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Sample records for advanced stirling convertors

  1. Advanced Stirling Convertor Update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Carroll, Cliff; Matejczyk, Dan; Penswick, L. B.; Soendker, E.

    2006-01-01

    This paper reports on the 88 We Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) currently being developed under Phase II of a NASA NRA program for possible use in advanced high specific power radioisotope space power systems. An early developmental unit, the Frequency Test Bed (FTB) which was built and tested in Phase I demonstrated 36% efficiency. The ASC-1 currently being developed under Phase II, uses a high temperature heater head to allow for operation at 850 °C and is expected to have an efficiency approaching 40% (based on AC electrical out) at a temperature ratio of 3.1. The final lightweight ASC-2 convertor to be developed in Phase III is expected to have a mass of approximately 1 kg. The implementation of the ASC would allow for much higher specific power radioisotope power systems, requiring significantly less radioisotope fuel than current systems. The first run of the ASC-1 occurred in September 2005, and full temperature operation was achieved in early October 2005. Presented is an update on progress on the ASC program as well as the plans for future development. Also presented are efforts being performed to ensure the ASC has the required long life already demonstrated in free-piston Stirling cryocoolers.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 missions is being developed by the Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin, Stirling Technology Company, and NASA Glenn Research Center. GRC is also developing advanced technology for Stirling converters, aimed at substantially improving the specific power and efficiency of the converter.The status and results to date will be discussed in this paper.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Processing and Preparation of Advanced Stirling Convertors for Extended Operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore M.; Cornell, Paggy 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Advanced Controller Developed for the Free-Piston Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerber, Scott S.

    2005-01-01

    A free-piston Stirling power convertor is being considered as an advanced power-conversion technology for future NASA deep-space missions requiring long-life radioisotope power systems. The NASA Glenn Research Center has identified key areas where advanced technologies can enhance the capability of Stirling energy-conversion systems. One of these is power electronic controls. Current power-conversion technology for Glenn-tested Stirling systems consists of an engine-driven linear alternator generating an alternating-current voltage controlled by a tuning-capacitor-based alternating-current peak voltage load controller. The tuning capacitor keeps the internal alternator electromotive force (EMF) in phase with its respective current (i.e., passive power factor correction). The alternator EMF is related to the piston velocity, which must be kept in phase with the alternator current in order to achieve stable operation. This tuning capacitor, which adds volume and mass to the overall Stirling convertor, can be eliminated if the controller can actively drive the magnitude and phase of the alternator current.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Reliability Quantification of Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Zampino, Edward

    2010-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Convertor, is intended to provide power for an unmanned planetary spacecraft and has an operational life requirement of 17 years. Over this 17 year mission, the ASC must provide power with desired performance and efficiency and require no corrective maintenance. Reliability demonstration testing for the ASC was found to be very limited due to schedule and resource constraints. Reliability demonstration must involve the application of analysis, system and component level testing, and simulation models, taken collectively. Therefore, computer simulation with limited test data verification is a viable approach to assess the reliability of ASC components. This approach is based on physics-of-failure mechanisms and involves the relationship among the design variables based on physics, mechanics, material behavior models, interaction of different components and their respective disciplines such as structures, materials, fluid, thermal, mechanical, electrical, etc. In addition, these models are based on the available test data, which can be updated, and analysis refined as more data and information becomes available. The failure mechanisms and causes of failure are included in the analysis, especially in light of the new information, in order to develop guidelines to improve design reliability and better operating controls to reduce the probability of failure. Quantified reliability assessment based on fundamental physical behavior of components and their relationship with other components has demonstrated itself to be a superior technique to conventional reliability approaches based on utilizing failure rates derived from similar equipment or simply expert judgment.

  3. Developing a Free-Piston Stirling Convertor for advanced radioisotope space power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, John E.; White, Maurice A.; Peterson, Allen A.; Redinger, Darin L.; Petersen, Stephen L.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Free-Piston Stirling Convertors as a technology for future advanced radioisotope space power systems. In August 2000, DOE awarded competitive Phase I, Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG) power system integration contracts to three major aerospace contractors, resulting in SRG conceptual designs in February 2001. All three contractors based their designs on the Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) developed by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for DOE. The contract award to a single system integration contractor for Phases II and III of the SRG program is anticipated in late 2001. The first potential SRG mission is targeted for a Mars rover. This paper provides a description of the Flight Prototype (FP) Stirling convertor design as compared to the previous TDC design. The initial flight prototype units are already undergoing performance tuning at STC. The new design will be hermetically scaled and will provide a weight reduction from approximately 4.8 kg to approximately 3.9 kg. .

  4. 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.

  5. Small Stirling Cycle Convertors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penswick, L. Barry; Schreiber, Jeffery

    2005-02-01

    The Stirling convertor concept continues to be a viable potential candidate for various space power applications at electrical power levels ranging from greater than 100 KW to on the order of 10+watts. Various development efforts, both in the past and currently underway, have clearly demonstrated the potential for long operating life of this concept, its high efficiency in comparison to alternative power systems (>50% of Carnot based on electric power out to heat in), and its excellent specific power characteristics. A truly unique attribute of the Stirling convertor is the ability to maintain many of these same advantages at significantly lower electrical power levels (on the order of 1 watt and below). This provides the opportunity for a wider range of potential space power applications and the use of alternative heat sources operating at dramatically lower hot-end temperatures (about 250 °C vs. current values of about 650 °C). An overview of low-power Stirling convertors and related Stirling cooler technology is provided with an emphasis on assessing the technical maturity of this concept's key components at the low power level of interest. A conceptual design of a small, 1-watt (electrical output) Stirling convertor utilizing multiple Low Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit heat sources will be described. Key technical issues in the development of this power level Stirling convertor are discussed.

  6. Development and Validation of Linear Alternator Models for the Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2015-01-01

    Two models of the linear alternator of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) have been developed using the Sage 1-D modeling software package. The first model relates the piston motion to electric current by means of a motor constant. The second uses electromagnetic model components to model the magnetic circuit of the alternator. The models are tuned and validated using test data and also compared against each other. Results show both models can be tuned to achieve results within 7 of ASC test data under normal operating conditions. Using Sage enables the creation of a complete ASC model to be developed and simulations completed quickly compared to more complex multi-dimensional models. These models allow for better insight into overall Stirling convertor performance, aid with Stirling power system modeling, and in the future support NASA mission planning for Stirling-based power systems.

  7. Development and Validation of Linear Alternator Models for the Advanced Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan F.; Lewandowski, Edward

    2014-01-01

    Two models of the linear alternator of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) have been developed using the Sage 1-D modeling software package. The first model relates the piston motion to electric current by means of a motor constant. The second uses electromagnetic model components to model the magnetic circuit of the alternator. The models are tuned and validated using test data and compared against each other. Results show both models can be tuned to achieve results within 7% of ASC test data under normal operating conditions. Using Sage enables the creation of a complete ASC model to be developed and simulations completed quickly compared to more complex multi-dimensional models. These models allow for better insight into overall Stirling convertor performance, aid with Stirling power system modeling, and in the future support NASA mission planning for Stirling-based power systems.

  8. 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.

  9. Test Hardware Design for Flight-Like Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Dynamic Capability of an Operating Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodnight, Thomas W.; Hughes, William O.; McNelis, Mark E.

    2000-01-01

    The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and the US Department of Energy are currently developing a Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA deep-space missions. NASA Headquarters has recently identified the Stirling technology generator for potential use as the spacecraft power system for two of NASA's new missions, the Europa Orbiter and the Solar Probe missions (planned for launch in 2006 and 2007 respectively). As part of the development of this power system, a Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor was vibration tested at NASA John H. Glenn Research Center to verify its survivability and capability of withstanding the harsh dynamic environment typically seen by the spacecraft when it is launched by an expendable launch vehicle. The Technology Demonstration Convertor was fully operational (producing power) during the random vibration testing. The output power of the convertor and other convertor performance indicators were measured during the testing, and these results are discussed in this paper. Numerous accelerometers and force gauges also were used to provide information on the dynamic characteristics of the Technology Demonstration Convertor and as an indication of any possible damage due to the vibration. These measurements will also be discussed in this paper. The vibration testing of the Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor was extremely successful. The Technology Demonstration Convertor survived all its vibration testing with no structural damage or functional performance degradation. As a result of this testing, the Stirling convertor's capability to withstand vibration has been demonstrated, enabling its usage in future spacecraft power systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Scott 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 high-efficiency 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    Objectives of this work are: (1) Assist the Science Mission Directorate in developing technologies for space missions. (2) Explore the capability of computational modeling to assist in the development of the Advanced Stirling Convertor. (3) Baseline computational simulation with available experimental data of the ASC. (4) Calculate peak external pressure vessel wall temperatures and compare them with anticipated values. (5) Calculated peak magnet temperature inside the ASC over a range of operational scenarios.

  18. Evaluation and Validation of Organic Materials for Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs): Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shin, Euy-Sik Eugene

    2015-01-01

    Various organic materials are used as essential parts in Stirling Convertors for their unique properties and functionalities such as bonding, potting, sealing, thread locking, insulation, and lubrication. More efficient Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) are being developed for future space applications especially with a long mission cycle, sometimes up to 17 years, such as deep space exploration or lunar surface power or Mars rovers, and others. Thus, performance, durability, and reliability of those organics should be critically evaluated in every possible material-process-fabrication-service environment relations based on their mission specifications. In general, thermal stability, radiation hardness, outgassing, and material compatibility of the selected organics have been systematically evaluated while their process and fabrication conditions and procedures were being optimized. Service environment-simulated long term aging tests up to 4 years were performed as a function of temperature for durability assessment of the most critical organic material systems.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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.

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Development and Integration of an Advanced Stirling Convertor Linear Alternator Model for a Tool Simulating Convertor Performance and Creating Phasor Diagrams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Metscher, Jonathan F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2013-01-01

    A simple model of the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) linear alternator and an AC bus controller has been developed and combined with a previously developed thermodynamic model of the convertor for a more complete simulation and analysis of the system performance. The model was developed using Sage, a 1-D thermodynamic modeling program that now includes electro-magnetic components. The convertor, consisting of a free-piston Stirling engine combined with a linear alternator, has sufficiently sinusoidal steady-state behavior to allow for phasor analysis of the forces and voltages acting in the system. A MATLAB graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed to interface with the Sage software for simplified use of the ASC model, calculation of forces, and automated creation of phasor diagrams. The GUI allows the user to vary convertor parameters while fixing different input or output parameters and observe the effect on the phasor diagrams or system performance. The new ASC model and GUI help create a better understanding of the relationship between the electrical component voltages and mechanical forces. This allows better insight into the overall convertor dynamics and performance.

  13. Vibration Testing of an Operating Stirling Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, William O.; McNelis, Mark E.; Goodnight, Thomas W.

    2000-01-01

    The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy are currently developing a Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA deep-space missions. As part of this development, a Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC) was recently tested to verify its survivability and capability of withstanding its expected launch random vibration environment. The TDC was fully operational (producing power) during the random vibration testing. The output power of the convertor was measured during the testing, and these results are discussed in this paper. Numerous accelerometers and force gauges were also present which provided information on the dynamic characteristics of the TDC and an indication of any possible damage due to vibration. These measurements will also be discussed in this paper. The vibration testing of the Stirling TDC was extremely successful. The TDC survived all its vibration testing with no structural damage or functional performance degradation. As a result of this testing, the Stirling convertor's capability to withstand vibration has been demonstrated, enabling its usage in future spacecraft power systems.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Structural Benchmark Creep Testing for the Advanced Stirling Convertor Heater Head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Kalluri, Sreeramesh; Bowman, Randy R.; Shah, Ashwin R.

    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 use on long duration Science missions such as lunar applications, Mars rovers, and deep space missions. For the inherent long life times required, a structurally significant design limit for the heater head component of the ASRG Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is creep deformation induced at low stress levels and high temperatures. Demonstrating proof of adequate margins on creep deformation and rupture for the operating conditions and the MarM-247 material of construction is a challenge that the NASA Glenn Research Center is addressing. The combined analytical and experimental program ensures integrity and high reliability of the heater head for its 17-year design life. The life assessment approach starts with an extensive series of uniaxial creep tests on thin MarM-247 specimens that comprise the same chemistry, microstructure, and heat treatment processing as the heater head itself. This effort addresses a scarcity of openly available creep properties for the material as well as for the virtual absence of understanding of the effect on creep properties due to very thin walls, fine grains, low stress levels, and high-temperature fabrication steps. The approach continues with a considerable analytical effort, both deterministically to evaluate the median creep life using nonlinear finite element analysis, and probabilistically to calculate the heater head s reliability to a higher degree. Finally, the approach includes a substantial structural benchmark creep testing activity to calibrate and validate the analytical work. This last element provides high fidelity testing of prototypical heater head test articles; the testing includes the relevant material issues and the essential multiaxial stress state, and applies prototypical and accelerated temperature profiles for timely results in a

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model Developed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Regan, Timothy F.

    2005-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors are being developed for potential use on NASA exploration missions. In support of this effort, the NASA Glenn Research Center has developed the Stirling convertor System Dynamic Model (SDM). The SDM models the Stirling cycle thermodynamics; heat flow; gas, mechanical, and mounting dynamics; the linear alternator; and the controller. The SDM s scope extends from the thermal energy input to thermal, mechanical, and electrical energy output, allowing one to study complex system interactions among subsystems. Thermal, mechanical, fluid, magnetic, and electrical subsystems can be studied in one model. The SDM is a nonlinear time-domain model containing sub-cycle dynamics, which simulates transient and dynamic phenomena that other models cannot. The entire range of convertor operation is modeled, from startup to full-power conditions.

  7. 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.

    2011-01-01

    Convertor and generator testing is carried out in tests designed to characterize convertor performance when subjected to environments intended to simulate launch and space conditions. The value of net heat input must be known in order to calculate convertor efficiency and to validate convertor performance. Specially designed test hardware was used to verify and validate a two step methodology for the prediction of net heat input. This lessons learned from these simulations have been applied to previous convertor simulations. As heat is supplied to the convertors, electric power is produced and measured. Net heat input to the convertor is one parameter that will contribute to the calculation of efficiency. This parameter is not measured directly. Insulation Loss. Determine the current status of the thermal conductivity of the micro-porous insulation. - Match heat source and hot end temperatures. - Match temperature difference across Kaowool insulation

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell; Schifer, Nicholas

    2011-01-01

    Test hardware used to validate net heat prediction models. Problem: Net Heat Input cannot be measured directly during operation. Net heat input is a key parameter needed in prediction of efficiency for convertor performance. Efficiency = Electrical Power Output (Measured) divided by Net Heat Input (Calculated). Efficiency is used to compare convertor designs and trade technology advantages for mission planning.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

    Past methods of predicting net heat input needed to be validated. Validation effort pursued with several paths including improving model inputs, using test hardware to provide validation data, and validating high fidelity models. Validation test hardware provided direct measurement of net heat input for comparison to predicted values. Predicted value of net heat input was 1.7 percent less than measured value and initial calculations of measurement uncertainty were 2.1 percent (under review). Lessons learned during validation effort were incorporated into convertor modeling approach which improved predictions of convertor efficiency.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  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. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. New 5 Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Space Convertor Developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W.

    2007-01-01

    NASA has recently funded development of a 5 kW (or greater) free-piston Stirling conversion system for reactor power systems. A nominal 5 kW convertor allows two of these units to be dynamically balanced. A group of three dual-convertor combinations would yield the desired 30 kW. The status of this program will be presented. Goals include a specific power in excess of 140 W/kg at the convertor level, lifetime in excess of five years and AC output. The initial step is the design and development of a nominal 5 kW per cylinder Stirling convertor assembly (SCA) which will serve as a prototype of one or more SCAs that will make up the final 30 kW Stirling Convertor Power System. Assumed requirements for this new convertor for lunar fission power systems will be presented. The primary objective of this development effort will be to demonstrate a 5 kW SCA that can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Application of the GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G. (Technical Monitor)

    2004-01-01

    The GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model (SDM) has been developed to simulate dynamic performance of power systems incorporating free-piston Stirling convertors. This paper discusses its use in evaluating system dynamics and other systems concerns. Detailed examples are provided showing the use of the model in evaluation of off-nominal operating conditions. The many degrees of freedom in both the mechanical and electrical domains inherent in the Stirling convertor and the nonlinear dynamics make simulation an attractive analysis tool in conjunction with classical analysis. Application of SDM in studying the relationship of the size of the resonant circuit quality factor (commonly referred to as Q) in the various resonant mechanical and electrical sub-systems is discussed.

  5. Overview of the GRC Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewandowski, Edward J.; Regan, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    A Stirling Convertor System Dynamic Model has been developed at the Glenn Research Center for controls, dynamics, and systems development of free-piston convertor power systems. It models the Stirling cycle thermodynamics, heat flow, gas, mechanical, and mounting dynamics, the linear alternator, and the controller. The model's scope extends from the thermal energy input to thermal, mechanical dynamics, and electrical energy out, allowing one to study complex system interactions among subsystems. The model is a non-linear time-domain model containing sub-cycle dynamics, allowing it to simulate transient and dynamic phenomena that other models cannot. The model details and capability are discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. Progress in High Power Free-Piston Stirling Convertor Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Space Exploration Policy has established a vision for human exploration of the moon and Mars. One option for power for future outposts on the lunar and Martian surfaces is a nuclear reactor coupled with a free-piston Stirling convertor at a power level of 30-40 kWe. A 25 kW convertor was developed in the 1990s 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 began a new project with Auburn University to develop a 5 kWe, single convertor for use in such a possible 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. Foster-Miller, Inc. is developing the 5 kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly. The characteristics of the design along with progress in developing the system will be described.

