Edinburgh University) discussed the construction, operating principles and educational relevance of MOS devices. MOSFETs, he claimed, are the best vehicle for early teaching of device physics. Andrew Moore (Balerno High School) gave an entertaining presentation in which he suggested ways of using the `teaching chips' in practice. Although there were many good information sheets with suggested experiments and investigations, teachers often found it difficult to tailor them to specific courses. To reduce hassle Andrew recommended using the Teaching Chip Project Board which was now available. It was particularly useful for practical investigations at Standard Grade. For the question session Jim Jamieson (SSERC) and Walter Whitelaw (Edinburgh Council) joined the three speakers. Ian Kennedy (Kilwinning Academy) described a fascinating system, developed in his

  17. Regenerative rotary displacer Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Isshiki, Naotsugu; Watanabe, Hiroichi; Raggi, L.; Isshiki, Seita; Hirata, Koichi

    1996-12-31

    A few rotary displacer Stirling engines in which the displacer has one gas pocket space at one side and rotates in a main enclosed cylinder, which is heated from one side and cooled from opposite side without any regenerator, have been studied for some time by the authors. The authors tried to improve this engine by equipping it with a regenerator, because without a regenerator, pressure oscillation and efficiency are too small. Here, several types of regenerative rotary displacer piston Stirling engines are proposed. One is the contra-rotating tandem two disc type displacer engine using axial heat conduction through side walls or by heat pipes and another is a single disc type with circulating fluid regenerator or heat pipes. Stirling engines of this new rotary displacer type are thought to attain high speed. Here, experimental results of the original rotary displacer Stirling engine without a regenerator, and one contra-rotating tandem displacer engine with side wall regenerator by axial heat conduction are reported accompanied with a discussion of the results.

  18. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results; the manufacture, assembly, and test of a Mod I engine in the United States; design initiation of the Mod I-A engine system; transient performance testing; Stirling reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies; components and subsystems; and the study and test of low cost alloys are summarized.

  19. Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase

    DOEpatents

    Corey, John A.

    1988-01-01

    A two piston Stirling engine wherein the pistons are coupled to a common crankshaft via bearing means, the pistons include pad means to minimize friction between the pistons and the cylinders during reciprocation of the pistons, means for pressurizing the engine crankcase, and means for cooling the crankshaft and the bearing means eliminating the need for oil in the crankcase.

  20. A recuperative superfluid stirling refrigerator

    SciTech Connect

    Brisson, J.G.; Swift, G.W.

    1993-07-01

    A superfluid Stirling refrigerator has been built with a counterflow heat exchanger serving as a recuperative regenerator. It has achieved temperatures of 296 mK with a 4% {sup 3}He-{sup 4}He mixture. Cooling power versus temperature and speed is presented for a 6.6% mixture.

  1. Vibration Modal Characterization of a Stirling Convertor via Base-Shake Excitation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suarez, Vicente J.; Goodnight, Thomas W.; Hughes, William O.; Samorezov, Sergey

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA John H. Glenn Research Center (GRC) are currently developing a high-efficiency Stirling convertor for use in a Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). NASA and DOE have identified the SRG for potential use as an advanced power system for future NASA Space Science missions, providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. Low-level, baseshake sine vibration tests were conducted on the Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC), at NASA GRC's Structural Dynamics Laboratory, in February 2001, as part of the development of this Stirling technology. The purpose of these tests was to provide a better understanding of the TDC's internal dynamic response to external vibratory base excitations. The knowledge obtained can therein be used to help explain the success that the TDC enjoyed in its previous random vibration qualification tests (December 1999). This explanation focuses on the TDC s internal dynamic characteristics in the 50 to 250 Hz frequency range, which corresponds to the maximum input levels of its qualification random vibration test specification. The internal dynamic structural characteristics of the TDC have now been measured in two separate tests under different motoring and dynamic loading conditions: (1) with the convertor being electrically motored, under a vibratory base-shake excitation load, and (2) with the convertor turned off, and its alternator internals undergoing dynamic excitation via hammer impact loading. This paper addresses the test setup, procedure and results of the base-shake vibration testing conducted on the motored TDC, and will compare these results with those results obtained from the dynamic impact tests (May 2001) on the nonmotored TDC.

  2. Three-Dimensional Magnetic Analysis Technique Developed for Evaluating Stirling Convertor Linear Alternators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy, the Stirling Technology Company (STC), and the NASA Glenn Research Center are developing Stirling convertors for Stirling radioisotope generators to provide electrical power for future NASA deep space missions. STC is developing the 55-We technology demonstration convertor (TDC) under contract to the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy recently named Lockheed Martin as the system integration contractor for the Stirling radioisotope generator development project. Lockheed Martin will develop the Stirling radioisotope generator engineering unit and has contract options to develop the qualification unit and the first flight unit. Glenn s role includes an in-house project to provide convertor, component, and materials testing and evaluation in support of the overall power system development. As a part of this work, Glenn has established an in-house Stirling research laboratory for testing, analyzing, and evaluating Stirling machines. STC has built four 55-We convertors for NASA, and these are being tested at Glenn. A cross-sectional view of the 55-We TDC is shown in the figure. Of critical importance to the successful development of the Stirling convertor for space power applications is the development of a lightweight and highly efficient linear alternator. In support, Glenn has been developing finite element analysis and finite element method tools for performing various linear alternator thermal and electromagnetic analyses and evaluating design configurations. A three-dimensional magnetostatic finite element model of STC's 55-We TDC linear alternator was developed to evaluate the demagnetization fields affecting the alternator magnets. Since the actual linear alternator hardware is symmetric to the quarter section about the axis of motion, only a quarter section of the alternator was modeled. The components modeled included the mover laminations, the neodymium-iron-boron magnets, the stator laminations, and the copper coils. The

  3. High Performance Split-Stirling Cooler Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-09-01

    7 SPLIT- STIRLING CYCLE CRYOCOOLER . ...... . . . . . 13 8 TEMPERATURE-SHOCK COMPARISON PERFORMANCE DATA, S/N 002 . . 23 9 TEMPERATURE-SHOCK...PERFORMANCE SPLIT- STIRLING "COOLER PROGRAM FINAL TECHNICAL REPORT "September 1982 Prepared for NIGHT VISION AND ELECTRO-OPTICS LABORATORI ES "Contract DAAK70...REPORT & P.Vt2OO COVERED HIGH PERFORMANCE SPLIT- STIRLING COOLER PROGRAM Final Technical Sept. 1979. - Sept. 1982 S. PERPORMING ORO. REPORT KUMMER

  4. HFIR-produced medical radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Mirzadeh, S.; Knapp, F.F. Jr.; Beets, A.L.; Alexander, C.W.

    1997-12-01

    We have experimentally determined the yields of a number of medical radioisotopes produced in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) Hydraulic Tube (HT) facility. The HT facility is located in the very high flux region in the flux trap of the reactor, providing on-line access capability while the reactor is operating. The HT facility consists of nine vertically stacked capsules centered just adjacent to the core horizontal midplane. HFIR operates at a nominal power level of 85 MW. The capabilities of the HFIR-HT facilities offer increased efficiency, greater availability, and optimization of radioisotope production, and, as a result, the conservation of rare or expensive target isotopes.

  5. Design, Qualification and Integration Testing of the High-Temperature Resistance Temperature Device for Stirling Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chan, Jack; Hill, Dennis H.; Elisii, Remo; White, Jonathan R.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), developed from 2006 to 2013 under the joint sponsorship of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide a high-efficiency power system for future deep space missions, employed Sunpower Incorporated's Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) with operating temperature up to 840 C. High-temperature operation was made possible by advanced heater head materials developed to increase reliability and thermal-to-mechanical conversion efficiency. During a mission, it is desirable to monitor the Stirling hot-end temperature as a measure of convertor health status and assist in making appropriate operating parameter adjustments to maintain the desired hot-end temperature as the radioisotope fuel decays. To facilitate these operations, a Resistance Temperature Device (RTD) that is capable of high-temperature, continuous long-life service was designed, developed and qualified for use in the ASRG. A thermal bridge was also implemented to reduce the RTD temperature exposure while still allowing an accurate projection of the ASC hot-end temperature. NASA integrated two flight-design RTDs on the ASCs and assembled into the high-fidelity Engineering Unit, the ASRG EU2, at Glenn Research Center (GRC) for extended operation and system characterization. This paper presents the design implementation and qualification of the RTD, and its performance characteristics and calibration in the ASRG EU2 testing.

  6. Radioisotope thermophotovoltaic system design and its application to an illustrative space mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, A.; Kumar, V.

    1995-01-05

    The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the author. Instead of conducting a generic study, it was decided to focus the design effort by directing it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by JPL, envisages a direct eight-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a post-encounter cruise lasting up to one year. Because of Pluto`s long distance from the sun (30--50 A.U.) and the mission`s large energy demand, JPL has baselined the use of a radioisotope power system for the PFF spacecraft. TRGs have been tentatively selected, because they have been successfully flown on many space missions, and have demonstrated exceptional reliability and durability. The only reason for exploring the applicability of the far less mature RTPV systems is their potential for much higher conversion efficiencies, which would greatly reduce the mass and cost of the required radioisotope heat source. Those attributes are particularly important for the PFF mission, which---like all NASA missions under current consideration---is severely mass- and cost-limited. The paper describes the design of the radioisotope heat source, the thermophotovoltaic converter, and the heat rejection system; and depicts its integration with the PFF spacecraft.

  7. Ceramic automotive Stirling engine study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Musikant, S.; Chiu, W.; Darooka, D.; Mullings, D. M.; Johnson, C. A.

    1985-01-01

    A conceptual design study for a Ceramic Automotive Stirling Engine (CASE) is performed. Year 1990 structural ceramic technology is assumed. Structural and performance analyses of the conceptual design are performed as well as a manufacturing and cost analysis. The general conclusions from this study are that such an engine would be 10-26% more efficient over its performance map than the current metal Automotive Stirling Reference Engine (ASRE). Cost of such a ceramic engine is likely to be somewhat higher than that of the ASRE but engine cost is very sensitive to the ultimate cost of the high purity, ceramic powder raw materials required to fabricate high performance parts. When the design study is projected to the year 2000 technology, substantinal net efficiency improvements, on the order of 25 to 46% over the ASRE, are computed.

  8. Automotive Stirling engine systems development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richey, A. E.

    1984-01-01

    The objective of the Automotive Stirling Engine (ASE) program is to develop a Stirling engine for automotive use that provides a 30 percent improvement in fuel economy relative to a comparable internal-combustion engine while meeting emissions goals. This paper traces the engine systems' development efforts focusing on: (1) a summary of engine system performance for all Mod I engines; (2) the development, program conducted for the upgraded Mod I; and (3) vehicle systems work conducted to enhance vehicle fuel economy. Problems encountered during the upgraded Mod I test program are discussed. The importance of the EPA driving cycle cold-start penalty and the measures taken to minimize that penalty with the Mod II are also addressed.

  9. How Does Stirling Engine Work?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biwa, Tetsushi; Tashiro, Yusuke; Yazaki, Taichi

    In this paper the working mechanism of Stirling engine is studied from the standpoint of thermoacoustic framework. The work flux measurement is performed in a glass tube equipped with/without a regenerator-heat exchanger assembly. An atmospheric pressure air confined in the tube is periodically perturbed by two speakers at the same frequency (=48Hz) but out of phase. It is experimentally demonstrated that the phasing of two pistons in the Stirling engine (alpha arrangement type) plays the role in creating a steady work flux from the compression piston to the expansion piston, whereas a differentially heated regenerator in the engine operates as a power amplifier for the traveling wave propagating up the temperature gradient.

  10. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Farrell, R.; Riecke, G.; Smith, G.; Howarth, R.; Cronin, M.; Simetkosky, M.; Meacher, J.

    1986-01-01

    The major accomplishments were the completion of the Basic Stirling Engine (BSE) and the Stirling Engine System (SES) designs on schedule, the approval and acceptance of those designs by NASA, and the initiation of manufacture of BSE components. The performance predictions indicate the Mod II engine design will meet or exceed the original program goals of 30% improvement in fuel economy over a conventional Internal Combustion (IC) powered vehicle, while providing acceptable emissions. This was accomplished while simultaneously reducing Mod II engine weight to a level comparable with IC engine power density, and packaging the Mod II in a 1985 Celebrity with no external sheet metal changes. The projected mileage of the Mod II Celebrity for the combined urban and highway CVS cycle is 40.9 mpg which is a 32% improvement over the IC Celebrity. If additional potential improvements are verified and incorporated in the Mod II, the mileage could increase to 42.7 mpg.

  11. Stirling Engines and Irrigation Pumping

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1987-01-01

    This report was prepared in support of the Renewable Energy Applications and Training Project that is sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development for which ORNL provides technical assistance. It briefly outlines the performance that might be achievable from various kinds of Stirling-engine-driven irrigation pumps. Some emphasis is placed on the very simple liquid-piston engines that have been the subject of research in recent years and are suitable for manufacture in less well-developed countries. In addition to the results quoted here (possible limits on M4 and pumping head for different-size engines and various operating conditions), the method of calculation is described in sufficient detail for engineers to apply the techniques to other Stirling engine designs for comparison.

  12. Adiabatic losses in Stirling refrigerators

    SciTech Connect

    Bauwens, L.

    1996-06-01

    The Stirling cycle has been used very effectively in cryocoolers; but efficiencies relative to the Carnot limit are typically observed to peak for absolute temperature ratios of about two, which makes it less suitable for low-life refrigeration. The adiabatic loss appears to be responsible for poor performance at small temperature differences. In this paper, adiabatic losses are evaluated, for a temperature ratio of 2/3, taking into account the effect of phase angle between pistons, of volume ratio, of the distribution of the dead volume necessary to reduce the volume ratio, and of the distribution of displacement between expansion and compression spaces. The study is carried out numerically, using an adiabatic Stirling engine model in which cylinder flow is assumed to be stratified. Results show that the best location for the cylinder dead volume is on the compression side. Otherwise, all strategies used to trade off refrigeration for coefficient of performance are found to be roughly equivalent.

  13. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) - From Technology Development to Future Flight Product

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wood, J. Gary; Wilson, Kyle

    2008-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is being developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to NASA s Glenn Research Center (GRC) with critical technology support tasks lead by GRC. The ASC development, funded by NASA s Science Mission Directorate, started in 2003 as one of 10 competitively awarded contracts that were to address future Radioisotope Power System (RPS) advanced power conversion needs. The ASC technology has since evolved through progressive convertor builds and successful testing to demonstrate high conversion efficiency (38 %), low mass (1.3 kg), hermetic sealing, launch vibration simulation, EMI characterization, and is undergoing extended operation. The GRC and Sunpower team recently delivered three ASC-E machines to the Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, two units for integration onto the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit (ASRG EU) plus one spare. The design has recently been initiated for the ASC-E2, an evolution from the ASC-E that substitutes higher temperature materials enabling improved performance and higher reliability margins. This paper summarizes the history and status of the ASC project and discusses plans for this technology which enables RPS specific power of 8 W/kg for future NASA missions.

  14. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC)--From Technology Development to Future Flight Product

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wood, J. Gary; Wilson, Kyle

    2008-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is being developed by Sunpower Inc. under contract to NASA s Glenn Research Center (GRC) with critical technology support tasks led by GRC. The ASC development, funded by NASA s Science Mission Directorate, started in 2003 as one of 10 competitively awarded contracts that were intended to address the power conversion needs of future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). The ASC technology has since evolved through progressive convertor builds and successful testing to demonstrate high conversion efficiency (38 percent), low mass (1.3 kg), hermetic sealing, launch vibration simulation, EMI characterization, and is undergoing extended operation. The GRC and Sunpower team recently delivered two ASC-E convertors to the Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company for integration onto the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit (ASRG EU) plus one spare. The design of the next build, called the ASC-E2, has recently been initiated and is based on the heritage ASC-E with design refinements to increase reliability margin and offer higher temperature operation and improve performance. The ASC enables RPS system specific power of about 7 to 8 W/kg. This paper provides a chronology of ASC development to date and summarizes technical achievements including advancements toward flight implementation of the technology on ASRG by as early as 2013.

  15. Automotive Stirling engine development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Smith, G.; Rohdenburg, C.; Vatsky, A.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Activities performed on Mod I engine testing and test results, testing of the Mod I engine in the United States, Mod I engine characterization and analyses, Mod I Transient Test Bed fuel economy, upgraded Mod I performance and testing, Stirling engine reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studied, components and subsystems, and the study and test of low cost casting alloys are summarized. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are presented.

  16. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, N.; Ernst, W.; Richey, A.; Simetkosky, M.; Smith, G.; Antonelli, M. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Mod I engine testing and test results, the test of a Mod I engine in the United States, Mod I engine characterization and analysis, Mod I Transient Test Bed fuel economy, Mod I-A engine performance are discussed. Stirling engine reference engine manufacturing and reduced size studies, components and subsystems, and the study and test of low-cost casting alloys are also covered. The overall program philosophy is outlined, and data and results are presented.

  17. Radioisotope production and its utilization in Malaysia

    SciTech Connect

    Yusof, A.b.A.

    1985-01-01

    The PUSPATI TRIGA MARK II research reactor in Malaysia was commissioned in 1982 and production of radioisotope commenced 2 years later. However, radioisotopes have been utilized in the country since 1960 with medical applications pioneering the field, and later followed by usage in industry and agricultural research. Currently, Malaysia spends more than M$1.5 million (US$0.65 million) annually on the import of radioisotopes and associated products. This paper briefly describes the present status of radioisotope utilization in Malaysia. Radioisotopes are being used in the fields of medicine, industry (NDT and quality control, nuclear gauging, radiotracer), agriculture (animal production, food irradiation, soil-plant relationship and mutation breeding studies) and also in environmental control and basic science research. The paper also gives an account of radioisotope production in Malaysia, its facilities and target handling technique.

  18. Bellcrank mechanisms for Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Senft, J.R.; Senft, V.J.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes a family of linkage drive systems for Stirling engines containing several new members. These mechanisms are adaptable to all three configurations of Stirling engine, impose minimal side loads on pistons and displacer rods, and include compact forms suitable for pressurized high performance engines. This group of drive systems is generated by a simple common scheme. Near sinusoidal motion is taken from a crankshaft carrying a single crankpin by two connecting rods each driving a bellcrank. The stationary pivots of the bellcranks are located so that their oscillatory motion has the phase angle separation required between the piston and displacer. The bellcranks are further configured to bring the third pin motion to a location suitable for coupling with the piston or displacer of the engine in a way which minimizes side loading. The paper presents a number of new linkage drives from the dual bellcrank family and indicates how they are embodied in beta and alpha type Stirling engines. The paper includes a design for a small multipurpose engine incorporating one of the subject mechanisms.

  19. Experimental demonstration of radiation effects on the performance of a stirling-alternator convertor and candidate materials evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mireles, Omar R.

    Free-piston Stirling power convertors are under consideration by NASA for service in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) and Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems to enable aggressive exploration missions by providing a reliable and constant power supply. The ASRG must withstand environmental radiation conditions, while the FSP system must tolerate a mixed neutron and gamma-ray environment resulting from self-irradiation. Stirling-alternators utilize rare earth magnets and a variety of organic materials whose radiation limits dominate service life estimates and shielding requirements. The project objective was to demonstrate the performance of the alternator, identify materials that exhibit excessive radiation sensitivity, identify radiation tolerant substitutes, establish empirical dose limits, and demonstrate the feasibility of cost effective nuclear and radiation tests by selection of the appropriate personnel and test facilities as a function of hardware maturity. The Stirling Alternator Radiation Test Article (SARTA) was constructed from linear alternator components of a Stirling convertor and underwent significant pre-exposure characterization. The SARTA was operated at the Sandia National Laboratories Gamma Irradiation Facility to a dose of over 40 Mrad. Operating performance was within nominal variation, although modestly decreasing trends occurred in later runs as well as the detection of an electrical fault after the final exposure. Post-irradiation disassembly and internal inspection revealed minimal degradation of the majority of the organic components. Radiation testing of organic material coupons was conducted since the majority of the literature was inconsistent. These inconsistencies can be attributed to testing at environmental conditions vastly different than those Stirling-alternator organics will experience during operation. Samples were irradiated at the Texas A&M TRIGA reactor to above expected FSP neutron fluence. A thorough

  20. Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.

    2009-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sun power Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. In the past year, NASA GRC has been building a test facility to support extended operation of a pair of engineering level ASCs. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. Mechanical support hardware, data acquisition software, and an instrumentation rack were developed to prepare the pair of convertors for continuous extended operation. Short-term tests were performed to gather baseline performance data before extended operation was initiated. These tests included workmanship vibration, insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and fUll-power operation. Hardware and software features are implemented to ensure reliability of support systems. This paper discusses the mechanical support hardware, instrumentation rack, data acquisition software, short-term tests, and safety features designed to support continuous unattended operation of a pair of ASCs.

  1. Incorporating Vibration Test Results for the Advanced Stirling Convertor into the System Dynamic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meer, David W.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Corporation (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. As part of the extended operation testing of this power system, the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) at NASA GRC undergo a vibration test sequence intended to simulate the vibration history that an ASC would experience when used in an ASRG for a space mission. During these tests, a data system collects several performance-related parameters from the convertor under test for health monitoring and analysis. Recently, an additional sensor recorded the slip table position during vibration testing to qualification level. The System Dynamic Model (SDM) integrates Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass, spring, damper systems, and electrical characteristics of the linear alternator and controller. This Paper presents a comparison of the performance of the ASC when exposed to vibration to that predicted by the SDM when exposed to the same vibration.

  2. The Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Design Challenge for Scientific Spacecraft Powered by a Stirling Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sargent, Noel B.

    2001-01-01

    A 55 We free-piston Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) has been tested as part of an evaluation to determine its feasibility as a means for significantly reducing the amount of radioactive material required compared to Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) to support long-term space science missions. Measurements were made to quantify the low frequency magnetic and electric fields radiated from the Stirling's 80 Hertz (Hz) linear alternator and control electronics in order to determine the magnitude of reduction that will be required to protect sensitive field sensors aboard some science missions. One identified "Solar Probe" mission requires a 100 dB reduction in the low frequency magnetic field over typical military standard design limits, to protect its plasma wave sensor. This paper discusses the electromagnetic interference (EMI) control options relative to the physical design impacts for this power system, composed of 3 basic electrical elements. They are (1) the Stirling Power Convertor with its linear alternator, (2) the power switching and control electronics to convert the 90 V, 80 Hz alternator output to DC for the use of the spacecraft, and (3) the interconnecting wiring including any instrumentation to monitor and control items 1 and 2.

  3. Test Hardware Design for Flightlike Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC-E3)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). For this purpose, the Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC has been conducting extended operation of a multitude of free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) simultaneously on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. The test hardware for operation of these convertors was designed to permit in-air investigative testing, such as performance mapping over a range of environmental conditions. With this, there was no requirement to accurately emulate the flight hardware. For the upcoming ASC-E3 units, the decision has been made to assemble the convertors into a flight-like configuration. This means the convertors will be arranged in the dual-opposed configuration in a housing that represents the fit, form, and thermal function of the ASRG. The goal of this effort is to enable system level tests that could not be performed with the traditional test hardware at GRC. This offers the opportunity to perform these system-level tests much earlier in the ASRG flight development, as they would normally not be performed until fabrication of the qualification unit. This paper discusses the requirements, process, and results of this flight-like hardware design activity.

  4. Processing and Preparation of Advanced Stirling Convertors for Extended Operation at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Peggy A.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC is supporting the development of the ASRG by providing extended operation of several Sunpower Inc. Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs). In the past year and a half, eight ASCs have operated in continuous, unattended mode in both air and thermal vacuum environments. Hardware, software, and procedures were developed to prepare each convertor for extended operation with intended durations on the order of tens of thousands of hours. Steps taken to prepare a convertor for long-term operation included geometry measurements, thermocouple instrumentation, evaluation of working fluid purity, evacuation with bakeout, and high purity charge. Actions were also taken to ensure the reliability of support systems, such as data acquisition and automated shutdown checkouts. Once a convertor completed these steps, it underwent short-term testing to gather baseline performance data before initiating extended operation. These tests included insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and full-temperature and power demonstration. This paper discusses the facilities developed to support continuous, unattended operation, and the processing results of the eight ASCs currently on test.

  5. Free-piston Stirling engine system considerations for various space power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dochat, George R.; Dhar, Manmohan

    1991-01-01

    The U.S. Government is evaluating power requirements for future space applications. As power requirements increase solar or nuclear dynamic systems become increasingly attractive. Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE) have the potential to provide high reliability, long life, and efficient operation. Therefore, they are excellent candidates for the dynamic power conversion module of a space-based, power-generating system. FPSE can be coupled with many potential heat sources (radioisotope, solar, or nuclear reactor), various heat input systems (pumped loop, heat pipe), heat rejection (pumped loop or heat pipe), and various power management and distribution systems (AC, DC, high or low voltage, and fixed or variable load). This paper will review potential space missions that can be met using free-piston Stirling engines and discusses options of various system integration approaches. Currently free-piston Stirling engine technology for space power applications is being developed under contract with NASA-Lewis Research Center. This paper will also briefly outline the program and recent progress.

