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Sample records for brayton space power

  1. Performance evaluation of space solar Brayton cycle power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diao, Zheng-Gang

    1992-06-01

    Unlike gas turbine power systems which consume chemical or nuclear energy, the energy consumption and/or cycle efficiency should not be a suitable criterion for evaluating the performance of space solar Brayton cycle power. A new design goal, life cycle cost, can combine all the power system characteristics, such as mass, area, and station-keeping propellant, into a unified criterion. Effects of pressure ratio, recuperator effectiveness, and compressor inlet temperature on life cycle cost were examined. This method would aid in making design choices for a space power system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Schreiber, Jeffrey G.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lantz, E.; Mayo, W.

    1972-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-30

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

  8. High-temperature nuclear closed Brayton cycle power conversion system for the space exploration initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Brandes, D.J. )

    1991-01-05

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) has stated goals of colonizing the moon and conducting manned exploration of the planet Mars. Unlike previous ventures into space, both manned and unmanned, large quantities of electrical power will be required to provide the energy for lunar base sustenance and for highly efficient propulsion systems for the long trip to mars and return. Further, the requirement for electrical power of several megawatts will necessitate the use of nuclear reactor driven power conversion systems. This paper discusses a particle bed reactor closed Brayton cycle space power system that uses advanced materials technology to achieve a high-temperature, low-specific-weight modular system capable of providing the requisite electrical power for both a lunar base and a Mars flight vehicle propulsion system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Johnson, Paul K.

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Dynamic neutronic and stability analysis of a burst mode, single cavity gas core reactor Brayton cycle space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugan, Edward T.; Kutikkad, Kiratadas

    The conceptual, burst-mode gaseous-core reactor (GCR) space nuclear power system presently subjected to reactor-dynamics and system stability studies operates on a closed Brayton cycle, via disk MHD generator for energy conversion. While the gaseous fuel density power coefficient of reactivity is found to be capable of rapidly stabilizing the GCR system, the power of this feedback renders standard external reactivity insertions inadequate for significant power-level changes during normal operation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Turbo-Brayton Power Converter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breedlove, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

  2. Supercritical Brayton Cycle Nuclear Power System Concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Steven A.

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Supercritical Brayton Cycle Nuclear Power System Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Wright, Steven A.

    2007-01-30

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, Michael J.; Reid, Bryan M.

    2004-02-04

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

  8. Preliminary design of a solar heat receiver for a Brayton cycle space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cameron, H. M.; Mueller, L. A.; Namkoong, D.

    1972-01-01

    The preliminary design of a solar heat receiver for use as a heat source for an earth-orbiting 11-kWe Brayton-cycle engine is described. The result was a cavity heat receiver having the shape of a frustum of a cone. The wall of the cone is formed by 48 heat-transfer tubes, each tube containing pockets of lithium fluoride for storing heat for as much as 38 minutes of fullpower operation in the shade. Doors are provided in order to dump excess heat especially during operation in orbits with full sun exposure. The receiver material is predominantly columbium - 1-percent-zironium (Cb-1Zr) alloy. Full-scale testing of three heat-transfer tubes for more than 2000 hours and 1250 sun-shade cycles verified the design concept.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barrett, Michael J.

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Heat Rejection Concepts for Brayton Power Conversion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1971-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Jeff L.

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Brayton engines for dispersed solar power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashe, T. L.; Six, L. D.

    1979-01-01

    This paper describes the procedures being used to characterize and to analyze Brayton cycle gas turbines for application in dispersed solar electrical power plants whose cost of electricity is economically viable. Three Brayton engine types are under consideration - atmospheric (an open cycle engine), subatmospheric (also an open cycle engine) and the closed cycle engine. This analysis will be utilized to identify and select suitable candidates from existing engine configurations for near-term system demonstrations and to define optimum configurations for production in the 1990 era. Engine designs are being targeted to a system specific capital cost goal of 1000 dollars per design kilowatt, a value believed to make the cost of solar generated electricity competitive.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-04-01

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

  19. A Brayton cycle solar dynamic heat receiver for space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    English, Robert E.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  3. Intermediate Fidelity Closed Brayton Cycle Power Conversion Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavelle, Thomas M.; Khandelwal, Suresh; Owen, Albert K.

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes the implementation of an intermediate fidelity model of a closed Brayton Cycle power conversion system (Closed Cycle System Simulation). The simulation is developed within the Numerical Propulsion Simulation System architecture using component elements from earlier models. Of particular interest, and power, is the ability of this new simulation system to initiate a more detailed analysis of compressor and turbine components automatically and to incorporate the overall results into the general system simulation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1993-01-01

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

  5. Rankline-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft

    SciTech Connect

    Bennett, Charles L.

    2012-03-13

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

  6. Rankine-Brayton engine powered solar thermal aircraft

    DOEpatents

    Bennett, Charles L.

    2009-12-29

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barna, G. J.

    1972-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Bog; Delventhal, Rex; Frye, Patrick

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-02-06

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Brayton-Cycle Baseload Power Tower CSP System

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Bruce

    2013-12-31

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Siamidis, John

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Siamidis, John; Mason, Lee

    2006-01-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    English, R.E.

    1986-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gabacz, L. E.

    1973-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  1. Turbo-Brayton cryocooler technology for low-temperature space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagarola, Mark V.; Breedlove, Jeffrey F.; McCormick, John A.; Swift, Walter L.