  8. Structural Benchmark Creep Testing for Microcast MarM-247 Advanced Stirling Convertor E2 Heater Head Test Article SN18

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Brewer, Ethan J.; Pawlik, Ralph

    2013-01-01

    This report provides test methodology details and qualitative results for the first structural benchmark creep test of an Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) heater head of ASC-E2 design heritage. The test article was recovered from a flight-like Microcast MarM-247 heater head specimen previously used in helium permeability testing. The test article was utilized for benchmark creep test rig preparation, wall thickness and diametral laser scan hardware metrological developments, and induction heater custom coil experiments. In addition, a benchmark creep test was performed, terminated after one week when through-thickness cracks propagated at thermocouple weld locations. Following this, it was used to develop a unique temperature measurement methodology using contact thermocouples, thereby enabling future benchmark testing to be performed without the use of conventional welded thermocouples, proven problematic for the alloy. This report includes an overview of heater head structural benchmark creep testing, the origin of this particular test article, test configuration developments accomplished using the test article, creep predictions for its benchmark creep test, qualitative structural benchmark creep test results, and a short summary.

  9. 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.

  10. Stirling Research Laboratory Providing Independent Performance Verification of Convertors for a Stirling Radioisotope Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE), Germantown, Maryland, Stirling Technology Company (STC), Kennewick, Washington, and NASA Glenn Research Center are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a high-efficiency Stirling Radioisotope Generator for NASA Space Science missions. This generator is being developed for multimission use, including providing electric power for unmanned Mars rovers and for deep space missions. STC is developing the 55-W Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) under contract to DOE. Glenn is conducting an in-house technology project to assist in developing the convertor for readiness for space qualification and mission implementation. As part of this effort, a Stirling Research Laboratory was established to test the TDC's and related technologies. A key task is providing an independent verification and validation of the TDC performance. Four TDC's are now being tested at Glenn. Acceptance testing has been completed for all convertors, and in general, performance agreed well with that achieved by STC prior to the delivery of the convertors. Performance mapping has also been completed on two of the convertors over a range of hot-end temperatures (450 to 650 C), cold-end temperatures (80 to 120 C), and piston amplitudes (5.2 to 6.2 mm). These test data are available online at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/tmsb/. The TDC's can be tested in either a horizontal orientation with dual-opposed convertors or in a vertical orientation with a single convertor. Synchronized dual-opposed pairs are used for dynamically balanced operation that results in very low levels of vibration. The Stirling Research Laboratory also supports launch environment testing of the TDC's in Glenn's Structural Dynamics Laboratory and electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility characterization and reduction efforts. In addition, the TDC's will be used for long-term endurance testing, and preparations are underway for unattended operation.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 5-kWe Free-piston Stirling Engine Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, Peter A.; Vitale, Nicholas A.; Walter, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The high reliability, long life, and efficient operation of Free-Piston Stirling Engines (FPSEs) make them an attractive power system to meet future space power requirements with less mass, better efficiency, and less total heat exchanger area than other power convertor options. FPSEs are also flexible in configuration as they can be coupled with many potential heat sources and various heat input systems, heat rejection systems, and power management and distribution systems. Development of a 5-kWe Stirling Convertor Assembly (SCA) is underway to demonstrate the viability of an FPSE for space power. The design is a scaled-down version of the successful 12.5-kWe Component Test Power Converter (CTPC) developed under NAS3-25463. The ultimate efficiency target is 25% overall convertor efficiency (electrical power out over heat in). For the single cylinder prototype now in development, cost and time constraints required use of economical and readily available materials (steel versus beryllium) and components (a commercially available linear alternator) and thus lower efficiency. The working gas is helium at 150 bar mean pressure. The design consists of a displacer suspended on internally pumped gas bearings and a power piston/alternator supported on flexures. Non-contacting clearance seals are used between internal volumes. Heat to and from the prototype convertor is done via pumped liquid loops passing through shell and tube heat exchangers. The preliminary and detail designs of the convertor, controller, and support systems (heating loop, cooling loop, and helium supply system) are complete and all hardware is on order. Assembly and test of the prototype at Foster- Miller is planned for early 2008, when work will focus on characterizing convertor dynamics and steady-state operation to determine maximum power output and system efficiency. The device will then be delivered to Auburn University where assessments will include start-up and shutdown characterization and

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Structural Benchmark Testing for Stirling Convertor Heater Heads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krause, David L.; Kalluri, Sreeramesh; Bowman, Randy R.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has identified high efficiency Stirling technology for potential use on long duration Space Science missions such as Mars rovers, deep space missions, and lunar applications. For the long life times required, a structurally significant design limit for the Stirling convertor heater head is creep deformation induced even under relatively low stress levels at high material temperatures. Conventional investigations of creep behavior adequately rely on experimental results from uniaxial creep specimens, and much creep data is available for the proposed Inconel-718 (IN-718) and MarM-247 nickel-based superalloy materials of construction. However, very little experimental creep information is available that directly applies to the atypical thin walls, the specific microstructures, and the low stress levels. In addition, the geometry and loading conditions apply multiaxial stress states on the heater head components, far from the conditions of uniaxial testing. For these reasons, experimental benchmark testing is underway to aid in accurately assessing the durability of Stirling heater heads. The investigation supplements uniaxial creep testing with pneumatic testing of heater head test articles at elevated temperatures and with stress levels ranging from one to seven times design stresses. This paper presents experimental methods, results, post-test microstructural analyses, and conclusions for both accelerated and non-accelerated tests. The Stirling projects use the results to calibrate deterministic and probabilistic analytical creep models of the heater heads to predict their life times.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

    2011-01-01

    Demagnetization temperature of a linear alternator (LA) can be accurately predicted through an analytical Maxwell model. The M-H characteristics of the alternator magnets must be known. Vendor data are given for cube-shaped magnets, and the shape of a LA magnet may affect its magnetic properties. At GRC, M-H data are directly measured for each LA magnet. This method was validated using TDC alternator tests on the Alternator Test Rig. The analytical Maxwell modeling was utilized on a different style linear alternator to predict demagnetization temperatures for the Advanced Stirling Convertor.

  20. 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.

  1. Free-Piston Stirling Convertor Controller Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    The free-piston Stirling convertor end-to-end modeling effort at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) 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, linear alternator, controller, and load. This paper is concerned with controllers. It discusses three controllers that have been studied using this model. Case motion has been added to the model recently so that effects of differences between convertor components can be simulated and ameliorative control engineering techniques can be developed. One concern when applying a system comprised of interconnected mass-spring-damper components is to prevent operation in any but the intended mode. The design mode is the only desired mode of operation, but all other modes are considered in controller design.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Control of Dual-Opposed Stirling Convertors with Active Power Factor Correction Controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2006-01-01

    When using recently-developed active power factor correction (APFC) controllers in power systems comprised of dual-opposed free-piston Stirling convertors, a variety of configurations of the convertors and controller(s) can be considered, with configuration ultimately selected based on benefits of efficiency, reliability, and robust operation. The configuration must not only achieve stable control of the two convertors, but also synchronize and regulate motion of the pistons to minimize net dynamic forces. The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) System Dynamic Model (SDM) was used to study ten configurations of dual-opposed convertor systems. These configurations considered one controller with the alternators connected in series or in parallel, and two controllers with the alternators not connected (isolated). For the configurations where the alternators were not connected, several different approaches were evaluated to synchronize the two convertors. In addition, two thermodynamic configurations were considered: two convertors with isolated working spaces and convertors with a shared expansion space. Of the ten configurations studied, stable operating modes were found for four. Three of those four had a common expansion space. One stable configuration was found for the dual-opposed convertors with separate working spaces. That configuration required isochronous control of both convertors, and two APFC controllers were used to accomplish this. A frequency/phase control loop was necessary to allow each APFC controller to synchronize its associated convertor with a common frequency.

  6. Control of Dual-Opposed Stirling Convertors with Active Power Factor Correction Controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

    When using recently-developed active power factor correction (APFC) controllers in power systems comprised of dual-opposed free-piston Stirling convertors, a variety of configurations of the convertors and controller(s) can be considered, with configuration ultimately selected based on benefits of efficiency, reliability, and robust operation. The configuration must not only achieve stable control of the two convertors, but also synchronize and regulate motion of the pistons to minimize net dynamic forces. The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) System Dynamic Model (SDM) was used to study ten configurations of dual-opposed convertor systems. These configurations considered one controller with the alternators connected in series or in parallel, and two controllers with the alternators not connected (isolated). For the configurations where the alternators were not connected, several different approaches were evaluated to synchronize the two convertors. In addition, two thermodynamic configurations were considered: two convertors with isolated working spaces and convertors with a shared expansion space. Of the ten configurations studied, stable operating modes were found for four. Three of those four had a common expansion space. One stable configuration was found for the dual-opposed convertors with separate working spaces. That configuration required isochronous control of both convertors, and two APFC controllers were used to accomplish this. A frequency/phase control loop was necessary to allow each APFC controller to synchronize its associated convertor with a common frequency.

  7. 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.

  8. Reliability Quantification of the Flexure: A Critical Stirling Convertor Component

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Korovaichuk, Igor; Zampino, Edward J.

    2004-01-01

    Uncertainties in the manufacturing, fabrication process, material behavior, loads, and boundary conditions results in the variation of the stresses and strains induced in the flexures and its fatigue life. Past experience and the test data at material coupon levels revealed a significant amount of scatter of the fatigue life. Owing to these facts, the design of the flexure, using conventional approaches based on safety factor or traditional reliability based on similar equipment considerations does not provide a direct measure of reliability. Additionally, it may not be feasible to run actual long term fatigue tests due to cost and time constraints. Therefore it is difficult to ascertain material fatigue strength limit. The objective of the paper is to present a methodology and quantified results of numerical simulation for the reliability of flexures used in the Stirling convertor for their structural performance. The proposed approach is based on application of finite element analysis method in combination with the random fatigue limit model, which includes uncertainties in material fatigue life. Additionally, sensitivity of fatigue life reliability to the design variables is quantified and its use to develop guidelines to improve design, manufacturing, quality control and inspection design process is described.

  9. 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.

  10. Stirling Convertor Performance Mapping Test Results for Future Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qiu, Songgang; Peterson, Allen A.; Faultersack, Franklyn D.; Redinger, Darin L.; Augenblick, John E.

    2004-02-01

    Long-life radioisotope-fueled generators based on free-piston Stirling convertors are an energy-conversion solution for future space applications. The high efficiency of Stirling machines makes them more attractive than the thermoelectric generators currently used in space. Stirling Technology Company (STC) has been performance-testing its Stirling generators to provide data for potential system integration contractors. This paper describes the most recent test results from the STC RemoteGen™ 55 W-class Stirling generators (RG-55). Comparisons are made between the new data and previous Stirling thermodynamic simulation models. Performance-mapping tests are presented including variations in: internal charge pressure, cold end temperature, hot end temperature, alternator temperature, input power, and variation of control voltage.

  11. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Engine Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, Nick

    2008-01-01

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled "Affordable Fission Surface Power Study" recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling convertors for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW convertors allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-convertor combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  13. Assessments of Mechanical and Life Limiting Properties of Two Candidate Silicon Nitrides for Stirling Convertor Heater Head Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choi, Sung R.; Krause, David L.

    2006-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center is developing advanced technology for Stirling convertors with a target of significantly improving the specific power and efficiency of the convertor and overall generator for Mars rovers and deep space missions. One specific approach to the target has been recognized as the use of appropriate high-temperature materials. As a series of ceramic material approaches in Advanced Stirling Convertor Development Program in fiscal year 2005, two commercial, structural silicon nitrides AS800 (Honeywell, Torrence, California) and SN282 (Kyocera, Vancouver, Washington) were selected and their mechanical and life limiting properties were characterized at 1050 C in air. AS800 exhibited both strength and Weibull modulus greater than SN282. A life limiting phenomenon was apparent in AS800 with a low slow crack growth parameter n = 15; whereas, a much increased resistance to slow crack growth was found in SN282 with n greater than 100. Difference in elastic modulus and thermal conductivity was negligible up to 1200 C between the two silicon nitrides. The same was true for the coefficient of thermal expansion up to 1400 C.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oriti, Salvatore

    2011-01-01

    Glenn Research Center (GRC) is supporting life and reliability database for free-piston Stirilng conversion via extended convertor operation Ongoing convertor operation: 18 convertors (4 TDCs from Infinia, 14 ASCs from Sunpower). 350,000 total convertor hours of operation. 218,000 on Infinia units and 132,000 on Sunpower units. Demonstrating steady convertor performance requires precise maintenance of operating conditions. Sources of disruption : Investigative tests: Varying operating frequency, hot-end temp, cold-end temp. Hot end control method: Constant heat input mode requires more user-adjustment than constant temperature mode. Long-term transients in hot end insulation were observed. Support facility: Open-bath circulator fluid concentration drifting. Nuisance shutdowns (instrumentation failure, EMI, power outages). Ambient temperature fluctuations due to room HVAC.

  16. 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.

  17. Overview 2004 of NASA-Stirling Convertor CFD Model Development and Regenerator R&D Efforts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

    This paper reports on accomplishments in 2004 in (1) development of Stirling-convertor CFD models at NASA GRC and via a NASA grant, (2) a Stirling regenerator-research effort being conducted via a NASA grant (a follow-on effort to an earlier DOE contract), and (3) a regenerator-microfabrication contract for development of a "next-generation Stirling regenerator." Cleveland State University is the lead organization for all three grant/contractual efforts, with the University of Minnesota and Gedeon Associates as subcontractors. Also, the Stirling Technology Co. and Sunpower, Inc. are both involved in all three efforts, either as funded or unfunded participants. International Mezzo Technologies of Baton Rouge, LA is the regenerator fabricator for the regenerator-microfabrication contract. Results of the efforts in these three areas are summarized.

  18. Overview 2004 of NASA-Stirling Convertor CFD Model Development and Regenerator R and D Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    This paper reports on accomplishments in 2004 in (1) development of Stirling-convertor CFD models at NASA Glenn and via a NASA grant, (2) a Stirling regenerator-research effort being conducted via a NASA grant (a follow-on effort to an earlier DOE contract), and (3) a regenerator-microfabrication contract for development of a "next-generation Stirling regenerator." Cleveland State University is the lead organization for all three grant/contractual efforts, with the University of Minnesota and Gedeon Associates as subcontractors. Also, the Stirling Technology Company and Sunpower, Inc. are both involved in all three efforts, either as funded or unfunded participants. International Mezzo Technologies of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the regenerator fabricator for the regenerator-microfabrication contract. Results of the efforts in these three areas are summarized.

  19. 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.

  20. Reliability of the SRG110 Stirling Convertor Quantified

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center has been involved in the development of Stirling power-conversion technology and is currently providing technical support to the Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin, of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, their system integration contractor, for the 110-W Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG110). Stirling radioisotope power-conversion technology is a potential candidate for future deep-space science and exploration missions. The SRG110 has a multifold increase in efficiency and would reduce the inventory of the radioisotope fuel by a factor of 4 in comparison to systems used to power past missions.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Development of Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator for Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 We/kg to 7 We/kg, along with a 25% 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.

  6. Development of a Dynamic, End-to-End Free Piston Stirling Convertor Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

    A dynamic model for a free-piston Stirling convertor is being developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The model is an end-to-end system model that includes the cycle thermodynamics, the dynamics, and electrical aspects of the system. The subsystems of interest are the heat source, the springs, the moving masses, the linear alternator, the controller, and the end-user load. The envisioned use of the model will be in evaluating how changes in a subsystem could affect the operation of the convertor. The model under development will speed the evaluation of improvements to a subsystem and aid in determining areas in which most significant improvements may be found. One of the first uses of the end-toend model will be in the development of controller architectures. Another related area is in evaluating changes to details in the linear alternator.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    SciTech Connect

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, N.

    2008-01-21

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled 'Affordable Fission Surface Power Study' recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling conversion for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW converters allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-converter combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the FSPE convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

  10. The Development of a Control System for a 5 Kilowatt Free Piston Stirling Space Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirby, Raymond L.; Vitale, Nicholas

    2008-01-01

    The new NASA Vision for Exploration, announced by President Bush in January 2004, proposes an ambitious program that plans to return astronauts to the moon by the 2018 time frame. A recent NASA study entitled "Affordable Fission Surface Power Study" recommended a 40 kWe, 900 K, NaK-cooled, Stirling conversion for 2020 launch. Use of two of the nominal 5 kW converters allows the system to be dynamically balanced. A group of four dual-converter combinations that would yield 40 kWe can be tested to validate the viability of Stirling technology for space fission surface power systems. The work described in this paper deals specifically with the control system for the 5 kW convertor described in the preceding paragraph. This control system is responsible for maintaining piston stroke to a setpoint in the presence of various disturbances including electrical load variations. Pulse starting of the FSPE convertor is also an inherent part of such a control system. Finally, the ability to throttle the engine to match the required output power is discussed in terms of setpoint control. Several novel ideas have been incorporated into the piston stroke control strategy that will engender a stable response to disturbances in the presence of midpoint drift while providing useful data regarding the position of both the power piston and displacer.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999-2006, the 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.

  13. Overview 2004 of NASA Stirling-Convertor CFD-Model Development and Regenerator R&D Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

    This paper reports on accomplishments in 2004 in development of Stirling-convertor CFD model at NASA GRC and via a NASA grant, a Stirling regenerator-research effort being conducted via a NASA grant (a follow-on effort to an earlier DOE contract), and a regenerator-microfabrication contract for development of a "next-generation Stirling regenerator." Cleveland State University is the lead organization for all three grant/contractual efforts, with the University of Minnesota and Gedeor Associates as subcontractors. Also, the Stirling Technology Co. and Sunpower, Inc. are both involved in all three efforts, either as funded or unfunded participants. International Mezzo Technologies of Baton Rouge, LA is the regenerator fabricator for the regenerator-microfabrication contract. Results of the efforts in these three areas are summarized.