  6. Solar-Electric Dish Stirling System Development

    SciTech Connect

    Mancini, T.R.

    1997-12-31

    Electrical power generated with the heat from the sun, called solar thermal power, is produced with three types of concentrating solar systems - trough or line-focus systems; power towers in which a centrally-located thermal receiver is illuminated with a large field of sun-tracking heliostats; and dish/engine systems. A special case of the third type of system, a dish/Stirling system, is the subject of this paper. A dish/Stirling system comprises a parabolic dish concentrator, a thermal receiver, and a Stirling engine/generator located at the focus of the dish. Several different dish/Stirling systems have been built and operated during the past 15 years. One system claims the world record for net conversion of solar energy to electric power of 29.4%; and two different company`s systems have accumulated thousands of hours of on-sun operation. Due to de-regulation and intense competition in global energy markets as well as the immaturity of the technology, dish/Stirling systems have not yet found their way into the marketplace. This situation is changing as solar technologies become more mature and manufacturers identify high-value niche markets for their products. In this paper, I review the history of dish/Stirling system development with an emphasis on technical and other issues that directly impact the Stirling engine. I also try to provide some insight to the opportunities and barriers confronting the application of dish/Stirling in power generation markets.

  7. Demonstration Experiments with a Stirling Engine.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deacon, Christopher G.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes an investigation with the primary purpose of allowing students to generate and interpret a pressure/volume diagram of a Stirling engine. Explains how the Stirling engine can be used to demonstrate the principles of operation of a refrigerator and a heat pump. (DDR)

  8. Heat exchanger module for stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Darche, M. J. P.; Carlquist, S.

    1985-02-12

    The invention relates to Stirling engines and provides a modular assembly composed of a cylinder head, a heater, a regenerator, a cooler and a cold duct, and making it possible by mounting a plurality of identical modules on an engine assembly to construct a multi-cylinder double acting Stirling engine of the indirect heating type.

  9. Automotive Stirling engine development program: A success

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, W. K.

    1987-01-01

    The original 5-yr Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program has been extended to 10 years due to reduced annual funding levels. With an estimated completion date of April 1988, the technical achievements and the prospectives of meeting the original program objectives are reviewed. Various other applications of this developed Stirling engine technology are also discussed.

  10. Automotive Stirling engine development program - A success

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, William K.

    1987-01-01

    The original 5-year Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program has been extended to 10 years due to reduced annual funding levels. With an estimated completion date of April 1988, the technical achievements and the prospectives of meeting the original program objectives are reviewed. Various other applications of this developed Stirling engine technology are also discussed.

  11. Recent Stirling engine loss-understanding results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Thieme, Lanny G.; Dudenhoefer, James E.

    1990-01-01

    For several years, NASA and other U.S. government agencies have been funding experimental and analytical efforts to improve the understanding of Stirling thermodynamic losses. NASA's objective is to improve Stirling engine design capability to support the development of new engines for space power. An overview of these efforts was last given at the 1988 IECEC. Recent results of this research are reviewed.

  12. ENHANCED THERMAL VACUUM TEST CAPABILITY FOR RADIOISOTOPE POWER SYSTEMS AT THE IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY BETTER SIMULATES ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS OF SPACE

    SciTech Connect

    J. C. Giglio; A. A. Jackson

    2012-03-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is preparing to fuel and test the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), the next generation space power generator. The INL identified the thermal vacuum test chamber used to test past generators as inadequate. A second vacuum chamber was upgraded with a thermal shroud to process the unique needs and to test the full power capability of the new generator. The thermal vacuum test chamber is the first of its kind capable of testing a fueled power system to temperature that accurately simulate space. This paper outlines the new test and set up capabilities at the INL.

  13. Overview of Heat Addition and Efficiency Predictions for an Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Reid, Terry V.; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two high-efficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower Inc. and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The ASCs convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a particular operating frequency, hot end and cold end temperatures, and specified electrical power output for a given net heat input. Microporous bulk insulation is used in the ground support test hardware to minimize the loss of thermal energy from the electric heat source to the environment. The insulation package is characterized before operation to predict how much heat will be absorbed by the convertor and how much will be lost to the environment during operation. In an effort to validate these predictions, numerous tasks have been performed, which provided a more accurate value for net heat input into the ASCs. This test and modeling effort included: (a) making thermophysical property measurements of test setup materials to provide inputs to the numerical models, (b) acquiring additional test data that was collected during convertor tests to provide numerical models with temperature profiles of the test setup via thermocouple and infrared measurements, (c) using multidimensional numerical models (computational fluid dynamics code) to predict net heat input of an operating convertor, and (d) using validation test hardware to provide direct comparison of numerical results and validate the multidimensional numerical models used to predict convertor net heat input. This effort produced high fidelity ASC net heat input predictions, which were successfully validated using

  14. A Computational Methodology for Simulating Thermal Loss Testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Terry V.; Wilson, Scott D.; Schifer, Nicholas A.; Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two highefficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower Inc. and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The ASCs convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a particular operating frequency, hot end and cold end temperatures, and specified electrical power output for a given net heat input. In an effort to improve net heat input predictions, numerous tasks have been performed which provided a more accurate value for net heat input into the ASCs, including the use of multidimensional numerical models. Validation test hardware has also been used to provide a direct comparison of numerical results and validate the multi-dimensional numerical models used to predict convertor net heat input and efficiency. These validation tests were designed to simulate the temperature profile of an operating Stirling convertor and resulted in a measured net heat input of 244.4 W. The methodology was applied to the multi-dimensional numerical model which resulted in a net heat input of 240.3 W. The computational methodology resulted in a value of net heat input that was 1.7 percent less than that measured during laboratory testing. The resulting computational methodology and results are discussed.

  15. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.A.

    1986-08-01

    This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: (1) isotope suppliers, facility contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; (2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; (3) isotopes purchased cross-referenced with customer numbers; (4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and (5) radioisotope sales and transfer - FY 1985.

  16. Environmental Loss Characterization of an Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Insulation Package Using a Mock Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schifer, Nicholas A.; Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two highefficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower Inc. and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a specified electrical power output for a given net heat input. While electrical power output can be precisely quantified, thermal power input to the Stirling cycle cannot be directly measured. In an effort to improve net heat input predictions, the Mock Heater Head was developed with the same relative thermal paths as a convertor using a conducting rod to represent the Stirling cycle and tested to provide a direct comparison to numerical and empirical models used to predict convertor net heat input. The Mock Heater Head also served as the pathfinder for a higher fidelity version of validation test hardware, known as the Thermal Standard. This paper describes how the Mock Heater Head was tested and utilized to validate a process for the Thermal Standard.

  17. Advanced Stirling Convertor Heater Head Durability and Reliability Quantification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Kalluri, Sreeramesh

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has identified the high efficiency Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) as a candidate power source for long duration Science missions, such as lunar applications, Mars rovers, and deep space missions, that require reliable design lifetimes of up to 17 years. Resistance to creep deformation of the MarM-247 heater head (HH), a structurally critical component of the ASRG Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC), under high temperatures (up to 850 C) is a key design driver for durability. Inherent uncertainties in the creep behavior of the thin-walled HH and the variations in the wall thickness, control temperature, and working gas pressure need to be accounted for in the life and reliability prediction. Due to the availability of very limited test data, assuring life and reliability of the HH is a challenging task. The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has adopted an integrated approach combining available uniaxial MarM-247 material behavior testing, HH benchmark testing and advanced analysis in order to demonstrate the integrity, life and reliability of the HH under expected mission conditions. The proposed paper describes analytical aspects of the deterministic and probabilistic approaches and results. The deterministic approach involves development of the creep constitutive model for the MarM-247 (akin to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory master curve model used previously for Inconel 718 (Special Metals Corporation)) and nonlinear finite element analysis to predict the mean life. The probabilistic approach includes evaluation of the effect of design variable uncertainties in material creep behavior, geometry and operating conditions on life and reliability for the expected life. The sensitivity of the uncertainties in the design variables on the HH reliability is also quantified, and guidelines to improve reliability are discussed.

  18. Downsizing assessment of automotive Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knoll, R. H.; Tew, R. C., Jr.; Klann, J. L.

    1983-01-01

    A 67 kW (90 hp) Stirling engine design, sized for use in a 1984 1440 kg (3170 lb) automobile was the focal point for developing automotive Stirling engine technology. Since recent trends are towards lighter vehicles, an assessment was made of the applicability of the Stirling technology being developed for smaller, lower power engines. Using both the Philips scaling laws and a Lewis Research Center (Lewis) Stirling engine performance code, dimensional and performance characteristics were determined for a 26 kW (35 hp) and a 37 kW (50 hp) engine for use in a nominal 907 kg (2000 lb) vehicle. Key engine elements were sized and stressed and mechanical layouts were made to ensure mechanical fit and integrity of the engines. Fuel economy estimates indicated that the Stirling engine would maintain a 30 to 45 percent fuel economy advantage comparable spark ignition and diesel powered vehicles in the 1984 period.

  19. Stirling Laboratory Research Engine: Preprototype configuration report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoehn, F. W.

    1982-01-01

    The concept of a simple Stirling research engine that could be used by industrial, university, and government laboratories was studied. The conceptual and final designs, hardware fabrication and the experimental validation of a preprototype stirling laboratory research engine (SLRE) were completed. Also completed was a task to identify the potential markets for research engines of this type. An analytical effort was conducted to provide a stirling cycle computer model. The versatile engine is a horizontally opposed, two piston, single acting stirling engine with a split crankshaft drive mechanism; special instrumentation is installed at all component interfaces. Results of a thermodynamic energy balance for the system are reported. Also included are the engine performance results obtained over a range of speeds, working pressures, phase angles and gas temperatures. The potential for a stirling research engine to support the laboratory requirements of educators and researchers was demonstrated.

  20. Stirling engine design manual, 2nd edition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martini, W. R.

    1983-01-01

    This manual is intended to serve as an introduction to Stirling cycle heat engines, as a key to the available literature on Stirling engines and to identify nonproprietary Stirling engine design methodologies. Two different fully described Stirling engines are discussed. Engine design methods are categorized as first order, second order, and third order with increased order number indicating increased complexity. FORTRAN programs are listed for both an isothermal second order design program and an adiabatic second order design program. Third order methods are explained and enumerated. In this second edition of the manual the references are updated. A revised personal and corporate author index is given and an expanded directory lists over 80 individuals and companies active in Stirling engines.

  1. Utilizing Radioisotope Power System Waste Heat for Spacecraft Thermal Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pantano, David R.; Dottore, Frank; Tobery, E. Wayne; Geng, Steven M.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Palko, Joseph L.

    2005-01-01

    An advantage of using a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) for deep space or planetary surface missions is the readily available waste heat, which can be used for a number of beneficial purposes including: maintaining electronic components within a controlled temperature range, warming propulsion tanks and mobility actuators, and maintaining liquid propellants above their freezing temperature. Previous missions using Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) dissipated large quantities of waste heat due to the low efficiency of the thermoelectric conversion technology. The next generation RPSs, such as the 110-Watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) will have higher conversion efficiencies, thereby rejecting less waste heat at a lower temperature and may require alternate approaches to transferring waste heat to the spacecraft. RTGs, with efficiencies of 6 to 7 percent, reject their waste heat at the relatively high heat rejection temperature of 200 C. This is an advantage when rejecting heat to space; however, transferring heat to the internal spacecraft components requires a large and heavy radiator heat exchanger. At the same time, sensitive spacecraft instruments must be shielded from the thermal radiation of the RTG. The SRG110, with an efficiency around 22 percent and 50 C nominal housing surface temperature, can readily transfer the available waste heat directly via heat pipes, thermal straps, or fluid loops. The lower temperatures associated with the SRG110 avoid the chances of overheating other scientific components, eliminating the need for thermal shields. This provides the spacecraft designers more flexibility when locating the generator for a specific mission. A common misconception with high-efficiency systems is that there is not enough waste heat for spacecraft thermal management. This paper will dispel this misconception and investigate the use of a high-efficiency SRG110 for spacecraft thermal management and outline potential methods of

  2. Design, Analysis, and Optimization of a Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) Generator, and its Applicability to an Illustrative Space Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred; Mukunda, Meera; Or, Chuen T; Kumar, Vasanth; Summers, G.

    1994-10-01

    Paper presented at the 45th Congress of the IAF in Jerusalem, Israel, October 1994. The paper describes the results of a DOE-sponsored design study of a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator (RTPV), to complement similar studies of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) and Stirling Generators (RSGs) previously published by the authors. To focus the design effort, it was decided to direct it at a specific illustrative space mission, Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF). That mission, under study by the JPL, envisages a direct eight to nine-year flight to Pluto (the only unexplored planet in the solar system), followed by comprehensive mapping, surface composition, and atmospheric structure measurements during a brief flyby of the planet and its moon Charon, and transmission of the recorded science data to Earth during a six-week post-encounter cruise.

  3. Structural analyses of Stirling power-convertor heater head for long-term reliability, durability, and performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halford, Gary R.; Shah, Ashwin; Arya, Vinod K.; Krause, David L.; Bartolotta, Paul A.

    2002-01-01

    Deep space missions require onboard electric power systems with reliable design lifetimes of up to 10-y and beyond. A high-efficiency Stirling radioisotope power system is a prime candidate for future deep space missions and Mars rover applications. To ensure ample durability, the structurally critical Heater Head of the Stirling Power-Convertor has undergone extensive computational analyses of operating temperatures (up to 650 °C), stresses, and creep-resistance of the thin-walled Inconel 718 bill-of-material. Durability predictions are presented in terms of probability of survival. A benchmark structural testing program has commenced to support the analyses. This paper reports the current status of our durability assessments. .

  4. Cosmogenic radioisotopes on LDEF surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregory, J. C.; Albrecht, A.; Herzog, G.; Klein, J.; Middleton, R.

    1992-01-01

    The radioisotope Be-7 was discovered in early 1990 on the front surface, and the front surface only, of the LDEF. A working hypothesis is that the isotope, which is known to be mainly produced in the stratosphere by spallation of nitrogen and oxygen nuclei with cosmic ray protons or secondary neutrons, diffuses upward and is absorbed onto metal surfaces of spacecraft. The upward transport must be rapid, that is, its characteristic time scale is similar to, or shorter than, the 53 day half-life of the isotope. It is probably by analogy with meteoritic metal atmospheric chemistry, that the form of the Be at a few 100 km altitude is as the positive ion Be(+) which is efficiently incorporated into the ionic lattice of oxides, such as Al2O3, Cr2O3, Fe2O3, etc., naturally occurring on surfaces of Al and stainless steel. Other radioisotopes of Be, Cl, and C are also produced in the atmosphere, and a search was begun to discover these. Of interest are Be-10 and C-14 for which the production cross sections are well known. The method of analysis is accelerator mass spectrometry. Samples from LDEF clamp plates are being chemically extracted, purified, and prepared for an accelerator run.

  5. Power from Radioisotopes, Understanding the Atom Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corliss, William R.; Mead, Robert L.

    This 1971 revision deals with radioisotopes and their use in power generators. Early developments and applications for the Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) are reviewed. Present uses in space and on earth are included. Uses in space are as power sources in various satellites and space…

  6. Radioisotope penogram in diagnosis of vasculogenic impotence

    SciTech Connect

    Fanous, H.N.; Jevtich, M.J.; Chen, D.C.; Edson, M.

    1982-11-01

    A radioisotope technique to estimate penile blood flow is described. The radioisotope penogram is noninvasive and gives a dynamic evaluation of the arterial supply, venous drainage, and blood flow in the corporeal bodies. The penogram is a valuable adjunct in evaluation of patients with vasculogenic impotence.

  7. Solar powered Stirling cycle electrical generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1991-01-01

    Under NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI), the NASA Lewis Research Center is developing the technology needed for free-piston Stirling engines as a candidate power source for space systems in the late 1990's and into the next century. Space power requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability, and low vibration. Furthermore, system weight and operating temperature are important. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, non-contacting gas bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. These attributes of the free-piston Stirling engine also make it a viable candidate for terrestrial applications. In cooperation with the Department of Energy, system designs are currently being completed that feature the free-piston Stirling engine for terrestrial applications. Industry teams were assembled and are currently completing designs for two Advanced Stirling Conversion Systems utilizing technology being developed under the NASA CSTI Program. These systems, when coupled with a parabolic mirror to collect the solar energy, are capable of producing about 25 kW of electricity to a utility grid. Industry has identified a niche market for dish Stirling systems for worldwide remote power application. They believe that these niche markets may play a major role in the introduction of Stirling products into the commercial market.

  8. Stirling Engine for Classroom Demonstration Purposes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Andrew

    2005-04-01

    In the study of Thermodynamics, the Carnot cycle is representative of an ideal engine. Such an engine has the maximum efficiency possible for a given temperature difference. The Stirling Cycle engine closely resembles the Carnot cycle in terms of efficiency. In order to demonstrate the Stirling Cycle in a classroom setting, a Stirling engine was built. Robert Stirling first patented the Stirling engine in 1816. The Stirling engine runs on the temperature differential between hot and cold air. As the air is cycled through the engine, the expansion and contraction of the air drives the piston. The work on the piston is transferred into mechanical work via a walking beam. There are no exhaust values that vent gases, because the gases inside the engine never leave. The power for the Stirling engine does not come from explosions like a combustion engine. Rather, the engine is powered by an external heat source. These engines also have practical purposes. They are used in very specialized applications where quiet operation is important. Examples of such uses are in submarines and auxiliary power generators.

  9. COMPASS Final Report: Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) Centaur Orbiter New Frontiers Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.

    2011-01-01

    Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) has been shown in past studies to enable missions to outer planetary bodies including the orbiting of Centaur asteroids. Key to the feasibility for REP missions are long life, low power electric propulsion (EP) devices, low mass Radioisotope Power System (RPS) and light spacecraft (S/C) components. In order to determine the key parameters for EP devices to perform these REP missions a design study was completed to design an REP S/C to orbit a Centaur in a New Frontiers (NF) cost cap. The design shows that an orbiter using several long lived (approx.200 kg xenon (Xe) throughput), low power (approx.700 W) Hall thrusters teamed with six (150 W each) Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRG) can deliver 60 kg of science instruments to a Centaur in 10 yr within the NF cost cap. Optimal specific impulses (Isp) for the Hall thrusters were found to be around 2000 s with thruster efficiencies over 40 percent. Not only can the REP S/C enable orbiting a Centaur (when compared to an all chemical mission only capable of flybys) but the additional power from the REP system can be used to enhance science and simplify communications. The mission design detailed in this report is a Radioisotope Power System (RPS) powered EP science orbiter to the Centaur Thereus with arrival 10 yr after launch, ending in a 1 yr science mapping mission. Along the trajectory, approximately 1.5 yr into the mission, the REP S/C does a flyby of the Trojan asteroid Tlepolemus. The total (Delta)V of the trajectory is 8.9 km/s. The REP S/C is delivered to orbit on an Atlas 551 class launch vehicle with a Star 48 B solid rocket stage

  10. Variable displacement alpha-type Stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Homutescu, V. M.; Bălănescu, D. T.; Panaite, C. E.; Atanasiu, M. V.

    2016-08-01

    The basic design and construction of an alpha-type Stirling engine with on load variable displacement is presented. The variable displacement is obtained through a planar quadrilateral linkage with one on load movable ground link. The physico-mathematical model used for analyzing the variable displacement alpha-type Stirling engine behavior is an isothermal model that takes into account the real movement of the pistons. Performances and power adjustment capabilities of such alpha-type Stirling engine are calculated and analyzed. An exemplification through the use of the numerical simulation was performed in this regard.

  11. Mod I automotive Stirling engine mechanical development

    SciTech Connect

    Simetkosky, M.

    1984-01-01

    The Mod I Stirling engine was the first automotive Stirling engine designed specifically for automotive application. Testing of these engines has revealed several deficiencies in engine mechanical integrity which have been corrected by redesign or upgrade. The main deficiencies uncovered during the Mod I program lie in the combustion, auxiliary, main seal, and heater head areas. This paper will address each of the major area deficiencies in detail, and describe the corrective actions taken as they apply to the Mod I and the next Stirling-engine design, the Upgraded Mod I (a redesign to incorporate new materials for cost/weight reduction and improved performance).

  12. A thermoacoustic Stirling heat engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus, S.; Swift, G. W.

    1999-05-01

    Electrical and mechanical power, together with other forms of useful work, are generated worldwide at a rate of about 1012 watts, mostly using heat engines. The efficiency of such engines is limited by the laws of thermodynamics and by practical considerations such as the cost of building and operating them. Engines with high efficiency help to conserve fossil fuels and other natural resources, reducing global-warming emissions and pollutants. In practice, the highest efficiencies are obtained only in the most expensive, sophisticated engines, such as the turbines in central utility electrical plants. Here we demonstrate an inexpensive thermoacoustic engine that employs the inherently efficient Stirling cycle. The design is based on a simple acoustic apparatus with no moving parts. Our first small laboratory prototype, constructed using inexpensive hardware (steel pipes), achieves an efficiency of 0.30, which exceeds the values of 0.10-0.25 attained in other heat engines, with no moving parts. Moreover, the efficiency of our prototype is comparable to that of the common internal combustion engine (0.25-0.40) and piston-driven Stirling engines, (0.20-0.38).

  13. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ernst, William D.; Shaltens, Richard K.

    1997-01-01

    The development and verification of automotive Stirling engine (ASE) component and system technology is described as it evolved through two experimental engine designs: the Mod 1 and the Mod 2. Engine operation and performance and endurance test results for the Mod 1 are summarized. Mod 2 engine and component development progress is traced from the original design through hardware development, laboratory test, and vehicle installation. More than 21,000 hr of testing were accomplished, including 4800 hr with vehicles that were driven more dm 59,000 miles. Mod 2 engine dynamometer tests demonstrated that the engine system configuration had accomplished its performance goals for power (60 kW) and efficiency (38.5%) to within a few percent. Tests with the Mod 2 engine installed in a delivery van demonstrated combined metro-highway fuel economy improvements consistent with engine performance goals and the potential for low emission levels. A modified version of the Mod 2 has been identified as a manufacturable design for an ASE. As part of the ASE project, the Industry Test and Evaluation Program (ITEP), NASA Technology Utilization (TU) project, and the industry-funded Stirling Natural Gas Engine program were undertaken to transfer ASE technology to end users. The results of these technology transfer efforts are also summarized.

  14. US Department of Energy radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Van Houten, N.C.

    1989-06-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) prepared this edition of the radioisotope customer list at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research (ER-73), Office of Energy Research, US Department of Energy (DOE). This is the 25th report in a series dating from 1964. This report covers DOE radioisotope sales and distribution activities by its facilities to domestic, foreign and other DOE facilities for FY 1988. The report is divided into five sections: radioisotope suppliers, facility contacts, and radioisotopes or services supplied; a list of customers, suppliers, and radioisotopes purchased; a list of radioisotopes purchased cross-referenced to customer numbers; geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers -- FY 1988. Radioisotopes not previously reported in this series of reports were argon-37, arsenic-72, arsenic-73, bismuth-207, gadolinium-151, rhenium-188, rhodium-101, selenium-72, xenon-123 and zirconium-88. The total value of DOE radioisotope sales for FY 1988 was $11.1 million, an increase of 3% from FY 1987.

  15. Radioisotope therapy of cystic craniopharyngeomas

    SciTech Connect

    Strauss, L.; Sturm, V.; Georgi, P.; Schlegel, W.; Ostertag, H.; Clorius, J.H.; Van Kaick, G.

    1982-09-01

    Eighteen patients suffering from cystic craniopharyngeoma were treated with intracavitary irradiation. The beta-emitting radioisotope /sup 90/y (2.25 MeV) was instilled into the cyst following stereotactic puncture of the space-occupying lesion. The surgical approach was planned using angiograms and reconstructed transmission computer tomography (TCT) coronal and saggital sections. Therapy was devised to deliver 20,000 rad to the cyst's wall. Eleven patients received follow-up TCT examinations after four months. Eight of 11 patients had a significant volume decrease in the craniopharyngeoma cyst. In two patients, the cystic volume remained unchanged; one had progression of disease. It is concluded that the intracavitary treatment of cystic craniopharyngeoma will result in a reduction of the size of the space-occupying lesion.

  16. BEST medical radioisotope production cyclotrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabaiduc, Vasile; Milton, Bruce; Suthanthiran, Krishnan; Gelbart, W. Z.; Johnson, Richard R.

    2013-04-01

    Best Cyclotron Systems Inc (BCSI) is currently developing 14 MeV, 25 MeV, 35MeV and 70MeV cyclotrons for radioisotope production and research applications as well as the entire spectrum of targets and nuclear synthesis modules for the production of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and radiation therapy isotopes. The company is a subsidiary of Best Medical International, renowned in the field of medical instrumentation and radiation therapy. All cyclotrons have external negative hydrogen ion sources, four radial sectors with two dees in opposite valleys, cryogenic vacuum system and simultaneous beam extraction on opposite lines. The beam intensity ranges from 400 μA to 1000 μA, depending on the cyclotron energy and application [1].