    2003-03-01

    High performance, low temperature cryocoolers are being developed for future space-borne telescopes and instruments. To meet mission objectives, these coolers must be compact, lightweight, have low input power, operate reliably for 5-10 years, and produce no disturbances that would affect the pointing accuracy of the instruments. This paper describes progress in the development of turbo-Brayton cryocoolers addressing cooling in the 5 K to 20 K temperature range for loads of up to 300 mW. The key components for these cryocoolers are the miniature, high-speed turbomachines and the high performance recuperative heat exchangers. The turbomachines use gas-bearings to support the low mass, high speed rotors, resulting in negligible vibration and long life. Precision fabrication techniques are used to produce the necessary micro-scale geometric features that provide for high cycle efficiencies at these reduced sizes. Turbo-Brayton cryocoolers for higher temperatures and loads have been successfully developed for space applications. For efficient operation at low temperatures and capacities, advances in the core technologies have been pursued. Performance test results of a new, low poer compressor will be presented, and early cryogenic test results on a low temperature expansion turbine will be discussed. Projections for several low temperature cooler configurations are summarized.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2005-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zohuri, Bahman

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wein, D.; Gorland, S. H.

    1973-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-02-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, Robert L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  12. A comparison of radioisotope Brayton and Stirling system for lunar surface mobile power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harty, Richard B.

    1991-01-01

    A study was performed by the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell 2.5-kWe modular dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) using a Stirling power conversion system. The results of this study were compared with similar results performed under the DIPS program using a Brayton power conversion system. The study indicated that the Stirling power module has 20% lower mass and 40% lower radiator area than the Brayton module. However, the study also revealed that because the Stirling power module requires a complex heat pipe arrangment to transport heat from the isotope to the Stirling heater head and a pumped NaK heat rejection loop, the Stirling module is much more difficult to integrate with the isotope heat source and heat rejection system.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  14. Reactor/Brayton power systems for nuclear electric spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Layton, J. P.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Mason, Lee S.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    DOEpatents

    Wright, Steven A.; Fuller, Robert L.

    2016-07-12

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

  17. Concepts for application of 500- to 2500-We Brayton power systems for shuttle-launched missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Block, H. B.; Bloomfield, H. S.

    1972-01-01

    A mini-Brayton power system in the power range of 500 to 2500 We utilizing the multihundred Watt isotope heat source was studied for use in shuttle-launched experiments. The system consists of a single closed gas loop containing a single-shaft, gas cooled, compressor-alternator turbine assembly; a heat source heat exchanger assembly; a startup battery package; an electrical control module; a recuperator; a gas radiator; and a multifoil superinsulation system. The basic configuration and major nuclear payloads for shuttle integration are discussed. It is concluded that mini-Brayton systems have low isotope inventories and high electrical output per thermal input, and have the capability of flying all earth orbital and interplanetary missions with little degradation in performance.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cantoni, D. A.

    1971-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, H. J.

    1978-01-01

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

  20. Space Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  2. Models for multimegawatt space power systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edenburn, M. W.

    1990-06-01

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

  3. Models for multimegawatt space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Edenburn, M.W.

    1990-06-01

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

  4. Design features of small Brayton cycles for autonomous underwater vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sydnor, Katherine A.

    1987-06-01

    Several alternative power systems are being considered for small autonomous submersibles to meet long duration and high speed operations. The closed cycle Brayton engine using lithium sulfur hexafluoride as the energy source is one of the more promising systems. A small closed cycle Brayton engine has been evaluated utilizing components which have been tested for space applications. Modifications were made to optimize the unit for the undersea vehicle. Computer programs were developed to facilitate this process. It was concluded that a 2 kilowatt Brayton cycle engine would occupy 50 inches of length in a 21 inch diameter space and 36 inches in a 25 inch diameter space.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee; Birchenough, Arthur; Pinero, Luis

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-03-16

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Guimaraes, Lamartine Nogueira Frutuoso; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio

    2008-01-21

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

  12. Power conditioning for space nuclear reactor systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berman, Baruch

    1987-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andreades, Charalampos

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

  14. Thulium heat sources for space power application

    SciTech Connect

    Alderman, C.J. )

    1993-01-15

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

  15. Brayton power conversion system parametric design modelling for nuclear electric propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashe, Thomas L.; Otting, William D.

    1993-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashe, Thomas L.; Otting, William D.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petrick, E. J.

    1973-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  2. Electrical power system design for the US space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nored, Donald L.; Bernatowicz, Daniel T.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

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

  6. Goals of thermionic program for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    English, R. E.

    1981-01-01

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

  7. Mini-Brayton heat source assembly development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wein, D.; Zimmerman, W. F.

    1978-01-01

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

  8. Thermionic reactors for space nuclear power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griaznov, Georgii M.; Zhabotinskii, Evgenii E.; Serbin, Victor I.; Zrodnikov, Anatolii V.; Pupko, Victor Ia.; Ponomarev-Stepnoi, Nikolai N.; Usov, V. A.; Nikolaev, Iu. V.

    Compact thermionic nuclear reactor systems with satisfactory mass performance are competitive with space nuclear power systems based on the organic Rankine and closed Brayton cycles. The mass characteristics of the thermionic space nuclear power system are better than that of the solar power system for power levels beyond about 10 kWe. Longlife thermionic fuel element requirements, including their optimal dimensions, and common requirements for the in-core thermionic reactor design are formulated. Thermal and fast in-core thermionic reactors are considered and the ranges of their sensible use are discussed. Some design features of the fast in-core thermionic reactors cores (power range to 1 MWe) including a choice of coolants are discussed. Mass and dimensional performance for thermionic nuclear power reactor system are assessed. It is concluded that thermionic space nuclear power systems are promising power supplies for spacecrafts and that a single basic type of thermionic fuel element may be used for power requirements ranging to several hundred kWe.