  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. Microfabrication of a Segmented-Involute-Foil Regenerator, Testing in a Sunpower Stirling Convertor and Supporting Modeling and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Tew, Roy C.; Gedeon, David; Wood, Gary; McLean, Jeff

    2008-01-01

    Under Phase II of a NASA Research Award contract, a prototype nickel segmented-involute-foil regenerator was microfabricated via LiGA and tested in the NASA/Sunpower oscillating-flow test rig. The resulting figure-of-merit was about twice that of the approx.90% porosity random-fiber material currently used in the small 50-100 W Stirling engines recently manufactured for NASA. That work was reported at the 2007 International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference in St. Louis, was also published as a NASA report, NASA/TM-2007-2149731, and has been more completely described in a recent NASA Contractor Report, NASA/CR-2007-2150062. Under a scaled-back version of the original Phase III plan, a new nickel segmentedinvolute- foil regenerator was microfabricated and has been tested in a Sunpower Frequency-Test-Bed (FTB) Stirling convertor. 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 been 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) is included. The report also includes recommendations for accomplishing further development of involute-foil regenerators from a higher-temperature material than nickel.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Long-Term Creep of a Thin-Walled Inconel 718 Stirling Power-Convertor Heater Head Assessed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Randy R.

    2002-01-01

    The Department of Energy and NASA have identified Stirling power convertors as candidate power supply systems for long-duration, deep-space science missions. A key element for qualifying the flight hardware is a long-term durability assessment for critical hot section components of the power convertor. One such critical component is the power convertor heater head. The heater head is a high-temperature pressure vessel that transfers heat to the working gas medium of the convertor, which is typically helium. An efficient heater head design is the result of balancing the divergent requirements of thin walls for increased heat transfer versus thick walls to lower the wall stresses and thus improve creep resistance and durability. In the current design, the heater head is fabricated from the Ni-base superalloy Inconel 718 (IN 718, Inco Alloys International, Inc., Huntington, WV). Although IN 718 is a mature alloy system (patented in 1962), there is little long-term (>50,000-hr) creep data available for thin-specimen geometries. Since thin-section properties tend to be inferior to thicker samples, it is necessary to generate creep data using specimens with the same geometry as the actual flight hardware. Therefore, one facet of the overall durability assessment program involves generating relatively short-term creep data using thin specimens at the design temperature of 649 C (1200 F).

  19. Summary of Test Results From a 1 kW(sub e)-Class Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors was modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The tests included performance mapping the convertors over various hot and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes and NaK flow rates; and transient test conditions to simulate various start-up and fault scenarios. Performance maps of the convertors generated using the pumped NaK loop for thermal input show increases in power output over those measured during baseline testing using electric heating. Transient testing showed that the Stirling convertors can be successfully started in a variety of different scenarios and that the convertors can recover from a variety of fault scenarios.

  20. Summary of Test Results From a 1 kWe-Class Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2010-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors was modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The tests included performance mapping the convertors over various hot and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes and NaK flow rates; and transient test conditions to simulate various start-up and fault scenarios. Performance maps of the convertors generated using the pumped NaK loop for thermal input show increases in power output over those measured during baseline testing using electric heating. Transient testing showed that the Stirling convertors can be successfully started in a variety of different scenarios and that the convertors can recover from a variety of fault scenarios.

  1. 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. .

  2. Test Results From a Pair of 1-kWe Dual-Opposed Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertors Integrated With a Pumped NaK Loop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Penswick, L. Barry; Pearson, J. Boise; Godfroy, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1-kW-class free-piston Stirling convertors were modified to operate with a NaK (sodium (Na) and potassium (K)) liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The convertors were successfully tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from June 6 through July 14, 2009. The convertors were operated for a total test time of 66 hr and 16 min. The tests included (a) performance mapping the convertors over various hot- and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes, and NaK flow rates and (b) transient test conditions to simulate various startup (i.e., low-, medium-, and high-temperature startups) and fault scenarios (i.e., loss of heat source, loss of NaK pump, convertor stall, etc.). This report documents the results of this testing

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1991-01-01

    Heat engines were evaluated for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine was identified as one of the most promising heat engines for terrestrial applications. Technology development is also conducted 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Advanced Stirling Converter (ASC) Phase III Progress Update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

    Progress in the development of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is presented here. The ASC is being developed under contact with the NASA Glenn Research Center and is supported by the 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. Phase II of the effort successfully demonstrated very high conversion efficiency and also demonstrated the low mass capability of the ASC design. The non-hermetic ASC-1 converters demonstrated during Phase II employ superalloy heater heads designed for greater than 14 years life at 850 °C operation. Phase III, which is reported on here, includes the fabrication of multiple next generation hermetic ASC-2 units. Phase III also includes the development of multiple lower-temperature (650 °C hot end) convertors based on the basic ASC design and designated as ASC-0 units. Multiple converters are being built for extended life testing at NASA GRC.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Overview 2003 of NASA Multi-D Stirling Convertor Development and DOE and NASA Stirling Regenerator R and D Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Twe, Roy; Ibrahim, Mounir; Simon, Terrence; Mantell, Susan; Gedeon, David; Qiu, Songgang; Wood, Gary

    2004-01-01

    This paper will report on (1) continuation through the 3rd year of a NASA grant for multi-dimensional Stirling CFD code development and validation, (2) continuation through the 3rd and final year of a Department of Energy, Golden Field Office (DOE) regenerator research effort. Results of the NASA multi-D code development effort and the DOE regenerator research efforts will be summarized. Early results and planning for the new regenerator microfabrication contract will also be discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Technology demonstration of a free-piston stirling advanced radioisotope space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Olan, Ronald W.; Erbeznik, Raymond M.

    1999-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling convertors (Stirling engine with integral linear alternator) are a mature technology with demonstrated long-life, maintenance-free, degradation-free operation exceeding 46,000 hours (5+ years) on one unit. Tens of thousands of hours have been accumulated on numerous systems in beta trials, plus more than 8 million flexure-hours (900 flexure-years) on the most critical component (flexure bearings), all with no failures when operated within specifications. Vibration is a key concern for Stirling convertors in space. Recent tests have demonstrated a factor of 50 reduction in vibration, relative to a single convertor, by coupling two convertors mechanically and electrically. Even though the measured vibration level is below Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) specified vibration objectives, demonstration of an additional factor of 10 vibration reduction is pending with an active vibration reduction system. Stirling cycle efficiency is well established. A four-convertor 150-W(e) end of mission (EOM) power system for deep space missions is projected to require only three general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules with conservative Inconel 718 heater heads, leaving significant efficiency improvement potential when used with higher temperature materials. Even in the unlikely scenario of one inoperative convertor, the other three convertors ramp up to provide full output. A two-convertor demonstration system, representative of one-half of a 150-W(e) power system, is described in this paper and scheduled to become operational in December 1998.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Overview of NASA Multi-dimensional Stirling Convertor Code Development and Validation Effort

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Cairelli, James E.; Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Simon, Terrence W.; Gedeon, David

    2002-01-01

    A NASA grant has been awarded to Cleveland State University (CSU) to develop a multi-dimensional (multi-D) Stirling computer code with the goals of improving loss predictions and identifying component areas for improvements. The University of Minnesota (UMN) and Gedeon Associates are teamed with CSU. Development of test rigs at UMN and CSU and validation of the code against test data are part of the effort. The one-dimensional (1-D) Stirling codes used for design and performance prediction do not rigorously model regions of the working space where abrupt changes in flow area occur (such as manifolds and other transitions between components). Certain hardware experiences have demonstrated large performance gains by varying manifolds and heat exchanger designs to improve flow distributions in the heat exchangers. 1-D codes were not able to predict these performance gains. An accurate multi-D code should improve understanding of the effects of area changes along the main flow axis, sensitivity of performance to slight changes in internal geometry, and, in general, the understanding of various internal thermodynamic losses. The commercial CFD-ACE code has been chosen for development of the multi-D code. This 2-D/3-D code has highly developed pre- and post-processors, and moving boundary capability. Preliminary attempts at validation of CFD-ACE models of MIT gas spring and "two space" test rigs were encouraging. Also, CSU's simulations of the UMN oscillating-flow fig compare well with flow visualization results from UMN. A complementary Department of Energy (DOE) Regenerator Research effort is aiding in development of regenerator matrix models that will be used in the multi-D Stirling code. This paper reports on the progress and challenges of this

  18. Overview of NASA Multi-Dimensional Stirling Convertor Code Development and Validation Effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Cairelli, James E.; Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Simon, Terrence W.; Gedeon, David

    2002-12-01

    A NASA grant has been awarded to Cleveland State University (CSU) to develop a multi-dimensional (multi-D) Stirling computer code with the goals of improving loss predictions and identifying component areas for improvements. The University of Minnesota (UMN) and Gedeon Associates are teamed with CSU. Development of test rigs at UMN and CSU and validation of the code against test data are part of the effort. The one-dimensional (1-D) Stirling codes used for design and performance prediction do not rigorously model regions of the working space where abrupt changes in flow area occur (such as manifolds and other transitions between components). Certain hardware experiences have demonstrated large performance gains by varying manifolds and heat exchanger designs to improve flow distributions in the heat exchangers. 1-D codes were not able to predict these performance gains. An accurate multi-D code should improve understanding of the effects of area changes along the main flow axis, sensitivity of performance to slight changes in internal geometry, and, in general, the understanding of various internal thermodynamic losses. The commercial CFD-ACE code has been chosen for development of the multi-D code. This 2-D/3-D code has highly developed pre- and post-processors, and moving boundary capability. Preliminary attempts at validation of CFD-ACE models of MIT gas spring and "two space" test rigs were encouraging. Also, CSU's simulations of the UMN oscillating-flow fig compare well with flow visualization results from UMN. A complementary Department of Energy (DOE) Regenerator Research effort is aiding in development of regenerator matrix models that will be used in the multi-D Stirling code. This paper reports on the progress and challenges of this

  19. Overview of NASA Multi-Dimensional Stirling Convertor Code Development and Validation Effort

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tew, Roy C.; Cairelli, James E.; Ibrahim, Mounir B.; Simon, Terrence W.; Gedeon, David

    2003-01-01

    A NASA grant has been awarded to Cleveland State University (CSU) to develop a multi-dimensional (multi-D) Stirling computer code with the goals of improving loss predictions and identifying component areas for improvements. The University of Minnesota (UMN) and Gedeon Associates are teamed with CSU. Development of test rigs at UMN and CSU and validation of the code against test data are part of the effort. The one-dimensional (1-D) Stirling codes used for design and performance prediction do not rigorously model regions of the working space where abrupt changes in flow area occur (such as manifolds and other transitions between components). Certain hardware experiences have demonstrated large performance gains by varying manifolds and heat exchanger designs to improve flow distributions in the heat exchangers. 1-D codes were not able to predict these performance gains. An accurate multi-D code should improve understanding of the effects of area changes along the main flow axis, sensitivity of performance to slight changes in internal geometry, and, in general, the understanding of various internal thermodynamic losses. The commercial CFD-ACE code has been chosen for development of the multi-D code. This 2-D/3-D code has highly developed pre- and post-processors, and moving boundary capability. Preliminary attempts at validation of CFD-ACE models of MIT gas spring and ``two space'' test rigs were encouraging. Also, CSU's simulations of the UMN oscillating-flow rig compare well with flow visualization results from UMN. A complementary Department of Energy (DOE) Regenerator Research effort is aiding in development of regenerator matrix models that will be used in the multi-D Stirling code. This paper reports on the progress and challenges of this multi-D code development effort.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Technology development for a Stirling radioisotope power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. .

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Preliminary test results from a free-piston Stirling engine technology demonstration program to support advanced radioisotope space power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Maurice A.; Qiu, Songgang; Augenblick, Jack E.

    2000-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling engines offer a relatively mature, proven, long-life technology that is well-suited for advanced, high-efficiency radioisotope space power systems. Contracts from DOE and NASA are being conducted by Stirling Technology Company (STC) for the purpose of demonstrating the Stirling technology in a configuration and power level that is representative of an eventual space power system. The long-term objective is to develop a power system with an efficiency exceeding 20% that can function with a high degree of reliability for up to 15 years on deep space missions. The current technology demonstration convertors (TDC's) are completing shakedown testing and have recently demonstrated performance levels that are virtually identical to projections made during the preliminary design phase. This paper describes preliminary test results for power output, efficiency, and vibration levels. These early results demonstrate the ability of the free-piston Stirling technology to exceed objectives by approximately quadrupling the efficiency of conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). .

  3. Overview 2003 of NASA Multi-D Stirling Convertor Code Development and DOE and NASA Stirling Regenerator R and D Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy; Ibrahim, Mounir; Simon, Terry; Mantell, Susan; Gedeon, David; Qiu, Songgang; Wood, Gary

    2004-01-01

    This paper win report on continuation through the third year of a NASA grant for multi-dimensional Stirling CFD code development and validation; continuation through the third and final year of a Department of Energy, Golden Field Office (DOE), regenerator research effort and a NASA grant for continuation of the effort through two additional years; and a new NASA Research Award for design, microfabrication and testing of a "Next Generation Stirling Engine Regenerator." Cleveland State University (CSU) is the lead organization for all three efforts, with the University of Minnesota (UMN) and Gedeon Associates as subcontractors. The Stirling Technology Company and Sun power, Inc. acted as unfunded consultants or participants through the third years of both the NASA multi-D code development and DOE regenerator research efforts; they win both be subcontractors on the new regenerator microfabrication contract.

  4. Ceramic applications in the advanced Stirling automotive engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

    The requirements of the ideal Stirling cycle, as well as basic types of practical engines are described. Advantages, disadvantages, and problem areas of these Stirling engines are discussed. The potential for ceramic components is also considered. Currently ceramics are used in only two areas, the air preheater and insulating tiles between the burner and the heater head. For the advanced Stirling engine to achieve high efficiency and low cost, the principal components are expected to be made from ceramic materials, including the heater head, air preheater, regenerator, the burner and the power piston. Supporting research and technology programs for ceramic component development are briefly described.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Experimental assessment of advanced Stirling component concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ziph, B.

    1985-01-01

    The results of an experimental assessment of some advanced Stirling engine component concepts are presented. High performance piston rings, reciprocating oil scrapers and heat pipes with getters and with mechanical couplings were tested. The tests yielded the following results: (1) Bonded, split, pumping piston rings, in preliminary testing, proved a promising concept, exhibiting low leakage and friction losses. Solid piston rings proved impractical in view of their sensitivity to the operating temperature; (2) A babbit oil scraper in a compliant housing performed well in atmospheric endurance testing. In pressurized tests the scraper did not perform well as a containment seal. The latter tests suggest modifications which may adapt Ti successfully to that application; and (3) Heat pipe endurance tests indicated the adequacy of simple, inexpensive fabrication and filling procedures. Getters were provided to increase the tolerance of the heat pipes to the presence of air and commercially available couplings were demonstrated to be suitable for heat pipe application. In addition to the above tests, the program also included a design effort for a split shaft applicable to a swashplate driven engine with a pressurized crank-case. The design is aimed, and does accomplish, an increase in component life to more than 10,000 hours.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. Advanced Stirling receiver development program, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lurio, Charles A.

    1990-01-01

    Critical technology experiments were designed and developed to evaluate the Stirling cavity heat pipe receiver for a space solar power system. Theoretical criteria were applied to the design of a module for containing energy storage phase change material while avoiding thermal ratcheting. Zero-g drop tower tests, without phase change, were conducted to affirm that the bubble location required to avoid ratcheting could be achieved without the use of container materials that are wetted by the phase change material. A full scale module was fabricated, but not tested. A fabrication method was successfully developed for the sodium evaporator dome, with a sintered screen wick, to be used as the focal point for the receiver. Crushing of the screen during hydroforming was substantially reduced over the results of other researchers by using wax impregnation. Superheating of the sodium in the wick under average flux conditions is expected to be under 10K. A 2000K furnace which will simulate solar flux conditions for testing the evaporator dome was successfully built and tested.

  15. 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

  16. Assessment of 25 kW free-piston Stirling technology alternatives for solar applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erbeznik, Raymond M.; White, Maurice A.; Penswick, L. B.; Neely, Ronald E.; Ritter, Darren C.; Wallace, David A.

    The final design, construction, and testing of a 25-kW free-piston advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) are examined. The final design of the free-piston hydraulic ASCS consists of five subsystems: heat transport subsystem (solar receiver and pool boiler), free-piston hydraulic Stirling engine, hydraulic subsystem, cooling subsystem, and electrical and control subsystem. Advantages and disadvantages are identified for each technology alternative. Technology alternatives considered are gas bearings vs flexure bearings, stationary magnet linear alternator vs moving magnetic linear alternator, and seven different control options. Component designs are generated using available in-house procedures to meet the requirements of the free-piston Stirling convertor configurations.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Sodium VCHP with Carbon-Carbon Radiator for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Miller, William O.; Ramirez, Rogelio

    2010-01-01

    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. The Stirling converter 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 earlier termination of the mission. An alkali-metal Variable Conductance Heat Pipe (VCHP) can be used to allow multiple stops and restarts of the Stirling convertor. A sodium VCHP with a Haynes 230 envelope was designed and fabricated for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG), with a baseline 850° C heater head temperature. When the Stirling convertor is stopped, the heat from the GPHS is rejected to the Cold Side Adapter Flange using a low-mass, carbon-carbon radiator. The VCHP is designed to activate with a AT of 30° C. The 880° C temperature when the Stirling convertor is stopped is high enough to avoid risking standard ASRG operation, but low enough to save most of the heater head life. The VCHP has low mass and low thermal losses for normal operation. The design has been modified from an earlier, stainless steel prototype with a nickel radiator. In addition to replacing the nickel radiator with a low mass carbon-carbon radiator, the radiator location has been moved from the ASRG case to the cold side adapter flange. This flange already removes two-thirds of the heat during normal operation, so it is optimized to transfer heat to the case. The VCHP was successfully tested with a turn-on ΔT of 30° C in three orientations: horizontal, gravity-aided, and against gravity.