  17. NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems - Plans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamley, John A.; Mccallum, Peter W.; Sandifer, Carl E., II; Sutliff, Thomas J.; Zakrajsek, June F.

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program continues to plan and implement content to enable planetary exploration where such systems could be needed, and to prepare more advanced RPS technology for possible infusion into future power systems. The 2014-2015 period saw significant changes, and strong progress. Achievements of near-term objectives have enabled definition of a clear path forward in which payoffs from research investments and other sustaining efforts can be applied. The future implementation path is expected to yield a higher-performing thermoelectric generator design, a more isotope-fuel efficient system concept design, and a robust RPS infrastructure maintained effectively within both NASA and the Department of Energy. This paper describes recent work with an eye towards the future plans that result from these achievements.

  18. Linear accelerator for radioisotope production

    SciTech Connect

    Hansborough, L.D.; Hamm, R.W.; Stovall, J.E.

    1982-02-01

    A 200- to 500-..mu..A source of 70- to 90-MeV protons would be a valuable asset to the nuclear medicine program. A linear accelerator (linac) can achieve this performance, and it can be extended to even higher energies and currents. Variable energy and current options are available. A 70-MeV linac is described, based on recent innovations in linear accelerator technology; it would be 27.3 m long and cost approx. $6 million. By operating the radio-frequency (rf) power system at a level necessary to produce a 500-..mu..A beam current, the cost of power deposited in the radioisotope-production target is comparable with existing cyclotrons. If the rf-power system is operated at full power, the same accelerator is capable of producing an 1140-..mu..A beam, and the cost per beam watt on the target is less than half that of comparable cyclotrons.

  19. Reliability-Based Life Assessment of Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Halford, Gary R.; Korovaichuk, Igor

    2004-01-01

    Onboard radioisotope power systems being developed and planned for NASA's deep-space missions require reliable design lifetimes of up to 14 yr. The structurally critical heater head of the high-efficiency Stirling power convertor has undergone extensive computational analysis of operating temperatures, stresses, and creep resistance of the thin-walled Inconel 718 bill of material. A preliminary assessment of the effect of uncertainties in the material behavior was also performed. Creep failure resistance of the thin-walled heater head could show variation due to small deviations in the manufactured thickness and in uncertainties in operating temperature and pressure. Durability prediction and reliability of the heater head are affected by these deviations from nominal design conditions. Therefore, it is important to include the effects of these uncertainties in predicting the probability of survival of the heater head under mission loads. Furthermore, it may be possible for the heater head to experience rare incidences of small temperature excursions of short duration. These rare incidences would affect the creep strain rate and, therefore, the life. This paper addresses the effects of such rare incidences on the reliability. In addition, the sensitivities of variables affecting the reliability are quantified, and guidelines developed to improve the reliability are outlined. Heater head reliability is being quantified with data from NASA Glenn Research Center's accelerated benchmark testing program.

  20. Sub-Kilowatt Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Outer Solar System Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gefert, L. P.; Oleson, S. R.; Patterson, M. J.; Schrieber, J.; McAdams, J.

    2001-01-01

    An activity has begun to perform a multi-mission trajectory/systems analysis study that examines the combined benefit of three key technology development areas. The three key technologies leveraged in the study include sub-kilowatt ion propulsion, Stirling radioisotope power systems and microelectronics/lightweight spacecraft bus technologies. This study is being performed jointly by NASA Glenn Research Center and the Applied Physics Laboratory to leverage their combined areas of expertise in advanced power/propulsion and spacecraft design. Missions examined in this study include missions to outer planets' moons, such as Europa, Titan, and Triton, and a Comet Nucleus Sample Return mission. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Automotive Stirling engine: Mod 2 design report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nightingale, Noel P.

    1986-01-01

    The design of an automotive Stirling engine that achieves the superior fuel economy potential of the Stirling cycle is described. As the culmination of a 9-yr development program, this engine, designated the Mod 2, also nullifies arguments that Stirling engines are heavy, expensive, unreliable, demonstrating poor performance. Installed in a General Motors Chevrolet Celebrity car, this engine has a predicted combined fuel economy on unleaded gasoline of 17.5 km/l (41 mpg)- a value 50% above the current vehicle fleet average. The Mod 2 Stirling engine is a four-cylinder V-drive design with a single crankshaft. The engine is also equipped with all the controls and auxiliaries necessary for automotive operation.

  2. Stirling engine research at Argonne National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Holtz, R.E.; Daley, J.G.; Roach, P.D.

    1986-06-01

    Stirling engine research at Argonne National Laboratory has been focused at (1) development of mathematical models and analytical tools for predicting component and engine performance, and (2) experimental research into fundamental heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena occurring in Stirling cycle devices. A result of the analytical effort has been the formation of a computer library specifically for Stirling engine researchers and developers. The library contains properties of structural materials commonly used, thermophysical properties of several working fluids, correlations for heat transfer calculations and general specifications of mechanical arrangements (including various drive mechanisms) that can be utilized to model a particular engine. The library also contains alternative modules to perform analysis at different levels of sophistication, including design optimization. A reversing flow heat transfer facility is operating at Argonne to provide data at prototypic Stirling engine operating conditions under controlled laboratory conditions. This information is needed to validate analytical models.

  3. Heater head for a Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Darooka, D.K.

    1988-09-06

    A heater head is described for a compound Stirling engine modules, each including a displacer cylinder coaxially aligned with the displacer cylinder of the other of the engine modules, a displacer piston mounted for reciprocation in the displacer cylinder.

  4. On the Need for Multidimensional Stirling Simulations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.; Demko, Rikako

    2005-01-01

    Given the cost and complication of simulating Stirling convertors, do we really need multidimensional modeling when one-dimensional capabilities exist? This paper provides a comprehensive description of when and why multidimensional simulation is needed.

  5. Simple and Clear Proofs of Stirling's Formula

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niizeki, Shozo; Araki, Makoto

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of our article is to show two simpler and clearer methods of proving Stirling's formula than the traditional and conventional ones. The distinction of our method is to use the simple trapezoidal formula.

  6. Stirling Air Conditioner for Compact Cooling

    SciTech Connect

    2010-09-01

    BEETIT Project: Infinia is developing a compact air conditioner that uses an unconventional high efficient Stirling cycle system (vs. conventional vapor compression systems) to produce cool air that is energy efficient and does not rely on polluting refrigerants. The Stirling cycle system is a type of air conditioning system that uses a motor with a piston to remove heat to the outside atmosphere using a gas refrigerant. To date, Stirling systems have been expensive and have not had the right kind of heat exchanger to help cool air efficiently. Infinia is using chip cooling technology from the computer industry to make improvements to the heat exchanger and improve system performance. Infinia’s air conditioner uses helium gas as refrigerant, an environmentally benign gas that does not react with other chemicals and does not burn. Infinia’s improvements to the Stirling cycle system will enable the cost-effective mass production of high-efficiency air conditioners that use no polluting refrigerants.

  7. Automotive Stirling engine: Mod II design report

    SciTech Connect

    Nightingale, N.P.

    1986-10-01

    The design of an automotive Stirling engine that achieves the superior fuel economy potential of the Stirling cycle is described. As the culmination of a 9-yr development program, this engine, designated the Mod II, also nullifies arguments that Stirling engines are heavy, expensive, unreliable, and demonstrate poor performance. Installed in a General Motors 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity car, this engine has a predicted combined fuel economy on unleaded gasoline of 17.5 km/L (41 mi/gal) - a value 50% above the current vehicle fleet average. The Mod II Stirling engine is a four-cylinder V-drive design with a single crankshaft. The engine is also equipped with all the controls and auxiliaries necessary for automotive operation. 35 figs.

  8. Review of Computational Stirling Analysis Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear thermal to electric power conversion carries the promise of longer duration missions and higher scientific data transmission rates back to Earth for both Mars rovers and deep space missions. A free-piston Stirling convertor is a candidate technology that is considered an efficient and reliable power conversion device for such purposes. While already very efficient, it is believed that better Stirling engines can be developed if the losses inherent its current designs could be better understood. However, they are difficult to instrument and so efforts are underway to simulate a complete Stirling engine numerically. This has only recently been attempted and a review of the methods leading up to and including such computational analysis is presented. And finally it is proposed that the quality and depth of Stirling loss understanding may be improved by utilizing the higher fidelity and efficiency of recently developed numerical methods. One such method, the Ultra HI-Fl technique is presented in detail.

  9. Materials technology assessment for stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, J. R.; Witzke, W. R.; Watson, G. K.; Johnston, J. R.; Croft, W. J.

    1977-01-01

    A materials technology assessment of high temperature components in the improved (metal) and advanced (ceramic) Stirling engines was undertaken to evaluate the current state-of-the-art of metals and ceramics, identify materials research and development required to support the development of automotive Stirling engines, and to recommend materials technology programs to assure material readiness concurrent with engine system development programs. The most critical component for each engine is identified and some of the material problem areas are discussed.

  10. Recent Stirling engine loss - understanding results

    SciTech Connect

    Tew, R.C.; Thieme, L.G.; Dudenhoefer, J.E.

    1994-09-01

    For several years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other US Government agencies have been funding experimental and analytical efforts to improve the understanding of Stirling thermodynamic losses. NASA`s objective is to improve Stirling engine design capability to support the development of new engines for space power. An overview of these efforts was last given at the 1988 IECEC. Recent results of this research are reviewed.

  11. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, D.A.

    1984-08-01

    This document lists DOE's radioisotope production and distribution activities by its facilities at Argonne National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest Laboratory; Idaho Operations Office; Los Alamos National Laboratory; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Savannah River Plant; and UNC Nuclear Industries, Inc. The information is divided into five sections: isotope suppliers, facility contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; lists of customers, suppliers and isotopes purchased; list of isotopes purchased cross-referenced to customer codes; geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers - FY 1983.

  12. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Lamar, D.A.

    1987-10-01

    This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: (1)isotope suppliers, facility contact, and isotopes or services supplied; (2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; (3) isotopes purchased cross-referenced with customer numbers; (4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and (5) radioisotope sales and transfers for fiscal year 1986.

  13. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Lamar, D.A.; Van Houten, N.C.

    1988-08-01

    This edition of the radioisotope customer list was prepared at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research (ER-73), Office of Energy Research, US Department of Energy (DOE). This document describes radioisotope distribution from DOE facilities to private firms, including foreign and other DOE facilities. The information is divided into five sections: 1) isotope suppliers, facility contact, and isotopes or services supplied; 2) customers, suppliers, and isotopes purchased; 3) isotopes purchased cross- referenced with customer numbers; 4) geographic locations of radioisotope customers; and 5) radioisotope sales and transfers for fiscal year 1987.

  14. Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase

    SciTech Connect

    Corey, J.A.

    1988-08-23

    This patent describes a Stirling cycle engine comprising an engine housing which includes compression and expansion cylinders and a crankcase area; a compression piston and an expansion piston positioned in respective cylinders in the housing and coupled to a common crankshaft via bearing means. The crankshaft being positioned in the crankcase area which is defined by the pistons and the housing. The pistons includes pad means between the pistons and their respective cylinders to minimize the friction therebetween during reciprocal movement thereof; the crankcase being pressurized to inhibit the passing of working gas past the pistons; and means for cooling the crankshaft and the bearing means eliminating the need for oil in the crankcase.

  15. Self-pressurizing Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    Bennett, Charles L.

    2010-10-12

    A solar thermal powered aircraft powered by heat energy from the sun. A heat engine, such as a Stirling engine, is carried by the aircraft body for producing power for a propulsion mechanism, such as a propeller. The heat engine has a thermal battery in thermal contact with it so that heat is supplied from the thermal battery. 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.

  16. Ferroelectric Stirling-Cycle Refrigerator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jalink, Antony, Jr. (Inventor); Hellbaum, Richard F. (Inventor); Rohrbach, Wayne W. (Inventor)

    1999-01-01

    A Stirling-cycle refrigerator has a three-pump configuration and pumping sequence, in which one pump serves as a compressor. one pump serves as an expander, and one pump serves as a displacer. The pumps are ferroelectrically actuated diaphragm pumps which are coordinated by synchronizing the ferroelectric-actuator voltages in such a way that the net effect of the displacer is to reduce the deleterious effect of dead space; that is, to circulate a greater fraction of the working fluid through the heat exchangers than would be possible by use of the compressor and expander alone. In addition. the displacer can be controlled separately to make the flow of working fluid in the heat exchangers turbulent (to increase the rate of transfer of heat at the cost of greater resistance to flow) or laminar (to decrease the resistance to flow at the cost of a lower heat-transfer rate).

  17. Stirling Engine Dynamic System Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakis, Christopher G.

    2004-01-01

    The Thermo-Mechanical systems branch at the Glenn Research Center focuses a large amount time on Stirling engines. These engines will be used on missions where solar power is inefficient, especially in deep space. I work with Tim Regan and Ed Lewandowski who are currently developing and validating a mathematical model for the Stirling engines. This model incorporates all aspects of the system including, mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic components. Modeling is done through Simplorer, a program capable of running simulations of the model. Once created and then proven to be accurate, a model is used for developing new ideas for engine design. My largest specific project involves varying key parameters in the model and quantifying the results. This can all be done relatively trouble-free with the help of Simplorer. Once the model is complete, Simplorer will do all the necessary calculations. The more complicated part of this project is determining which parameters to vary. Finding key parameters depends on the potential for a value to be independently altered in the design. For example, a change in one dimension may lead to a proportional change to the rest of the model, and no real progress is made. Also, the ability for a changed value to have a substantial impact on the outputs of the system is important. Results will be condensed into graphs and tables with the purpose of better communication and understanding of the data. With the changing of these parameters, a more optimal design can be created without having to purchase or build any models. Also, hours and hours of results can be simulated in minutes. In the long run, using mathematical models can save time and money. Along with this project, I have many other smaller assignments throughout the summer. My main goal is to assist in the processes of model development, validation and testing.

  18. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Specific Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2015-01-01

    This work uses analytical methods to demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and/or displacer motion in a Stirling engine. Isothermal analysis was used to show the potential benefits of ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. Nodal analysis is used to show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal in real Stirling engines. Constrained optimization was used to identify piston and displacer waveforms that increase Stirling engine specific power.

  19. Improving Free-Piston Stirling Engine Specific Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell Henry

    2014-01-01

    This work uses analytical methods to demonstrate the potential benefits of optimizing piston and/or displacer motion in a Stirling Engine. Isothermal analysis was used to show the potential benefits of ideal motion in ideal Stirling engines. Nodal analysis is used to show that ideal piston and displacer waveforms are not optimal in real Stirling engines. Constrained optimization was used to identify piston and displacer waveforms that increase Stirling engine specific power.

  20. Small Radioisotope Power System Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina; Bell, Mark; Oriti, Salvatore; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David; Duven, Dennis

    2013-01-01

    In April 2009, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) formed an integrated product team (IPT) to develop a Small Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) utilizing a single Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) with passive balancer. A single ASC produces approximately 80 We making this system advantageous for small distributed lunar science stations. The IPT consists of Sunpower, Inc., to provide the single ASC with a passive balancer, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) to design an engineering model Single Convertor Controller (SCC) for an ASC with a passive balancer, and NASA GRC to provide technical support to these tasks and to develop a simulated lunar lander test stand. The single ASC with a passive balancer, simulated lunar lander test stand, and SCC were delivered to GRC and were tested as a system. The testing sequence at GRC included SCC fault tolerance, integration, electromagnetic interference (EMI), vibration, and extended operation testing. The SCC fault tolerance test characterized the SCCs ability to handle various fault conditions, including high or low bus power consumption, total open load or short circuit, and replacing a failed SCC card while the backup maintains control of the ASC. The integrated test characterized the behavior of the system across a range of operating conditions, including variations in cold-end temperature and piston amplitude, including the emitted vibration to both the sensors on the lunar lander and the lunar surface. The EMI test characterized the AC and DC magnetic and electric fields emitted by the SCC and single ASC. The vibration test confirms the SCCs ability to control the single ASC during launch. The extended operation test allows data to be collected over a period of thousands of hours to obtain long term performance data of the ASC with a passive balancer and the SCC. This paper will discuss the results of each of these tests.

  1. Small Radioisotope Power System at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dugala, Gina M.; Fraeman, Martin; Frankford, David P.; Duven, Dennis; Shamkovich, Andrei; Ambrose, Hollis; Meer, David W.

    2012-01-01

    In April 2009, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) formed an integrated product team (IPT) to develop a Small Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) utilizing a single Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) with passive balancer for possible use by the International Lunar Network (ILN) program. The ILN program is studying the feasibility of implementing a multiple node seismometer network to investigate the internal lunar structure. A single ASC produces approximately 80 W(sub e) and could potentially supply sufficient power for that application. The IPT consists of Sunpower, Inc., to provide the single ASC with balancer, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to design an engineering model Single Convertor Controller (SCC) for an ASC with balancer, and NASA GRC to provide technical support to these tasks and to develop a simulated lunar lander test stand. A controller maintains stable operation of an ASC. It regulates the alternating current produced by the linear alternator of the convertor, provides a specified output voltage, and maintains operation at a steady piston amplitude and hot end temperature. JHU/APL also designed an ASC dynamic engine/alternator simulator to aid in the testing and troubleshooting of the SCC. This paper describes the requirements, design, and development of the SCC, including some of the key challenges and the solutions chosen to overcome those issues. In addition, it describes the plans to analyze the effectiveness of a passive balancer to minimize vibration from the ASC, characterize the effect of ASC vibration on a lunar lander, characterize the performance of the SCC, and integrate the single ASC, SCC, and lunar lander test stand to characterize performance of the overall system.

  2. Benchmark Calibration Tests Completed for Stirling Convertor Heater Head Life Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Halford, Gary R.; Bowman, Randy R.

    2005-01-01

    A major phase of benchmark testing has been completed at the NASA Glenn Research Center (http://www.nasa.gov/glenn/), where a critical component of the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) is undergoing extensive experimentation to aid the development of an analytical life-prediction methodology. Two special-purpose test rigs subjected SRG heater-head pressure-vessel test articles to accelerated creep conditions, using the standard design temperatures to stay within the wall material s operating creep-response regime, but increasing wall stresses up to 7 times over the design point. This resulted in well-controlled "ballooning" of the heater-head hot end. The test plan was developed to provide critical input to analytical parameters in a reasonable period of time.

  3. Potential Applications for Radioisotope Power Systems in Support of Human Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) for space applications have powered over 27 U.S. space systems, starting with Transit 4A and 4B in 1961, and more recently with the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in August 2012. RPS enable missions with destinations far from the Sun with faint solar flux, on planetary surfaces with dense or dusty atmospheres, and at places with long eclipse periods where solar array sizes and energy storage mass become impractical. RPS could also provide an enabling capability in support of human exploration activities. It is envisioned that with the higher power needs of most human mission concepts, a high efficiency thermal-to-electric technology would be required such as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG should be capable of a four-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional thermoelectric RPS. While it may be impractical to use RPS as a main power source, many other applications could be considered, such as crewed pressurized rovers, in-situ resource production of propellants, back-up habitat power, drilling, any mobile or remote activity from the main base habitat, etc. This paper will identify potential applications and provide concepts that could be a practical extension of the current ASRG design in providing for robust and flexible use of RPS on human exploration missions.

  4. Development of a Phasor Diagram Creator to Visualize the Piston and Displacer Forces in an Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Dipanjan; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The steady state, nearly sinusoidal behavior of the components in a Free Piston Stirling Engine allows for visualization of the forces in the system using phasor diagrams. Based on Newton's second law, F=ma, any phasor diagrams modeling a given component in a system should close if all of the acting forces have been considered. Since the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), currently being developed for future NASA deep space missions, is made up of such nearly sinusoidally oscillating components, its phasor diagrams would also be expected to close. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been written in MATLAB by taking user input data, passing it to Sage, a 1-D thermodynamic modeling program used to model the Stirling convertor, running Sage and then automatically plotting the phasor diagrams. Using this software tool, the effect of varying different Sage inputs on the phasor diagrams was determined. The parameters varied were piston amplitude, hot end temperature, cold end temperature, operating frequency, and displacer spring constant. By using these phasor diagrams, better insight can be gained as to why the convertor operates the way that it does.

  5. Development of a Phasor Diagram Creator to Visualize the Piston and Displacer Forces in an Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saha, Dipanjan; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    The steady-state, nearly sinusoidal behavior of the components in a free-piston Stirling engine allows for visualization of the forces in the system using phasor diagrams. Based on Newton's second law, F = ma, any phasor diagrams modeling a given component in a system should close if all of the acting forces have been considered. Since the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), currently being developed for future NASA deep space missions, is made up of such nearly sinusoidally oscillating components, its phasor diagrams would also be expected to close. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been written in MATLAB (MathWorks), which takes user input data, passes it to Sage (Gedeon Associates), a one-dimensional thermodynamic modeling program used to model the Stirling convertor, runs Sage, and then automatically plots the phasor diagrams. Using this software tool, the effect of varying different Sage inputs on the phasor diagrams was determined. The parameters varied were piston amplitude, hot-end temperature, cold-end temperature, operating frequency, and displacer spring constant. These phasor diagrams offer useful insight into convertor operation and performance.

  6. Pathfinding the Flight Advanced Stirling Convertor Design with the ASC-E3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Kyle; Smith, Eddie; Collins, Josh

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) was initially developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) as a technology development project. The ASC technology fulfills NASA s need for high efficiency power convertors for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Early successful technology demonstrations between 2003 to 2005 eventually led to the expansion of the project including the decision in 2006 to use the ASC technology on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). Sunpower has delivered 22 ASC convertors of progressively mature designs to date to GRC. Currently, Sunpower with support from GRC, Lockheed Martin Space System Company (LMSSC), and the Department of Energy (DOE) is developing the flight ASC-F in parallel with the ASC-E3 pathfinders. Sunpower will deliver four pairs of ASC-E3 convertors to GRC which will be used for extended operation reliability assessment, independent validation and verification testing, system interaction tests, and to support LMSSC controller verification. The ASC-E3 and -F convertors are being built to the same design and processing documentation and the same product specification. The initial two pairs of ASC-E3 are built before the flight units and will validate design and processing changes prior to implementation on the ASC-F flight convertors. This paper provides a summary on development of the ASC technology and the status of the ASC-E3 build and how they serve the vital pathfinder role ahead of the flight build for ASRG. The ASRG is part of two of the three candidate missions being considered for selection for the Discovery 12 mission.

  7. Pathfinding the Flight Advanced Stirling Convertor Design with the ASC-E3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Wayne A.; Wilson, Kyle; Smith, Eddie; Collins, Josh

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) was initially developed by Sunpower, Inc. under contract to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) as a technology development project. The ASC technology fulfills NASA's need for high efficiency power convertors for future Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS). Early successful technology demonstrations between 2003 to 2005 eventually led to the expansion of the project including the decision in 2006 to use the ASC technology on the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). Sunpower has delivered 22 ASC convertors of progressively mature designs to date to GRC. Currently, Sunpower with support from GRC, Lockheed Martin Space System Company (LMSSC), and the Department of Energy (DOE) is developing the flight ASC-F in parallel with the ASC-E3 pathfinders. Sunpower will deliver four pairs of ASC-E3 convertors to GRC which will be used for extended operation reliability assessment, independent validation and verification testing, system interaction tests, and to support LMSSC controller verification. The ASC-E3 and -F convertors are being built to the same design and processing documentation and the same product specification. The initial two pairs of ASC-E3 are built before the flight units and will validate design and processing changes prior to implementation on the ASC-F flight convertors. This paper provides a summary on development of the ASC technology and the status of the ASC-E3 build and how they serve the vital pathfinder role ahead of the flight build for ASRG. The ASRG is part of two of the three candidate missions being considered for selection for the Discovery 12 mission.

  8. SRG110 Stirling Generator Dynamic Simulator Vibration Test Results and Analysis Correlation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Suarez, Vicente J.; Goodnight, Thomas W.; Callahan, John

    2007-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for use as a power system for space science missions. The launch environment enveloping potential missions results in a random input spectrum that is significantly higher than historical radioisotope power system (RPS) launch levels and is a challenge for designers. Analysis presented in prior work predicted that tailoring the compliance at the generator-spacecraft interface reduced the dynamic response of the system thereby allowing higher launch load input levels and expanding the range of potential generator missions. To confirm analytical predictions, a dynamic simulator representing the generator structure, Stirling convertors and heat sources were designed and built for testing with and without a compliant interface. Finite element analysis was performed to guide the generator simulator and compliant interface design so that test modes and frequencies were representative of the SRG110 generator. This paper presents the dynamic simulator design, the test setup and methodology, test article modes and frequencies and dynamic responses, and post-test analysis results. With the compliant interface, component responses to an input environment exceeding the SRG110 qualification level spectrum were all within design allowables. Post-test analysis included finite element model tuning to match test frequencies and random response analysis using the test input spectrum. Analytical results were in good overall agreement with the test results and confirmed previous predictions that the SRG110 power system may be considered for a broad range of potential missions, including those with demanding launch environments.