  9. Nuclear power for space based systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Multimegawatt space power reactors

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Economical space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burkholder, J. H.

    1980-01-01

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

  13. Energy storage options for space power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, H. W.; Martin, J. F.; Olszewski, M.

    Including energy storage in a space power supply enhances the feasibility of using thermal power cycles (Rankine or Brayton) and providing high-power pulses. Superconducting magnets, capacitors, electrochemical batteries, thermal phase-change materials (PCM), and flywheels are assessed; the results obtained suggest that flywheels and phase-change devices hold the most promise. Latent heat storage using inorganic salts and metallic eutectics offers thermal energy storage densities of 1500 kJ/kg to 2000 kJ/kg at temperatures to 1675 K. Innovative techniques allow these media to operate in direct contact with the heat engine working fluid. Enhancing thermal conductivity and/or modifying PCM crystallization habit provide other options. Flywheels of low-strain graphite and Kevlar fibers have achieved mechanical energy storage densities of 300 kJ/kg. With high-strain graphite fibers, storage densities appropriate to space power needs (about 500 kJ/kg) seem feasible. Coupling advanced flywheels with emerging high power density homopolar generators and compulsators could result in electric pulse-power storage modules of significantly higher energy density.

  14. Energy storage options for space power

    SciTech Connect

    Hoffman, H.W.; Martin, J.F.; Olszewski, M.

    1985-01-01

    Including energy storage in a space power supply enhances the feasibility of using thermal power cycles (Rankine or Brayton) and providing high-power pulses. Review of storage options (superconducting magnets, capacitors, electrochemical batteries, thermal phase-change materials (PCM), and flywheels) suggests that flywheels and phase-change devices hold the most promise. Latent heat storage using inorganic salts and metallic eutectics offers thermal energy storage densities of 1500 to 2000 kJ/kg at temperatures to 1675/sup 0/K. Innovative techniques allow these media to operate in direct contact with the heat engine working fluid. Enhancing thermal conductivity and/or modifying PCM crystallization habit provide other options. Flywheels of low-strain graphite and Kevlar fibers have achieved mechanical energy storage densities of 300 kJ/kg. With high-strain graphite fibers, storage densities appropriate to space power needs (approx. 550 kJ/kg) seem feasible. Coupling advanced flywheels with emerging high power density homopolar generators and compulsators could result in electric pulse-power storage modules of significantly higher energy density.

  15. NASA solar dynamic ground test demonstration (GTD) program and its application to space nuclear power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harper, William B.; Shaltens, Richard K.

    1993-01-01

    Closed Brayton cycle power conversion systems are readily adaptable to any heat source contemplated for space application. The inert gas working fluid can be used directly in gas-cooled reactors and coupled to a variety of heat sources (reactor, isotope or solar) by a heat exchanger. This point is demonstrated by the incorporation in the NASA 2 kWe Solar Dynamic (SD) Space Power Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) Program of the turboalternator-compressor and recuperator from the Brayton Isotope Power System (BIPS) program. This paper will review the goals and status of the SD GTD Program, initiated in April 1992. The performance of the BIPS isotope-heated system will be compared to the solar-heated GTD system incorporating the BIPS components and the applicability of the GTD test bed to dynamics space nuclear power R&D will be discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-09-01

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

  18. Nuclear Power in Space

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    1994-01-01

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

  19. Millimeterwave Space Power Grid architecture development 2012

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komerath, Narayanan; Dessanti, Brendan; Shah, Shaan

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

  20. Nuclear power in space

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-06-01

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

  1. Nuclear power in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  2. Solar dynamic power for space station freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Solar dynamic power for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, Cosmo R.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

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

  7. Space Power System Modeling with EBAL

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-07-01

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

  8. International Space Station Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Propp, Timothy William

    2001-01-01

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

  9. Space solar power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toliver, C.

    1977-01-01

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

  10. Gas-cooled reactor power systems for space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walter, Carl E.

    Large amounts of electric power are required for some of the systems envisioned in support of SDI. Since various applications are being considered, and an overall power architecture study has not been completed, the required power levels and corresponding operating times for specific systems are not known. The characteristics of six designs for power levels of 2, 10 and 20 MWe for operating time of 1 and 7 yrs are described. The operating conditions for these arbitrary designs were chosen to minimize system specific mass. Both gas and liquid cooled reactors are considered. The designs discussed draw heavily on the Pluto project experience. Gas cooled thermal reactors coupled with Brayton cycle power conversion appear to provide reasonable multimegawatt space power systems. An advanced radiation design must be developed which can meet the mass limit assumed. The inherent high temperature capability of the reactors considered removes the reactor as a limiting condition on system performance.

  11. Distributed Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fork, Richard L.

    2001-01-01

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

  12. Space power demonstration stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Freitag, R. F.

    1976-01-01

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

  13. Gas-cooled reactor power systems for space

    SciTech Connect

    Walter, C.E.