  20. Stirling Radioisotope Power System as an Alternative for NASAs Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaltens, R. K.; Mason, L. S.; Schreiber, J. G.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are developing a free-piston Stirling convertor for a Stirling Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) to provide on-board electric power for future NASA deep space missions. The SRPS currently being developed provides about 100 watts and reduces the amount of radioisotope fuel by a factor of four over conventional Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG). The present SRPS design has a specific power of approximately 4 W/kg which is comparable to an RTG. GRC estimates for advanced versions of the SRPS with improved heat source integration, lightweight Stirling convertors, composite radiators, and chip-packaged controllers improves the specific mass to about 8 W/kg. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Power characteristics of a Stirling radioisotope power system over the life of the mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2001-02-01

    Stirling radioisotope power systems are presently being considered for use on long life deep space missions. Some applications that Stirling technology has been developed for in the past could control the heat input to the engine, as was the case in the Automotive Stirling Engine (ASE) program. The combustion system could change the rate at which fuel was burned in response to the Stirling heater head temperature and the desired set point. In other cases, heat input was not controlled. An example is the solar terrestrial Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS), where the heat input was a function of solar intensity and the performance of the solar concentrator and receiver. The control system for this application would measure the Stirling heater head temperature and throttle the Stirling convertor to once again, maintain the Stirling heater head temperature at the desired set point. In both of these examples, the design was driven to be cost effective. In the Stirling radioisotope power system, the heat generated by the decay in plutonium is reduced with the half-life of the isotope, and the control system must be as simple as possible and still meet the mission requirements. The most simple control system would be one that allows the Stirling power convertor to autonomously change its operating conditions in direct response to the reduced heat input, with no intervention from the control system, merely seeking a new equilibrium point as the isotope decays. This paper presents an analysis of power system performance with this simple control system, which has no feedback and does not actively alter the operating point as the isotope decays. .

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Compatibility of alternative fuels with advanced automotive gas turbine and stirling engines. A literature survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cairelli, J.; Horvath, D.

    1981-01-01

    The application of alternative fuels in advanced automotive gas turbine and Stirling engines is discussed on the basis of a literature survey. These alternative engines are briefly described, and the aspects that will influence fuel selection are identified. Fuel properties and combustion properties are discussed, with consideration given to advanced materials and components. Alternative fuels from petroleum, coal, oil shale, alcohol, and hydrogen are discussed, and some background is given about the origin and production of these fuels. Fuel requirements for automotive gas turbine and Stirling engines are developed, and the need for certain reseach efforts is discussed. Future research efforts planned at Lewis are described.

  11. Preliminary Design of a SP-100/Stirling Radiatively Coupled Heat Exchanger

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul; Tower, Leonard; Dawson, Ronald; Blue, Brian; Dunn, Pat

    1995-01-01

    Several methods for coupling the SP-100 space nuclear reactor to the NASA Lewis Research Center's Free Piston Stirling Power Convertor (FPSPC) are presented. A 25 kWe, dual opposed Stirling convertor configuration is used in these designs. The concepts use radiative coupling between the SP-100 lithium loop and the sodium heat pipe of the Stirling convertor to transfer the heat from the reactor to the convertor. Four separate configurations are presented. Masses for the four designs vary from 41 to 176 kgs. Each design's structure, heat transfer characteristics, and heat pipe performance are analytically modeled.

  12. Final design of a free-piston hydraulic advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallace, D. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    1991-01-01

    Under the US Department of Energy's (DOEs) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for solar distributed receiver systems. The final design is described of an engineering prototype advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) with a free-piston hydraulic engine output capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid. The free-piston Stirling engine has the potential for a highly reliable engine with long life because it has only a few moving parts, has noncontacting bearings, and can be hermetically sealed. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar input with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The system includes a liquid Nak pool boiler heat transport system and a free-piston Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of conceptual designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project is managed by NASA Lewis Research Center through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Conceptual designs for the ASCS's were completed under parallel contracts in 1987 by Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) of Latham, NY, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, WA. Each design features a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long term performance and cost goals. An independent assessment showed that both designs are manufacturable and have the potential to easily meet DOE's long term cost goals.

  15. Comparison of conceptual designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    The Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) Project is managed by NASA Lewis Research Center through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Conceptual designs for the ASCS's were completed under parallel contracts in 1987 by Mechanical Technology Inc. (MTI) of Latham, NY, and Stirling Technology Company (STC) of Richland, WA. Each design features a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's long term performance and cost goals. An independent assessment showed that both designs are manufacturable and have the potential to easily meet DOE's long term cost goals.

  16. Overview of advanced Stirling and gas turbine engine development programs and implications for solar thermal electrical applications

    SciTech Connect

    Alger, D.

    1984-03-01

    The DOE automotive advanced engine development projects managed by the NASA Lewis Research Center were described. These included one Stirling cycle engine development and two air Brayton cycle development. Other engine research activities included: (1) an air Brayton engine development sponsored by the Gas Research Institute, and (2) plans for development of a Stirling cycle engine for space use. Current and potential use of these various engines with solar parabolic dishes were discussed.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Advanced Stirling Duplex Materials Assessment for Potential Venus Mission Heater Head Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ritzert, Frank; Nathal, Michael V.; Salem, Jonathan; Jacobson, Nathan; Nesbitt, James

    2011-01-01

    This report will address materials selection for components in a proposed Venus lander system. The lander would use active refrigeration to allow Space Science instrumentation to survive the extreme environment that exists on the surface of Venus. The refrigeration system would be powered by a Stirling engine-based system and is termed the Advanced Stirling Duplex (ASD) concept. Stirling engine power conversion in its simplest definition converts heat from radioactive decay into electricity. Detailed design decisions will require iterations between component geometries, materials selection, system output, and tolerable risk. This study reviews potential component requirements against known materials performance. A lower risk, evolutionary advance in heater head materials could be offered by nickel-base superalloy single crystals, with expected capability of approximately 1100C. However, the high temperature requirements of the Venus mission may force the selection of ceramics or refractory metals, which are more developmental in nature and may not have a well-developed database or a mature supporting technology base such as fabrication and joining methods.

  20. Conceptual design of an advanced Stirling conversion system for terrestrial power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    A free piston Stirling engine coupled to an electric generator or alternator with a nominal kWe power output absorbing thermal energy from a nominal 100 square meter parabolic solar collector and supplying electric power to a utility grid was identified. The results of the conceptual design study of an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) were documented. The objectives are as follows: define the ASCS configuration; provide a manufacturability and cost evaluation; predict ASCS performance over the range of solar input required to produce power; estimate system and major component weights; define engine and electrical power condidtioning control requirements; and define key technology needs not ready by the late 1980s in meeting efficiency, life, cost, and with goalds for the ASCS.

  1. Materials-of-Construction Radiation Sensitivity for a Fission Surface Power Convertor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Cheryl L.; Geng, Steven M.; Niedra, Janis M.; Sayir, Ali; Shin, Eugene E.; Sutter, James K.; Thieme, Lanny G.

    2007-01-01

    A fission reactor combined with a free-piston Stirling convertor is one of many credible approaches for producing electrical power in space applications. This study assumes dual-opposed free-piston Stirling engines/linear alternators that will operate nominally at 825 K hot-end and 425 K cold-end temperatures. The baseline design options, temperature profiles, and materials of construction discussed here are based on historical designs as well as modern convertors operating at lower power levels. This notional design indicates convertors primarily made of metallic components that experience minimal change in mechanical properties for fast neutron fluences less than 10(sup 20) neutrons per square centimeter. However, these radiation effects can impact the magnetic and electrical properties of metals at much lower fluences than are crucial for mechanical property integrity. Moreover, a variety of polymeric materials are also used in common free-piston Stirling designs for bonding, seals, lubrication, insulation and others. Polymers can be affected adversely by radiation doses as low as 10(sup 5) - 10(sup 10) rad. Additionally, the absorbing dose rate, radiation hardness, and the resulting effect (either hardening or softening) varies depending on the nature of the particular polymer. The classes of polymers currently used in convertor fabrication are discussed along possible substitution options. Thus, the materials of construction of prototypic Stirling convertor engines have been considered and the component materials susceptible to damage at the lowest neutron fluences have been identified.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Preliminary design of an advanced Stirling system for terrestrial solar energy conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, M. A.; Noble, J. E.; Emigh, S. G.; Ross, B. A.; Lehmann, G. A.

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary design was generated for an advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) that will be capable of delivering about 25 kW of electric power to an electric utility grid. Stirling engines are being evaluated for terrestrial solar applications. A two-year task to complete detailed design, fabrication, assembly and testing of an ASCS prototype began in April, 1990. The ASCS is designed to deliver maximum power per year over a range of solar inputs with a design life of 30 years (60,000 h). The ACSC has a long-term cost goal of about $450 per kilowatt, exclusive of the 11-m parabolic dish concentrator. The proposed system includes a Stirling engine with high-pressure hydraulic output, coupled with a bent axis variable displacement hydraulic motor and a rotary induction generator. The major thrusts of the preliminary design are described, including material selection for the hot-end components, heat transport system (reflux pool boiler) design, system thermal response, improved manufacturability, FMECA/FTA analysis, updated manufacturing cost estimate, and predicted system performance.

  6. 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.

  7. Solar Stirling for Deep Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    1999-01-01

    A study was performed to quantify the performance of solar thermal power systems for deep space planetary missions. The study incorporated projected advances in solar concentrator and energy conversion technologies. These technologies included inflatable structures, lightweight primary concentrators, high efficiency secondary concentrators, and high efficiency Stirling convertors. Analyses were performed to determine the mass and deployed area of multi-hundred watt solar thermal power systems for missions out to 40 astronomical units. Emphasis was given to system optimization, parametric sensitivity analyses, and concentrator configuration comparisons. The results indicated that solar thermal power systems are a competitive alternative to radioisotope systems out to 10 astronomical units without the cost or safety implications associated with nuclear sources.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, David J.

    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.

  13. Small stirling dynamic isotope power systems for multihundred-watt robotic missions

    SciTech Connect

    Bents, D.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.

  14. 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.

  15. Design of a pool boiler heat transport system for a 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, W. G.; Rosenfeld, J. H.; Noble, J.; Kesseli, J.

    1991-01-01

    The overall operating temperature and efficiency of solar-powered Stirling engines can be improved by adding a heat transport system to more uniformly supply heat to the heater head tubes. One heat transport system with favorable characteristics is an alkali metal pool boiler. An alkali metal pool boiler heat transport system was designed for a 25-kW advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS). Solar energy concentrated on the absorber dome boils a eutectic mixture of sodium and potassium. The alkali metal vapors condense on the heater head tubes, supplying the Stirling engine with a uniform heat flux at a constant temperature. Boiling stability is achieved with the use of an enhanced boiling surface and noncondensible gas.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Variable Conductance Heat Pipes for Radioisotope Stirling Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 was designed for the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator, with a 850 °C heater head temperature. The VCHP turns on with a ΔT 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 ΔT was roughly 70 °C, due to distillation of the NaK in the evaporator.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. .

  3. A Design of a Modular GPHS-Stirling Power System for a Lunar Habitation Module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

    Lunar habitation modules need electricity and potentially heat to operate. Because of the low amounts of radiation emitted by General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules, power plants incorporating these as heat sources could be placed in close proximity to habitation modules. A design concept is discussed for a high efficiency power plant based on a GPHS assembly integrated with a Stirling convertor. This system could provide both electrical power and heat, if required, for a lunar habitation module. The conceptual GPHS/Stirling system is modular in nature and made up of a basic 5.5 KWe Stirling convertor/GPHS module assembly, convertor controller/PMAD electronics, waste heat radiators, and associated thermal insulation. For the specific lunar application under investigation eight modules are employed to deliver 40 KWe to the habitation module. This design looks at three levels of Stirling convertor technology and addresses the issues of integrating the Stirling convertors with the GPHS heat sources assembly using proven technology whenever possible. In addition, issues related to the high-temperature heat transport system, power management, convertor control, vibration isolation, and potential system packaging configurations to ensure safe operation during all phases of deployment will be discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. Overview of Multi-kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at GRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center. Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October, 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  6. Overview of Multi-Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-01

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center (GRC). Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  7. Overview of Multi-Kilowatt Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Research at GRC

    SciTech Connect

    Geng, Steven M.; Mason, Lee S.; Dyson, Rodger W.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2008-01-21

    As a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors and a pair of commercially available pressure wave generators (which will be plumbed together to create a high power Stirling linear alternator test rig) have been procured for in-house testing at Glenn Research Center. Delivery of both the Stirling convertors and the linear alternator test rig is expected by October, 2007. The 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors will be tested at GRC to map and verify performance. The convertors will later be modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. The high power linear alternator test rig will be used to map and verify high power Stirling linear alternator performance and to develop power management and distribution (PMAD) methods and techniques. This paper provides an overview of the multi-kilowatt free-piston Stirling power conversion work being performed at GRC.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Preliminary designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1990-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising 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 Stirling engine technology development activities directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power systems requirements include high reliability, very long life, low vibration and high 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. Preliminary designs feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat transport system, and a means to provide nominally 25 kW electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long term cost goals. The Cummins design incorporates a linear alternator to provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's.

  12. Preliminary designs for 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion systems for dish electric applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1990-01-01

    Under the Department of Energy's (DOE) Solar Thermal Technology Program, Sandia National Laboratories is evaluating heat engines for terrestrial Solar Distributed Heat Receivers. The Stirling engine has been identified by Sandia as one of the most promising 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 Stirling engine technology development activities directed toward a dynamic power source for space applications. Space power systems requirements include high reliability, very long life, low vibration and high 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. Preliminary designs feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid metal heat transport system, and a means to provide nominally 25 kW electric power to a utility grid while meeting DOE's performance and long term cost goals. The Cummins design incorporates a linear alternator to provide the electrical output, while the STC design generates electrical power indirectly through a hydraulic pump/motor coupled to an induction generator. Both designs for the ASCS's will use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the early 1990's

  13. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Power Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-02-01

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant - RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. Stirling convertors have a long heritage operating in both power generation and the cooler industry, and are currently in use in a wide variety of applications. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor in the 1980's and early 1990's. The baseline RPP considered in this study consists of four dual-opposed Stirling convertors connected to the reactor by a liquid lithium loop. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste heat is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared

  14. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Power Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    SciTech Connect

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-02-06

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant - RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. Stirling convertors have a long heritage operating in both power generation and the cooler industry, and are currently in use in a wide variety of applications. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor in the 1980's and early 1990's. The baseline RPP considered in this study consists of four dual-opposed Stirling convertors connected to the reactor by a liquid lithium loop. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste heat is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Pool boiler heat transport system for a 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, W. G.; Rosenfeld, J. H.; Saaski, E. L.; Noble, J.; Tower, L.

    1990-01-01

    Experiments to determine alkali metal/enhanced surface combinations that have stable boiling at the temperatures and heat fluxes that occur in the Stirling engine are reported. Two enhanced surfaces and two alkali metal working fluids were evaluated. The enhanced surfaces were an EDM hole covered surface and a sintered-powder-metal porous layer surface. The working fluids tested were potassium and eutectic sodium-potasium alloy (NaK), both with and without undissolved noncondensible gas. Noncondensible gas (He and Xe) was added to the system to provide gas in the nucleation sites, preventing quenching of the sites. The experiments demonstrated the potential of an alkali metal pool boiler heat transport system for use in a solar-powered Stirling engine. The most favorable fluid/surface combination tested was NaK boiling on a -100 +140 mesh 304L stainless steel sintered porous layer with no undissolved noncondensible gas. This combination provided stable, high-performance boiling at the operating temperature of 700 C. Heat fluxes into the system ranged from 10 to 50 W/sq cm. The transition from free convection to nucleate boiling occurred at temperatures near 540 C. Based on these experiments, a pool boiler was designed for a full-scale 25-kWe Stirling system.

  1. Advanced high temperature materials for the energy efficient automotive Stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, R. H.; Stephens, J. R.

    1984-01-01

    The Stirling Engine is under investigated jointly by the Department of Energy and NASA Lewis as an alternative to the internal combustion engine for automotive applications. 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 continuing supporting materials research and technology program has identified the wrought alloys CG-27 and 12RN72 and the cast alloys XF-818 and NASAUT 4G-A1 as candidate replacements for the cobalt containing alloys used in current prototype engines. Based on the materials research program in support of the automotive Stirling engine it is concluded that manufacture of the engine is feasible from low cost iron-base alloys rather than the cobalt alloys rather than the cobalt alloys used in prototype engines. This paper will present results of research that led to this conclusion.

  2. Assessment Of The Stirling Power Option for Space Science Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2000-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling technology efforts in the past typically were intended to address power needs in the multi-kilowatt range. The Stirling power option was attractive primarily because of the high conversion efficiency and potential for long life. In recent years, several technology efforts have focused on the free-piston Stirling power d convertor for space power applications, however the more recent efforts are intended to provide power at levels far below one kilowatt. Through a variety of projects funded by both NASA and DOE, the free-piston Stirling convertor technology has successfully demonstrated high efficiency and long life. Other areas of concern, such as control of multi-convertor systems, and vibration reduction have also been addressed. Efforts are being initiated to address issues such as electro-magnetic interference (EMI), radiation tolerance of organic materials, and the ability to operate through launch loads and survive with integrity. The status of the technology in these areas will be briefly discussed in this paper.