  9. Radioisotope Production for Medical and Physics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mausner, Leonard

    2012-10-01

    Radioisotopes are critical to the science and technology base of the US. Discoveries and applications made as a result of the availability of radioisotopes span widely from medicine, biology, physics, chemistry and homeland security. The clinical use of radioisotopes for medical diagnosis is the largest sector of use, with about 16 million procedures a year in the US. The use of ^99Mo/^99mTc generator and ^18F make up the majority, but ^201Tl, ^123I, ^111In, and ^67Ga are also used routinely to perform imaging of organ function. Application of radioisotopes for therapy is dominated by use of ^131I for thyroid malignancies, ^90Y for some solid tumors, and ^89Sr for bone cancer, but production of several more exotic species such as ^225Ac and ^211At are of significant current research interest. In physics ^225Ra is of interest for CP violation studies, and the actinides ^242Am, ^249Bk, and ^254Es are needed as targets for experiments to create superheavy elements. Large amounts of ^252Cf are needed as a fission source for the CARIBU experiment at ANL. The process of radioisotope production is multidisciplinary. Nuclear physics input based on nuclear reaction excitation function data is needed to choose an optimum target/projectile in order to maximize desired isotope production and minimize unwanted byproducts. Mechanical engineering is needed to address issues of target heating, induced mechanical stress and material compatibility of target and claddings. Radiochemists are involved as well since chemical separation to purify the desired final radioisotope product from the bulk target and impurities is also usually necessary. Most neutron rich species are produced at a few government and university reactors. Other radioisotopes are produced in cyclotrons in the commercial sector, university/hospital based facilities, and larger devices at the DOE labs. The landscape of US facilities, the techniques involved, and current supply challenges will be reviewed.

  10. Advanced Stirling conversion systems for terrestrial applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, R. K.

    1987-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA) is developing heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. SNLA has identified the Stirling to be one of the most promising candidates for the terrestrial applications. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) has the potential to meet the DOE goals for both performance and cost. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) is conducting free-piston Stirling activities which are directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power system requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability and low vibration. The FPSE has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either solar or nuclear. Generic free-piston technology is currently being developed by LeRC for DOE/ORNL for use with a residential heat pump under an Interagency Agreement. Since 1983, the SP-100 Program (DOD/NASA/DOE) is developing dynamic power sources for space. Although both applications (heat pump and space power) appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. A cooperative Interagency Agreement (IAA) was signed in 1985 with NASA Lewis to provide technical management for an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) for SNLA. Conceptual design(s) using a free-piston Stirling (FPSE), and a heat pipe will be discussed. The ASCS will be designed using technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the 1980's.

  11. Advanced Stirling conversion systems for terrestrial applications

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.

    1987-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNLA) is developing heat engines for terrestrial Solar distributed Heat Receivers. SNLA has identified the Stirling to be one of the most promising candidates for the terrestrial applications. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) has the potential to meet the DOE goals for both performance and cost. Free-piston Stirling activities which are directed toward a dynamic power source for the space application are being conducted. Space power system requirements include high efficiency, very long life, high reliability and low vibration. The FPSE has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either solar or nuclear powered. Generic free-piston technology is currently being developed for use with a residential heat pump under an Interagency Agreement. Also, an overview is presented of proposed conceptual designs for the Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) using a free-piston Stirling engine and a liquid metal heat pipe receiver. Power extraction includes both a linear alternator and hydraulic output capable of delivering approximately 25 kW of electrical power to the electric utility grid. Target cost of the engine/alternator is 300 dollars per kilowatt at a manufacturing rate of 10,000 units per year. The design life of the ASCS is 60,000 h (30 y) with an engine overhaul at 40,000 h (20 y). Also discussed are the key features and characteristics of the ASCS conceptual designs.

  12. A Saturn Ring Observer Mission Using Multi-Mission Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abelson, Robert D.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-01

    Saturn remains one of the most fascinating planets within the solar system. To better understand the complex ring structure of this planet, a conceptual Saturn Ring Observer (SRO) mission is presented that would spend one year in close proximity to Saturn's A and B rings, and perform detailed observations and measurements of the ring particles and electric and magnetic fields. The primary objective of the mission would be to understand ring dynamics, including the microphysics of individual particles and small scale (meters to a few kilometers) phenomena such as particle agglomeration behavior. This would be accomplished by multispectral imaging of the rings at multiple key locations within the A and B rings, and by ring-particle imaging at an unprecedented resolution of 0.5 cm/pixel. The SRO spacecraft would use a Venus-Earth-Earth-Jupiter Gravity Assist (VEEJGA) and be aerocaptured into Saturn orbit using an advanced aeroshell design to minimize propellant mass. Once in orbit, the SRO would stand off from the ring plane 1 to 1.4 km using chemical thrusters to provide short propulsive maneuvers four times per revolution, effectively causing the SRO vehicle to ``hop'' above the ring plane. The conceptual SRO spacecraft would be enabled by the use of a new generation of multi-mission Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) currently being developed by NASA and DOE. These RPSs include the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) and Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). The RPSs would generate all necessary electrical power (>=330 We at beginning of life) during the 10-year cruise and 1-year science mission (~11 years total). The RPS heat would be used to maintain the vehicle's operating and survival temperatures, minimizing the need for electrical heaters. Such a mission could potentially launch in the 2015-2020 timeframe, with operations at Saturn commencing in approximately 2030.

  13. A Saturn Ring Observer Mission Using Multi-Mission Radioisotope Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Abelson, Robert D.; Spilker, Thomas R.; Shirley, James H.

    2006-01-20

    Saturn remains one of the most fascinating planets within the solar system. To better understand the complex ring structure of this planet, a conceptual Saturn Ring Observer (SRO) mission is presented that would spend one year in close proximity to Saturn's A and B rings, and perform detailed observations and measurements of the ring particles and electric and magnetic fields. The primary objective of the mission would be to understand ring dynamics, including the microphysics of individual particles and small scale (meters to a few kilometers) phenomena such as particle agglomeration behavior. This would be accomplished by multispectral imaging of the rings at multiple key locations within the A and B rings, and by ring-particle imaging at an unprecedented resolution of 0.5 cm/pixel. The SRO spacecraft would use a Venus-Earth-Earth-Jupiter Gravity Assist (VEEJGA) and be aerocaptured into Saturn orbit using an advanced aeroshell design to minimize propellant mass. Once in orbit, the SRO would stand off from the ring plane 1 to 1.4 km using chemical thrusters to provide short propulsive maneuvers four times per revolution, effectively causing the SRO vehicle to 'hop' above the ring plane. The conceptual SRO spacecraft would be enabled by the use of a new generation of multi-mission Radioisotope Power Systems (RPSs) currently being developed by NASA and DOE. These RPSs include the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) and Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). The RPSs would generate all necessary electrical power ({>=}330 We at beginning of life) during the 10-year cruise and 1-year science mission ({approx}11 years total). The RPS heat would be used to maintain the vehicle's operating and survival temperatures, minimizing the need for electrical heaters. Such a mission could potentially launch in the 2015-2020 timeframe, with operations at Saturn commencing in approximately 2030.

  14. Alternative fuel capabilities of the Mod II Stirling vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grandin, Albert W.; Ernst, William D.

    1988-01-01

    The Stirling engine's characteristics make it a prime candidate for both multifuel and alternative fuel uses. In this paper, the relevant engine characteristics of the Mod II Stirling engine are examined, including the external heat system and basic operation. Adaptation of the Stirling to multifuel operation is addressed, and its experience with alternative fuels in automotive applications is summarized. The results of the U.S. Air Force review of the Stirling's multifuel capability are described, and the Stirling's advantages with liquid, gaseous, and solid fuels are discussed.

  15. Ceramic applications in the advanced Stirling automotive engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomazic, W. A.; Cairelli, J. E.

    1977-01-01

    The ideal cycle, its application to a practical machine, and the specific advantages of high efficiency, low emissions, multi-fuel capability, and low noise of the stirling engine are discussed. Certain portions of the Stirling engine must operate continuously at high temperature. Ceramics offer the potential of cost reduction and efficiency improvement for advanced engine applications. Potential applications for ceramics in Stirling engines, and some of the special problems pertinent to using ceramics in the Stirling engine are described. The research and technology program in ceramics which is planned to support the development of advanced Stirling engines is outlined.

  16. Radioisotope thermoelectric generators for implanted pacemakers

    SciTech Connect

    Pustovalov, A.A.; Bovin, A.V.; Fedorets, V.I.; Shapovalov, V.P.

    1986-08-01

    This paper discusses the development and application of long-life lithium batteries and the problems associated with miniature radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RITEG) with service lives of 10 years or longer. On eof the main problems encountered when devising a radioisotope heat source (RHS) for an RITEG is to obtain biomedical /sup 238/PuO/sub 2/ with a specific neutron yield of 3.10/sup 3/-4.10/sup 3/ (g /SUP ./ sec)/sup -1/, equivalent to metallic Pu 238, and with a content of gamma impurities sufficient to ensure a permissible exposure a permissible exposure does rate (EDR) of a mixture of neutron and gamma radiation. After carrying out the isotope exchange and purifying the initial sample of its gamma impurity elements, the authors obtain biomedical Pu 238 satisfying the indicated requirements king suitable for use in the power packs of medical devices. Taking the indicated specifications into account, the Ritm-1o and gamma radioisotope heat sources were designed, built, tested in models and under natural conditions, and then into production as radioisotope thermoelectric generators designed to power the electronic circuits of implanted pacemakers. The Ritm-MT and Gemma radioisotope thermoelectric generators described are basic units, which can be used as self-contained power supplies for electronic equipment with power requirements in the micromilliwatt range.

  17. U.S. Space Radioisotope Power Systems and Applications: Past, Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Bennett, Gary L.

    2011-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) have been essential to the U.S. exploration of outer space. RPS have two primary uses: electrical power and thermal power. To provide electrical power, the RPS uses the heat produced by the natural decay of a radioisotope (e.g., plutonium-238 in U.S. RPS) to drive a converter (e.g., thermoelectric elements or Stirling linear alternator). As a thermal power source the heat is conducted to whatever component on the spacecraft needs to be kept warm; this heat can be produced by a radioisotope heater unit (RHU) or by using the excess heat of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). As of 2010, the U.S. has launched 41 RTGs on 26 space systems. These space systems have ranged from navigational satellites to challenging outer planet missions such as Pioneer 10/11, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini and the New Horizons mission to Pluto. In the fall of 2011, NASA plans to launch the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that will employ the new Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) as the principal power source. Hundreds of radioisotope heater units (RHUs) have been launched to provide warmth to Apollo 11, used to provide heating of critical components in a seismic experiment package, Pioneer 10/11, Voyager 1/2, Galileo, Cassini, Mars Pathfinder, MER rovers, etc. to provide temperature control to critical spacecraft electronics and other mechanical devices such as propulsion system propellant valves. A radioisotope (electrical) power source or system (RPS) consists of three basic elements: (1) the radioisotope heat source that provides the thermal power, (2) the converter that transforms the thermal power into electrical power and (3) the heat rejection radiator. Figure 1 illustrates the basic features of an RPS. The idea of a radioisotope power source follows closely after the early investigations of radioactivity by researchers such as Henri Becquerel (1852-1908), Marie Curie (1867-1935), Pierre Curie (1859

  18. Component technology for Stirling power converters

    SciTech Connect

    Thieme, L.G.

    1994-09-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center has organized a component technology program as part of the efforts to develop Stirling converter technology for space power applications. The Stirling space power program is part of the NASA High Capacity Power Project of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). NASA Lewis is also providing technical management for a DOE/Sandia program to develop Stirling converters for solar terrestrial power producing electricity for the utility grid. The primary contractors for the space power and solar terrestrial programs develop component technologies directly related to their program goals. This Lewis component technology effort, while coordinated with the main programs, aims at longer term issues, advanced technologies, and independent assessments. This paper will present an overview of work on linear alternators, engine/alternator/load interactions and controls, heat exchangers, materials, life and reliability, and bearings.

  19. Fast Whole-Engine Stirling Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.; Demko, Rikako

    2005-01-01

    An experimentally validated approach is described for fast axisymmetric Stirling engine simulations. These simulations include the entire displacer interior and demonstrate it is possible to model a complete engine cycle in less than an hour. The focus of this effort was to demonstrate it is possible to produce useful Stirling engine performance results in a time-frame short enough to impact design decisions. The combination of utilizing the latest 64-bit Opteron computer processors, fiber-optical Myrinet communications, dynamic meshing, and across zone partitioning has enabled solution times at least 240 times faster than previous attempts at simulating the axisymmetric Stirling engine. A comparison of the multidimensional results, calibrated one-dimensional results, and known experimental results is shown. This preliminary comparison demonstrates that axisymmetric simulations can be very accurate, but more work remains to improve the simulations through such means as modifying the thermal equilibrium regenerator models, adding fluid-structure interactions, including radiation effects, and incorporating mechanodynamics.

  20. Component technology for stirling power converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    1991-01-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center has organized a component technology program as part of the efforts to develop Stirling converter technology for space power applications. The Stirling Space Power Program is part of the NASA High Capacity Power Project of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). NASA Lewis is also providing technical management for the DOE/Sandia program to develop Stirling converters for solar terrestrial power producing electricity for the utility grid. The primary contractors for the space power and solar terrestrial programs develop component technologies directly related to their goals. This Lewis component technology effort, while coordinated with the main programs, aims at longer term issues, advanced technologies, and independent assessments. An overview of work on linear alternators, engine/alternator/load interactions and controls, heat exchangers, materials, life and reliability, and bearings is presented.

  1. Fast Whole-Engine Stirling Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger W.; Wilson, Scott D.; Tew, Roy C.; Demko, Rikako

    2007-01-01

    An experimentally validated approach is described for fast axisymmetric Stirling engine simulations. These simulations include the entire displacer interior and demonstrate it is possible to model a complete engine cycle in less than an hour. The focus of this effort was to demonstrate it is possible to produce useful Stirling engine performance results in a time-frame short enough to impact design decisions. The combination of utilizing the latest 64-bit Opteron computer processors, fiber-optical Myrinet communications, dynamic meshing, and across zone partitioning has enabled solution times at least 240 times faster than previous attempts at simulating the axisymmetric Stirling engine. A comparison of the multidimensional results, calibrated one-dimensional results, and known experimental results is shown. This preliminary comparison demonstrates that axisymmetric simulations can be very accurate, but more work remains to improve the simulations through such means as modifying the thermal equilibrium regenerator models, adding fluid-structure interactions, including radiation effects, and incorporating mechanodynamics.

  2. Component technology for Stirling power converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    1991-01-01

    NASA Lewis Research Center has organized a component technology program as part of the efforts to develop Stirling converter technology for space power applications. The Stirling Space Power Program is part of the NASA High Capacity Power Project of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). NASA Lewis is also providing technical management for the DOE/Sandia program to develop Stirling converters for solar terrestrial power producing electricity for the utility grid. The primary contractors for the space power and solar terrestrial programs develop component technologies directly related to their goals. This Lewis component technology effort, while coordinated with the main programs, aims at longer term issues, advanced technologies, and independent assessments. An overview of work on linear alternators, engine/alternator/load interactions and controls, heat exchangers, materials, life and reliability, and bearings is presented.

  3. A model regenerator for a Stirling cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carolan, James

    2001-05-01

    An essential feature of the engine patented by Robert Stirling in 1817 was the careful description of the idea of regeneration. In the standard thermodynamic cycle representation of the engine, regeneration is the storing and the reusing of the thermal energy released in the constant volume cooling part of the cycle. Due to the difficulty in treating regeneration quantitatively, introductory physics texts generally either ignore the concept or assume the regeneration to be perfect. As a result students obtain little or no understanding of regeneration. In addition there seem to be differing views in various texts about the efficiency of Stirling engines. In this work a simple finite element model regenerator is presented with which one can do simple calculations. The model does not accurately represent actual regeneration in a practical engine. But the model might help students gain better insight into Stirling engine efficiency and the idea of regeneration.

  4. The base engine for solar Stirling power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meijer, R. J.; Godett, T. M.

    1984-03-01

    A new concept in Stirling engine technology is embodied in the base engine now being developed at Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc. This is a versatile energy conversion unit suitable for many different applications and heat sources. The base engine, rated 40 kW at 2800 RPM, is a four-cylinder, double-acting variable displacement Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase and rotating shaft seal. Remote-heating technology is incorporated with a stacked-heat-exchanger configuration and a liquid metal heat pipe connected to a distinctly separate combustor or other heat source. High efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, long life, low manufacturing cost and low material cost are specifically emphasized. The base engine, its design philosophy and approach, its projected performance, and some of its more attractive applications are described.

  5. The Base Engine for Solar Stirling Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meijer, R. J.; Godett, T. M.

    1984-01-01

    A new concept in Stirling engine technology is embodied in the base engine now being developed at Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc. This is a versatile energy conversion unit suitable for many different applications and heat sources. The base engine, rated 40 kW at 2800 RPM, is a four-cylinder, double-acting variable displacement Stirling engine with pressurized crankcase and rotating shaft seal. Remote-heating technology is incorporated with a stacked-heat-exchanger configuration and a liquid metal heat pipe connected to a distinctly separate combustor or other heat source. High efficiency over a wide range of operating conditions, long life, low manufacturing cost and low material cost are specifically emphasized. The base engine, its design philosophy and approach, its projected performance, and some of its more attractive applications are described.

  6. Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    The third quarter (April-June, 1978) effort of the Ford/DOE Automotive Stirling Engine Development Program is reported, specifically Task 1 of that effort, which is Fuel Economy Assessment. At the end of this quarter the total fourth generation fuel economy projection was 26.12 MPG (gasoline) with a confidence level of 44%. This represents an improvement of 66.4% over the baseline M-H fuel economy of 15.7 MPG. The confidence level for the original 20.6 MPG goal has been increased from 53% to 57%. Engine 3X17 has accumulated a total of 213 hours of variable speed running. A summary of the individual sub-tasks of Task 1 are given. The sub-tasks are grouped into two categories: Category 1 consists of those sub-tasks which are directly related to fuel economy and Category 2 consists of those sub-tasks which are not directly related to fuel economy but are an integral part of the Task 1 effort.

  7. A compendium of solar dish/Stirling technology

    SciTech Connect

    Stine, W.B.; Diver, R.B.

    1994-01-01

    This report surveys the emerging dish/Stirling technology. It documents -- using consistent terminology the design characteristics of dish concentrators, receivers, and Stirling engines applicable to solar electric power generation. Development status and operating experience for each system and an overview of dish/Stirling technology are also presented. This report enables comparisons of concentrator, receiver, and engine technologies. Specifications and performance data are presented on systems and on components that are in use or that could be used in dish/Stirling systems. This report is organized into two parts: The first part (Chapters 1 through 4) provides an overview of dish/Stirling technology -- the dish/ Stirling components (concentrator, receiver, and engine/alternator), current technology, basic theory, and technology development. The second part (Chapters 5 through 7) provides a detailed survey of the existing dish/Stirling concentrators, receivers, and engine/alternators.

  8. System safety in Stirling engine development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankaitis, H.

    1981-01-01

    The DOE/NASA Stirling Engine Project Office has required that contractors make safety considerations an integral part of all phases of the Stirling engine development program. As an integral part of each engine design subtask, analyses are evolved to determine possible modes of failure. The accepted system safety analysis techniques (Fault Tree, FMEA, Hazards Analysis, etc.) are applied in various degrees of extent at the system, subsystem and component levels. The primary objectives are to identify critical failure areas, to enable removal of susceptibility to such failures or their effects from the system and to minimize risk.

  9. Analysis of an idealized Stirling thermocompressor

    SciTech Connect

    Kornhauser, A.A.

    1996-12-31

    A thermocompressor uses thermal energy to increase the pressure of a fluid without the intermediate production of mechanical work. The thermocompressor described here is essentially a cold-connected Gamma Stirling engine with the power cylinder replaced by inlet and discharge check valves. It is analyzed based on assumptions similar to those made in the analysis of an ideal Stirling engine. The analysis gives closed form predictions for thermocompressor thermal efficiency, volumetric efficiency, and non-dimensional heat input as functions of pressure and temperature ratio. It is also used to compare thermocompressor performance to that of an ideal Otto engine-driven mechanical compressor.

  10. Stirling laboratory research engine survey report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, J. W.; Hoehn, F. W.

    1979-01-01

    As one step in expanding the knowledge relative to and accelerating the development of Stirling engines, NASA, through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is sponsoring a program which will lead to a versatile Stirling Laboratory Research Engine (SLRE). An objective of this program is to lay the groundwork for a commercial version of this engine. It is important to consider, at an early stage in the engine's development, the needs of the potential users so that the SLRE can support the requirements of educators and researchers in academic, industrial, and government laboratories. For this reason, a survey was performed, the results of which are described.

  11. Free piston space Stirling technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, G. R.; Dhar, M.

    1989-01-01

    MTI recently completed an initial technology feasibility program for NASA by designing, fabricating and testing a space power demonstrator engine (SPDE). This program, which confirms the potential of free-piston Stirling engines, provided the major impetus to initiate a free-piston Stirling space engine (SSE) technology program. The accomplishments of the SPDE program are reviewed, and an overview of the SSE technology program and technical status to date is provided. It is shown that progress in both programs continues to justify its potential for either nuclear or solar space power missions.

  12. Phase-angle controller for Stirling engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcdougal, A. R. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    An actuator includes a restraint link adapted to be connected with a pivotal carrier arm for a force transfer gear interposed between the crankshaft for an expander portion of a Stirling engine and a crankshaft for the displacer portion of the engine. The restraint link is releasably trapped hydraulic fluid for selectively establishing a phase angle relationship between the crankshaft. A second embodiment incorporates a hydraulic coupler for use in varying the phase angle of gear-coupled crank fpr a Stirling engine whereby phase angle changes are obtainable.

  13. Commercial Superconducting Electron Linac for Radioisotope Production

    SciTech Connect

    Grimm, Terry Lee; Boulware, Charles H.; Hollister, Jerry L.; Jecks, Randall W.; Mamtimin, Mayir; Starovoitova, Valeriia

    2015-08-13

    The majority of radioisotopes used in the United States today come from foreign suppliers or are generated parasitically in large government accelerators and nuclear reactors. Both of these restrictions limit the availability of radioisotopes and discourage the development and evaluation of new isotopes and for nuclear medicine, science, and industry. Numerous studies have been recommending development of dedicated accelerators for production of radioisotopes for over 20 years (Institute of Medicine, 1995; Reba, et al, 2000; National Research Council, 2007; NSAC 2009). The 2015 NSAC Long Range Plan for Isotopes again identified electron accelerators as an area for continued research and development. Recommendation 1(c) from the 2015 NSAC Isotope report specifically identifies electron accelerators for continued funding for the purpose of producing medical and industrial radioisotopes. Recognizing the pressing need for new production methods of radioisotopes, the United States Congress passed the American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2012 to develop a domestic production of 99Mo and to eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the production of 99Mo. One of the advantages of high power electron linear accelerators (linacs) is they can create both proton- and neutron-rich isotopes by generating high energy x-rays that knock out protons or neutrons from stable atoms or by fission of uranium. This allows for production of isotopes not possible in nuclear reactors. Recent advances in superconducting electron linacs have decreased the size and complexity of these systems such that they are economically competitive with nuclear reactors and large, high energy accelerators. Niowave, Inc. has been developing a radioisotope production facility based on a superconducting electron linac with liquid metal converters.

  14. Status of the advanced Stirling conversion system project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    Technology development for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications is discussed. Space power requirements include high reliability with very long life, low vibration, and high system efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although these applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. The advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) project at NASA Lewis Research Center is described. Each system design features a solar receiver/liquid metal heat transport system and a free-piston Stirling convertor with a means to provide nominally 25 kW of electric power to utility grid while meeting the US Department of Energy (DOE) performance and long term cost goals. The design is compared with other ASCS designs.

  15. Investigation of the excitation functions for some medical radioisotopes production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kılınç, Fatma; Karpuz, Nurdan; Çetin, Betül

    2016-11-01

    One of the main application fields of nuclear technology is medicine and radioisotopes are used in medicine. Production of those radioisotopes is important and in the production processes the cross section must be known. All the production of radioisotope used in medicine is based on the nuclear reactions means they are not natural. The decay time of produced radioisotopes is important as from production to hospital can take time and thus generally generator is used to produce some radioisotopes. Radioisotopes are widely produced in reactors or cyclotron type accelerator. Type of radioisotopes direct way to be used in production processes. Thus obtaining of cross section becomes crucial. For this purposes the theoretical calculation cross section of some radioisotopes used in medicine will be calculated in this study. The calculations will be done using Monte Carlo code of TALYS 1.6

  16. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1982

    SciTech Connect

    Richards, M.P.