    1987-01-01

    In this paper the characteristics of six designs for power levels of 2, 10, and 20 MWe for operating times of 1 and 7 y are described. The operating conditions for these arbitrary designs were chosen to minimize system specific mass. The designs are based on recent work which benefits from earlier analyses of nuclear space power systems conducted at our Laboratory. Both gas- and liquid-cooled reactors had been considered. Pitts and Walter (1970) reported on the results of a detailed study of a 10-MWe lithium-cooled reactor in a potassium Rankine system. Unpublished results (1966) of a computer analysis provide details of an argon-cooled reactor in an argon Brayton system. The gas-cooled reactor design was based on extensive development work on the 500-MWth reactor for the nuclear ramjet (Pluto) as described by Walter (1964). The designs discussed here draw heavily on the Pluto project experience, which culminated in a successful full-power ground test as reported by Reynolds (1964). At higher power levels gas-cooled reactors coupled with Brayton systems with advanced radiator designs become attractive.

  14. Steady-state temperature distribution within a Brayton rotating unit operating in a power conversion system using helium-xenon gas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnsen, R. L.; Namkoong, D.; Edkin, R. A.

    1971-01-01

    The Brayton rotating unit (BRU), consisting of a turbine, an alternator, and a compressor, was tested as part of a Brayton cycle power conversion system over a side range of steady state operating conditions. The working fluid in the system was a mixture of helium-xenon gases. Turbine inlet temperature was varied from 1200 to 1600 F, compressor inlet temperature from 60 to 120 F, compressor discharge pressure from 20 to 45 psia, rotative speed from 32 400 to 39 600 rpm, and alternator liquid-coolant flow rate from 0.01 to 0.27 pound per second. Test results indicated that the BRU internal temperatures were highly sensitive to alternator coolant flow below the design value of 0.12 pound per second but much less so at higher values. The armature winding temperature was not influenced significantly by turbine inlet temperature, but was sensitive, up to 20 F per kVA alternator output, to varying alternator output. When only the rotational speed was changed (+ or - 10% of rated value), the BRU internal temperatures varied directly with the speed.

  15. Nuclear Power in Space.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  16. Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Space Power Engineering Problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Senkevich, V. P.

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Radiator selection for Space Station Solar Dynamic Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fleming, Mike; Hoehn, Frank

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

  19. Laser-powered MHD generators for space application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jalufka, N. W.

    1986-01-01

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

  20. Liquid Metal Cooled Reactor for Space Power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weitzberg, Abraham

    2003-01-01

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

  1. SEI needs for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  2. Power from space - When?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erb, R. B.

    1992-08-01

    A simulation developed to investigate when importation of power from space could make a significant contribution to the world's supply in the light of competing alternatives and concern over the environment is described. The simulation suggests that there will be small-scale pilot operations in the second decade of the next century, that there will be the beginning of a significant supply in the third decade of the next century, and that there will be a major and rapidly growing importation by mid-century. It is concluded that, even making optimistic assumptions on possible energy efficiency in the industrialized world, promoting a rapid build-up of terrestrial renewables, and promoting the potential for power from space, there will be an energy shortfall for the next 20-25 years.

  3. Space power technology into the 21st century

    SciTech Connect

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Hervol, David S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Hervol, David S.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Steeve, Brian E.; Kapernick, Richard J.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  11. Gas-cooled reactor power systems for space

    SciTech Connect

    Walter, C.E.

    1987-01-01

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

  12. The OAST space power program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  14. Developments in reverse Brayton cycle cryocooler in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

  15. Applications of power beaming from space-based nuclear power stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Power beaming from space-based nuclear reactors to earth, aircraft, or spacecraft is offered as an alternative to the SPSS. A rotating bed reactor (RBR) is described, in which the nuclear fuel is an annular bed of small particulates held in a rotating basket through which a coolant passes. Advantages over a previous nuclear rocket program, NERVA, are given as minimized size, external moderation and reflection, and several GW available from a reactor about one cu m in size. Testing of a model fluidized bed is described, noting favorable results from U-233 fuel, a projected 50 cm diam bed, and total mass of 3 metric tons. Two Brayton cycle generator systems are examined, and it is found that a turbine inlet temperature of 2,000 K and a simple Brayton cycle without regeneration yields a best efficiency of 30%. The RBR components are discussed, and microwave and laser power beaming systems are compared; economic projections indicate laser beaming to cruising aircraft is competitive with current jet fuel use.

  16. Recent technology advances in the NASA-Lewis Research Center Brayton program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernon, R.

    1972-01-01

    A review of the progress and milestones passed in the Brayton program is presented. The 2-to-15 kWe power system was successfully operated in a vacuum with a space-type radiator. Gas loop and electrical subsystem endurance tests have continued to demonstrate long-term operation with one rotating unit surpassing 10,000 hours of failure-free operation. Simplified gas-bearing designs for the rotating unit are being evaluated. Fabrication of an improved design of heat exchanger is nearing completion, and a study of more advanced heat exchanger technology is being conducted. A study was completed to investigate the applicability of Brayton technology applied to a lower power level (0.5 to 2.5 kWe) and showed potentially very attractive performance, simplicity, and low cost for a system in this power range.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  18. Free-Space Power Transmission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hissam, David Andy; Stewart, Eric T.

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  2. Progress in space power technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullin, J. P.; Randolph, L. P.; Hudson, W. R.

    1980-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Space Power Research and Technology Program has the objective of providing the technology base for future space power systems. The current technology program which consists of photovoltaic energy conversion, chemical energy conversion and storage, thermal-to-electric conversion, power systems management and distribution, and advanced energetics is discussed. In each area highlights, current programs, and near-term directions will be presented.