  3. Development of a Linear Stirling Model with Varying Heat Inputs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2007-01-01

    The linear model of the Stirling system developed by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been extended to include a user-specified heat input. Previously developed linear models were limited to the Stirling convertor and electrical load. They represented the thermodynamic cycle with pressure factors that remained constant. The numerical values of the pressure factors were generated by linearizing GRC s non-linear System Dynamic Model (SDM) of the convertor at a chosen operating point. The pressure factors were fixed for that operating point, thus, the model lost accuracy if a transition to a different operating point were simulated. Although the previous linear model was used in developing controllers that manipulated current, voltage, and piston position, it could not be used in the development of control algorithms that regulated hot-end temperature. This basic model was extended to include the thermal dynamics associated with a hot-end temperature that varies over time in response to external changes as well as to changes in the Stirling cycle. The linear model described herein includes not only dynamics of the piston, displacer, gas, and electrical circuit, but also the transient effects of the heater head thermal inertia. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models, one model of the Stirling convertor and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. The thermal system model includes heat flow of heat transfer fluid, insulation loss, and temperature drops from the heat source to the Stirling convertor expansion space. The linear model was compared to a nonlinear model, and performance was very similar. The resulting linear model can be implemented in a variety of computing environments, and is suitable for analysis with classical and state space controls analysis techniques.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Alkali metal pool boiler life tests for a 25 kWe advanced Stirling conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, W. G.; Rosenfeld, J. H.; Noble, J.

    1991-01-01

    The overall operating temperature and efficiency of solar-powered Stirling engines can be improved by adding an alkali metal pool boiler heat transport system to supply heat more uniformly to the heater head tubes. One issue with liquid metal pool boilers is unstable boiling. Stable boiling is obtained with an enhanced boiling surface containing nucleation sites that promote continuous boiling. Over longer time periods, it is possible that the boiling behavior of the system will change. An 800-h life test was conducted to verify that pool boiling with the chosen fluid/surface combination remains stable as the system ages. The apparatus uses NaK boiling on a - 100 + 140 stainless steel sintered porous layer, with the addition of a small amount of xenon. Pool boiling remained stable to the end of life test. The pool boiler life test included a total of 82 cold starts, to simulate startup each morning, and 60 warm restarts, to simulate cloud cover transients. The behavior of the cold and warm starts showed no significant changes during the life test. In the experiments, the fluid/surface combination provided stable, high-performance boiling at the operating temperature of 700 C. Based on these experiments, a pool boiler was designed for a full-scale 25-kWe Stirling system.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Status of Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion Using a Pumped NaK Loop for Thermal Input

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.; Geng, Steven M.; Robbie, Malcolm G.

    2010-01-01

    Free-piston Stirling power conversion has been identified as a viable option for potential Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems on the Moon and Mars. Proposed systems consist of two or more Stirling convertors, in a dual-opposed configuration, coupled to a low-temperature uranium-dioxide-fueled, liquid-metal-cooled reactor. To reduce developmental risks associated with liquid-metal loop integration, a test rig has been built to evaluate the performance of a pair of 1-kW free-piston Stirling convertors using a pumped sodium-potassium (NaK) loop for thermal energy input. Baseline performance maps have been generated at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) for these 1-kW convertors operating with an electric heat source. Each convertor was then retrofitted with a custom-made NaK heater head and integrated into a pumped NaK system at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). This paper documents baseline testing at GRC as well as the progress made in integrating the Stirling convertors into the pumped NaK loop.

  10. Performance of a Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion System in a Thermodynamically Coupled Configuration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Geng, Steven M.; Briggs, Maxwell H.; Hervol, David S.

    2011-01-01

    A pair of 1-kWe free-piston Stirling power convertors has been modified into a thermodynamically coupled configuration, and performance map testing has been completed. This is the same configuration planned for the full-scale 12-kWe power conversion unit (PCU) that will be used in the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU). The 1-kWe convertors were operated over a range of conditions to evaluate the effects of thermodynamic coupling on convertor performance and to identify any possible control challenges. The thermodynamically coupled convertor showed no measureable difference in performance from the baseline data collected when the engines were separate, and no major control issues were encountered during operation. The results of this test are guiding controller development and instrumentation selection for the TDU.

  11. Performance of a Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion System in a Thermodynamically-Coupled Configuration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, S. M.; Briggs, M. H.; Hervol, D. S.

    A pair of 1kWe free-piston Stirling power convertors has been modified into a thermodynamically coupled configuration, and performance map testing has been completed. This is the same configuration planned for the full-scale 12 kWe power conversion unit (PCU) that will be used in the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU). The 1-kWe convertors were operated over a range of conditions to evaluate the effects of thermodynamic coupling on convertor performance and to identify any possible control challenges. The thermodynamically coupled convertor showed no measurable difference in performance from the baseline data collected when the engines were separate and no major control issues were encountered during operation. The results of this test are guiding controller development and instrumentation selection for the TDU.

  12. Advanced Stirling receiver development program, phase 1. Final report, December 1988-July 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Lurio, C.A.

    1990-07-01

    Critical technology experiments were designed and developed to evaluate the Stirling cavity heat pipe receiver for a space solar power system. Theoretical criteria were applied to the design of a module for containing energy storage phase change material while avoiding thermal ratcheting. Zero-g drop tower tests, without phase change, were conducted to affirm that the bubble location required to avoid ratcheting could be achieved without the use of container materials that are wetted by the phase change material. A full scale module was fabricated, but not tested. A fabrication method was successfully developed for the sodium evaporator dome, with a sintered screen wick, to be used as the focal point for the receiver. Crushing of the screen during hydroforming was substantially reduced over the results of other researchers by using wax impregnation. Superheating of the sodium in the wick under average flux conditions is expected to be under 10K. A 2000K furnace which will simulate solar flux conditions for testing the evaporator dome was successfully built and tested.

  13. Conceptual design of an Advanced Stirling Conversion System for terrestrial power generation

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-01-01

    This report describes the conceptual design of a system for converting solar energy into electricity using a free-piston Stirling engine directly coupled to a linear alternator. The system is designed for mounting at the focal plane of a 100 m/sup 2/ parabolic solar collector. It includes a receiver which is integrated with the engine heater head. Heat transfer from receiver to engine involves boiling liquid sodium at the heater surface of the receiver and condensing sodium vapor on the engine heater tubes. A sintered wick is located on the back surface of the receiver face to distribute the sodium and gravity is used to return the condensed sodium to a sump within the receiver. The system is connected to a utility power grid. The net power output from the system is 23.2 kWe at the design point (75 kWt into the receiver). Maximum power output is 26.7 kWe at the peak insolation level. Annual output is approximately 60,000 kWh for a site at Albuquerque, New Mexico. The manufacturing cost for the System has been estimated at approximately $8500 (1984 dollars). The installed cost goal is $13,000 (1984 dollars). Costs at the conceptual design level are only approximate but the estimates indicate that acceptable costs are attainable. 2 refs.

  14. 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

  15. IECEC '91; Proceedings of the 26th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Boston, MA, Aug. 4-9, 1991. Vol. 5 - Renewable resource systems, Stirling engines and applications, systems and cycles

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-01-01

    Various papers on energy conversion engineering are presented. The general topics considered are: developments in nuclear power, energy from waste and biomass, system performance and materials in photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, wind energy systems, Stirling cycle analysis, Stirling cycle power, Stirling component technology, Stirling cooler/heat pump developments, Stirling engine concepts, Stirling engine design and optimization, Stirling engine dynamics and response, Stirling engine solar terrestrial, advanced cogeneration, AMTC, fossil fuel systems and technologies, marine energy.

  16. IECEC '91; Proceedings of the 26th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Boston, MA, Aug. 4-9, 1991. Vol. 5 - Renewable resource systems, stirling engines and applications, systems and cycles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Various papers on energy conversion enegineering are presented. The general topics considered are: developments in nuclear power, energy from waste and biomass, system performance and materials in photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, wind energy systems, Stirling cycle analysis, Stirling cycle power, Stirling component technology, Stirling cooler/heat pump developments, Stirling engine concepts, Stirling engine design and optimization, Stirling engine dynamics and response, Stirling engine solar terrestrial, advanced cogeneration, AMTC, fossil fuel systems and technologies, marine energy.

  17. Feasibility Study of a Nuclear-Stirling Plant for the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Penswick, L. Barry

    2005-01-01

    NASA is undertaking the design of a new spacecraft to explore the planet Jupiter and its three moons Calisto, Ganymede and Europa. This proposed mission, known as Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) would use a nuclear reactor and an associated electrical generation system (Reactor Power Plant-RPP) to provide power to the spacecraft. The JIMO spacecraft is envisioned to use this power for science and communications as well as Electric Propulsion (EP). Among other potential power-generating concepts, previous studies have considered Thermoelectric and Brayton Power conversion systems, coupled to a liquid metal reactor for the JIMO mission. This paper will explore trades in system mass and radiator area for a nuclear reactor power conversion system, however this study will focus on Stirling power conversion. The Stirling convertor modeled in this study is based upon the Component Test Power Convertor design that was designed and operated successfully under the Civil Space Technology Initiative for use with the SP-100 nuclear reactor i the 1980's and early 1990's. The study design is such that two of the four convertors would operate at any time to generate the 100 kWe while the others are held in reserve. For this study the Stirling convertors hot-side temperature is 1050 K, would operate at a temperature ratio of 2.4 for a minimum mass system and would have a system efficiency of 29%. The Stirling convertor would generate high voltage (400 volt), 100 Hz single phase AC that is supplied to the Power Management and Distribution system. The waste hear is removed from the Stirling convertors by a flowing liquid sodium-potassium eutectic and then rejected by a shared radiator. The radiator consists of two coplanar wings, which would be deployed after the reactor is in space. System trades were performed to vary cycle state point temperatures and convertor design as well as power output. Other redundancy combinations were considered to understand the affects of convertor

  18. Development of a Linear Stirling System Model with Varying Heat Inputs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regan, Timothy F.; Lewandowski, Edward J.

    2007-01-01

    The linear model of the Stirling system developed by NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been extended to include a user-specified heat input. Previously developed linear models were limited to the Stirling convertor and electrical load. They represented the thermodynamic cycle with pressure factors that remained constant. The numerical values of the pressure factors were generated by linearizing GRC's nonlinear System Dynamic Model (SDM) of the convertor at a chosen operating point. The pressure factors were fixed for that operating point, thus, the model lost accuracy if a transition to a different operating point were simulated. Although the previous linear model was used in developing controllers that manipulated current, voltage, and piston position, it could not be used in the development of control algorithms that regulated hot-end temperature. This basic model was extended to include the thermal dynamics associated with a hot-end temperature that varies over time in response to external changes as well as to changes in the Stirling cycle. The linear model described herein includes not only dynamics of the piston, displacer, gas, and electrical circuit, but also the transient effects of the heater head thermal inertia. The linear version algebraically couples two separate linear dynamic models, one model of the Stirling convertor and one model of the thermal system, through the pressure factors. The thermal system model includes heat flow of heat transfer fluid, insulation loss, and temperature drops from the heat source to the Stirling convertor expansion space. The linear model was compared to a nonlinear model, and performance was very similar. The resulting linear model can be implemented in a variety of computing environments, and is suitable for analysis with classical and state space controls analysis techniques.

  19. Parallel Stirling Converters Being Developed for Spacecraft Onboard Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.

    1999-01-01

    Stirling Technology Co., as part of a NASA Lewis Research Center Phase II Small Business Innovation Research contract, has successfully demonstrated paralleling two thermodynamically independent Stirling converters. A system of four Stirling converters is being developed by NASA and the Department of Energy as an alternative high-efficiency radioisotope power source for spacecraft onboard electric power for NASA deep space missions. The high Stirling efficiency, exceeding 20 percent for this application, will greatly reduce the necessary isotope inventory in comparison to the current radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG s), significantly reducing mission cost and risk. Stirling is the most developed converter option of the advanced power technologies under consideration.

  20. Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Unit for Fission Surface Power, Phase I Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Buffalino, Andrew; Holliday, Ezekiel; Penswick, Barry; Gedeon, David

    2010-01-01

    This report summarizes the design of a 12 kW dual opposed free-piston Stirling convertor and controller for potential future use in space missions. The convertor is heated via a pumped NaK loop and cooling is provided by a pumped water circuit. Convertor efficiency is projected at 27 percent (AC electrical out/heat in). The controller converts the AC electrical output to 120 Vdc and is projected at 91 percent efficiency. A mechanically simple arrangement, based on proven technology, was selected in which the piston is resonated almost entirely by the working space pressure swing, while the displacer is resonated by planar mechanical springs in the bounce space.

  1. Insoluble Coatings for Stirling Engine Heat Pipe Condenser Surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dussinger, Peter M.; Lindemuth, James E.

    1997-01-01

    The principal objective of this Phase 2 SBIR program was to develop and demonstrate a practically insoluble coating for nickel-based superalloys for Stirling engine heat pipe applications. Specific technical objectives of the program were: (1) Determine the solubility corrosion rates for Nickel 200, Inconel 718, and Udimet 72OLI in a simulated Stirling engine heat pipe environment, (2) Develop coating processes and techniques for capillary groove and screen wick structures, (3) Evaluate the durability and solubility corrosion rates for capillary groove and screen wick structures coated with an insoluble coating in cylindrical heat pipes operating under Stirling engine conditions, and (4) Design and fabricate a coated full-scale, partial segment of the current Stirling engine heat pipe for the Stirling Space Power Convertor program. The work effort successfully demonstrated a two-step nickel aluminide coating process for groove wick structures and interior wall surfaces in contact with liquid metals; demonstrated a one-step nickel aluminide coating process for nickel screen wick structures; and developed and demonstrated a two-step aluminum-to-nickel aluminide coating process for nickel screen wick structures. In addition, the full-scale, partial segment was fabricated and the interior surfaces and wick structures were coated. The heat pipe was charged with sodium, processed, and scheduled to be life tested for up to ten years as a Phase 3 effort.

  2. Unified Technical Concepts. Module 9: Energy Convertors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Technical Education Research Center, Waco, TX.

    This concept module on energy convertors is one of thirteen modules that provide a flexible, laboratory-based physics instructional package designed to meet the specialized needs of students in two-year, postsecondary technical schools. Each of the thirteen concept modules discusses a single physics concept and how it is applied to each energy…

  3. Material Studies Related to the Use of NaK Heat Exchangers Coupled to Stirling Heater Heads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Locci, Ivan E.; Bowman, Cheryl L.; Geng, Steven M.; Robbie, Malcolm G.

    2011-01-01

    NASA has been supporting design studies and technology development that could provide power to an outpost on the Moon, Mars, or an asteroid. Technology development efforts have included fabrication and evaluation of components used in a Stirling engine power conversion system. Destructive material evaluation was performed on a NaK shell heat exchanger that was developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) and integrated with a commercial 1 kWe Stirling convertor from Sunpower Incorporated. The NaK Stirling test demonstrated Stirling convertor electrical power generation using a pumped liquid metal heat source under thermal conditions that represent the heat exchanger liquid metal loop in a Fission Power Systems (FPS) reactor. The convertors were operated for a total test time of 66 hr at a maximum temperature of 823 K. After the test was completed and NaK removed, the heat exchanger assembly was sectioned to evaluate any material interactions with the flowing liquid metal. Several dissimilar-metal braze joint options, crucial for the heat exchanger transfer path, were also investigated. A comprehensive investigation was completed and lessons learned for future heat exchanger development efforts are discussed.

  4. 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.

  5. Recent Advances in Design of Low Cost Film Concentrator and Low Pressure Free Piston Stirling Engines for Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleinwaechter, J.; Kleinwaechter, H.; Beale, W.

    1984-01-01

    The free piston Stirling-linear alternator was shown to be scalable to power levels of tens of kilowatts in a form which is simple, efficient, long lived and relatively inexpensive. It avoids entirely the vexing problem of high pressure shaft, and its control requirements are not severe nor do they represent a significant threat to durability. Linear alternators have demonstrated high efficiency and moderate weight, and are capable of delivering 3 phase power from single machines without great increases of cost or complexity. There remains no apparent impediments to the commercial exploitation of the free piston engine for solar electric power generation.

  6. 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.

  7. How to Overcome Numerical Challenges to Modeling Stirling Engines

    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 a range of missions, including 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 in 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-FI technique is presented in detail.

  8. Status of NASA's Stirling Space Power Converter Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudenhoefer, James E.; Winter, Jerry M.

    1991-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA-Lewis Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Convertor Technology Program. The goal is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space initiatives. Efforts are focused upon increasing system power output and system thermal and electric energy conversion efficiency at least fivefold over current SP-100 technology, and on achieving systems that are compatible with space nuclear reactors. Stirling experience in space and progress toward 1050 and 1300 K Stirling Space Power Converters is discussed. Fabrication is nearly completed for the 1050 K Component Test Power Converters (CTPC); results of motoring tests of cold end (525 K), are presented. The success of these and future designs is dependent upon supporting research and technology efforts including heat pipes, bearings, superalloy joining technologies, high efficiency alternators, life and reliability testing and predictive methodologies. An update is provided of progress in some of these technologies leading off with a discussion of free-piston Stirling experience in space.

  9. 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.

  10. The kinematic Stirling engine as an energy conversion subsystem for paraboloidal dish solar thermal plants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowyer, J. M.