    1983-08-01

    The radioisotope production and distribution activities by facilities at Argonne National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory, Idaho Operations Office, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Savannah River Laboratory, and UNC Nuclear Industries, Inc. are listed. The information is divided into five sections: isotope suppliers, facility, contacts, and isotopes or services supplied; alphabetical list of customers, and isotopes purchased; alphabetical list of isotopes cross-referenced to customs numbers; geographical location of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers-FY 1982. (MHR)

  17. Status of the Advanced Stirling Conversion System Project for 25 kW dish Stirling applications

    SciTech Connect

    Shaltens, R.K.; Schreiber, J.G.

    1991-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising heat engines for terrestrial applications. The Stirling engine also has the potential to meet DOE's performance and cost goals. The NASA Lewis Research Center is conducting technology development for Stirling convertors directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power requirements include high reliability with very long life, low vibration and high system efficiency. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for future high power space conversion systems, either nuclear or solar powered. Although both applications appear to be quite different, their requirements complement each other. NASA Lewis is providing management of the Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project through an Interagency Agreement (IAA) with the DOE. Parallel contracts continue with both Cummins Engine Company (CEC), Columbus, Indiana, and Stirling Technology Company (STC), Richland, Washington for the designs of an ASCS. Each system'' design features a solar receiver/liquid metal heat transport system, and a free-piston Stirling convertor with a means to provide nominally 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long-term'' cost goals. The Cummins free- piston Stirling convertor incorporates a linear alternator to directly provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both the Cummins and STC ASCS designs will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's. 17 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. Structure and manual of radioisotope-production data base, ISOP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hata, Kentaro; Terunuma, Kusuo

    1994-02-01

    We planned on collecting the information of radioisotope production which was obtained from research works and tasks at the Department of Radioisotopes in JAERI, and constructed a proto-type data base ISOP after discussion of the kinds and properties of the information available for radioisotope production. In this report the structure and the manual of ISOP are described.

  19. Materials technology for Stirling space power converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baggenstoss, William; Mittendorf, Donald

    1992-01-01

    This program was conducted in support of the NASA LeRC development of the Stirling power converter (SPC) for space power applications. The objectives of this contract were: (1) to perform a technology review and analyses to support the evaluation of materials issues for the SPC; (2) to evaluate liquid metal compatibility issues of the SPC; (3) to evaluate and define a transient liquid phase diffusion bonding (TLPDB) process for the SPC joints to the Udimet 720 heater head; and (4) to evaluate alternative (to the TLPDB) joining techniques. In the technology review, several aspects of the current Stirling design were examined including the power converter assembly process, materials joining, gas bearings, and heat exchangers. The supporting analyses included GLIMPS power converter simulation in support of the materials studies, and system level analysis in support of the technology review. The liquid metal compatibility study evaluated process parameters for use in the Stirling power converter. The alternative joining techniques study looked at the applicability of various joining techniques to the Stirling power converter requirements.

  20. Two piston V-type Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Corey, John A.

    1987-01-01

    A two piston Stirling engine which includes a heat exchanger arrangement placing the cooler and regenerator directly adjacent the compression space for minimal cold duct volume; a sealing arrangement which eliminates the need for piston seals, crossheads and piston rods; and a simplified power control system.

  1. V160 Stirling engine program update

    SciTech Connect

    Johansson, L.; Torstensson, B.; Williams, T. Y.; Houtman, W.H.; Monahan, R.

    1988-01-01

    Development efforts being made toward the preproduction stage of the V160 Stirling engine are examined. The history of continued reliability encompassing all engine models is reviewed, and efforts towards engine manufacturing and cost reduction are addressed. A preview is given of the initial product line based on the V160 engine and substantiated through testing of the offered configurations.

  2. Piston rod seal for a Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Shapiro, Wilbur

    1984-01-01

    In a piston rod seal for a Stirling engine, a hydrostatic bearing and differential pressure regulating valve are utilized to provide for a low pressure differential across a rubbing seal between the hydrogen and oil so as to reduce wear on the seal.

  3. NASA Lewis Stirling engine computer code evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, T.J.

    1989-01-01

    In support of the US Department of Energy's Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems program, the NASA Lewis Stirling engine performance code was evaluated by comparing code predictions without engine-specific calibration factors to GPU-3, P-40, and RE-1000 Stirling engine test data. The error in predicting power output was /minus/11 percent for the P-40 and 12 percent for the RE-1000 at design conditions and 16 percent for the GPU-3 at near-design conditions (2000 rpm engine speed versus 3000 rpm at design). The efficiency and heat input predictions showed better agreement with engine test data than did the power predictions. Concerning all data points, the error in predicting the GPU-3 brake power was significantly larger than for the other engines and was mainly a result of inaccuracy in predicting the pressure phase angle. Analysis into this pressure phase angle prediction error suggested that improvement to the cylinder hysteresis loss model could have a significant effect on overall Stirling engine performance predictions. 13 refs., 26 figs., 3 tabs.

  4. Experimental research on the Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ishizaki, Y.; Tani, Y.; Haramura, N.

    1982-01-01

    Experiments on Stirling engines of the 50 KW class were conducted to clarify the characteristics of the engine and its problems. The problems involve durability of the high temperature heat exchanger which is exposed to high flame temperatures above 1600 C, thermal distortion and high temperature corrosion of the devices near combustion, and of the preheater.

  5. Double acting stirling engine piston ring

    DOEpatents

    Howarth, Roy B.

    1986-01-01

    A piston ring design for a Stirling engine wherein the contact pressure between the piston and the cylinder is maintained at a uniform level, independent of engine conditions through a balancing of the pressure exerted upon the ring's surface and thereby allowing the contact pressure on the ring to be predetermined through the use of a preloaded expander ring.

  6. The Stirling Lesson-Sampling Instruments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, D. R.

    A long-term Leverhulme Research Project was established at Stirling University in 1970 to investigate the potential of microteaching as a major ingredient in the preparation of graduate high school teachers in Scotland. Members of the research team developed systematic observation schedules for each of the skills, in order to sharpen the focus of…

  7. Quirks of Stirling's Approximation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Macrae, Roderick M.; Allgeier, Benjamin M.

    2013-01-01

    Stirling's approximation to ln "n"! is typically introduced to physical chemistry students as a step in the derivation of the statistical expression for the entropy. However, naive application of this approximation leads to incorrect conclusions. In this article, the problem is first illustrated using a familiar "toy…

  8. Measurements with a recuperative superfluid Stirling refrigerator

    SciTech Connect

    Watanabe, A.; Swift, G.W.; Brisson, J.G.

    1995-08-01

    A superfluid Stirling refrigerator cooled to 168 mK using a 4.9% {sup 3}He- {sup 4}He mixture and exhausting its waste heat at 383 mK. Cooling power versus temperature and speed is presented for 4.9%, 17%, and 36% mixtures. At the highest concentration, a dissipation mechanism of unknown origin is observed.

  9. Computer program for Stirling engine performance calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, R. C., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    The thermodynamic characteristics of the Stirling engine were analyzed and modeled on a computer to support its development as a possible alternative to the automobile spark ignition engine. The computer model is documented. The documentation includes a user's manual, symbols list, a test case, comparison of model predictions with test results, and a description of the analytical equations used in the model.

  10. The Stirling cycle and cryogenic refrigerators

    SciTech Connect

    Louie, B.; Radebaugh, R.

    1984-08-01

    This paper reviews the principles and techniques used in cryogenic refrigeration, with particular emphasis on small cryocoolers. Several thermodynamic cycles used in cryocoolers are discussed, as are the design requirements, applications, and current areas of research. The important features of the Stirling cycle used as a prime mover or refrigerator are compared.

  11. NASA Lewis Stirling engine computer code evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, Timothy J.

    1989-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Department of Energy's Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems program, the NASA Lewis Stirling engine performance code was evaluated by comparing code predictions without engine-specific calibration factors to GPU-3, P-40, and RE-1000 Stirling engine test data. The error in predicting power output was -11 percent for the P-40 and 12 percent for the Re-1000 at design conditions and 16 percent for the GPU-3 at near-design conditions (2000 rpm engine speed versus 3000 rpm at design). The efficiency and heat input predictions showed better agreement with engine test data than did the power predictions. Concerning all data points, the error in predicting the GPU-3 brake power was significantly larger than for the other engines and was mainly a result of inaccuracy in predicting the pressure phase angle. Analysis into this pressure phase angle prediction error suggested that improvements to the cylinder hysteresis loss model could have a significant effect on overall Stirling engine performance predictions.

  12. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Burlison, J.S.

    1980-06-01

    The fifteenth edition of the radioisotope customer list was prepared at the request of the Division of Financial Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Environment, Department of Energy (DOE). This document lists DOE's radioisotope production and distribution activities by its facilities at Argonne National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest Laboratory; Brookhaven National Laboratory; Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory; Idaho Operations Office; Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory; Mound Facility; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Rocky Flats Area Office; Savannah River Laboratory; and UNC Nuclear Industries, Inc. The information is divided into five sections: Isotope suppliers, facility, contracts and isotopes or services supplied; alphabetical list of customers, and isotopes purchased; alphabetical list of isotopes cross-referenced to customer numbers; geographical location of radioisotope customers; and radioisotope sales and transfers-FY 1979.

  13. List of DOE radioisotope customers with summary of radioisotope shipments, FY 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Burlison, J.S.

    1981-08-01

    The sixteenth edition of the radioisotope customer list was prepared at the request of the Office of Health and Environmental Research, Office of energy Research, Department of Energy (DOE). This document lists DOE's radioisotope production and distribution activities by its facilities at Argonne National Laboratory; Pacific Northwest Laboratory; Brookhaven National Laboraory; Hanford Engineering Development Laboratory; Idaho Operations Office; Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory; Mound Facility; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Savannah River Laboratory; and UNC Nuclear Industries, Inc. The information is divided into five sections: (1) isotope suppliers, facility, contracts and isotopes or services supplied; (2) alphabetical list of customers, and isotopes purchased; (3) alphabetical list of isotopes cross-referenced to customer numbers; (4) geographical location of radioisotope customers; and (5) radioisotope sales and transfers-FY 1980.

  14. Radioisotopes as Political Instruments, 1946-1953.

    PubMed

    Creager, Angela N H

    2009-01-01

    The development of nuclear "piles," soon called reactors, in the Manhattan Project provided a new technology for manufacturing radioactive isotopes. Radioisotopes, unstable variants of chemical elements that give off detectable radiation upon decay, were available in small amounts for use in research and therapy before World War II. In 1946, the U.S. government began utilizing one of its first reactors, dubbed X-10 at Oak Ridge, as a production facility for radioisotopes available for purchase to civilian institutions. This program of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was meant to exemplify the peacetime dividends of atomic energy. The numerous requests from scientists outside the United States, however, sparked a political debate about whether the Commission should or even could export radioisotopes. This controversy manifested the tension in U.S. politics between scientific internationalism as a tool of diplomacy, associated with the aims of the Marshall Plan, and the desire to safeguard the country's atomic monopoly at all costs, linked to American anti-Communism. This essay examines the various ways in which radioisotopes were used as political instruments-both by the U.S. federal government in world affairs, and by critics of the civilian control of atomic energy-in the early Cold War.

  15. Safety monitoring system for radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zoltan, A.

    1973-01-01

    System alerts personnel of hazards which may develop while they are performing tests on radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). Remedial action is initiated to minimize damage. Five operating conditions are monitored: hot junction temperature, cold junction temperature, thermal shroud coolant flow, vacuum in test chamber, and alpha radiation.

  16. Radioisotopes in management of metastatic prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Raval, Amar; Dan, Tu D.; Williams, Noelle L.; Pridjian, Andrew; Den, Robert B.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Metastatic prostate cancer continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in men with prostate cancer. Over the last decade, the treatment landscape for patients with castrate-resistant disease has drastically changed, with several novel agents demonstrating an improvement in overall survival in large, multi-institutional randomized trials. Traditional treatment with radioisotopes has largely been in the palliative setting. However, the first in class radiopharmaceutical radium-223 has emerged as the only bone-directed treatment option demonstrating an improvement in overall survival. Methods: Medline publications from 1990 to 2016 were searched and reviewed to assess the use of currently approved radioisotopes in the management of prostate cancer including emerging data regarding integration with novel systemic therapies. New positron emission tomography-based radiotracers for advanced molecular imaging of prostate cancer were also queried. Results: Radioisotopes play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in the definitive and metastatic setting. Molecular imaging of prostate cancer and theranostics are currently being investigated in the clinical arena. Conclusions: The use of modern radioisotopes in selected patients with mCRPC is associated with improvements in overall survival, pain control, and quality of life. PMID:27843209

  17. ILLUSTRATIONS OF RADIOISOTOPES--DEFINITIONS AND APPLICATIONS.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atomic Energy Commission, Oak Ridge, TN. Div. of Technical Information.

    THIS PUBLICATION IS COMPOSED OF OVER 150 PAGES OF BLACK AND WHITE ILLUSTRATIONS DEALING WITH RADIOISOTOPES AND THEIR USES. THESE ILLUSTRATIONS CONSIST OF CHARTS, GRAPHS, AND PICTORIAL REPRESENTATIONS WHICH COULD BE PREPARED AS HANDOUTS, TRANSPARENCIES FOR OVERHEAD PROJECTION, OR WHICH COULD BE USED IN A NUMBER OF OTHER WAYS FOR PRESENTING SUCH…

  18. Radioisotopes as Political Instruments, 1946–1953

    PubMed Central

    Creager, Angela N. H.

    2009-01-01

    The development of nuclear “piles,” soon called reactors, in the Manhattan Project provided a new technology for manufacturing radioactive isotopes. Radioisotopes, unstable variants of chemical elements that give off detectable radiation upon decay, were available in small amounts for use in research and therapy before World War II. In 1946, the U.S. government began utilizing one of its first reactors, dubbed X-10 at Oak Ridge, as a production facility for radioisotopes available for purchase to civilian institutions. This program of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was meant to exemplify the peacetime dividends of atomic energy. The numerous requests from scientists outside the United States, however, sparked a political debate about whether the Commission should or even could export radioisotopes. This controversy manifested the tension in U.S. politics between scientific internationalism as a tool of diplomacy, associated with the aims of the Marshall Plan, and the desire to safeguard the country’s atomic monopoly at all costs, linked to American anti-Communism. This essay examines the various ways in which radioisotopes were used as political instruments—both by the U.S. federal government in world affairs, and by critics of the civilian control of atomic energy—in the early Cold War. PMID:20725612

  19. Radioisotope thermal generator (RTG) power conditioner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stacey, W. S.

    1974-01-01

    New regulator: (a) permits operation with high-impedance radioisotope thermal generators at conversion efficiencies typically above 90%; (b) does not require input filtering; (c) eliminates current spiking; and (d) is simple, efficient, and reliable. Converter-charger pair could be adapted for other power levels by changing transistor, diode, capacitor bank, and inductor.

  20. An experimental study on a model Stirling engine car

    SciTech Connect

    Sohma, Yutaka; Wu, Chungming; Isshiki, Seita; Ushiyama, Izumi

    1999-07-01

    A Stirling engine is a mechanical device that operates on a closed regenerative thermodynamic cycle, with cyclic compression and expansion of the working fluid at different temperature levels. The flow is controlled by volume changes, and there exists a net conversion of the heat to work. Stirling engines are ideally suited to off-grid electric power generation because of their multi-fuel capability, potentially high efficiency and low noise. The first model Stirling Techno-rally was held in August 1997 for further promotion of the clean and quiet Stirling engine as one of the Centennial Anniversary events of JSME. In the race, more than one hundred cars competed for the time on a course of 13 meters length and 30 centimeters width. In Ashikaga Institute of Technology, a model Stirling engine car Ashikaga Gekkoh was made for this event. In this paper the authors report on this model car that won the championship of the Stirling Techno-rally.

  1. Non-heat pipe receiver/p-40 Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haglund, R. A.

    1981-01-01

    The technology for a full-up hybrid dish-Stirling Solar Thermal Power system is discussed. Overall solar-to-electric efficiency for the dish-Stirling system demonstration is approximately 30%. Hybrid operation is provided by fossil fuel combustion augmentation, which enables the Stirling engine to operate continuously at constant speed and power, regardless of insolation level, thus providing the capability to operate on cloudy days and at night.

  2. Structural design of Stirling engine with free pistons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matusov, Jozef; Gavlas, Stanislav; Malcho, Milan

    2014-08-01

    Stirling engine is a device that converts thermal energy to mechanical work, which is mostly used to drive a generator of electricity. Advantage of Stirling engine is that it works with closed-cycle, where working medium is regularly cooled and heated, which acts on the working piston. This engine can be made in three modifications - alpha, beta, gamma. This paper discusses the design of the gamma Stirling engine with free pistons.

  3. A stirling engine computer model for performance calculations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, R.; Jefferies, K.; Miao, D.

    1978-01-01

    To support the development of the Stirling engine as a possible alternative to the automobile spark-ignition engine, the thermodynamic characteristics of the Stirling engine were analyzed and modeled on a computer. The modeling techniques used are presented. The performance of an existing rhombic-drive Stirling engine was simulated by use of this computer program, and some typical results are presented. Engine tests are planned in order to evaluate this model.

  4. Alternative Radioisotopes for Heat and Power Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinsley, T.; Sarsfield, M.; Rice, T.

    Production of 238Pu requires considerable facilities including a nuclear reactor and reprocessing plants that are very expensive to build and operate. Thus, a more economical alternative is very attractive to the industry. There are many alternative radioisotopes that exist but few that satisfy the criteria of performance, availability and cost to produce. Any alternative to 238Pu must exist in a chemical form that is compatible with the materials required to safely encapsulate the heat source at the high temperatures of operation and potential launch failure scenarios. The chemical form must also have suitable thermal properties to ensure maximum energy conversion efficiencies when integrated into radioisotope thermoelectric generators over the required mission durations. In addition, the radiation dose must be low enough for operators during production and not so prohibitive that excessive shielding mass is required on the space craft. This paper will focus on the preferred European alternative of 241Am, and the issues that will need to be addressed.

  5. Reactors are indispensable for radioisotope production.

    PubMed

    Mushtaq, Ahmad

    2010-12-01

    Radioisotopes can be produced by reactors and accelerators. For certain isotopes there could be an advantage to a certain production method. However, nowadays many reports suggest, that useful isotopes needed in medicine, industry and research could be produced efficiently and dependence on reactors using enriched U-235 may be eliminated. In my view reactors and accelerators will continue to play their role side by side in the supply of suitable and economical sources of isotopes.

  6. Stirling Colgate and Gamma-Ray Bursts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lamb, Donald

    2014-10-01

    Even before the discovery of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), Stirling Colgate proposed that bursts of x rays and gamma rays might be produced by a relativistic shock created in the supernova explosion of a massive star. We trace the scientific story of GRBs from their detection to the present, highlighting along the way Stirling's interest in them and his efforts to understand them. We summarize our current understanding that short, soft, repeating bursts are produced by magnetic neutron stars; short, hard bursts are produced by the mergers of neutron star-neutron star binaries; and long, hard bursts are produced by the core collapse of massive stars that have lost their hydrogen and helium envelopes. We then discuss some important open questions about GRBs and how they might be answered. We conclude by describing the recent serendipitous discovery of an x-ray burst of exactly the kind he proposed, and the insights into core collapse supernovae and GRBs that it provided.

  7. Improved Stirling engine performance using jet impingement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, D. C.; Britt, E. J.; Thieme, L. G.

    1982-01-01

    Of the many factors influencing the performance of a Stirling engine, that of transferring the combustion gas heat into the working fluid is crucial. By utilizing the high heat transfer rates obtainable with a jet impingement heat transfer system, it is possible to reduce the flame temperature required for engine operation. Also, the required amount of heater tube surface area may be reduced, resulting in a decrease in the engine nonswept volume and a related increase in engine efficiency. A jet impingement heat transfer system was designed by Rasor Associates, Inc., and tested in the GPU-3 Stirling engine at the NASA Lewis Research Center. For a small penalty in pumping power (less than 0.5% of engine output) the jet impingement heat transfer system provided a higher combustion-gas-side heat transfer coefficient and a smoothing of heater temperature profiles resulting in lower combustion system temperatures and a 5 to 8% increase in engine power output and efficiency.

  8. Composite Matrix Regenerator for Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knowles, Timothy R.

    1997-01-01

    This project concerns the design, fabrication and testing of carbon regenerators for use in Stirling power convertors. Radial fiber design with nonmetallic components offers a number of potential advantages over conventional steel regenerators: reduced conduction and pressure drop losses, and the capability for higher temperature, higher frequency operation. Diverse composite fabrication methods are explored and lessons learned are summarized. A pulsed single-blow test rig has been developed that has been used for generating thermal effectiveness data for different flow velocities. Carbon regenerators have been fabricated by carbon vapor infiltration of electroflocked preforms. Performance data in a small Stirling engine are obtained. Prototype regenerators designed for the BP-1000 power convertor were fabricated and delivered to NASA-Lewis.

  9. Stirling engine supporting research and technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomazic, W. A.

    1985-01-01

    The supporting research and technology effort is intended to provide technical support to the current engine program and also to investigate advanced concepts for the next generation of Stirling engines. Technical areas represented are: seals, materials, engine experiments, combustion, system analysis, cseramics, and tribology. A collage of more recent work in each area is presented. Under seals, analysis and some experimental data on the effect of wear on rod seal performance is presented. The material work described concerns the effect of water content on hydrogen permeation. Results of experiments with the Philips' Advenco engine are presented. A comparison is made of two combustor nozzles, an air atomizing and an ultrasonic atomizing nozzle. A new venture in systems analysis to provide more rigorous Stirling engine simulation is discussed. The results of hydrogen corrosion tests on silicon carbide are presented. Friction and wear tests on candidate materials for engine hot ring tests are discussed.

  10. NEW DIRECTIONS IN RADIOISOTOPE SPECTRUM IDENTIFICATION

    SciTech Connect

    Salaymeh, S.; Jeffcoat, R.

    2010-06-17

    Recent studies have found the performance of commercial handheld detectors with automatic RIID software to be less than acceptable. Previously, we have explored approaches rooted in speech processing such as cepstral features and information-theoretic measures. Scientific advances are often made when researchers identify mathematical or physical commonalities between different fields and are able to apply mature techniques or algorithms developed in one field to another field which shares some of the same challenges. The authors of this paper have identified similarities between the unsolved problems faced in gamma-spectroscopy for automated radioisotope identification and the challenges of the much larger body of research in speech processing. Our research has led to a probabilistic framework for describing and solving radioisotope identification problems. Many heuristic approaches to classification in current use, including for radioisotope classification, make implicit probabilistic assumptions which are not clear to the users and, if stated explicitly, might not be considered desirable. Our framework leads to a classification approach with demonstrable improvements using standard feature sets on proof-of-concept simulated and field-collected data.

  11. Stirling engine with air working fluid

    DOEpatents

    Corey, John A.

    1985-01-01

    A Stirling engine capable of utilizing air as a working fluid which includes a compact heat exchange module which includes heating tube units, regenerator and cooler positioned about the combustion chamber. This arrangement has the purpose and effect of allowing the construction of an efficient, high-speed, high power-density engine without the use of difficult to seal light gases as working fluids.

  12. Design of applicative 100 W Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Kagawa, Noboru; Hirata, Koichi; Takeuchi, Makoto

    1995-12-31

    A small 100 W displacer type Stirling engine is being developed under a project of a JSME committee, RC127. The project consists of sixteen Japanese academic researchers of universities and governmental laboratories and eleven enterprise members related to the Stirling field. The engine has very unique features. Its expansion cylinder is heated by combustion gas or solar energy directly, and a simple cooling system rejects heat from the working fluid. A regenerator is built in the displacer piston with heating and cooling tubes in which the working fluid flows from/to outer tubes. The outer tubes for heating were located at the top of the expansion cylinder and the tubes for cooling are in the middle of the cylinder. The target performance is a 100 W output with 20% thermal efficiency at the operating conditions of 923 K expansion space temperature, 343 K compression space temperature, and 1,000 rpm. The 100 W displacer engine was designed based on a design manual established by a related JSME committee, RC110. It contains several guides to design for cycle, heat exchanger system, and mechanism of most Stirling cycle machines. The engine was designed by using the fundamental method, the second and third-order analyses accomplished with the newly arranged knowledge about each component. This paper presents the engine specifications and the theoretical analysis results. The design method is also introduced briefly.

  13. A 1050 K Stirling space engine design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penswick, L. Barry

    1988-01-01

    As part of the NASA CSTI High Capacity Power Program on Conversion Systems for Nuclear Applications, Sunpower, Inc. completed for NASA Lewis a reference design of a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling engine that is optimized for the lifetimes and temperatures appropriate for space applications. The NASA effort is part of the overall SP-100 program which is a combined DOD/DOE/NASA project to develop nuclear power for space. Stirling engines have been identified as a growth option for SP-100 offering increased power output and lower system mass and radiator area. Superalloy materials are used in the 1050 K hot end of the engine; the engine temperature ratio is 2.0. The engine design features simplified heat exchangers with heat input by sodium heat pipes, hydrodynamic gas bearings, a permanent magnet linear alternator, and a dynamic balance system. The design shows an efficiency (including the alternator) of 29 percent and a specific mass of 5.7 kg/kW. This design also represents a significant step toward the 1300 K refractory Stirling engine which is another growth option of SP-100.