  3. Power beaming providing a space power infrastructure

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-08-01

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

  4. Advanced Developments for Low Temperature Turbo-Brayton Cryocoolers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  5. The space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

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

  6. Space solar power for powering a space elevator

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

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

  8. Emerging Space Nuclear Power Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  9. Solar dynamic power system development for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Early Results from Solar Dynamic Space Power System Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Mason, Lee S.

    1996-01-01

    A government/industry team designed, built and tested a 2-kWe solar dynamic space power system in a large thermal vacuum facility with a simulated Sun at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The Lewis facility provides an accurate simulation of temperatures, high vacuum and solar flux as encountered in low-Earth orbit. The solar dynamic system includes a Brayton power conversion unit integrated with a solar receiver which is designed to store energy for continuous power operation during the eclipse phase of the orbit. This paper reviews the goals and status of the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration project and describes the initial testing, including both operational and performance data. System testing to date has accumulated over 365 hours of power operation (ranging from 400 watts to 2.0-W(sub e)), including 187 simulated orbits, 16 ambient starts and 2 hot restarts. Data are shown for an orbital startup, transient and steady-state orbital operation and shutdown. System testing with varying insolation levels and operating speeds is discussed. The solar dynamic ground test demonstration is providing the experience and confidence toward a successful flight demonstration of the solar dynamic technologies on the Space Station Mir in 1997.

  11. (Nuclear power engineering in space)

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, R.H. Jr.

    1990-06-18

    The principal purpose of this trip was to participate in the Anniversary Specialist Conference on Nuclear Power Engineering in Space hosted by the USSR Ministry of Atomic Power Engineering and Industry. The conference was held in Obninsk, USSR. A secondary purpose of the trip was to meet with the French Commissariat A L'Energie Atomique in Paris regarding the status of their space power program.

  12. Space power systems technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coulman, George A.

    1994-01-01

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

  13. Brayton cycle solarized advanced gas turbine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

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

  14. Air Brayton Solar Receiver, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, D. K.

    1979-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    MM Hall

    2006-01-31

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

  16. Selection of a closed Brayton cycle gas turbine for an intermediate-duty solar-electric power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vieth, G. L.; Plummer, D. F.

    1980-03-01

    Subsystem and system analyses were performed to select the preferred working gas, performance characteristics and size of a closed cycle gas turbine for an intermediate-duty solar-electric power plant. Capital costs for all major subsystems were evaluated, but the principal selection criterion was the projected cost of electricity produced by the plant. Detailed analyses of the power conversion loop were conducted for both air and helium systems. Since the plant was intended for use on an intermediate-duty cycle, thermal storage was required. The coupling of the storage and power conversion loops in combination with the daily operating cycle influenced plant performance and energy costs in addition to the selection of the power conversion cycle.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-01

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

  18. Solar Brayton engine/alternator set

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Six, L.; Elkins, R.

    1981-01-01

    Work on the Mod O solar Brayton engine/alternator set is redirected to utilize solarized components of the automotive advanced gas turbine (AGT). The new configuration is referred to as the Mod I. Commercialization of solar Brayton engines thus should be enhanced not only by relating the design to an engine expected to reach the high quantity, low cost production rates associated with the automotive market, but also by the potential the AGT components provide for growth of efficiency and power rating. This growth would be achieved through use of ceramics in later versions making operation possible at temperatures up to 2500 F. The longer program duration and higher cost of the Mod I is considered.

  19. Brayton-cycle heat exchanger technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  20. Power Relations and Staffroom Spaces

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paechter, Carrie

    2004-01-01

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

  1. The microtube-strip heat exchanger - Space power applications for ultra-high conductance gas-gas exchangers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doty, F. D.; Hosford, Gregory S.; Spitzmesser, Jonathan B.

    New developments in manufacturing automation permit the use of large, parallel arrays of very small diameter tubing for greatly increased performance in both spacecraft radiators and recuperators. Micro-tube strip (MTS) recuperators with normalized specific conductance above 1000 W/kgK (20 times the current state of the art) and pressure drops below 1 percent are shown to be realistic long-term goals. The same technology also promises an order of magnitude improvement in radiator specific mass. Some significant space power applications, including the Closed Brayton Cycle and Reverse Brayton Cycle, are discussed. A detailed analysis of the MTS recuperator is presented along with experimental results from prototypes, and some manufacturing considerations are mentioned.

  2. 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.

  3. Power systems for space exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shipbaugh, Calvin; Solomon, Kenneth A.

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

  4. Power systems for space exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Shipbaugh, C.; Solomon, K.A.

    1992-01-01

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

  5. An approach to space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  6. Space Solar Power: Satellite Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Little, Frank E.

    1999-01-01

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

  7. Space station electrical power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Labus, Thomas L.; Cochran, Thomas H.

    1987-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe the design of the Space Station Electrical Power System. This includes the Photovoltaic and Solar Dynamic Power Modules as well as the Power Management and Distribution System (PMAD). In addition, two programmatic options for developing the Electrical Power System will be presented. One approach is defined as the Enhanced Configuration and represents the results of the Phase B studies conducted by the NASA Lewis Research Center over the last two years. Another option, the Phased Program, represents a more measured approach to reaching about the same capability as the Enhanced Configuration.

  8. WISPER: Wirless Space Power Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, Joseph

    1993-01-01

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

  9. TurboBrayton Cryocooler: A Flight Worthy and Promising Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Recent advances in solar dynamic power for space

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-01-01

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

  11. Isotope heat source simulator for testing of space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prok, G. M.; Smith, R. B.