    1984-01-01

    The potential of a suitably designed and economically manufactured Stirling engine as the energy conversion subsystem of a paraboloidal dish-Stirling solar thermal power module was estimated. Results obtained by elementary cycle analyses were shown to match quite well the performance characteristics of an advanced kinematic Stirling engine, the United Stirling P-40, as established by current prototypes of the engine and by a more sophisticated analytic model of its advanced derivative. In addition to performance, brief consideration was given to other Stirling engine criteria such as durability, reliability, and serviceability. Production costs were not considered here.

  11. Kinematic Stirling engine as an energy conversion subsystem for paraboloidal dish solar thermal power plants

    SciTech Connect

    Bowyer, J.M.

    1984-04-15

    The potential of a suitably designed and economically manufactured Stirling engine as the energy conversion subsystem of a paraboloidal dish-Stirling solar thermal power module has been estimated. Results obtained by elementary cycle analyses have been shown to match quite well the performance characteristics of an advanced kinematic Stirling engine, the United Stirling P-40, as established by current prototypes of the engine and by a more sophisticated analytic model of its advanced derivative. In addition to performance, brief consideration has been given to other Stirling engine criteria such as durability, reliability, and serviceability. Production costs have not been considered here.

  12. Activity and accomplishments of dish/Stirling electric power system development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livingston, F. R.

    1985-01-01

    The development of the solar parabolic-dish/Stirling-engine electricity generating plant known as the dish/Stirling electric power system is described. The dish/Stirling electric power system converts sunlight to electricity more efficiently than any known existing solar electric power system. The fabrication and characterization of the test bed concentrators that were used for Stirling module testing and of the development of parabolic dish concentrator No. 2, an advanced solar concentrator unit considered for use with the Stirling power conversion unit is discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The United Stirling P40 engine for solar dish concentrator application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ortegren, L.; Sjostedt, L. E.

    1980-01-01

    The United Stirling P40 engine is a key component in a solar concentration based energy conversion system, to be demonstrated and tested during 1980-81. The inherent characteristics of modern Stirling engines is reviewed focusing on the baseline P40 double-acting engine. The extent of modifications required for the solar application is reviewed and performance data are predicted. Finally, the potential of an advanced solar Stirling engine is briefly considered.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Stirling cycle piston engine

    SciTech Connect

    Morgan, G. R.

    1985-02-12

    This device is an improvement over the conventional type of Stirling cycle engine where the expander piston is connected to a crankshaft and the displacer piston is connected to the same or another crankshaft for operation. The improvement is based on both the expansion and displacer pistons being an integral unit having regenerating means which eliminate the mechanisms that synchronize the regeneration mode.

  15. 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.

  16. Overview of the 1986 free-piston Stirling activities at NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1986-01-01

    An overview of the NASA Lewis Research Center's free-piston Stirling engine research is presented, including efforts to improve and advance its design for use in specific space power applications. These efforts are a part of the SP-100 program being conducted to support the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA. Such efforts include: (1) the testing and improvement of 25 kWe Stirling Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE); (2) the preliminary design of 25 kWe single-cylinder Experimental stirling Space Engine (ESSE); and, (3) a study to determine the feasibility of scaling a single-cylinder free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator to 150 kWe. Other NASA Lewis free-piston Stirling engine activities will be described, directed toward the advancement of general free-piston Stirling engine technology and its application in specific terrestrial applications. One such effort, supported by DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (DRNL), is the development of a free-piston Stirling engine which produces hydraulic power. Finally, a terrestrial solar application involving a conceptual design of a 25 kWe Solar Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) capable of delivering power to an electric utility grid will be discussed. The latter work is supported by DOE/Sandia National Laboratory (SNLA).

  17. 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.

  18. Progress toward the evolution of a Stirling Space Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1988-01-01

    Following the successful testing of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine in 1985, a Stirling Space Engine (SSE) technology advancement program was initiated. The program's objective was to advance free-piston Stirling engine/linear alternator technology sufficiently so that a Stirling engine system may become a viable candidate for space power applications. Evolution of the SSE technology is planned to occur at three different engine heater temperature levels: 650, 1050, and 1300 K. These temperatures define three phases of technology development with the first phase involving the 650 K SPD engine. Technology development of the 650 K engine and preliminary design of the 1050 K engine will be discussed.

  19. Progress toward the evolution of a Stirling Space Engine

    SciTech Connect

    Alger, D.L.

    1994-09-01

    Following the successful testing of the 25 kWe Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine in 1985, a Stirling Space Engine (SSE) technology advancement program was initiated. The program`s objective was to advance free-piston Stirling engine/alternator technology sufficiently so that a Stirling engine system may become a viable candidate for space power applications. Evolution of the SSE technology is planned to occur at three different engine heater temperature levels: 650, 1050, and 1300 K. These temperatures define three phases of technology development with the first phase involving the 650 K SPD engine. Technology development of the 650 K engine and preliminary design of the 1050 K engine will be discussed in this paper.

  20. A Microfabricated Involute-Foil Regenerator for Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy; Ibrahim, Mounir; Danila, Daniel; Simon, Terrence; Mantell, Susan; Sun, Liyong; Gedeon, David; Kelly, Kevin; McLean, Jeffrey; Qiu, Songgang

    2007-01-01

    A segmented involute-foil regenerator has been designed, microfabricated and tested in an oscillating-flow rig with excellent results. During the Phase I effort, several approximations of parallel-plate regenerator geometry were chosen as potential candidates for a new microfabrication concept. Potential manufacturers and processes were surveyed. The selected concept consisted of stacked segmented-involute-foil disks (or annular portions of disks), originally to be microfabricated from stainless-steel via the LiGA (lithography, electroplating, and molding) process and EDM. During Phase II, re-planning of the effort led to test plans based on nickel disks, microfabricated via the LiGA process, only. A stack of nickel segmented-involute-foil disks was tested in an oscillating-flow test rig. These test results yielded a performance figure of merit (roughly the ratio of heat transfer to pressure drop) of about twice that of the 90 percent random fiber currently used in small approx.100 W Stirling space-power convertors-in the Reynolds Number range of interest (50 to 100). A Phase III effort is now underway to fabricate and test a segmented-involute-foil regenerator in a Stirling convertor. Though funding limitations prevent optimization of the Stirling engine geometry for use with this regenerator, the Sage computer code will be used to help evaluate the engine test results. Previous Sage Stirling model projections have indicated that a segmented-involute-foil regenerator is capable of improving the performance of an optimized involute-foil engine by 6 to 9 percent; it is also anticipated that such involute-foil geometries will be more reliable and easier to manufacture with tight-tolerance characteristics, than random-fiber or wire-screen regenerators. Beyond the near-term Phase III regenerator fabrication and engine testing, other goals are (1) fabrication from a material suitable for high temperature Stirling operation (up to 850 C for current engines; up to 1200 C

  1. A Microfabricated Involute-Foil Regenerator for Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy; Ibrahim, Mounir; Danila, Daniel; Simon, Terry; Mantell, Susan; Sun, Liyong; Gedeon, David; Kelly, Kevin; McLean, Jeffrey; Wood, Gary; Qiu, Songgang

    2007-01-01

    A segmented involute-foil regenerator has been designed, microfabricated and tested in an oscillating-flow rig with excellent results. During the Phase I effort, several approximations of parallel-plate regenerator geometry were chosen as potential candidates for a new microfabrication concept. Potential manufacturers and processes were surveyed. The selected concept consisted of stacked segmented-involute-foil disks (or annular portions of disks), originally to be microfabricated from stainless-steel via the LiGA (lithography, electroplating, and molding) process and EDM (electric discharge machining). During Phase II, re-planning of the effort led to test plans based on nickel disks, microfabricated via the LiGA process, only. A stack of nickel segmented-involute-foil disks was tested in an oscillating-flow test rig. These test results yielded a performance figure of merit (roughly the ratio of heat transfer to pressure drop) of about twice that of the 90% random fiber currently used in small 100 W Stirling space-power convertors in the Reynolds Number range of interest (50-100). A Phase III effort is now underway to fabricate and test a segmented-involute-foil regenerator in a Stirling convertor. Though funding limitations prevent optimization of the Stirling engine geometry for use with this regenerator, the Sage computer code will be used to help evaluate the engine test results. Previous Sage Stirling model projections have indicated that a segmented-involute-foil regenerator is capable of improving the performance of an optimized involute-foil engine by 6-9%; it is also anticipated that such involute-foil geometries will be more reliable and easier to manufacture with tight-tolerance characteristics, than random-fiber or wire-screen regenerators. Beyond the near-term Phase III regenerator fabrication and engine testing, other goals are (1) fabrication from a material suitable for high temperature Stirling operation (up to 850 C for current engines; up to

  2. Stirling cycle cryogenic cooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-06-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Technical status of the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program

    SciTech Connect

    Bean, J.R.; Diver, R.B.

    1995-06-01

    Initiated in 1991; the Dish/Stirling Joint Venture Program (DSJVP) is a 5-year, $17.2 million joint venture which is funded by Cummins Power Generation, Inc. (CPG) of Columbus, Indiana and the United States Department of Energy`s (DOE) Solar Thermal and Biomass Power Division. Sandia National Laboratories administers and provides technical management for this contract on the DOE`s behalf. In January, 1995; CPG advanced to Phase 3 of this three-phase contract. The objective of the DSJVP is to develop and commercialize a 7-kW. Dish/Stirling System for remote power markets by 1997. In this paper, the technical status of the major subsystems which comprise the CPG 7-kW{sub e} Dish/Stirling System is presented. These subsystems include the solar concentrator, heat pipe receiver, engine/alternator, power conditioning, and automatic controls.

  10. 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.

  11. Implementation of a Sage-Based Stirling Model Into a System-Level Numerical Model of the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briggs, Maxwell H.

    2011-01-01

    The Fission Power System (FPS) project is developing a Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU) to verify the performance and functionality of a subscale version of the FPS reference concept in a relevant environment, and to verify component and system models. As hardware is developed for the TDU, component and system models must be refined to include the details of specific component designs. This paper describes the development of a Sage-based pseudo-steady-state Stirling convertor model and its implementation into a system-level model of the TDU.

  12. MEMS Stirling Cooler Development Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moran, Matthew E.; Wesolek, Danielle

    2003-01-01

    This presentation provides an update on the effort to build and test a prototype unit of the patented MEMS Stirling cooler concept. A micro-scale regenerator has been fabricated by Polar Thermal Technologies and is currently being integrated into a Stirling cycle simulator at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. A discussion of the analysis, design, assembly, and test plans for the prototype will be presented.

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluation of Storage for Transportation Equipment, Unfueled Convertors, and Fueled Convertors at the INL for the Radioisotope Power Systems Program

    SciTech Connect

    S. G. Johnson; K. L. Lively

    2010-05-01

    This report contains an evaluation of the storage conditions required for several key components and/or systems of the Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). These components/systems (transportation equipment, i.e., type ‘B’ shipping casks and the radioisotope thermo-electric generator transportation systems (RTGTS), the unfueled convertors, i.e., multi-hundred watt (MHW) and general purpose heat source (GPHS) RTGs, and fueled convertors of several types) are currently stored in several facilities at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) site. For various reasons related to competing missions, inherent growth of the RPS mission at the INL and enhanced efficiency, it is necessary to evaluate their current storage situation and recommend the approach that should be pursued going forward for storage of these vital RPS components and systems. The reasons that drive this evaluation include, but are not limited to the following: 1) conflict with other missions at the INL of higher priority, 2) increasing demands from the INL RPS Program that exceed the physical capacity of the current storage areas and 3) the ability to enhance our current capability to care for our equipment, decrease maintenance costs and increase the readiness posture of the systems.

  15. 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.

  16. An Initial Non-Equilibrium Porous-Media Model for CFD Simulation of Stirling Regenerators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tew, Roy; Simon, Terry; Gedeon, David; Ibrahim, Mounir; Rong, Wei

    2006-01-01

    coefficient. Solid effective thermal conductivity (including the effect of tortuosity) was also estimated. Determination of the porous-media model parameters was based on planned use in a CFD model of Infinia's Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC), which uses a random-fiber regenerator matrix. The non-equilibrium porous-media model presented is considered to be an initial, or "draft," model for possible incorporation in commercial CFD codes, with the expectation that the empirical parameters will likely need to be updated once resulting Stirling CFD model regenerator and engine results have been analyzed. The emphasis of the paper is on use of available data to define empirical parameters (and closure models) needed in a thermal non-equilibrium porous-media model for Stirling regenerator simulation. Such a model has not yet been implemented by the authors or their associates. However, it is anticipated that a thermal non-equilibrium model such as that presented here, when iacorporated in the CFD codes, will improve our ability to accurately model Stirling regenerators with CFD relative to current thermal-equilibrium porous-media models.

  17. 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.

  18. Summary of the NASA Lewis component technology program for Stirling power converters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thieme, Lanny G.; Swec, Diane M.

    1992-01-01

    An update is presented on the NASA Lewis Stirling component technology program. The component technology program has been organized as part of the NASA Lewis effort to develop Stirling converter technology for space power applications. The Stirling space power project is part of the High Capacity Power element of the NASA Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). Lewis is also providing technical management of a DOE funded project to develop Stirling converter systems for distributed dish solar terrestrial power applications. The primary contractors for the space power and solar terrestrial projects develop component technologies directly related to their project goals. This Lewis component technology program, while coordinated with these main projects, is aimed at longer term issues, advanced technologies, and independent assessments. Topics to be discussed include bearings, linear alternators, controls and load interaction, materials/life assessment, and heat exchangers.

  19. Micro-Miniature Split Stirling Linear Crycooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veprik, A.; Zehtzer, S.; Vilenchik, H.; Pundak, N.

    2010-04-01

    Novel tactics for rescue, surveillance, reconnaissance, force protection, perimeter security, navigation and targeting often involve the use of miniature infrared imagers, where the cooled imaging systems are known to be superior to their uncooled rivals in terms of working range, resolution and ability to distinguish/track fast moving objects in dynamic infrared scenes. The latest technological advances in industrial applications of high-temperature infrared detectors have spurred the development of linearly driven, long life, dynamically quiet and aurally undetectable micro-miniature split Stirling linear cryogenic coolers. Recent progress in designing highly efficient "moving magnet" resonant linear actuators and dedicated smart electronics have enabled further improvements to the cooler's size, weight, power consumption, cooldown time and ownership costs. The authors report on the development of a novel micro-miniature split Stirling linear cryogenic cooler, where, by means of increasing the driving frequency up to 90 Hz, it appeared possible to shorten the cold finger to 19 mm. The cooler was specifically designed to cool a new generation of 130 K infrared detectors for portable infrared imagers, where compactness, low steady-state power consumption, fast cool-down time, vibration export and aural stealth are of primary concern.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Miniaturized stirling type cooler

    SciTech Connect

    Pundak, N.

    1988-09-13

    This patent describes a cryogenic Stirling type cooler system, an axially extending casing, a compressor unit located within the casing and including a crankshaft extending transversely of the casing axis, an expander and expander connecting rod arranged co-axially in and with the casing the casing including a cover having an axis in coaxial relation with the crankshaft, the casing and cover forming a sealed housing for the compressor unit and crankshaft. The cover consists of a cup-shaped non-magnetic partition, a drive for the compressor unit comprising a D.C. brushless motor including a stator, a rotor and driving electronics. The rotor located within the cover in the sealed housing and coupled directly to the crankshaft, the crankshaft connected to the expander and compressor connecting rods, the stator located outwardly of an encircling the cover in co-axial relation with the rotor. The drive electronics located outwardly of the casing, whereby the rotor is located within the sealed housing in driving engagement with the crankshaft while the stator is located outside the sealed housing for driving the rotor so that the rotor supplies rotational movement to the crankshaft which is converted by the crankshaft cam for driving the expander and compressor connecting rod.

  3. Supporting research and technology for automotive Stirling engine development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tomazic, W. A.

    1980-01-01

    The technology advancement topics described are a part of the supporting research and technology (SRT) program conducted to support the major Stirling engine development program. This support focuses on developing alternatives or backups to the engine development in critical areas. These areas are materials, seals control, combustors and system analysis. Specific objectives and planned milestone schedules for future activities as now envisioned are described. These planned SRT activities are related to the timeline of the engine development program that they must support.

  4. 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.

  5. Free-Piston Stirling Engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1989-01-01

    Engines promise cost-effective solar-power generation. Report describes two concepts for Stirling-engine systems for conversion of solar heat to electrical energy. Recognized most promising technologies for meeting U.S. Department of Energy goals for performance and cost for terrestrial electrical-energy sources.

  6. 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.

  7. Stirling engines and irrigation pumping

    SciTech Connect

    West, C.D.

    1988-01-01

    A brief outline is given of 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, suitable for low technology manufacture, that have been the recent subject of research. 5 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Overview of a stirling engine test project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1980-01-01

    Tests were conducted on three Stirling engines ranging in size from 1.33 to 53 horsepower (1 to 40 kW). The tests were directed toward developing alternative, backup component concepts to improve engine efficiency and performance or to reduce costs. Some of the activities included investigating attractive concepts and materials for cooler-regenerator units, installing a jet impingement device on a Stirling engine to determine its potential for improved engine performance, and presenting performance maps for initial characterization of Stirling engines. The experiment results of the tests are presented along with predictions of results of future tests to be conducted on the Stirling engines.

  13. Overview of a stirling engine test project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1980-03-01

    Tests were conducted on three Stirling engines ranging in size from 1.33 to 53 horsepower (1 to 40 kW). The tests were directed toward developing alternative, backup component concepts to improve engine efficiency and performance or to reduce costs. Some of the activities included investigating attractive concepts and materials for cooler-regenerator units, installing a jet impingement device on a Stirling engine to determine its potential for improved engine performance, and presenting performance maps for initial characterization of Stirling engines. The experiment results of the tests are presented along with predictions of results of future tests to be conducted on the Stirling engines.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Stability of split Stirling refrigerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Waele, A. T. A. M.; Liang, W.