  14. Stirling System Modeling for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2008-01-01

    A dynamic model of a high-power Stirling convertor has been developed for space nuclear power systems modeling. The model is based on the Component Test Power Convertor (CTPC), a 12.5-kWe free-piston Stirling convertor. The model includes the fluid heat source, the Stirling convertor, output power, and heat rejection. The Stirling convertor model includes the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass-spring damper systems, and the linear alternator. The model was validated against test data. Both nonlinear and linear versions of the model were developed. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models; one model of the Stirling cycle and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. Future possible uses of the Stirling system dynamic model are discussed. A pair of commercially available 1-kWe Stirling convertors is being purchased by NASA Glenn Research Center. The specifications of those convertors may eventually be incorporated into the dynamic model and analysis compared to the convertor test data. Subsequent potential testing could include integrating the convertors into a pumped liquid metal hot-end interface. This test would provide more data for comparison to the dynamic model analysis.

  15. Solar Stirling receiver alternatives for the terrestrial solar application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J.

    1986-01-01

    Concept studies have been completed for four dish-Stirling receivers, i.e., solar only and thermal storage receiver, each of which is either directly coupled or indirectly (heat pipe) coupled to the Stirling engine. The results of these studies are to be applied to systems benefit/cost analysis to determine the most desirable development approach.

  16. Stirling engines. (Latest citations from the Aerospace database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-09-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning fuel consumption, engine design and testing, computerized simulation, and lubrication systems relative to the Stirling cycle engine. Solar energy conversion research, thermodynamic efficiency, economics, and utilization for power generation and automobile engines are included. Materials used in Stirling engines are briefly evaluated. (Contains 250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  17. On-Board Hydrogen Gas Production System For Stirling Engines

    DOEpatents

    Johansson, Lennart N.

    2004-06-29

    A hydrogen production system for use in connection with Stirling engines. The production system generates hydrogen working gas and periodically supplies it to the Stirling engine as its working fluid in instances where loss of such working fluid occurs through usage through operation of the associated Stirling engine. The hydrogen gas may be generated by various techniques including electrolysis and stored by various means including the use of a metal hydride absorbing material. By controlling the temperature of the absorbing material, the stored hydrogen gas may be provided to the Stirling engine as needed. A hydrogen production system for use in connection with Stirling engines. The production system generates hydrogen working gas and periodically supplies it to the Stirling engine as its working fluid in instances where loss of such working fluid occurs through usage through operation of the associated Stirling engine. The hydrogen gas may be generated by various techniques including electrolysis and stored by various means including the use of a metal hydride absorbing material. By controlling the temperature of the absorbing material, the stored hydrogen gas may be provided to the Stirling engine as needed.

  18. Trends in dish-Stirling solar receiver designs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diver, R. B.; Andraka, C. E.; Moreno, J. B.; Adkins, D. R.; Moss, T. A.

    The dish-Stirling solar energy system, because of its high efficiency, is a leading candidate for producing low cost electric power from the sun. Dish-Stirling receiver design involves dealing with non-uniform and highly concentrated solar flux at high temperatures (700 to 800 C) and, therefore, presents a variety of technical challenges. The technology is in the process of evolving from directly illuminated heater head tube receivers to receivers that use refluxing (i.e., gravity assisted) liquid metals as an intermediate heat transfer fluid. Modern dish-Stirling development was initiated in the late 1970s by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Department of Energy. The JPL technology development with United Stirling, Inc. involved the USAB 4.95 Stirling engine and directly illuminated heater-head tube receivers. This work eventually led to the successful demonstrations and world record efficiencies by Advanco Corp., and to the attempted commercialization of the technology by McDonnell Douglas Corp. The severe nature of concentrated solar flux and the potential advantages of heat pipe technology have caused an evolution toward reflux receivers. These receivers are just beginning to be tested in the laboratory and integrated with dish-Stirling systems. In this paper, the history and current status of dish-Stirling receiver development are presented and discussed. The technical challenges to be addressed by the dish-Stirling community and the future plans at Sandia are outlined.

  19. Stirling System Modeling for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2007-01-01

    A dynamic model of a high-power Stirling convertor has been developed for space nuclear power systems modeling. The model is based on the Component Test Power Convertor (CTPC), a 12.5-kWe free-piston Stirling convertor. The model includes the fluid heat source, the Stirling convertor, output power and heat rejection. The Stirling convertor model includes the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, mechanical mass-spring damper systems, and the linear alternator. The model was validated against test data. Both nonlinear and linear versions of the model were developed. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models; one model of the Stirling cycle and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. Future possible uses of the Stirling system dynamic model are discussed. A pair of commercially available 1-kWe Stirling convertors is being purchased by NASA Glenn Research Center. The specifications of those convertors may eventually be incorporated into the dynamic model and analysis compared to the convertor test data. Subsequent potential testing could include integrating the convertors into a pumped liquid metal hot-end interface. This test would provide more data for comparison to the dynamic model analysis.

  20. Tests Of A Stirling-Engine Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dochat, George

    1995-01-01

    Report describes acceptance tests of power converter consisting of pair of opposed free-piston Stirling engines driving linear alternators. Stirling engines offer potential for extremely long life, high reliability, high efficiency at low hot-to-cold temperature ratios, and relatively low heater-head temperatures.

  1. Automotive Stirling Engine Mod 1 Design Review, Volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Risk assessment, safety analysis of the automotive stirling engine (ASE) mod I, design criteria and materials properties for the ASE mod I and reference engines, combustion are flower development, and the mod I engine starter motor are discussed. The stirling engine system, external heat system, hot engine system, cold engine system, and engine drive system are also discussed.

  2. Dish/Stirling for Department of Defense applications final report

    SciTech Connect

    Diver, R.B.; Menicucci, D.F.

    1997-03-01

    This report describes a Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) project to field a dish/Stirling system at a southwestern US military facility. This project entitled ``Dish/Stirling for DoD Applications`` was started in August 1993 and was completed in September 1996. The project`s objective was to assist military facilities to field and evaluate emerging environmentally sound and potentially economical dish/Stirling technology. Dish/Stirling technology has the potential to produce electricity at competitive costs while at the same time providing a secure and environmentally benign source of power. In accordance with the SERDP charter, this project leveraged a US Department of Energy (DOE) cost-shared project between Sandia National Laboratories and Cummins Power Generation, Inc. (CPG). CPG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cummins Engine Company, a leading manufacturer of diesel engines. To accomplish this objective, the project called for the installation of a dish/Stirling system at a military facility to establish first-hand experience in the operation of a dish/Stirling system. To scope the potential DoD market for dish/Stirling technology and to identify the site for the demonstration, a survey of southwestern US military facilities was also conducted. This report describes the project history, the Cummins dish/Stirling system, results from the military market survey, and the field test results.

  3. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Performance Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore; Wilson, Scott

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG Project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). For this purpose, four pairs of ASCs capable of operating to 850 C and designated with the model number ASC-E2, were delivered by Sunpower of Athens, Ohio, to GRC in 2010. The ASC-E2s underwent a series of tests that included workmanship vibration testing, performance mapping, and extended operation. Workmanship vibration testing was performed following fabrication of each convertor to verify proper hardware build. Performance mapping consisted of operating each convertor at various conditions representing the range expected during a mission. Included were conditions representing beginning-of-mission (BOM), end-of-mission (EOM), and fueling. This same series of tests was performed by Sunpower prior to ASC-E2 delivery. The data generated during the GRC test were compared to performance before delivery. Extended operation consisted of a 500-hr period of operation with conditions maintained at the BOM point. This was performed to demonstrate steady convertor performance following performance mapping. Following this initial 500-hr period, the ASC-E2s will continue extended operation, controller development and special durability testing, during which the goal is to accumulate tens of thousands of hours of operation. Data collected during extended operation will support reliability analysis. Performance data from these tests is summarized in this paper.

  4. Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC-E2) Performance Testing at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore; Wilson, Scott

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG Project is providing life, reliability, and performance testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). For this purpose, four pairs of ASCs capable of operating to 850 C and designated with the model number ASC-E2, were delivered by Sunpower of Athens, OH, to GRC in 2010. The ASC-E2s underwent a series of tests that included workmanship vibration testing, performance mapping, and extended operation. Workmanship vibration testing was performed following fabrication of each convertor to verify proper hardware build. Performance mapping consisted of operating each convertor at various conditions representing the range expected during a mission. Included were conditions representing beginning-of-mission (BOM), end-of-mission (EOM), and fueling. This same series of tests was performed by Sunpower prior to ASC-E2 delivery. The data generated during the GRC test were compared to performance before delivery. Extended operation consisted of a 500-hour period of operation with conditions maintained at the BOM point. This was performed to demonstrate steady convertor performance following performance mapping. Following this initial 500-hour period, the ASC-E2s will continue extended operation, controller development and special durability testing, during which the goal is to accumulate tens of thousands of hours of operation. Data collected during extended operation will support reliability analysis. Performance data from these tests is summarized in this paper.

  5. SRG110 Stirling Generator Dynamic Simulator Vibration Test Results and Analysis Correlation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Suarez, Vicente J.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Callahan, John

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing the Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110) for use as a power system for space science missions. The launch environment enveloping potential missions results in a random input spectrum that is significantly higher than historical RPS launch levels and is a challenge for designers. Analysis presented in prior work predicted that tailoring the compliance at the generator-spacecraft interface reduced the dynamic response of the system thereby allowing higher launch load input levels and expanding the range of potential generator missions. To confirm analytical predictions, a dynamic simulator representing the generator structure, Stirling convertors and heat sources was designed and built for testing with and without a compliant interface. Finite element analysis was performed to guide the generator simulator and compliant interface design so that test modes and frequencies were representative of the SRG110 generator. This paper presents the dynamic simulator design, the test setup and methodology, test article modes and frequencies and dynamic responses, and post-test analysis results. With the compliant interface, component responses to an input environment exceeding the SRG110 qualification level spectrum were all within design allowables. Post-test analysis included finite element model tuning to match test frequencies and random response analysis using the test input spectrum. Analytical results were in good overall agreement with the test results and confirmed previous predictions that the SRG110 power system may be considered for a broad range of potential missions, including those with demanding launch environments.

  6. Stirling engines for gas fired micro-cogen and cooling

    SciTech Connect

    Lane, N.W.; Beale, W.T.

    1996-12-31

    This paper describes the design and performance of free-piston Stirling engine-alternators particularly suited for use as natural gas fired micro-cogen and cooling devices. Stirling based cogen systems offer significant potential advantages over internal combustion engines in efficiency, to maintain higher efficiencies at lower power levels than than combustion engines significantly expands the potential for micro-cogen. System cost reduction and electric prices higher than the U.S. national average will have a far greater effect on commercial success than any further increase in Stirling engine efficiency. There exist niche markets where Stirling engine efficiency. There exist niche markets where Stirling based cogen systems are competitive. Machines of this design are being considered for production in the near future as gas-fired units for combined heat and power in sufficiently large quantities to assure competitive prices for the final unit.

  7. Hybrid sodium heat pipe receivers for dish/Stirling systems

    SciTech Connect

    Laing, D.; Reusch, M.

    1997-12-31

    The design of a hybrid solar/gas heat pipe receiver for the SBP 9 kW dish/Stirling system using a United Stirling AB V160 Stirling engine and the results of on-sun testing in alternative and parallel mode will be reported. The receiver is designed to transfer a thermal power of 35 kW. The heat pipe operates at around 800 C, working fluid is sodium. Operational options are solar-only, gas augmented and gas-only mode. Also the design of a second generation hybrid heat pipe receiver currently developed under a EU-funded project, based on the experience gained with the first hybrid receiver, will be reported. This receiver is designed for the improved SPB/L. and C.-10 kW dish/Stirling system with the reworked SOLO V161 Stirling engine.

  8. Commercialization of dish-Stirling solar terrestrial systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Brad; Penswick, Barry; White, Maury; Cooper, Martin; Farbman, Gerald

    1990-01-01

    The requirements for dish-Stirling commercialization are described. The requirements for practical terrestrial power systems, both technical and economic, are described. Solar energy availability, with seasonal and regional variations, is discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid operation are listed. The two systems described use either a 25-kW free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine or a 5-kW kinematic Stirling engine. Both engines feature long-life characteristics that result from the use of welded metal bellows as hermetic seals between the working gas and the crankcase fluid. The advantages of the systems, the state of the technology, and the challenges that remain are discussed. Technology transfer between solar terrestrial Stirling applications and other Stirling applications is predicted to be important and synergistic.

  9. Regenerative characteristics of magnetic or gas Stirling refrigeration cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, J.; Yan, Z.

    A general criterion to distinguish whether a Stirling refrigeration cycle possesses the condition of perfect regeneration is given. It is proven using the criterion that a Stirling refrigeration cycle using a simple paramagnetic or ferromagnetic material as the working substance possesses the condition of perfect regeneration, as does a Stirling refrigeration cycle using an ideal or van der Waals gas as the working substance. However, a Stirling refrigeration cycle using a gas which is described by the Redlich-Kwong, Beattie-Bridgeman, Benedict-Webb-Rubin, Dieterici, Berthelot, or Martin-Hou equation as the working substance does not possess the condition of perfect regeneration and its coefficient of performance is always smaller than that of the Carnot refrigeration cycle for the same temperature range. Moreover, the effect of non-perfect regeneration on the level of refrigeration and the coefficient of performance of a Stirling refrigeration cycle is expounded using a strict equation of state.

  10. Performance of the Southern California Edison Company Stirling dish

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, C.W.; Stone, K.W.

    1993-10-01

    McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (MDAC) and United Stirling AB of Sweden (USAB) formed a joint venture in 1982 to develop and produce a Stirling dish solar generating system. In this report, the six year development and testing program continued by the Southern California Edison Company (SCE) is described. Each Stirling dish module consists of a sun tracking dish concentrator developed by the MDAC and a Stirling engine driven power conversion unit (PCU) developed by USAB. The Stirling dish system demonstrated twice the peak and daily solar-to-electric conversion efficiency of any other system then under development. This system continues to set the performance standard for solar to electric systems being developed in the early 1990`s. Test data are presented and used to estimate the performance of a commercial system.

  11. Commercialization of dish-Stirling solar terrestrial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Brad; Penswick, Barry; White, Maury; Cooper, Martin; Farbman, Gerald

    The requirements for dish-Stirling commercialization are described. The requirements for practical terrestrial power systems, both technical and economic, are described. Solar energy availability, with seasonal and regional variations, is discussed. The advantages and disadvantages of hybrid operation are listed. The two systems described use either a 25-kW free-piston Stirling hydraulic engine or a 5-kW kinematic Stirling engine. Both engines feature long-life characteristics that result from the use of welded metal bellows as hermetic seals between the working gas and the crankcase fluid. The advantages of the systems, the state of the technology, and the challenges that remain are discussed. Technology transfer between solar terrestrial Stirling applications and other Stirling applications is predicted to be important and synergistic.

  12. Vitrified chemically bonded phosphate ceramics for immobilization of radioisotopes

    DOEpatents

    Wagh, Arun S.

    2016-04-05

    A method of immobilizing a radioisotope and vitrified chemically bonded phosphate ceramic (CBPC) articles formed by the method are described. The method comprises combining a radioisotope-containing material, MgO, a source of phosphate, and optionally, a reducing agent, in water at a temperature of less than 100.degree. C. to form a slurry; curing the slurry to form a solid intermediate CBPC article comprising the radioisotope therefrom; comminuting the intermediate CBPC article, mixing the comminuted material with glass frits, and heating the mixture at a temperature in the range of about 900 to about 1500.degree. C. to form a vitrified CBPC article comprising the radioisotope immobilized therein.

  13. Spark Plasma Sintering of simulated radioisotope materials within tungsten cermets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, R. C.; Ambrosi, R. M.; Bannister, N. P.; Howe, S. D.; Atkinson, H. V.

    2009-08-01

    A Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) furnace was used to produce ceramic-metallic sinters (cermets) containing a simulated loading of radioisotope materials. CeO 2 was used to simulate loadings of PuO 2, UO 2 or AmO 2 within tungsten-based cermets due to the similar kinetic properties of these materials, in particular the respective melting points and Gibbs free energies. The work presented demonstrates the capability and suitability of the SPS process for the production of radioisotope encapsulates for nuclear fuels and other applications (including waste disposal and radioisotope power and heat source fabrication) where the mechanical capture of radioisotope materials is required.

  14. Markets for reactor-produced non-fission radioisotopes

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, R.G.

    1995-01-01

    Current market segments for reactor produced radioisotopes are developed and reported from a review of current literature. Specific radioisotopes studied in is report are the primarily selected from those with major medical or industrial markets, or those expected to have strongly emerging markets. Relative market sizes are indicated. Special emphasis is given to those radioisotopes that are best matched to production in high flux reactors such as the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory or the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A general bibliography of medical and industrial radioisotope applications, trends, and historical notes is included.

  15. Experimental Creep Life Assessment for the Advanced Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Kalluri, Sreeramesh; Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor

    2010-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy is planning to develop the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for potential use on future space missions. The ASRG provides substantial efficiency and specific power improvements over radioisotope power systems of heritage designs. The ASRG would use General Purpose Heat Source modules as energy sources and the free-piston Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) to convert heat into electrical energy. Lockheed Martin Corporation of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, is integrating the ASRG systems, and Sunpower, Inc., of Athens, Ohio, is designing and building the ASC. NASA Glenn Research Center of Cleveland, Ohio, manages the Sunpower contract and provides technology development in several areas for the ASC. One area is reliability assessment for the ASC heater head, a critical pressure vessel within which heat is converted into mechanical oscillation of a displacer piston. For high system efficiency, the ASC heater head operates at very high temperature (850 C) and therefore is fabricated from an advanced heat-resistant nickel-based superalloy Microcast MarM-247. Since use of MarM-247 in a thin-walled pressure vessel is atypical, much effort is required to assure that the system will operate reliably for its design life of 17 years. One life-limiting structural response for this application is creep; creep deformation is the accumulation of time-dependent inelastic strain under sustained loading over time. If allowed to progress, the deformation eventually results in creep rupture. Since creep material properties are not available in the open literature, a detailed creep life assessment of the ASC heater head effort is underway. This paper presents an overview of that creep life assessment approach, including the reliability-based creep criteria developed from coupon testing, and the associated heater head deterministic and probabilistic analyses. The approach also

  16. Miniaturized radioisotope solid state power sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleurial, J.-P.; Snyder, G. J.; Patel, J.; Herman, J. A.; Caillat, T.; Nesmith, B.; Kolawa, E. A.

    2000-01-01

    Electrical power requirements for the next generation of deep space missions cover a wide range from the kilowatt to the milliwatt. Several of these missions call for the development of compact, low weight, long life, rugged power sources capable of delivering a few milliwatts up to a couple of watts while operating in harsh environments. Advanced solid state thermoelectric microdevices combined with radioisotope heat sources and energy storage devices such as capacitors are ideally suited for these applications. By making use of macroscopic film technology, microgenrators operating across relatively small temperature differences can be conceptualized for a variety of high heat flux or low heat flux heat source configurations. Moreover, by shrinking the size of the thermoelements and increasing their number to several thousands in a single structure, these devices can generate high voltages even at low power outputs that are more compatible with electronic components. Because the miniaturization of state-of-the-art thermoelectric module technology based on Bi2Te3 alloys is limited due to mechanical and manufacturing constraints, we are developing novel microdevices using integrated-circuit type fabrication processes, electrochemical deposition techniques and high thermal conductivity substrate materials. One power source concept is based on several thermoelectric microgenerator modules that are tightly integrated with a 1.1W Radioisotope Heater Unit. Such a system could deliver up to 50mW of electrical power in a small lightweight package of approximately 50 to 60g and 30cm3. An even higher degree of miniaturization and high specific power values (mW/mm3) can be obtained when considering the potential use of radioisotope materials for an alpha-voltaic or a hybrid thermoelectric/alpha-voltaic power source. Some of the technical challenges associated with these concepts are discussed in this paper. .

  17. Medical Radioisotope Data Survey: 2002 Preliminary Results

    SciTech Connect

    Siciliano, Edward R.

    2004-06-23

    A limited, but accurate amount of detailed information about the radioactive isotopes used in the U.S. for medical procedures was collected from a local hospital and from a recent report on the U.S. Radiopharmaceutical Markets. These data included the total number of procedures, the specific types of procedures, the specific radioisotopes used in these procedures, and the dosage administered per procedure. The information from these sources was compiled, assessed, pruned, and then merged into a single, comprehensive and consistent set of results presented in this report. (PIET-43471-TM-197)

  18. High efficiency radioisotope thermophotovoltaic prototype generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Avery, James E.; Samaras, John E.; Fraas, Lewis M.; Ewell, Richard

    1995-01-01

    A radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator space power system (RTPV) is lightweight, low-cost alternative to the present radioisotope thermoelectric generator system (RTG). The fabrication of such an RTPV generator has recently become feasible as the result of the invention of the GaSb infrared sensitive photovoltaic cell. Herein, we present the results of a parametric study of emitters and optical filters in conjuction with existing data on gallium antimonide cells. We compare a polished tungsten emitter with an Erbia selective emitter for use in combination with a simple dielectric filter and a gallium antimonide cell array. We find that the polished tungsten emitter is by itself a very selective emitter with low emissivity beyond 4 microns. Given a gallium antimonide cell and a tungsten emitter, a simple dielectric filter can be designed to transmit radiant energy below 1.7 microns and to reflect radiant energy between 1.7 and 4 microns back to the emitter. Because of the low long wavelength emissivity associated with the polished tungsten emitter, this simple dielectric filter then yields very respectable system performance. Also as a result of the longer wavelength fall-off in the tungsten emissivity curve, the radiation energy peak for a polished tungsten emitter operating at 1300 K shifts to shorter wavelengths relative to the blackbody spectrum so that the radiated energy peak falls right at the gallium antimonide cell bandedge. The result is that the response of the gallium antimonide cell is well matched to a polished tungsten emitter. We propose, therefore, to fabricate an operating prototype of a near term radioisotope thermophotovoltaic generator design consisting of a polished tungsten emitter, standard gallium antimonide cells, and a near-term dielectric filter. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory will design and build the thermal cavity, and JX Crystals will fabricate the gallium antimonide cells, dielectric filters, and resultant receiver panels. With

  19. Too Much of a Good Thing ? Radioisotope Power Conversion Technology and `Waste' Heat in the Titan Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenz, Ralph

    Unlike most solar system surface environments, Titan has an atmosphere that is both cold and dense. This means heat transfer to and from a vehicle is determined by convection, rather than by radiation which dominates on Earth and Mars. With surface temperatures near 94K, batteries and systems require heating to operate. Solar power is impractical, so a spacecraft intended to operate for longer than a few hours on Titan must have a radioisotope power source (RPS). Such sources convert heat from Plutonium decay into electricity, with an efficiency that varies from about 5% for thermoelectric systems to 20% for engine cycles such as Stirling. For vehicles with 100-200W electrical power, the 500-4000 W ‘waste’ heat in the Titan environment can be valuable in that it can be exploited to maintain thermal conditions inside the vehicle. The generally benign Titan environment, and the outstanding scientific and popular interest in its exploration, has attracted a number of mission concepts including a lander for Titan’s equatorial dunefields, light gas and hot air (‘Montgolfière’) balloons, airplanes, and capsules that float on its polar seas (e.g. the proposed Titan Mare Explorer.) However, the choice of conversion technology is key to the success of these different platforms. Waste heat can perturb meteorological measurements in several ways. First by creating a warm air plume (an effect observed on Viking and Curiosity.) Second, rain or seaspray falling onto hot radiator surfaces can evaporate causing a local enhancement of methane humidity. Third, sufficiently strong heating could perturb local winds. Similar effects, and the potential generation of effervescence or even fog, may result for capsules floating in liquid hydrocarbons. For landers and drifting buoys, these perturbations may significantly degrade environmental measurements, or at least demand tall meteorology masts, for the higher waste heat output of thermoelectric systems, and a Stirling system

  20. The 4 K Stirling cryocooler demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stacy, W. Dodd

    1992-01-01

    This report briefly summarizes the results and conclusions from an SBIR program intended to demonstrate an innovative Stirling cycle cryocooler concept for efficiently lifting heat from 4 K. Refrigeration at 4 K, a temperature useful for superconductors and sensitive instruments, is beyond the reach of conventional regenerative thermodynamic cycles due to the rapid loss of regenerator matrix heat capacity at temperatures below about 20 K. To overcome this fundamental limit, the cryocooler developed under this program integrated three unique features: recuperative regeneration between the displacement gas flow streams of two independent Stirling cycles operating at a 180 degree phase angle, tailored distortion of the two expander volume waveforms from sinusoidal to perfectly match the instantaneous regenerator heat flux from the two cycles and thereby unload the regenerator, and metal diaphragm working volumes to promote near isothermal expansion and compression processes. Use of diaphragms also provides unlimited operating life potential and eliminates bearings and high precision running seals. A phase 1 proof-of-principle experiment demonstrated that counterflow regenerator operation between 77 K and 4 K increases regenerator effectiveness by minimizing metal temperature transient cycling. In phase 2, a detailed design package for a breadboard cryocooler was completed. Fabrication techniques were successfully developed for manufacturing high precision miniature parallel plate recuperators, and samples were produced and inspected. Process development for fabricating suitably flat diaphragms proved more difficult and expensive than anticipated, and construction of the cryocooler was suspended at a completion level of approximately 75%. Subsequent development efforts on other projects have successfully overcome diaphragm fabrication difficulties, and alternate funding is currently being sought for completion and demonstration testing of the 4 K Stirling cryocooler.