    1973-01-01

    A reliable isotope heat source simulator was designed for use in a Brayton power system. This simulator is composed of an electrically heated tungsten wire which is wound around a boron nitride core and enclosed in a graphite jacket. Simulator testing was performed at the expected operating temperature of the Brayton power system. Endurance testing for 5012 hours was followed by cycling the simulator temperature. The integrity of this simulator was maintained throughout testing. Alumina beads served as a diffusion barrier to prevent interaction between the tungsten heater and boron nitride core. The simulator was designed to maintain a surface temperature of 1311 to 1366 K (1900 to 2000 F) with a power input of approximately 400 watts. The design concept and the materials used in the simulator make possible man different geometries. This flexibility increases its potential use.

  12. Technology and applications of space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-02-06

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

  15. Space station power semiconductor package

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  16. Space Solar Power Program. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Arif, Humayun; Barbosa, Hugo; Bardet, Christophe; Baroud, Michel; Behar, Alberto; Berrier, Keith; Berthe, Phillipe; Bertrand, Reinhold; Bibyk, Irene; Bisson, Joel; Bloch, Lawrence; Bobadilla, Gabriel; Bourque, Denis; Bush, Lawrence; Carandang, Romeo; Chiku, Takemi; Crosby, Norma; De Seixas, Manuel; De Vries, Joha; Doll, Susan; Dufour, Francois; Eckart, Peter; Fahey, Michael; Fenot, Frederic; Foeckersperger, Stefan; Fontaine, Jean-Emmanuel; Fowler, Robert; Frey, Harald; Fujio, Hironobu; Gasa, Jaume Munich; Gleave, Janet; Godoe, Jostein; Green, Iain; Haeberli, Roman; Hanada, Toshiya; Harris, Peter; Hucteau, Mario; Jacobs, Didier Fernand; Johnson, Richard; Kanno, Yoshitsugu; Koenig, Eva Maria; Kojima, Kazuo; Kondepudi, Phani; Kottbauer, Christian; Kulper, Doede; Kulagin, Konstantin; Kumara, Pekka; Kurz, Rainer; Laaksonen, Jyrki; Lang, Andrew Neill; Lathan, Corinna; Le Fur, Thierry; Lewis, David; Louis, Alain; Mori, Takeshi; Morlanes, Juan; Murbach, Marcus; Nagatomo, Hideo; O'brien, Ivan; Paines, Justin; Palaszewski, Bryan; Palmnaes, Ulf; Paraschivolu, Marius; Pathare, Asmin; Perov, Egor; Persson, Jan; Pessoa-Lopes, Isabel; Pinto, Michel; Porro, Irene; Reichert, Michael; Ritt-Fischer, Monika; Roberts, Margaret; Robertson II, Lawrence; Rogers, Keith; Sasaki, Tetsuo; Scire, Francesca; Shibatou, Katsuya; Shirai, Tatsuya; Shiraishi, Atsushi; Soucaille, Jean-Francois; Spivack, Nova; St. Pierre, Dany; Suleman, Afzal; Sullivan, Thomas; Theelen, Bas Johan; Thonstad, Hallvard; Tsuji, Masatoshi; Uchiumi, Masaharu; Vidqvist, Jouni; Warrell, David; Watanabe, Takafumi; Willis, Richard; Wolf, Frank; Yamakawa, Hiroshi; Zhao, Hong

    1992-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1992-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Roger L.

    1995-01-01

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

  19. Recent technology advances in the NASA-Lewis Research Center Brayton program.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernon, R.

    1972-01-01

    A review of the progress and milestones passed in the Brayton program during the past year is presented. The 2-to-15 kWe power system was successfully operated in a vacuum with a space-type radiator. Gas loop and electrical subsystem endurance tests have continued to demonstrate long-term operation with one rotating unit surpassing 10,000 hours of failure-free operation. Simplified gas-bearing designs for the rotating unit are being evaluated. Fabrication of an improved design of heat exchanger is nearing completion, and a study of more advanced heat exchanger technology is being conducted.

  20. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

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

  1. Advanced sensible heat solar receiver for space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Timothy J.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-11

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

  3. Small particle bed reactors: Sensitivity to Brayton cycle parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coiner, John R.; Short, Barry J.

    Relatively simple particle bed reactor (PBR) algorithms were developed for optimizing low power closed Brayton cycle (CBC) systems. These algorithms allow the system designer to understand the relationship among key system parameters as well as the sensitivity of the PBR size and mass (a major system component) to variations in these parameters. Thus, system optimization can be achieved.

  4. Sensible heat receiver for solar dynamic space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  5. Sensible heat receiver for solar dynamic space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  6. Space power subsystem automation technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graves, J. R. (Compiler)

    1982-01-01

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

  7. Future thrusts of the NASA space power program. [with emphasis on electrochemical energy conversion and storage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcomb, L.

    1978-01-01

    General objectives and plan directions are given for current program support in the following areas: (1) solar cells and arrays; (2) batteries and fuel cells; (3) thermoelectric, thermionic, and Brayton cycle conversion systems; (4) circuits and subsystems for the management and distribution of power; and (5) the interactions of the environment with the power system and the spacecraft. Particular emphasis is given to the electrochemical energy conversion storage portion of the program where efforts are directed to improving the energy density and life of nickel cadmium batteries, to validating flight-weight silver hydrogen cells, to promoting the safe use of lithium primary batteries, to completing the silver zinc batteries and the orbital transfer fuel cell technology, to increasing the capacity of space batteries, to and to evaluating new electrochemical concepts for very high energy density. The use of the fuel cell electrolyzer concept for energy storage in both the dedicated and the truly regenerative mode is also being investigated.