    2009-02-01

    In many thermal systems spontaneous mechanical oscillations are generated under the influence of large temperature gradients. Well-known examples are Taconis oscillations in liquid-helium cryostats and oscillations in thermoacoustic systems. In split Stirling refrigerators the compressor and the cold finger are connected by a flexible tube. The displacer in the cold head is suspended by a spring. Its motion is pneumatically driven by the pressure oscillations generated by the compressor. In this paper we give the basic dynamic equations of split Stirling refrigerators and investigate the possibility of spontaneous mechanical oscillations if a large temperature gradient develops in the cold finger, e.g. during or after cool down. These oscillations would be superimposed on the pressure oscillations of the compressor and could ruin the cooler performance.

  17. 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.

  18. Gas dynamics and Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Organ, A.J.

    1995-12-31

    The Method of Characteristics is adapted for computer solution of pulsatile flow in the presence of flow area discontinuities. The treatment is applied to the Stirling engine gas circuit. Compressibility effects show up clearly at a Mach number, u/a, of 0.01 -- i.e. at one thirtieth of the 0.3 or so used by convention as the demarcation between incompressible and compressible flow. Indeed, it is demonstrated that there is no lower limit to the Mach number at which the effects of compressibility can be quantified. The treatment paves the way for comprehensive simulation of the Stirling machine taking into account the complex geometry of the regenerator packing.

  19. 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.

  20. Mod II Stirling engine overviews

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farrell, Roger A.

    1988-01-01

    The Mod II engine is a second-generation automotive Stirling engine (ASE) optimized for part-power operation. It has been designed specifically to meet the fuel economy and exhaust emissions objectives of the ASE development program. The design, test experience, performance, and comparison of data to analytical performance estimates of the Mod II engine to date are reviewed. Estimates of Mod II performance in its final configuration are also given.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Vanguard I solar parabolic dish-Stirling engine module. Final report, May 28, 1982-September 30, 1984

    SciTech Connect

    Washom, B.J.

    1984-09-30

    Advanco Corporation and the US Department of Energy entered into a cooperative agreement in May 1982 for the design, manufacture, and test of a 25-kWe solar parabolic dish module utilizing a Stirling engine power conversion unit. The product of the cooperative agreement is the Vanguard solar parabolic dish-Stirling engine module. It was designed, fabricated, and shop assembled in Los Angeles, California, and Malmoe, Sweden, and was then installed and tested at Rancho Mirage, California, in accordance with the agreement's specifications. The design features simple fabrication and assembly techniques, low cost, and high operating efficiency. The cover displays the Vanguard module operating on-sun. The concept combines the United Stirling AB (USAB) 4-95 Solar II Stirling engine, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) developed mirror facets, the Rockwell/Advanco exocentric gimbal mechanism (EGM), the advanced USAB receiver, and a dry, integrated heat rejection system.

  14. Initial characterization of a modular heat exchanger with an integral heat pipe. [for Stirling space engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    1989-01-01

    As part of the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) Advanced Technology program, a conceptual design of the Stirling space engibe (SSE) was generated to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) was chosen as the growth option in the CSTI program. An existing FPSE was modified as a test bed for a modular heat exchanger evaluation. Evaluation of the individual heat pipes before installation in the engine is described.

  15. Base technology Stirling engine military applications assessment. Final technical report, 1 June 30-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Daley, J.G.

    1983-10-01

    The design of an advanced Stirling engine is considered for potential use in Air Force mobile electric power generator sets. The prospects for acceptable reliability appears good due to new approaches to recognized Stirling problem areas; sealing, heater head and control. The present design appears suitable for a 30kW set, but Air Force needs would be best suited by development of a 60kW unit. Standardization would be facilitated by using the 60kW Stirling engine and associated auxiliaries in a 30kW set. Final design drawings have been completed in the 30kW engine but construction and tests are required to establish that both design criteria for the engine and mobile power requirements are met. Originator-supplied keywords include: Heat pipe, and Combustor control.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. Rotary Stirling-Cycle Engine And Generator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandler, Joseph A.

    1990-01-01

    Proposed electric-power generator comprises three motor generators coordinated by microprocessor and driven by rotary Stirling-cycle heat engine. Combination offers thermodynamic efficiency of Stirling cycle, relatively low vibration, and automatic adjustment of operating parameters to suit changing load on generator. Rotary Stirling cycle engine converts heat to power via compression and expansion of working gas between three pairs of rotary pistons on three concentric shafts in phased motion. Three motor/generators each connected to one of concentric shafts, can alternately move and be moved by pistons. Microprocessor coordinates their operation, including switching between motor and generator modes at appropriate times during each cycle.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Comparison of Stirling engines for use with a 25-kW disk-electric conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1987-01-01

    Heat engines were evaluated for terrestrial solar heat receivers. The Stirling Engine was identified as one of the most promising engines for terrestrial applications. The potential to meet the Department of Energy (DOE) goals for performance and cost can be met by the free-piston Stirling engine. NASA Lewis is providing technical management for an Advanced Stirling Conversion System (ASCS) through a cooperative interagency agreement with DOE. Parallel contracts were awarded for conceptual designs of an ASCS. Each design will feature a free-piston Stirling engine, a liquid-metal heat pipe receiver, and a means to provide about 25 kW of electric power to a utility grid while meeting long-term performance and goals. The Mechanical Technology, Ins. (MTI) design incorporates a linear alternator to directly convert the solar energy to electricity while the Stirling Technology Company (STC) generates electrical power indirectly by using a hydraulic output to a ground-bases hydraulic pump/motor coupled to a rotating alternator. Both designs use technology which can reasonably be expected to be available in the 1980's. The ASCS designs using a free-piston Stirling engine, a heat transport system, a receiver, and the methods of providing electricity to the utility grid will be discussed.

  3. Continuing Development for Free-Piston Stirling Space Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Allen A.; Qiu, Songgang; Redinger, Darin L.; Augenblick, John E.; Petersen, Stephen L.

    2004-02-01

    Long-life radioisotope power generators based on free-piston Stirling engines are an energy-conversion solution for future space applications. The high efficiency of Stirling machines makes them more attractive than the thermoelectric generators currently used in space. Stirling Technology Company (STC) has been developing free-piston Stirling machines for over 30 years, and its family of Stirling generators is ideally suited for reliable, maintenance-free operation. This paper describes recent progress and status of the STC RemoteGen™ 55 W-class Stirling generator (RG-55), presents an overview of recent testing, and discusses how the technology demonstration design has evolved toward space-qualified hardware.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Materials for a Stirling engine heater head

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noble, J. E.; Lehmann, G. A.; Emigh, S. G.

    1990-01-01

    Work done on the 25-kW advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) terrestrial solar program in establishing criteria and selecting materials for the engine heater head and heater tubes is described. Various mechanisms contributing to incompatibility between materials are identified and discussed. Large thermal gradients, coupled with requirements for long life (60,000 h at temperature) and a large number of heatup and cooldown cycles (20,000) drive the design from a structural standpoint. The pressurized cylinder is checked for creep rupture, localized yielding, reverse plasticity, creep and fatigue damage, and creep ratcheting, in addition to the basic requirements for bust and proof pressure. In general, creep rupture and creep and fatigue interaction are the dominant factors in the design. A wide range of materials for the heater head and tubes was evaluated. Factors involved in the assessment were strength and effect on engine efficiency, reliability, and cost. A preliminary selection of Inconel 713LC for the heater head is based on acceptable structural properties but driven mainly by low cost. The criteria for failure, the structural analysis, and the material characteristics with basis for selection are discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. STIRLING'S QUARTERS SMALL BARN: FIRST FLOOR PLAN; SECOND FLOOR PLAN; ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    STIRLING'S QUARTERS SMALL BARN: FIRST FLOOR PLAN; SECOND FLOOR PLAN; SOUTH ELEVATION; EAST ELEVATION; NORTH ELEVATION; WEST ELEVATION. - Stirling's Quarters, 555 Yellow Springs Road, Tredyffrin Township, Valley Forge, Chester County, PA

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. Self-pressurizing Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Advanced solar dynamic technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calogeras, James

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs and discussion on Advanced Solar Dynamic Technology Program are presented. Topics covered include: advanced solar dynamic technology program; advanced concentrators; advanced heat receivers; power conversion systems; dished all metal honeycomb sandwich panels; Stirling cavity heat pipe receiver; Brayton solar receiver; and thermal energy storage technology.

  20. On the Need for Multidimensional Stirling Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dyson, Rodger; Wilson, Scott; Tew, Roy; Demko, Rikako

    2006-01-01

    Contents include the following: Dual opposed convertors. High efficiency. Low mass space power. One-dimensional analysis. Fast computation. Design optimizations are easily done. Need for multidimensional modeling. Axisymmetric simulation. Flow characteristics. Low mach number. Laminar, transitional, and turbulent flow. Conjugate heat transfer. Third order analysis. Recent whole engine modeling. Regenerator geometry. Turbulence modeling. Flat head heater not 1-D. Empirical coefficients needed. Experiment design. Flow distribution. Sensor placement. Calibration. Validation.

  1. Automotive Stirling Engine Mod I design review report. Volume III

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-08-01

    This volume, No. 3, of the Automotive Stirling Engine Mod 1 Design Review Report contains a preliminary parts list and detailed drawings of equipment for the basic Stirling engine and for the following systems: vehicular Stirling Engine System; external heat system; hot and cold engine systems; engine drive; controls and auxiliaries; and vehicle integration. (LCL)

  2. Report of multijunction thermal convertor interlaboratory comparison study for measurements at Sandia National Laboratory.

    SciTech Connect

    Klemme, Beverly J.

    2009-07-01

    Two Multijunction Thermal Voltage Converters (MJTCs) were provided to the Sandia National Laboratory Primary Standards Laboratory (Sandia PSL) as part of an interlaboratory comparison (ILC). This report summarizes the results of the measurements of the devices (S 127D1 and S 127C2) measured at Sandia PSL from March 4 to March 15, 2009. The SNL/NM portion of an interlaboratory comparison of multijunction thermal convertors was successfully completed with a demonstrated measurement uncertainty of 60ppm (k=2).

  3. 1987 Overview of the free-piston Stirling technology for space power application

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.; Alger, D.L.

    1994-09-01

    An overview is presented of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. Free-piston Stirling technology is applicable for both solar and nuclear powered systems. As such, NASA Lewis serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated NASA SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. This 5-yr program provides the technology thrust for providing significant component and subsystem options for increased efficiency, reliability and survivability, and power output growth at reduced specific mass. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable growth candidate. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are comparisons between predicted and experimental engine performance, enhanced performance resulting from regenerator modification, increased operating stroke brought about by isolating the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston, identifying excessive energy losses and recommending corrective action, and a better understanding of linear alternator design and operation. Technology work is also conducted on heat exchanger concepts, both design and fabrication, to minimize the number of joints as well as to enhance performance. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter. A cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Alternative fuel capabilities of the Mod II Stirling vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Grandin, A.W.; Ernst, W.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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Characteristics, finite element analysis, test description, and preliminary test results of the STM4-120 kinematic Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Linker, K.L.; Rawlinson, K.S.; Smith, G.

    1991-10-01

    The Department of Energy's Solar Thermal Program has as one of its program elements the development and evaluation of conversion device technologies applicable to dish-electric systems. The primary research and development combines a conversion device (heat engine), solar receiver, and generator mounted at the focus of a parabolic dish concentrator. The Stirling-cycle heat engine was identified as the conversion device for dish-electric with the most potential for meeting the program's goals for efficiency, reliability, and installed cost. To advance the technology toward commercialization, Sandia National Laboratories has acquired a Stirling Thermal Motors, Inc., kinematic Stirling engine, STM4-120, for evaluation. The engine is being bench-tested at Sandia's Engine Test Facility and will be combined later with a solar receiver for on-sun evaluation. This report presents the engine characteristics, finite element analyses of critical engine components, test system layout, instrumentation, and preliminary performance results from the bench test.

  12. 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.

  13. HTC solar Stirling development Sunset Powerstation

    SciTech Connect

    Mitzel, M.; Leibfried, I.U.

    1995-11-01

    The components of a new dish-Stirling system are presented. Special emphasis on the system design is given to realize a simple and highly reliable system for applications in a low technology context. The development of the new double chamber stretched-membrane dish is described, including the investigation of a secondary concentrator. The data of the TEM SCP-75 Stirling engine is given. A new copper mantled heater head for utilizing solar power is presented. Performance data for the whole system is reported.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Phase-angle controller for Stirling engines

    SciTech Connect

    Frosch, R.A.; McDougal, A.R.

    1980-12-23

    A first embodiment incorporating an actuator including 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 is described. The restraint link is releasably supported against axial displacement by releasably trapped hydraulic fluid for selectively establishing a phase angle relationship between the crankshaft and a second embodiment incorporating a hydraulic coupler for use in varying the phase angle of gear-coupled crankshafts for a Stirling engine whereby phase angle changes are obtainable.

  17. 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.

  18. Heat exchanger for a Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Fujiwara, M.; Nomaguchi, T.; Kazumoto, Y.; Tsuchino, K.; Kawajiri, K.; Hisamori, Y.

    1987-05-05

    A heat exchanger is described for a Stirling engine comprising: a domed cylinder having a domed portion and a cylindrical portion. The domed cylinder serves as a high-temperature cylinder and a regenerator housing of the Stirling engine; a cylindrical inner liner which is coaxially disposed inside the domed cylinder and which divides the inside of the domed cylinder into an expansion space inside of the inner liner and a regenerator space between the outer surface of the inner liner and the inner surface of the cylindrical portion of the domed cylinder.

  19. 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.

  20. A multicylinder free-piston Stirling engine for application in Stirling-electric drive systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Graaff, Peter J.

    This study gives a short introduction to Stirling-electric drive systems and their applications. The development of a Stirling-electric drive system concentrates on the design of a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), which will form the most important part of the system. One of the most important ideas behind the design of the FPSE is that a simple, robust, and efficient electric power generator has to be developed which can run on any available liquid for gaseous fuel and which can easily be plugged into a larger system, such as a Stirling-electric drive system. The benefits are found mainly in the silent and environmentally friendly operation of the system, but also in the free positioning of the FPSE and the ease with which a mechanical connection can be made between the electric motor and the load.

  1. Free-Piston Stirling Power Conversion Unit for Fission Power System, Phase II Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, J. Gary; Stanley, John

    2016-01-01

    In Phase II, the manufacture and testing of two 6-kW(sub e)Stirling engines was completed. The engines were delivered in an opposed 12-kW(sub e) arrangement with a common expansion space heater head. As described in the Phase I report, the engines were designed to be sealed both hermetically and with a bolted O-ring seal. The completed Phase II convertor is in the bolted configuration to allow future disassembly. By the end of Phase II, the convertor had passed all of the final testing requirements in preparation for delivery to the NASA Glenn Research Center. The electronic controller also was fabricated and tested during Phase II. The controller sets both piston amplitudes and maintains the phasing between them. It also sets the operating frequency of the machine. Details of the controller are described in the Phase I final report. Fabrication of the direct-current to direct-current (DC-DC) output stage, which would have stepped down the main controller output voltage from 700 to 120 V(sub DC), was omitted from this phase of the project for budgetary reasons. However, the main controller was successfully built, tested with the engines, and delivered. We experienced very few development issues with this high-power controller. The project extended significantly longer than originally planned because of yearly funding delays. The team also experienced several hardware difficulties along the development path. Most of these were related to the different thermal expansions of adjacent parts constructed of different materials. This issue was made worse by the large size of the machine. Thermal expansion problems also caused difficulties in the brazing of the opposed stainless steel sodium-potassium (NaK) heater head. Despite repeated attempts Sunpower was not able to successfully braze the opposed head under this project. Near the end of the project, Glenn fabricated an opposed Inconel NaK head, which was installed prior to delivery for testing at Glenn. Engine

  2. Dual-mode spectral convertors as a simple approach for the enhancement of hematite's solar water splitting efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atabaev, Timur Sh.; Vu, Hong Ha Thi; Ajmal, Muhammad; Kim, Hyung-Kook; Hwang, Yoon-Hwae

    2015-06-01

    Storing solar energy via a chemical fuel of hydrogen from water splitting represents a clean alternative for petroleum fuel. Thus, it is highly desirable for the production of hydrogen using environment-friendly and cost-effective methods. Most photoelectrodes used for this conversion are semiconductor materials whose band gaps match the UV and visible radiation of solar energy. However, further improvement in electrodes performance may be possible by improving photoabsorption efficiency in near-infrared region. This report represents our attempt to utilize IR photons for water splitting, and thus, spectral convertors were incorporated within the hematite nanorods (NRs) grown directly on a FTO glass. The results demonstrate that incorporation of spectral convertors within the hematite NRs leads to higher efficiency and performance in solar water splitting, because the convertors enable harvesting more photons both at UV and IR regions than conventional hematite.

  3. 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.

  4. "Starfish" Heater Head For Stirling Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vitale, N.

    1993-01-01

    Proposed "starfish" heater head for Stirling engine enables safe use of liquid sodium as heat-transfer fluid. Sodium makes direct contact with heater head but does not come in contact with any structural welds. Design concept minimizes number of, and simplifies nonstructural thermal welds and facilitates inspection of such welds.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Piston rod seal for a Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    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.

  11. 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…

  12. Two piston V-type Stirling engine

    DOEpatents

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Improved piston rings for a stirling engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcdougal, A. R.