  1. Impedance match for Stirling type cryocoolers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dai, Wei; Luo, Ercang; Wang, Xiaotao; Wu, Zhanghua

    Impedance match in Stirling type cryocoolers is important for the compressor efficiency and available acoustic power. This paper generalizes the basic principles concerning the efficiency and acoustic power output of the linear compressor. Starting from basic governing equations and mainly from the viewpoint of energy balance, the physical mechanisms behind the principles are clearly shown. Specially, this paper focuses on the impedance match for an existing compressor, where the current limit and displacement limit should also be taken into consideration when selecting a suitable impedance. Some case studies based on a commercial compressor are also provided for a deep understanding.

  2. Stability analysis of free piston Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bégot, Sylvie; Layes, Guillaume; Lanzetta, François; Nika, Philippe

    2013-03-01

    This paper presents a stability analysis of a free piston Stirling engine. The model and the detailed calculation of pressures losses are exposed. Stability of the machine is studied by the observation of the eigenvalues of the model matrix. Model validation based on the comparison with NASA experimental results is described. The influence of operational and construction parameters on performance and stability issues is exposed. The results show that most parameters that are beneficial for machine power seem to induce irregular mechanical characteristics with load, suggesting that self-sustained oscillations could be difficult to maintain and control.

  3. Design of hydraulic output Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toscano, W. M.; Harvey, A. C.; Lee, K.

    1983-01-01

    A hydraulic output system for the RE-1000 free piston stirling engine (FPSE) was designed. The hydraulic output system can be readily integrated with the existing hot section of RE-1000 FPSE. The system has two simply supported diaphragms which separate the engine gas from the hydraulic fluid, a dynamic balance mechanism, and a novel, null center band hydraulic pump. The diaphragms are designed to endure more than 10 billion cycles, and to withstand the differential pressure load as high as 14 MPa. The projected thermodynamic performance of the hydraulic output version of RE-1000 FPSE is 1.87 kW at 29/7 percent brake efficiency.

  4. Automotive Stirling reference engine design report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The reference Stirling engine system is described which provides the best possible fuel economy while meeting or exceeding all other program objectives. The system was designed to meet the requirements of a 1984 Pontiac Phoenix (X-body). This design utilizes all new technology that can reasonably be expected to be developed by 1984 and that is judged to provide significant improvement, relative to development risk and cost. Topics covered include: (1) external heat system; (2) hot engine system; (3) cold engine system; (4) engine drive system; (5) power control system and auxiliaries; (6) engine instalation; (7) optimization and vehicle simulation; (8) engine materials; and (9) production cost analysis.

  5. Double acting stirling engine phase control

    DOEpatents

    Berchowitz, David M.

    1983-01-01

    A mechanical device for effecting a phase change between the expansion and compression volumes of a double-acting Stirling engine uses helical elements which produce opposite rotation of a pair of crankpins when a control rod is moved, so the phase between two pairs of pistons is changed by +.psi. and the phase between the other two pairs of pistons is changed by -.psi.. The phase can change beyond .psi.=90.degree. at which regenerative braking and then reversal of engine rotation occurs.

  6. Low temperature differential thermoacoustic Stirling engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biwa, Tetsushi; Hasegawa, Daichi; Yazaki, Taichi

    2010-07-01

    To what extent can we lower the critical temperature ratio (CTR) necessary to start a thermoacoustic engine? We present an experimental method for predicting the CTR before the temperature ratio arrives at it using quality factor measurements. Based on the experimental quality factors, we tried to decrease the CTR of a thermoacoustic Stirling engine consisting of a looped tube and a branch resonator. Installation of the multiple regenerators at suitable positions can markedly enhance acoustic power production while overcoming energy dissipation. Results show that the CTR is decreased from 1.76 to 1.19 using five differentially heated regenerators.

  7. Choosing An Alloy For Automotive Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, Joseph R.

    1988-01-01

    Report describes study of chemical compositions and microstructures of alloys for automotive Stirling engines. Engines offer advantages of high efficiency, low pollution, low noise, and ability to use variety of fuels. Twenty alloys evaluated for resistance to corrosion permeation by hydrogen, and high temperature. Iron-based alloys considered primary candidates because of low cost. Nickel-based alloys second choice in case suitable iron-based alloy could not be found. Cobalt-based alloy included for comparison but not candidate, because it is expensive strategic material.

  8. Automotive Stirling engine system component review

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hindes, Chip; Stotts, Robert

    1987-01-01

    The design and testing of the power and combustion control system for the basic Stirling engine, Mod II, are examined. The power control system is concerned with transparent operation, and the Mod II uses engine working gas pressure variation to control the power output of the engine. The main components of the power control system, the power control valve, the pump-down system, and the hydrogen stable system, are described. The combustion control system consists of a combustion air supply system and an air/fuel ratio control system, and the system is to maintain constant heater head temperature, and to maximize combustion efficiency and to minimize exhaust emissions.

  9. In-line stirling energy system

    SciTech Connect

    Backhaus, Scott N; Keolian, Robert

    2011-03-22

    A high efficiency generator is provided using a Stirling engine to amplify an acoustic wave by heating the gas in the engine in a forward mode. The engine is coupled to an alternator to convert heat input to the engine into electricity. A plurality of the engines and respective alternators can be coupled to operate in a timed sequence to produce multi-phase electricity without the need for conversion. The engine system may be operated in a reverse mode as a refrigerator/heat pump.

  10. The power formula for atmospheric Stirling engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolin, Ivo; Lista, Paolo; Naso, Vincenzo

    A new proposed formula allows the evaluation of the indicated power of an atmospheric Stirling engine by means of minimum working fluid volume, mean arithmetical pressure difference and correction factors for dead space and compression ratio, grounded on the simplest geometrical and design characteristics. The practical example given in this paper presents the comparison among the Beale formula and other similar equations, developed by other authors, showing various degrees of accuracy. Closer approximation has been reached by the proposed formula in comparison with other expressions.

  11. Cosmogenic radioisotopes in Gebel Kamil meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taricco, C.; Colombetti, P.; Bhandari, N.; Sinha, N.; Di Martino, M.; Vivaldo, G.

    2012-04-01

    Recently a small (45 m in diameter) and very young (< 5,000 years) impact crater was discovered in Egypt (Folco et al., 2010, 2011); it was generated by an iron meteorite named Gebel Kamil (Meteoritical Bulletin No. 98, Weisberg et al. 2010). During systematic searches, many specimens were found in the area surrounding the crater. We present the gamma-activity measurement of a 672 g fragment using a highly selective Ge-NaI spectrometer operating at Monte dei Cappuccini Laboratory (IFSI, INAF) in Torino, Italy. This apparatus allows to reveal the radioisotope activity generated by cosmic rays in the meteoroids as they travel through the interplanetary space before falling on the Earth. From the 26Al activity measurement and its depth production profiles, we infer (i) that the radius of the meteoroid should be about 1 m, constraining to 30-40 ton the range of pre-atmospheric mass previously proposed and (ii) that the fragment should have been located deeply inside the meteoroid, at a depth > 0.7 m. The 44Ti activity is under the detection threshold of the apparatus; using the depth production profiles of this radioisotope and its half-life T1/2 = 59.2 y, we deduce an upper limit to the date of fall.

  12. Rhenium Radioisotopes for Therapeutic Radiopharmaceutical Development

    SciTech Connect

    Beets, A.L.; Knapp, F.F., Jr.; Kropp, J.; Lin, W.-Y.; Pinkert, J.; Wang, S.-Y.

    1999-01-18

    The availability of therapeutic radioisotopes at reasonable costs is important for applications in nuclear medicine, oncology and interventional cardiology, Rhenium-186 (Re-186) and rhenium-1 88 (Re-188) are two reactor-produced radioisotope which are attractive for a variety of therapeutic applications, Rhenium-186 has a half-life of 90 hours and decays with emission of a &particle with a maximum energy of 1.08 MeV and a 135 keV (9Yo) gamma which permits imaging. In contrast, Re- 188 has a much shorter half-life of 16.9 hours and emits a p-particle with a much higher energy of 2.12 MeV (Em=) and a 155 keV gamma photon (15Yo) for imaging. While Re-186 is unavailable from a generator system and must be directly produced in a nuclear reactor, Re-188 can also be directly produced in a reactor with high specific activity, but is more conveniently and cost-effectively available as carrier-free sodium perrhenate by saline elution of the alumina-based tungsten-188 (W1 88)/Re-l 88 generator system [1-2]. Since a comprehensive overviewofRe-186 and Re-188 therapeutic agents is beyond the scope of this &tended Abstrac4 the goal is to provide key examples of various agents currently in clinical use and those which are being developed for important clinical applications.

  13. Actinium radioisotope products of enhanced purity

    SciTech Connect

    Meikrantz, David Herbert; Todd, Terry Allen; Tranter, Troy Joseph; Horwitz, E. Philip

    2010-06-15

    A product includes actinium-225 (.sup.225Ac) and less than about 1 microgram (.mu.g) of iron (Fe) per millicurie (mCi) of actinium-225. The product may have a radioisotopic purity of greater than about 99.99 atomic percent (at %) actinium-225 and daughter isotopes of actinium-225, and may be formed by a method that includes providing a radioisotope mixture solution comprising at least one of uranium-233 (.sup.233U) and thorium-229 (.sup.229Th), extracting the at least one of uranium-233 and thorium-229 into an organic phase, substantially continuously contacting the organic phase with an aqueous phase, substantially continuously extracting actinium-225 into the aqueous phase, and purifying the actinium-225 from the aqueous phase. In some embodiments, the product may include less than about 1 nanogram (ng) of iron per millicurie (mCi) of actinium-225, and may include less than about 1 microgram (.mu.g) each of magnesium (Mg), Chromium (Cr), and manganese (Mn) per millicurie (mCi) of actinium-225.

  14. Preparing for Harvesting Radioisotopes from FRIB

    SciTech Connect

    Peaslee, Graham F.; Lapi, Suzanne E.

    2015-02-02

    The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is the next generation accelerator facility under construction at Michigan State University. FRIB will produce a wide variety of rare isotopes by a process called projectile fragmentation for a broad range of new experiments when it comes online in 2020. The accelerated rare isotope beams produced in this facility will be more intense than any current facility in the world - in many cases by more than 1000-fold. These beams will be available to the primary users of FRIB in order to do exciting new fundamental research with accelerated heavy ions. In the standard mode of operation, this will mean one radioisotope will be selected at a time for the user. However, the projectile fragmentation process also yields hundreds of other radioisotopes at these bombarding energies, and many of these rare isotopes are long-lived and could have practical applications in medicine, national security or the environment. This project developed new methods to collect these long-lived rare isotopes that are by-products of the standard FRIB operation. These isotopes are important to many areas of research, thus this project will have a broad impact in several scientific areas including medicine, environment and homeland security.

  15. RADIOISOTOPE EXPERIMENTS IN HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY, AN ANNOTATED SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HURLBURT, EVELYN M.

    SELECTED REFERENCES ON THE USE OF RADIOISOTOPES IN BIOLOGY ARE CONTAINED IN THIS ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS. MATERIALS INCLUDED WERE PUBLISHED AFTER 1960 AND DEAL WITH THE PROPERTIES OF RADIATION, SIMPLE RADIATION DETECTION PROCEDURES, AND TECHNIQUES FOR USING RADIOISOTOPES EXPERIMENTALLY. THE REFERENCES ARE LISTED IN…

  16. Overview of NASA supported Stirling thermodynamic loss research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Geng, Steven M.

    NASA is funding research to characterize Stirling machine thermodynamic losses. NASA's primary goal is to improve Stirling design codes to support engine development for space and terrestrial power. However, much of the fundamental data is applicable to Stirling cooling and heat pump applications. The research results are reviewed. Much was learned about oscillating flow hydrodynamics, including laminar/turbulent transition, and tabulated data was documented for further analysis. Now, with a better understanding of the oscillating flow field, it is time to begin measuring the effects of oscillating flow and oscillating pressure level on heat transfer in heat exchanger flow passages and in cylinders.

  17. Progress of Stirling cycle analysis and loss mechanism characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Tew, R.C. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    An assessment of Stirling engine thermodynamic modeling and design codes shows a general deficiency; this deficiency is due to poor understanding of the fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena that occur in the oscillating flow and pressure level environment within the engines. Requirements for improving modeling and design are discussed. Stirling engine thermodynamic loss mechanisms are listed. Several experimental and computational research efforts now underway to characterize various loss mechanisms are reviewed. The need for additional experimental rigs and rig upgrades is discussed. Recent developments and current efforts in Stirling engine thermodynamic modeling are also reviewed.

  18. Overview of NASA supported Stirling thermodynamic loss research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Geng, Steven M.

    1992-01-01

    NASA is funding research to characterize Stirling machine thermodynamic losses. NASA's primary goal is to improve Stirling design codes to support engine development for space and terrestrial power. However, much of the fundamental data is applicable to Stirling cooling and heat pump applications. The research results are reviewed. Much was learned about oscillating flow hydrodynamics, including laminar/turbulent transition, and tabulated data was documented for further analysis. Now, with a better understanding of the oscillating flow field, it is time to begin measuring the effects of oscillating flow and oscillating pressure level on heat transfer in heat exchanger flow passages and in cylinders.

  19. Initial testing of a variable-stroke Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Thieme, L.G.

    1985-02-01

    In support of the US Department of Energy's Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems Program, NASA Lewis Research Center is evaluating variable-stroke control for Stirling engines. The engine being tested is the Advenco Stirling engine; this engine was manufactured by Philips Research Laboratories of the Netherlands and uses a variable-angle swash-plate drive to achieve variable stroke operation. This report describes the engine, presents initial steady-state test data taken at Lewis, and describes a major drive system failure and subsequent modifications. Computer simulation results are presented to show potential part-load efficiency gains with variable-stroke control.

  20. Progress of Stirling cycle analysis and loss mechanism characterization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, R. C., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    An assessment of Stirling engine thermodynamic modeling and design codes shows a general deficiency; this deficiency is due to poor understanding of the fluid flow and heat transfer phenomena that occur in the oscillating flow and pressure level environment within the engines. Stirling engine thermodynamic loss mechanisms are listed. Several experimental and computational research efforts now underway to characterize various loss mechanisms are reviewed. The need for additional experimental rigs and rig upgrades is discussed. Recent developments and current efforts in Stirling engine thermodynamic modeling are also reviewed.

  1. Loss terms in free-piston Stirling engine models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gordon, Lloyd B.

    1992-01-01

    Various models for free piston Stirling engines are reviewed. Initial models were developed primarily for design purposes and to predict operating parameters, especially efficiency. More recently, however, such models have been used to predict engine stability. Free piston Stirling engines have no kinematic constraints and stability may not only be sensitive to the load, but also to various nonlinear loss and spring constraints. The present understanding is reviewed of various loss mechanisms for free piston Stirling engines and how they have been incorporated into engine models is discussed.

  2. Linear hydraulic drive system for a Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    Walsh, Michael M.

    1984-02-21

    A hydraulic drive system operating from the periodic pressure wave produced by a Stirling engine along a first axis thereof and effecting transfer of power from the Stirling engine to a load apparatus therefor and wherein the movable, or working member of the load apparatus is reciprocatingly driven along an axis substantially at right angles to the first axis to achieve an arrangement of a Stirling engine and load apparatus assembly which is much shorter and the components of the load apparatus more readily accessible.

  3. Thermoacoustic refrigerators and engines comprising cascading stirling thermodynamic units

    DOEpatents

    Backhaus, Scott; Swift, Greg

    2013-06-25

    The present invention includes a thermoacoustic assembly and method for improved efficiency. The assembly has a first stage Stirling thermal unit comprising a main ambient heat exchanger, a regenerator and at least one additional heat exchanger. The first stage Stirling thermal unit is serially coupled to a first end of a quarter wavelength long coupling tube. A second stage Stirling thermal unit comprising a main ambient heat exchanger, a regenerator, and at least one additional heat exchanger, is serially coupled to a second end of the quarter wavelength long coupling tube.

  4. Potential impacts of Brayton and Stirling cycle engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heft, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    Two engine technologies (Brayton cycle and Stirling cycle) are examined for their potential economic impact and fuel utilization. An economic analysis of the expected response of buyers to the attributes of the alternative engines was performed. Hedonic coefficients for vehicle fuel efficiency, performance and size were estimated for domestic cars based upon historical data. The marketplace value of the fuel efficiency enhancement provided by Brayton or Stirling engines was estimated. Under the assumptions of 10 years for plant conversions and 1990 and 1995 as the introduction data for turbine and Stirling engines respectively, the comparative fuel savings and present value of the future savings in fuel costs were estimated.

  5. Initial testing of a variable-stroke Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, L. G.

    1985-01-01

    In support of the U.S. Department of Energy's Stirling Engine Highway Vehicle Systems Program, NASA Lewis Research Center is evaluating variable-stroke control for Stirling engines. The engine being tested is the Advenco Stirling engine; this engine was manufactured by Philips Research Laboratories of the Netherlands and uses a variable-angle swash-plate drive to achieve variable stroke operation. The engine is described, initial steady-state test data taken at Lewis are presented, a major drive system failure and subsequent modifications are described. Computer simulation results are presented to show potential part-load efficiency gains with variable-stroke control.

  6. Dish stirling solar receiver combustor test program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankston, C. P.; Back, L. H.

    1981-01-01

    The operational and energy transfer characteristics of the Dish Stirling Solar Receiver (DSSR) combustor/heat exchanger system was evaluated. The DSSR is designed to operate with fossil fuel augmentation utilizing a swirl combustor and cross flow heat exchanger consisting of a single row of 4 closely spaced tubes that are curved into a conical shape. The performance of the combustor/heat exchanger system without a Stirling engine was studied over a range of operating conditions and output levels using water as the working fluid. Results show that the combustor may be started under cold conditions, controlled safety, and operated at a constant air/fuel ratio (10 percent excess air) over the required range of firing rates. Furthermore, nondimensional heat transfer coefficients based on total heat transfer are plotted versus Reynolds number and compared with literature data taken for single rows of closely spaced tubes perpendicular to cross flow. The data show enhanced heat transfer for the present geometry and test conditions. Analysis of the results shows that the present system meets specified thermal requirements, thus verifying the feasibility of the DSSR combustor design for final prototype fabrication.

  7. Preliminary SP-100/Stirling heat exchanger designs

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, P.; Tower, L.; Dawson, R.; Blue, B.; Dunn, P.

    1994-09-01

    Analytic modeling of several heat exchanger concepts to couple the SP-100 nuclear reactor lithium loop and the Space Stirling Power Convertor (SSPC) was performed. Four 25 kWe SSPC`s are used to produce the required 100 kW of electrical power. This design work focused on the interface between a single SSPC and the primary lithium loop. Manifolding to separate and collect the four channel flow was not modeled. This work modeled two separate types of heat exchanger interfaces (conductive coupling and radiative coupling) to explore their relative advantages and disadvantages. The minimum mass design of the conductively coupled concepts was 18 kg or 0.73 kg/kWe for a single 25 kWe convertor. The minimum mass radiatively coupled concept was 41 kg or 1.64 kg/kWe. The direct conduction heat exchanger provides a lighter weight system because of its ability to operate the Stirling convertor evaporator at higher heat fluxes than those attainable by the radiatively coupled systems. Additionally the conductively coupled concepts had relatively small volumes and provide potentially simpler assembly. Their disadvantages were the tight tolerances and material joining problems associated with this refractory to superalloy interface. The advantages of the radiatively coupled designs were the minimal material interface problems.

  8. Preliminary SP-100/Stirling heat exchanger designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul; Tower, Leonard; Dawson, Ronald; Blue, Brian; Dunn, Pat

    1993-01-01

    Analytic modeling of several heat exchanger concepts to couple the SP-100 nuclear reactor primary lithium loop and the Space Stirling Power Convertor (SSPC) was performed. Four 25 kWe SSPC's are used to produce the required 100 kW of electrical power. This design work focused on the interface between a single SSPC and the primary lithium loop. Manifolding to separate and collect the four channel flow was not modeled. This work modeled two separate types of heat exchanger interfaces (conductive coupling and radiative coupling) to explore their relative advantages and disadvantages. The minimum mass design of the conductively coupled concepts was 18 kg or 0.73 kg/kWe for a single 25 kWe convertor. The minimum mass radiatively coupled concept was 41 kg or 1.64 kg/kWe. The direct conduction heat exchanger provides a lighter weight system because of its ability to operate the Stirling convertor evaporator at higher heat fluxes than those attainable by the radiatively coupled systems. Additionally the conductively coupled concepts had relatively small volumes and provide potentially simpler assembly. Their disadvantages were the tight tolerances and material joining problems associated with this refractory to superalloy interface. The advantages of the radiatively coupled designs were the minimal material interface problems.

  9. Regenerator optimization for Stirling cycle refrigeration

    SciTech Connect

    Colgate, S.A.; Petschek, A.G.

    1993-08-01

    A cryogenic regenerator for a Stirling cycle is designed using a fractional loss or entropy gain as the criterion of performance. The gas losses are treated separately from heat storage medium losses. For the optimum channel flow nonturbulent design, the maximization of heat transfer from the gas to the wall and the minimization of entropy production by friction leads to a gas flow velocity criterion of sound speed times loss fraction. This velocity with a given frequency leads to a Stirling cycle dead volume ratio and consequently a channel of specified length and width. The thermal properties of the channel wall must then accommodate this cyclic heat flow without substantially increasing the loss fraction. It is found that stainless steel or plastics are adequate for 30 to 300 K, but that lower temperature stages 4 to 30 K require either a special lead alloy of moderate conductivity or a segmented anisotropic construction of alternate highly conducting lead layers and alternate insulating glass or epoxy fiber glass spacers. An overall efficiency of {congruent} 50% of Carnot is predicted at a frequency of 30 Hz and a pressure of one atmosphere.

  10. Candidate Materials Evaluated for a High-Temperature Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Randy R.; Ritzert, Frank J.

    2005-01-01

    The Department of Energy and NASA have identified Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) as a candidate power system for use on long-duration, deep-space science missions and Mars rovers. One of the developments planned for an upgraded version of the current SRG design is to achieve higher efficiency by increasing the overall operating temperature of the system. Currently, the SRG operates with a heater head temperature of 650 C and is fabricated from the nickel-base superalloy 718. The current operating temperature is at the limit of alloy 718 s capability, and any planned increase in temperature will be contingent on identifying a more capable material from which to fabricate the heater head. To this end, personnel at the NASA Glenn Research Center are evaluating advanced materials for a high-temperature heater head to allow a higher convertor temperature ratio and, thus, increase the system efficiency. A generic list of properties that were used to screen the candidate materials follows: (1) creep, (2) fabricability, (3) helium gas containment, (4) long-term stability and compatibility, (5) ability to form a hermetical closeout seal, and (6) ductility and toughness.

  11. Accelerated Life Structural Benchmark Testing for a Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krause, David L.; Kantzos, Pete T.

    2006-01-01

    For proposed long-duration NASA Space Science missions, the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Infinia Corporation, and NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency, 110-watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110). A structurally significant limit state for the SRG110 heater head component is creep deformation induced at high material temperature and low stress level. Conventional investigations of creep behavior adequately rely on experimental results from uniaxial creep specimens, and a wealth of creep data is available for the Inconel 718 material of construction. However, the specified atypical thin heater head material is fine-grained with a heat treatment that limits precipitate growth, and little creep property data for this microstructure is available in the literature. In addition, the geometry and loading conditions apply a multiaxial stress state on the component, far from the conditions of uniaxial testing. For these reasons, an extensive experimental investigation is ongoing to aid in accurately assessing the durability of the SRG110 heater head. This investigation supplements uniaxial creep testing with pneumatic testing of heater head-like pressure vessels at design temperature with stress levels ranging from approximately the design stress to several times that. This paper presents experimental results, post-test microstructural analyses, and conclusions for four higher-stress, accelerated life tests. Analysts are using these results to calibrate deterministic and probabilistic analytical creep models of the SRG110 heater head.