  8. Thermoelectric power conversion in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  9. Test facility of thermal storage equipment for space power generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inoue, T.; Nakagawa, M.; Mochida, Y.; Ohtomo, F.; Shimizu, K.; Tanaka, K.; Abe, Y.; Nomura, O.; Kamimoto, M.

    A thermal storage equipment test facility has been built in connection with developing solar dynamic power systems (SDPSs). The test facility consists of a recuperative closed Brayton cycle system (CBC), with a mixture of helium and xenon with a molecular weight of 39.9 serving as the working fluid. CBC has been shown to be the most attractive power generation system among several types of SDPSs because of its ability to meet the required high power demand and its thermal efficiency, about 30 percent. The authors present a description of this test facility and give results of the preliminary test and the first-stage test with heat storage equipment.

  10. Space power technology 21: Photovoltaics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wise, Joseph

    1989-01-01

    The Space Power needs for the 21st Century and the program in photovoltaics needed to achieve it are discussed. Workshops were conducted in eight different power disciplines involving industry and other government agencies. The Photovoltaics Workshop was conducted at Aerospace Corporation in June 1987. The major findings and recommended program from this workshop are discussed. The major finding is that a survivable solar power capability is needed in photovoltaics for critical Department of Defense missions including Air Force and Strategic Defense Initiative. The tasks needed to realize this capability are described in technical, not financial, terms. The second finding is the need for lightweight, moderately survivable planar solar arrays. High efficiency thin III-V solar cells can meet some of these requirements. Higher efficiency, longer life solar cells are needed for application to both future planar and concentrator arrays with usable life up to 10 years. Increasing threats are also anticipated and means for avoiding prolonged exposure, retraction, maneuvering and autonomous operation are discussed.

  11. Survivable pulse power space radiator

    DOEpatents

    Mims, J.; Buden, D.; Williams, K.

    1988-03-11

    A thermal radiator system is described for use on an outer space vehicle, which must survive a long period of nonuse and then radiate large amounts of heat for a limited period of time. The radiator includes groups of radiator panels that are pivotally connected in tandem, so that they can be moved to deployed configuration wherein the panels lie largely coplanar, and to a stowed configuration wherein the panels lie in a stack to resist micrometerorite damage. The panels are mounted on a boom which separates a hot power source from a payload. While the panels are stowed, warm fluid passes through their arteries to keep them warm enough to maintain the coolant in a liquid state and avoid embrittlement of material. The panels can be stored in a largely cylindrical shell, with panels progressively further from the boom being of progressively shorter length. 5 figs.

  12. Survivable pulse power space radiator

    DOEpatents

    Mims, James; Buden, David; Williams, Kenneth

    1989-01-01

    A thermal radiator system is described for use on an outer space vehicle, which must survive a long period of nonuse and then radiate large amounts of heat for a limited period of time. The radiator includes groups of radiator panels that are pivotally connected in tandem, so that they can be moved to deployed configuration wherein the panels lie largely coplanar, and to a stowed configuration wherein the panels lie in a stack to resist micrometeorite damage. The panels are mounted on a boom which separates a hot power source from a payload. While the panels are stowed, warm fluid passes through their arteries to keep them warm enough to maintain the coolant in a liquid state and avoid embrittlement of material. The panels can be stored in a largely cylindrical shell, with panels progressively further from the boom being of progressively shorter length.

  13. High efficiency Brayton cycles using LNG

    DOEpatents

    Morrow, Charles W.

    2006-04-18

    A modified, closed-loop Brayton cycle power conversion system that uses liquefied natural gas as the cold heat sink media. When combined with a helium gas cooled nuclear reactor, achievable efficiency can approach 68 76% (as compared to 35% for conventional steam cycle power cooled by air or water). A superheater heat exchanger can be used to exchange heat from a side-stream of hot helium gas split-off from the primary helium coolant loop to post-heat vaporized natural gas exiting from low and high-pressure coolers. The superheater raises the exit temperature of the natural gas to close to room temperature, which makes the gas more attractive to sell on the open market. An additional benefit is significantly reduced costs of a LNG revaporization plant, since the nuclear reactor provides the heat for vaporization instead of burning a portion of the LNG to provide the heat.

  14. Developments in TurboBrayton Technology for Low Temperature Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swift, W. L.; Zagarola, M. V.; Nellis, G. F.; McCormick, J. A.; Gibbon, Judy

    1999-01-01

    A single stage reverse Brayton cryocooler using miniature high-speed turbomachines recently completed a successful space shuttle test flight demonstrating its capabilities for use in cooling the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The NICMOS CryoCooler (NCC) is designed for a cooling load of about 8 W at 65 K, and comprises a closed loop cryocooler coupled to an independent cryogenic circulating loop. Future space applications involve instruments that will require 5 mW to 200 mW of cooling at temperatures between 4 K and 10 K. This paper discusses the extension of Turbo-Brayton technology to meet these requirements.