    1980-01-01

    Cast-iron piston rings coated with commercially-available antifriction materials improves cylinder life of high-performance Stirling engine. Ring is efficient heat conductor between piston and cylinder. Device has low thermal expansion which maintains minimum gap in ring, good radial force characteristics, and essentially indefinite life.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, Jack G.; Alger, Donald L.

    1987-01-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space-power application. NASA Lewis serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated NASA SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. One of the major elements of this five-year program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable growth candidate. Under this program the status of the 25 kWe opposed-piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) is presented. Included in the SPDE discussion are comparisons between predicted and experimental engine performance, enhanced performance resulting from regenerator modification, increased operating stroke brought about by isolating the gas bearing flow between the displacer and power piston, identifying excessive energy losses and recommending corrective action, and a better understanding of linear alternator design and operation. Technology work is also conducted on heat exchanger concepts, both design and fabrication. Design parameters and conceptual design features are also presented for a 25 kWe, single-cylinder free-piston Stirling space-power converter.

  1. Alkali metal compatibility testing of candidate heater head materials for a Stirling engine heat transport system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noble, Jack E.; Hickman, Gary L.; Grobstein, Toni

    1991-01-01

    The authors describe work performed as part of the 25-kWe advanced Stirling conversion system project. Liquid alkali metal compatibility is being assessed in an ongoing test program to evaluate candidate heater head materials and fabrication processes at the temperatures and operating conditions required for Stirling engines. Specific materials under evaluation are alloy 713LC, alloy 713LC coated with nickel aluminide, and Udimet 720, each in combination with Waspaloy. The tests were run at a constant 700 C. A eutectic alloy of sodium and potassium (NaK) was the working fluid. Titanium sheet in the system was shown to be an effective oxygen getter. Metallographic and microchemical examination of material surfaces, joints, and their interfaces revealed little or no corrosion after 1000 h. Tests are in progress, with up to 10,000 h exposure.

  2. An experimental free displacer back-to-back gamma type Stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Lazarides, Y.G.; Kilgour, D.B.; Lewis, K.L.; Rallis, C.J.

    1983-08-01

    A novel type of Stirling engine has been designed and is currently at an advanced manufacturing stage at the School of Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand. The engine offers the main advantage of eliminating many of the sealing problems usually associated with Stirling engines and in one of its final configurations, it consists of only two moving parts. This follows previous work on a rig that has been used for low speed testing of the concept (up to 3,5 Hz) and at temperatures of up to 573 K. The engine has been designed on a modular basis to enable full experimentation. The displacer block that includes the heaters, regenerators and coolers is located on top of a modified Petter compression ignition engine which is used to provide the volume variations.

  3. Space reactor/Stirling cycle systems for high power lunar application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.

    1991-01-01

    An analysis is performed to mathematically model a 550 kWe lunar base power supply which uses a SP-100 reactor coupled with Stirling converters. The reactor is placed in an excavation to keep activated coolant in the hole and to allow maintenance of the components outside the hole. Two technology levels are considered. They are 1050 and 1300 K heater head Stirling converts. It is found that for a 1050 K converter the total mass which provided 1000 volts DC at 250 m is 14,366 kg while the 1300 K system mass is 12,104 kg. The radiation area of the 1050 and 1300 K systems are 641 and 356 sq m respectively. Comparisons are made with Brayton and thermionic systems with both near term and advanced technology considered.

  4. Space reactor/Stirling cycle systems for high power lunar applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmitz, Paul C.; Mason, Lee S.

    1991-01-01

    An analysis is performed to mathematically model a 550 kWe lunar base power supply which uses a SP-100 reactor coupled with Stirling converters. The reactor is placed in an excavation to keep activated coolant in the hole and to allow maintance of the components outside the hole. Two technology levels are considered. They are 1050 and 1300 K heater head Stirling converts. It is found that for a 1050 K converter the total mass which provided 1000 volts dc at 250 m is 14,366 kg while the 1300 K system mass is 12,104 kg. The radiation area of the 1050 and 1300 K systems are 641 and 356 sq m respectively. Comparisons are made with Brayton and thermionic systems with both near term and advanced technology considered.

  5. Evaluation of Environmental Effects of Wave Energy Convertor Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Stakeholders and regulators in the U.S. are generally uncertain as to the potential environmental impacts posed by deployments of marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) devices, and in particular wave energy conversion (WEC) devices, in coastal waters. The first pilot-scale WEC deployments in the U.S. have had to absorb unsustainable costs and delays associated with permitting to get devices in the water. As such, there is an urgent industry need to streamline the technical activities and processes used to assess potential environmental impacts. To enable regulators and stakeholders to become more comfortable and confident with developing effective MHK environmental assessments, a better understanding of the potential environmental effects induced by arrays of WEC devices is needed. A key challenge in developing this understanding is that the assessment of the WEC effects must come prior to deployment. A typical approach in similar environmental assessments is to use numerical models to simulate the WEC devices and array layouts so that the appropriate environmental stressors and receptors can be identified and assessed. Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and the U.S. Department of Energy are fulfilling the industry-wide need to develop "WEC-friendly" open-source numerical modeling tools capable of assessing potential changes to the physical environment caused by the operation of WEC arrays. Studies using these tools will advance the nation's general knowledge of the interrelationships among the number, size, efficiency, and configuration of MHK arrays and the subsequent effects these relationships may have on the deployment environment. By better understanding these relationships, industry, stakeholders, and regulators will be able to work together to optimize WEC deployments such that environmental impacts are minimized while power output is maximized. The present work outlines the initial effort in coupling the SNL WEC-friendly tools with the environmental assessment

  6. Vibration-free stirling cryocooler for high definition microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riabzev, S. V.; Veprik, A. M.; Vilenchik, H. S.; Pundak, N.; Castiel, E.

    2009-12-01

    The normal operation of high definition Scanning Electronic and Helium Ion microscope tools often relies on maintaining particular components at cryogenic temperatures. This has traditionally been accomplished by using liquid coolants such as liquid Nitrogen. This inherently limits the useful temperature range to above 77 K, produces various operational hazards and typically involves elevated ownership costs, inconvenient logistics and maintenance. Mechanical coolers, over-performing the above traditional method and capable of delivering required (even below 77 K) cooling to the above cooled components, have been well-known elsewhere for many years, but their typical drawbacks, such as high purchasing cost, cooler size, low reliability and high power consumption have so far prevented their wide-spreading. Additional critical drawback is inevitable degradation of imagery performance originated from the wideband vibration export as typical for the operation of the mechanical cooler incorporating numerous movable components. Recent advances in the development of reliable, compact, reasonably priced and dynamically quiet linear cryogenic coolers gave rise to so-called "dry cooling" technologies aimed at eventually replacing the traditional use of outdated liquid Nitrogen cooling facilities. Although much improved these newer cryogenic coolers still produce relatively high vibration export which makes them incompatible with modern high definition microscopy tools. This has motivated further research activity towards developing a vibration free closed-cycle mechanical cryocooler. The authors have successfully adapted the standard low vibration Stirling cryogenic refrigerator (Ricor model K535-LV) delivering 5 W@40 K heat lift for use in vibration-sensitive high definition microscopy. This has been achieved by using passive mechanical counterbalancing of the main portion of the low frequency vibration export in combination with an active feed-forward multi

  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. Stirling Engine With Radial Flow Heat Exchangers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vitale, N.; Yarr, George

    1993-01-01

    Conflict between thermodynamical and structural requirements resolved. In Stirling engine of new cylindrical configuration, regenerator and acceptor and rejector heat exchangers channel flow of working gas in radial direction. Isotherms in regenerator ideally concentric cylinders, and gradient of temperature across regenerator radial rather than axial. Acceptor and rejector heat exchangers located radially inward and outward of regenerator, respectively. Enables substantial increase in power of engine without corresponding increase in diameter of pressure vessel.

  9. Sensitivity analysis of Stirling engine design parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Naso, V.; Dong, W.; Lucentini, M.; Capata, R.

    1998-07-01

    In the preliminary Stirling engine design process, the values of some design parameters (temperature ratio, swept volume ratio, phase angle and dead volume ratio) have to be assumed; as a matter of fact it can be difficult to determine the best values of these parameters for a particular engine design. In this paper, a mathematical model is developed to analyze the sensitivity of engine's performance variations corresponding to variations of these parameters.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.)

  18. 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.

  19. Sage Simulation Model for Technology Demonstration Convertor by a Step-by-Step Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Demko, Rikako; Penswick, L. Barry

    2006-01-01

    The development of a Stirling model using the 1-D Saga design code was completed using a step-by-step approach. This is a method of gradually increasing the complexity of the Saga model while observing the energy balance and energy losses at each step of the development. This step-by-step model development and energy-flow analysis can clarify where the losses occur, their impact, and suggest possible opportunities for design improvement.

  20. Split Stirling linear cryogenic cooler for high-temperature infrared sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veprik, A.; Zehter, S.; Vilenchik, H.; Pundak, N.

    2009-05-01

    Infrared imagers play a vital role in the modern tactics of carrying out surveillance, reconnaissance, targeting and navigation operations. The cooled systems are known to be superior to their uncooled competitors in terms of working ranges, resolution and ability to distinguish/track fast moving objects in dynamic infrared scenes. These advantages are primarily due to maintaining the infrared focal plane arrays at cryogenic temperatures using mechanical closed cycle Stirling cryogenic coolers. Recent technological advances in industrial application of high-temperature (up to 200K) infrared detectors has spurred the development of linearly driven microminiature split Stirling cryogenic coolers having inherently longer life spans, lower vibration export and better aural stealth as compared to their rotary driven rivals. Moreover, recent progress in designing highly efficient "moving magnet" resonant linear actuators and dedicated smart electronics have enabled further improvements to the cooler size, weight, power consumption, cooldown time and ownership costs. The authors report on the development and project status of a novel microminiature split Stirling linear cryogenic cooler having a shortened to 19mm cold finger and a high driving frequency (90Hz). The cooler has been specifically designed for cooling 130K infrared sensors of future portable infrared imagers, where compactness, low steady-state power consumption and fast cool-down time are of primary concern.

  1. Design of small Stirling Dynamic Isotope Power System for robotic space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, David J.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.; Withrow, Colleen A.; McKissock, Barbara I.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    1993-01-01

    Design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS) based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) technology is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. Unlike previous DIPS designs which were based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled down to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTGs. Preliminary characterization of units in the output power ranges 200-600 We indicate that on an electrical watt basis the GPHS/small Stirling DIPS will be roughly equivalent to an advanced RTG in size and mass but require less than a third of the isotope inventory.

  2. Component improvement of free-piston Stirling engine key technology for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alger, Donald L.

    1988-01-01

    The successful performance of the 25 kW Space Power Demonstrator (SPD) engine during an extensive testing period has provided a baseline of free piston Stirling engine technology from which future space Stirling engines may evolve. Much of the success of the engine was due to the initial careful selection of engine materials, fabrication and joining processes, and inspection procedures. Resolution of the few SPD engine problem areas that did occur has resulted in the technological advancement of certain key free piston Stirling engine components. Derivation of two half-SPD, single piston engines from the axially opposed piston SPD engine, designated as Space Power Research (SPR) engines, has made possible the continued improvement of these engine components. The two SPR engines serve as test bed engines for testing of engine components. Some important fabrication and joining processes are reviewed. Also, some component deficiencies that were discovered during SPD engine testing are described and approaches that were taken to correct these deficiencies are discussed. Potential component design modifications, based upon the SPD and SPR engine testing, are also reported.

  3. Design of small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for robotic space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.; Schreiber, J. G.; Withrow, C. A.; Mckissock, B. I.; Schmitz, P. C.

    1992-01-01

    Design of a multihundred-watt Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS) based on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) and small (multihundred-watt) free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE) technology is being pursued as a potential lower cost alternative to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's). The design is targeted at the power needs of future unmanned deep space and planetary surface exploration missions ranging from scientific probes to Space Exploration Initiative precursor missions. Power level for these missions is less than a kilowatt. Unlike previous DIPS designs which were based on turbomachinery conversion (e.g. Brayton), this small Stirling DIPS can be advantageously scaled down to multihundred-watt unit size while preserving size and mass competitiveness with RTG's. Preliminary characterization of units in the output power ranges 200-600 We indicate that on an electrical watt basis the GPHS/small Stirling DIPS will be roughly equivalent to an advanced RTG in size and mass but require less than a third of the isotope inventory.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. Secondary fusion coupled deuteron/triton transport simulation and thermal-to-fusion neutron convertor measurement

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, G. B.; Wang, K.; Liu, H. G.; Li, R. D.

    2013-07-01

    A Monte Carlo tool RSMC (Reaction Sequence Monte Carlo) was developed to simulate deuteron/triton transportation and reaction coupled problem. The 'Forced particle production' variance reduction technique was used to improve the simulation speed, which made the secondary product play a major role. The mono-energy 14 MeV fusion neutron source was employed as a validation. Then the thermal-to-fusion neutron convertor was studied with our tool. Moreover, an in-core conversion efficiency measurement experiment was performed with {sup 6}LiD and {sup 6}LiH converters. Threshold activation foils was used to indicate the fast and fusion neutron flux. Besides, two other pivotal parameters were calculated theoretically. Finally, the conversion efficiency of {sup 6}LiD is obtained as 1.97x10{sup -4}, which matches well with the theoretical result. (authors)

  9. 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.

  10. In-line stirling energy system

    DOEpatents

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Potential impacts of Brayton and Stirling cycle engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heft, R. C.

    1980-11-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Thermoacoustic refrigerators and engines comprising cascading stirling thermodynamic units

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 10-year update of Stirling cryogenic coolers in France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Jean-Yves

    2000-12-01

    This paper enters in the scope of the session on 10-year update of IR in France. Cryotechnologies is a leader in both the French and European markets as a designer and manufacturer of cryogenic coolers. Serial production of the first generation of Stirling cryocoolers started at Cryotechnologies in the late eighties. A range of integral Stirling coolers is nowadays available and completes the existing range of split Stirling cryocoolers. Technical improvements are keeping up with the market evolutions and new potential applications (costs reduction, fast cooldown time, increase of cooling power, very high reliability, pulse tube cold finger).

  8. 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.

  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. On Generalizations of the Stirling Number Triangles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lang, Wolfdieter

    2000-09-01

    Sequences of generalized Stirling numbers of both kinds are introduced. These sequences of triangles (i.e. infinite-dimensional lower triangular matrices) of numbers will be denoted by S2(k;n,m) and S1(k;n,m) with k in Z. The original Stirling number triangles of the second and first kind arise when k = 1. S2(2;n,m) is identical with the unsigned S1(2;n,m) triangle, called S1p(2;n,m), which also represents the triangle of signless Lah numbers. Certain associated number triangles, denoted by s2(k;n,m) and s1(k;n,m), are also defined. Both s2(2;n,m) and s1(2;n + 1, m + 1) form Pascal's triangle, and s2(-1,n,m) turns out to be Catalan's triangle. Generating functions are given for the columns of these triangles. Each S2(k) and S1(k) matrix is an example of a Jabotinsky matrix. Therefore the generating functions for the rows of these triangular arrays constitute exponential convolution polynomials. The sequences of the row sums of these triangles are also considered. These triangles are related to the problem of obtaining finite transformations from infinitesimal ones generated by x^k d/dx, for k in Z.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slaby, J. G.

    1986-01-01

    Free piston Stirling technology is applicable for both solar and nuclear powered systems. As such, the Lewis Research Center serves as the project office to manage the newly initiated SP-100 Advanced Technology Program. This five year program provides the technology push for providing significant component and subsystem options for increased efficiency, reliability and survivability, and power output growth at reduced specific mass. One of the major elements of the program is the development of advanced power conversion concepts of which the Stirling cycle is a viable candidate. Under this program the research findings of the 25 kWe opposed piston Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) are presented. Included in the SPDE discussions are initial differences between predicted and experimental power outputs and power output influenced by variations in regenerators. Projections are made for future space power requirements over the next few decades. And a cursory comparison is presented showing the mass benefits that a Stirling system has over a Brayton system for the same peak temperature and output power.

  18. A comparison of Stirling engines for use with a 25 kW dish-electric conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.

    1987-01-01

    Two designs for an advanced Stirling conversion system (ASCS) are described. The objective of the ASCS is to generate about 25 kW of electric power to an electric utility grid at an engine/alternator target cost of $300.00/kW at the manufacturing rate of 10,000 unit/yr. Both designs contain a free-piston Stirling engine (FPSE), a heat transport system, solar receiver, a means to generate electric power, the necessary auxiliaries, and a control system. The major differences between the two concepts are: one uses a 25 kWe single-piston FPSE which incorporates a linear alternator to directly convert the energy to electricity on the utility grid; and in the second design, electrical power is generated indirectly using a hydraulic output to a ground based hydraulic motor coupled to a rotating alternator. Diagrams of the two designs are presented.

  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. Solar powered free-piston stirling engine

    SciTech Connect

    Benson, G.M.

    1988-05-24

    A method of controlling the operation of a free piston Stirling engine including a displacer piston having an integral electrical linear driver, an alternator piston driven by the displacer piston and including means for generating an electric current and variable volume gas springs in the cylinders for the displacer and alternator piston is described comprising the steps of: sensing the output voltage if the generated electric current; controlling the movement of the displacer piston by varying the volume of the gas spring in the displacer cylinder and the status of linear driver responsively to the sensed output voltage; sensing the frequency of the linear driver responsively to the sensed output voltage; sensing the frequency of the alternator piston; and controlling the frequency of the alternator piston by varying the volume of the gas spring of the alternator cylinder responsive to the sensed frequency.