  12. Evaluation of Candidate Materials for a High-Temperature Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Randy; Ritzert, Frank; Freedman, Marc

    2003-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA have identified Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRG) as a candidate power system for use on long-duration, deep-space science missions and Mars rovers. One of the developments planned for an upgraded version of the current SRG design is to achieve higher efficiency by increasing the overall operating temperature of the system. Currently, the SRG operates with a heater head temperature of 650 C and is fabricated from the nickel base superalloy 718. This temperature is at the limit of Alloy 718's capability, and any planned increase in temperature will be contingent on identifying a more capable material from which to fabricate the heater head. To this end, an assessment of material candidates was performed assuming a range of heater head temperatures. The chosen alternative material candidates will be discussed, along with the development efforts needed to ensure that these materials can meet the demanding system requirements of long-duration operation in hostile environments.

  13. Accelerated Life Structural Benchmark Testing for a Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Kantzos, Pete T.

    2006-01-01

    For proposed long-duration NASA Space Science missions, the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Infinia Corporation, and NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency, 110 W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110). A structurally significant limit state for the SRG110 heater head component is creep deformation induced at high material temperature and low stress level. Conventional investigations of creep behavior adequately rely on experimental results from uniaxial creep specimens, and a wealth of creep data is available for the Inconel 718 material of construction. However, the specified atypical thin heater head material is fine-grained with a heat treatment that limits precipitate growth, and little creep property data for this microstructure is available in the literature. In addition, the geometry and loading conditions apply a multiaxial stress state on the component, far from the conditions of uniaxial testing. For these reasons, an extensive experimental investigation is ongoing to aid in accurately assessing the durability of the SRG110 heater head. This investigation supplements uniaxial creep testing with pneumatic testing of heater head-like pressure vessels at design temperature with stress levels ranging from approximately the design stress to several times that. This paper presents experimental results, post-test microstructural analyses, and conclusions for four higher-stress, accelerated life tests. Analysts are using these results to calibrate deterministic and probabilistic analytical creep models of the SRG110 heater head.

  14. Effect of Random Thermal Spikes on Stirling Convertor Heater Head Reliability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Halford, Gary R.

    2004-01-01

    Onboard radioisotope power systems being developed to support future NASA exploration missions require reliable design lifetimes of up to 14 yr and beyond. The structurally critical heater head of the high-efficiency developmental Stirling power converter has undergone extensive computational analysis of operating temperatures (up to 650 C), stresses, and creep resistance of the thin-walled Inconel 718 bill of material. Additionally assessment of the effect of uncertainties in the creep behavior of the thin-walled heater head, the variation in the manufactured thickness, variation in control temperature, and variation in pressure on the durability and reliability were performed. However, it is possible for the heater head to experience rare incidences of random temperature spikes (excursions) of short duration. These incidences could occur randomly with random magnitude and duration during the desired mission life. These rare incidences could affect the creep strain rate and therefore the life. The paper accounts for these uncertainties and includes the effect of such rare incidences, random in nature, on the reliability. The sensitivities of variables affecting the reliability are quantified and guidelines developed to improve the reliability are outlined. Furthermore, the quantified reliability is being verified with test data from the accelerated benchmark tests being conducted at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

  15. Effect of Random Thermal Spikes on Stirling Convertor Heater Head Reliability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Halford, Gary R.

    2004-01-01

    Onboard radioisotope power systems being developed to support future NASA exploration missions require reliable design lifetimes of up to 14 yr and beyond. The structurally critical heater head of the high-efficiency developmental Stirling power convertor has undergone extensive computational analysis of operating temperatures (up to 650 C), stresses, and creep resistance of the thin-walled Inconel 718 bill of material. Additionally, assessment of the effect of uncertainties in the creep behavior of the thin-walled heater head, the variation in the manufactured thickness, variation in control temperature, and variation in pressure on the durability and reliability were performed. However, it is possible for the heater head to experience rare incidences of random temperature spikes (excursions) of short duration. These incidences could occur randomly with random magnitude and duration during the desired mission life. These rare incidences could affect the creep strain rate and therefore the life. The paper accounts for these uncertainties and includes the effect of such rare incidences, random in nature, on the reliability. The sensitivities of variables affecting the reliability are quantified and guidelines developed to improve the reliability are outlined. Furthermore, the quantified reliability is being verified with test data from the accelerated benchmark tests being conducted at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

  16. Accelerated Life Structural Benchmark Testing for a Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    SciTech Connect

    Krause, David L.; Kantzos, Pete T.

    2006-01-20

    For proposed long-duration NASA Space Science missions, the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Infinia Corporation, and NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a high-efficiency, 110-watt Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110). A structurally significant limit state for the SRG110 heater head component is creep deformation induced at high material temperature and low stress level. Conventional investigations of creep behavior adequately rely on experimental results from uniaxial creep specimens, and a wealth of creep data is available for the Inconel 718 material of construction. However, the specified atypical thin heater head material is fine-grained with a heat treatment that limits precipitate growth, and little creep property data for this microstructure is available in the literature. In addition, the geometry and loading conditions apply a multiaxial stress state on the component, far from the conditions of uniaxial testing. For these reasons, an extensive experimental investigation is ongoing to aid in accurately assessing the durability of the SRG110 heater head. This investigation supplements uniaxial creep testing with pneumatic testing of heater head-like pressure vessels at design temperature with stress levels ranging from approximately the design stress to several times that. This paper presents experimental results, post-test microstructural analyses, and conclusions for four higher-stress, accelerated life tests. Analysts are using these results to calibrate deterministic and probabilistic analytical creep models of the SRG110 heater head.

  17. Development of Electronic Load Controllers for Free-Piston Stirling Convertors Aided by Stirling Simulation Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling convertor end-to-end modeling effort at the NASA Glenn Research Center has produced a software-based test bed in which free-piston Stirling convertors can be simulated and evaluated. The simulation model includes all the components of the convertor: the Stirling cycle engine, heat source, linear alternator, controller, and load. So far, it has been used in evaluating the performance of electronic controller designs. Three different controller design concepts were simulated using the model: 1) Controllers with parasitic direct current loading. 2) Controllers with parasitic alternating current loading. 3) Controllers that maintain a reference current. The free-piston Stirling convertor is an electromechanical device that operates at resonance. It is the function of the electronic load controller to ensure that the electrical load seen by the machine is always great enough to keep the amplitude of the piston and alternator oscillation at the rated value. This is done by regulating the load on the output bus. The controller monitors the instantaneous voltage, regulating it by switching loads called parasitic loads onto the bus whenever the bus voltage is too high and removing them whenever the voltage is too low. In the first type of controller, the monitor-ing and switching are done on the direct-current (dc) bus. In the second type, the alternating current bus is used. The model allows designers to test a controller concept before investing time in hardware. The simulation code used to develop the model also offers detailed models of digital and analog electronic components so that the resulting designs are realistic enough to translate directly into hardware circuits.

  18. Collinear laser spectroscopy of radioisotopes of zirconium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thayer, H. L.; Billowes, J.; Campbell, P.; Dendooven, P.; Flanagan, K. T.; Forest, D. H.; Griffith, J. A. R.; Huikari, J.; Jokinen, A.; Moore, R.; Nieminen, A.; Tungate, G.; Zemlyanoi, S.; Äystö, J.

    2003-09-01

    Isotope shifts and hyperfine structures have been measured for radioisotopes of ionic zirconium using on-line laser spectroscopy at the IGISOL facility in Jyväskylä, where the installation of an ion beam cooler/buncher has significantly improved the experimental sensitivity. Measurements have been made on all the neutron-deficient isotopes from 87Zr to 90Zr, including the isomers 87m,89mZr, and the neutron-rich isotopes from 96Zr to 102Zr. The change in mean square charge radii between the isotopes and the nuclear moments of the odd isotopes have been extracted. The data show a sudden increase in the mean square charge radius at mass A = 100, consistent with an onset of nuclear deformation which has been observed in the gamma ray spectroscopy of isotope chains in this region of the nuclear chart.

  19. Energy Recovery Linacs for Commercial Radioisotope Production

    SciTech Connect

    Sy, Amy; Krafft, Geoffrey A.; Johnson, Rolland; Roberts, Tom; Boulware, Chase; Hollister, Jerry

    2015-09-01

    Photonuclear reactions with bremsstrahlung photon beams from electron linacs can generate radioisotopes of critical interest. An SRF Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) provides a path to a more diverse and reliable domestic supply of short-lived, high-value, high-demand isotopes in a more compact footprint and at a lower cost than those produced by conventional reactor or ion accelerator methods. Use of an ERL enables increased energy efficiency of the complex through energy recovery of the waste electron beam, high electron currents for high production yields, and reduced neutron production and shielding activation at beam dump components. Simulation studies using G4Beamline/GEANT4 and MCNP6 through MuSim, as well as other simulation codes, will design an ERL-based isotope production facility utilizing bremsstrahlung photon beams from an electron linac. Balancing the isotope production parameters versus energy recovery requirements will inform a choice of isotope production target for future experiments.

  20. Induced radioisotopes in a linac treatment hall.

    PubMed

    Vega-Carrillo, Héctor René; de Leon-Martinez, Héctor Asael; Rivera-Perez, Esteban; Luis Benites-Rengifo, Jorge; Gallego, Eduardo; Lorente, Alfredo

    2015-08-01

    When linacs operate above 8MV an undesirable neutron field is produced whose spectrum has three main components: the direct spectrum due to those neutrons leaking out from the linac head, the scattered spectrum due to neutrons produced in the head that collides with the nuclei in the head losing energy and the third spectrum due to room-return effect. The third category of spectrum has mainly epithermal and thermal neutrons being constant at any location in the treatment hall. These neutrons induce activation in the linac components, the concrete walls and in the patient body. Here the induced radioisotopes have been identified in concrete samples located in the hall and in one of the wedges. The identification has been carried out using a gamma-ray spectrometer.

  1. Thermophotovoltaic Converter Design for Radioisotope Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Elkouh, Nabil A.; Murray, Susan; Murray, Christopher

    2004-02-04

    The development of lightweight, efficient power for emerging NASA missions and recent advances in thermophotovoltaic (TPV) conversion technology have renewed interest in combining radioisotope heat sources with photovoltaic energy conversion. Thermophotovoltaic power conversion uses advanced materials able to utilize a broader, spectrally tuned range of wavelengths for more efficient power conversion than solar cells. Spectral control, including selective emitters, TPV module, and filters, are key to high-efficiency operation. This paper outlines the mechanical, thermal, and optical designs for the converter, including the heat source, the selective emitter, filters, photovoltaic (PV) cells, and optical cavity components. Focus is on the emitter type and the band-gap of InGaAs PV cells in developing the design. Any component and converter data available at the time of publication will also be presented.

  2. Design of Stirling-driven vapor-compression system

    SciTech Connect

    Kagawa, N.

    1998-07-01

    Stirling engines have many unique advantages including higher thermal efficiencies, preferable exhaust gas characteristics, multi-fuel usage, and low noise and vibration. On the other hand, heat pump systems are very attractive for space heating and cooling and industrial usage because of their potential to save energy. Especially, there are many environmental merits of Stirling-driven vapor-compression (SDVC) systems. This paper introduces a design method for the SDVC based on reliable mathematical methods for Stirling and Rankine cycles with reliable thermophysical information for refrigerants. The model treats a kinematic Stirling engine and a scroll compressor coupled by a belt. Some experimental coefficients are used to formulate the SDVC items. The obtained results show the performance behavior of the SDVC in detail. The measured performance of the actual system agrees with the calculated results. Furthermore, the calculated results indicate attractive SDVC performance using alternative refrigerants.

  3. Commissioning and Performance Analysis of WhisperGen Stirling Engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pradip, Prashant Kaliram

    Stirling engine based cogeneration systems have potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission, due to their high cogeneration efficiency and emission control due to steady external combustion. To date, most studies on this unit have focused on performance based on both experimentation and computer models, and lack experimental data for diversified operating ranges. This thesis starts with the commissioning of a WhisperGen Stirling engine with components and instrumentation to evaluate power and thermal performance of the system. Next, a parametric study on primary engine variables, including air, diesel, and coolant flowrate and temperature were carried out to further understand their effect on engine power and efficiency. Then, this trend was validated with the thermodynamic model developed for the energy analysis of a Stirling cycle. Finally, the energy balance of the Stirling engine was compared without and with heat recovery from the engine block and the combustion chamber exhaust.

  4. Initial experiments with a laser driven Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byer, R. L.

    1976-01-01

    Operation of a Beale free piston Stirling engine with a 40-W CO2 laser is described. Advantages of such a system include: closed-cycle operation, long life, inexpensive construction, and size scalability to 100 MW.

  5. Stirling engine alternatives for the terrestrial solar application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J.

    1985-01-01

    The first phase of the present study of Stirling engine alternatives for solar thermal-electric generation has been completed. Development risk levels are considered to be high for all engines evaluated. Free-piston type and Ringbom-type Stirling engine-alternators are not yet developed for the 25 to 50-kW electrical power range, although smaller machines have demonstrated the inherent robustness of the machines. Kinematic-type Stirling engines are presently achieving a 3500 hr lifetime or longer on critical components, and lifetime must still be further extended for the solar application. Operational and technical characteristics of all types of Stirling engines have been reviewed with engine developers. Technical work of merit in progress in each engine development organization should be recognized and supported in an appropriate manner.

  6. Active Suppression Of Vibrations In Stirling-Cycle Coolers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Bruce G.; Flynn, Frederick J.; Gaffney, Monique S.

    1995-01-01

    Report presents results of early research directed toward development of active control systems for suppression of vibrations in spacecraft Stirling-cycle cryocoolers. Researchers developed dynamical models of cryocooler compressor.

  7. Production of medical radioisotopes with linear accelerators.

    PubMed

    Starovoitova, Valeriia N; Tchelidze, Lali; Wells, Douglas P

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we discuss producing radioisotopes using linear electron accelerators and address production and separation issues of photoneutron (γ,n) and photoproton (γ,p) reactions. While (γ,n) reactions typically result in greater yields, separating product nuclides from the target is challenging since the chemical properties of both are the same. Yields of (γ,p) reactions are typically lower than (γ,n) ones, however they have the advantage that target and product nuclides belong to different chemical species so their separation is often not such an intricate problem. In this paper we consider two examples, (100)Mo(γ,n)(99)Mo and (68)Zn(γ,p)(67)Cu, of photonuclear reactions. Monte-Carlo simulations of the yields are benchmarked with experimental data obtained at the Idaho Accelerator Center using a 44MeV linear electron accelerator. We propose using a kinematic recoil method for photoneutron production. This technique requires (100)Mo target material to be in the form of nanoparticles coated with a catcher material. During irradiation, (99)Mo atoms recoil and get trapped in the coating layer. After irradiation, the coating is dissolved and (99)Mo is collected. At the same time, (100)Mo nanoparticles can be reused. For the photoproduction method, (67)Cu can be separated from the target nuclides, (68)Zn, using standard exchange chromatography methods. Monte-Carlo simulations were performed and the (99)Mo activity was predicted to be about 7MBq/(g(⁎)kW(⁎)h) while (67)Cu activity was predicted to be about 1MBq/(g(⁎)kW(⁎)h). Experimental data confirm the predicted activity for both cases which proves that photonuclear reactions can be used to produce radioisotopes. Lists of medical isotopes which might be obtained using photonuclear reactions have been compiled and are included as well.

  8. Solar heat pipe testing of the Stirling thermal motors 4-120 Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Andraka, C.E.; Rawlinson, K.S.; Moss, T.A.; Adkins, D.R.; Moreno, J.B.; Gallup, D.R.; Cordeiro, P.G.; Johansson, S.

    1996-07-01

    Stirling-cycle engines have been identified as a promising technology for the conversion of concentrated solar energy into usable electrical power. A 25kW electric system takes advantage of existing Stirling-cycle engines and existing parabolic concentrator designs. In previous work, the concentrated sunlight impinged directly on the heater head tubes of the Stirling Thermal Motors (STM) 4-120 engine. A Sandia-designed felt-metal-wick heat pipe receiver was fitted to the STM 4-120 engine for on-sun testing on Sandia`s Test Bed Solar Concentrator. The heat pipe uses sodium metal as an intermediate two-phase heat transfer fluid. The receiver replaces the directly-illuminated heater head previously tested. The heat pipe receiver provides heat isothermally to the engine, and the heater head tube length is reduced, both resulting in improved engine performance. The receiver also has less thermal losses than the tube receiver. The heat pipe receiver design is based on Sandia`s second-generation felt-wick heat pipe receiver. This paper presents the interface design, and compares the heat pipe/engine test results to those of the directly-illuminated receiver/engine package.

  9. The Use of Redundancy to Improve Reliability of Deep Space Missions Using Stirling Radioisotope Generator Power Sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bolotin, Gary; Everline, Chet; Schmitz, Paul; Distefano, Sal

    2014-01-01

    This study will look at the 140 We class generator as originally envisioned for the ASRG and a larger generator that is scaled up to use four times the fuel. The results discussed below quantify the effect of the use of smaller generators and indicates that a scheme that makes use of several smaller generators enhances the system reliability and allows for more graceful degradation.

  10. High-Temperature Alloys for Automotive Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, J. R.; Titran, R. H.

    1986-01-01

    Stirling engine is external-combustion engine that offers fuel economy, low emissions, low noise, and low vibrations. One of most critical areas in engine development concerns material selection for component parts. Alloys CG-27 and XF-818 identified capable of withstanding rigorous requirements of automotive Stirling engine. Alloys chosen for availability, performance, and manufacturability. Advanced iron-base alloys have potential for variety of applications, including stationary solar-power systems.

  11. Development of a Stirling System Dynamic Model With Enhanced Thermodynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2005-01-01

    The Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model developed at NASA Glenn Research Center is a software model developed from first principles that includes the mechanical and mounting dynamics, the thermodynamics, the linear alternator, and the controller of a free-piston Stirling power convertor, along with the end user load. As such it represents the first detailed modeling tool for fully integrated Stirling convertor-based power systems. The thermodynamics of the model were originally a form of the isothermal Stirling cycle. In some situations it may be desirable to improve the accuracy of the Stirling cycle portion of the model. An option under consideration is to enhance the SDM thermodynamics by coupling the model with Gedeon Associates Sage simulation code. The result will be a model that gives a more accurate prediction of the performance and dynamics of the free-piston Stirling convertor. A method of integrating the Sage simulation code with the System Dynamic Model is described. Results of SDM and Sage simulation are compared to test data. Model parameter estimation and model validation are discussed.

  12. Stirling Isotope Power Systems for Stationary and Mobile Lunar Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Penswick, L. Barry; Shaltens, Richard K.

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) places a significant emphasis on the development of a wide range of capabilities on the lunar surface as a stepping-stone to further space exploration. An important aspect of developing these capabilities will be the availability of reliable, efficient, and low-mass power systems to support both stationary and mobile applications. One candidate system to provide electrical power is made by coupling the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) with a high-performance Stirling convertor. In this paper we explore the practical power range of GPHS/Stirling convertor systems all with conductively coupled hot-end designs for use on the lunar surface. Design and off-design operations during the life of the convertor are studied in addition to considering these varying conditions on system. Unique issues concerning Stirling convertor configurations, integration of the GPHS with the Stirling convertor, controller operation, waste heat rejection, and thermal protection are explored. Of particular importance in the evaluation process is a thorough understanding of the interactions between the wide range of unique lunar environments and the selection of key systems operating characteristics and the power systems design. Additionally, as power levels rise the interface between the GPHS and Stirling and the Stirling and the radiator begins to dominate system mass and material selection becomes more important.

  13. Report on audit of funding for advanced radioisotope power systems

    SciTech Connect

    1997-10-17

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s (Department) Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems Program maintains the sole national capability and facilities to produce radioisotope power systems for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Defense, and other Federal agencies. Projects are conducted with these agencies in accordance with written agreements and are dependent on cost sharing by the user agencies. For the past seven years the program emphasis has been on providing power systems for NASA`s Cassini mission to Saturn, which was launched earlier this month. We initiated this audit to determine whether the Department received proper reimbursement from NASA for the radioisotope power systems produced.

  14. Radioisotope Reduction Using Solar Power for Outer Planetary Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fincannon, James

    2008-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems have historically been (and still are) the power system of choice from a mass and size perspective for outer planetary missions. High demand for and limited availability of radioisotope fuel has made it necessary to investigate alternatives to this option. Low mass, high efficiency solar power systems have the potential for use at low outer planetary temperatures and illumination levels. This paper documents the impacts of using solar power systems instead of radioisotope power for all or part of the power needs of outer planetary spacecraft and illustrates the potential fuel savings of such an approach.

  15. Congeneration system with a Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Meijer, R.J.; Meijer, E.J.; Godett, T.M.

    1991-12-24

    This patent describes a cogeneration system for producing process heat for useful purposes and electric energy. It comprises an electric generator; a Stirling cycle engine having an output shaft operatively coupled to the generator for driving the generator, the engine including at least one internal fuel combustor; means for circulating a cooling liquid about the generator and engine to extract heat therefrom; an exhaust system coupled with the engine for exhausting combustion gases from the engine, the exhaust system including a condensing heat exchanger for cooling the combustion gases below the condensing, temperature of the water vapor in the exhaust gases; means for directing the cooling liquid around the condensing heat exchanger to extract heat therefrom and heat the liquid; and means for directing the cooling liquid for useful purposes.

  16. Creep rupture behavior of Stirling engine materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, R. H.; Scheuerman, C. M.; Stephens, J. R.

    1985-01-01

    The automotive Stirling engine, being investigated jointly by the Department of Energy and NASA Lewis as an alternate to the internal combustion engine, uses high-pressure hydrogen as the working fluid. The long-term effects of hydrogen on the high temperature strength properties of materials is relatively unknown. This is especially true for the newly developed low-cost iron base alloy NASAUT 4G-A1. This iron-base alloy when tested in air has creep-rupture strengths in the directionally solidified condition comparable to the cobalt base alloy HS-31. The equiaxed (investment cast) NASAUT 4G-A1 has superior creep-rupture to the equiaxed iron-base alloy XF-818 both in air and 15 MPa hydrogen.

  17. Stirling engine control mechanism and method

    DOEpatents

    Dineen, John J.

    1983-01-01

    A reciprocating-to-rotating motion conversion and power control device for a Stirling engine includes a hub mounted on an offset portion of the output shaft for rotation relative to the shaft and for sliding motion therealong which causes the hub to tilt relative to the axis of rotation of the shaft. This changes the angle of inclination of the hub relative to the shaft axis and changes the axial stroke of a set of arms connected to the hub and nutating therewith. A hydraulic actuating mechanism is connected to the hub for moving its axial position along the shaft. A balancing wheel is linked to the hub and changes its angle of inclination as the angle of inclination of the hub changes to maintain the mechanism in perfect balance throughout its range of motion.

  18. Superfluid Stirling refrigerator with a counterflow regenerator

    SciTech Connect

    Brisson, J.G.; Swift, G.W.

    1992-01-01

    The superfluid Stirling refrigerator (SSR) uses a [sup 3]He-[sup 4]He liquid mixture as a working fluid. It operates at temperatures below 2 K where the [sup 4]He component of the working fluid is superfluid. The [sup 3]He component of the working fluid, to first approximation, behaves thermodynamically like an ideal gas in the inert background of superfluid [sup 4]He. Using pistons equipped with a superleak bypass, it is possible to expand and compress the [sup 3]He solute gas.'' The SSR is a Stirling machine equipped with these superleaked'' pistons to take advantage of the properties of the [sup 3]He solute to cool below 1 K. The proof of principle was shown by Kotsubo and Swift in 1990. There are three other techniques for cooling below 1 K: (1) the [sup 3]He-[sup 4]He dilution refrigerator which utilizes the endothermic heat of mixing of [sup 3]He into [sup 4]He to reach temperatures below 0.010 K; (2) the evaporation of [sup 3]He which can reach temperatures of 0.3 K; and, (3) adiabatic demagnetization of a paramagnetic salt. There are several advantages of the SSR over each of the other techniques. The power consumption of a dilution refrigerator is typically on the order of kilowatts; whereas, the SSR consumes hundreds of watts. The SSR has the potential to cool below 0.3 K and out-perform the evaporative [sup 3]He refrigerator. Adiabatic demagnetization often requires magnetic shielding between the refrigerator and the object to be cooled; obviously, the SSR requires no such shielding. There is an interest in developing subkelvin cryocoolers for satellite-borne X-ray and infrared detectors. In space applications, the power consumption of an SSR can be reduced to tens of watts. This coupled with the SSR's insensitivity to a zero G environment makes it an attractive option to cool detectors in space.

  19. Micro-cogeneration units based on Stirling engine for heating and their real operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čierny, Jaroslav; Patsch, Marek

    2014-08-01

    This article was deal with micro-cogeneration units based on Stirling engine. We watched problematic of real working Stirling engine. The article also contain hookup of unit constructed at University of Zilina.

  20. A power conditioning system for radioisotope thermoelectric generator energy sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillis, J. A., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    The use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) as the primary source of energy in unmanned spacecraft is discussed. RTG output control, power conditioning system requirements, the electrical design, and circuit performance are also discussed.