  15. Heat pipe radiators for solar dynamic space power system heat rejection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gustafson, Eric; Carlson, Albert

    1987-01-01

    The paper presents the results of a concept development study of heat rejection systems for Space Station solar dynamic power systems. The thermal performance and weights of each of the heat rejection subsystems have been addressed in detail, and critical technologies which require development tests and evaluation for successful demonstration were assessed and identified. Baseline and several alternate heat rejection system configurations and optimum designs were developed for both Brayton and Rankine cycles. The thermal performance, mass properties, assembly requirements, reliability, maintenance requirements, and life cycle costs were determined for each of the system configurations. Trade studies were performed on each configuration with respect to the heat pipe wall thickness and the amount of redundancy to determine the effects on system reliability, maintenance requirements, and life cycle costs. An optimum design was then selected for each configuration.

  16. Comparative analyses of space-to-space central power stations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holloway, P. F.; Garrett, L. B.

    1981-01-01

    The technological and economical impact of a large central power station in Earth orbit on the performance and cost of future spacecraft and their orbital transfer systems are examined. It is shown that beaming power to remote users cannot be cost effective if the central power station uses the same power generation system that is readily available for provision of onboard power and microwave transmission and reception of power through space for use in space is not cost competitive with onboard power or propulsion systems. Laser and receivers are required to make central power stations feasible. Remote power transmission for propulsion of orbital transfer vehicles promises major cost benefits. Direct nuclear pumped or solar pumped laser power station concepts are attractive with laser thermal and laser electric propulsion systems. These power stations are also competitive, on a mass and cost basis, with a photovoltaic power station.

  17. Atomic power in space: A history

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-01

    ''Atomic Power in Space,'' a history of the Space Isotope Power Program of the United States, covers the period from the program's inception in the mid-1950s through 1982. Written in non-technical language, the history is addressed to both the general public and those more specialized in nuclear and space technologies. 19 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. Power technologies and the space future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faymon, Karl A.; Fordyce, J. Stuart; Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Advancements in space power and energy technologies are critical to serve space development needs and help solve problems on Earth. The availability of low cost power and energy in space will be the hallmark of this advance. Space power will undergo a dramatic change for future space missions. The power systems which have served the U.S. space program so well in the past will not suffice for the missions of the future. This is especially true if the space commercialization is to become a reality. New technologies, and new and different space power architectures and topologies will replace the lower power, low-voltage systems of the past. Efficiencies will be markedly improved, specific powers will be greatly increased, and system lifetimes will be markedly extended. Space power technology is discussed - its past, its current status, and predictions about where it will go in the future. A key problem for power and energy is its cost of affordability. Power must be affordable or it will not serve future needs adequately. This aspect is also specifically addressed.

  19. Space nuclear power and man's extraterrestrial civilization

    SciTech Connect

    Angelo, J.J.; Buden, D.

    1983-01-01

    This paper examines leading space nuclear power technology candidates. Particular emphasis is given the heat-pipe reactor technology currently under development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This program is aimed at developing a 10-100 kWe, 7-year lifetime space nuclear power plant. As the demand for space-based power reaches megawatt levels, other nuclear reactor designs including: solid core, fluidized bed, and gaseous core, are considered.

  20. Tensile and Creep Property Characterization of Potential Brayton Cycle Impeller and Duct Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gabb, Timothy P.; Gayda, John

    2006-01-01

    This paper represents a status report documenting the work on creep of superalloys performed under Project Prometheus. Cast superalloys have potential applications in space as impellers within closed-loop Brayton cycle nuclear power generation systems. Likewise wrought superalloys are good candidates for ducts and heat exchangers transporting the inert working gas in a Brayton-based power plant. Two cast superalloys, Mar-M247LC and IN792, and a NASA GRC powder metallurgy superalloy, LSHR, are being screened to compare their respective capabilities for impeller applications. Several wrought superalloys including Hastelloy X, (Haynes International, Inc., Kokomo, IN), Inconel 617, Inconel 740, Nimonic 263, and Incoloy MA956 (Special Metals Corporation, Huntington, WV) are also being screened to compare their capabilities for duct applications. These proposed applications would require sufficient strength and creep resistance for long term service at temperatures up to 1200 K, with service times to 100,000 h or more. Conventional tensile and creep tests were performed at temperatures up to 1200 K on specimens extracted from the materials. Initial microstructure evaluations were also undertaken.

  1. Creep Property Characterization of Potential Brayton Cycle Impeller and Duct Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gabb, Timothy P.; Gayda, john; Garg, Anita

    2007-01-01

    Cast superalloys have potential applications in space as impellers within closed-loop Brayton cycle nuclear power generation systems. Likewise wrought superalloys are good candidates for ducts and heat exchangers transporting the inert working gas in a Brayton-based power plant. Two cast superalloys, Mar-M247LC and IN792, and a NASA GRC powder metallurgy superalloy, LSHR, have been screened to compare their respective capabilities for impeller applications. Mar-M247LC has been selected for additional long term evaluations. Initial tests in helium indicate this inert environment may debit long term creep resistance of this alloy. Several wrought superalloys including Hastelloy(Registered TradeMark) X, Inconel(Registered TradeMark) 617, Inconel(Registered TradeMark) 740, Nimonic(Registered TradeMark) 263, Incoloy(Registered TradeMark) MA956, and Haynes 230 are also being screened to compare their capabilities for duct applications. Haynes 230 has been selected for additional long term evaluations. Initial tests in helium are just underway for this alloy. These proposed applications would require sufficient strength and creep resistance for long term service at temperatures up to 1200 K, with service times to 100,000 h or more. Therefore, long term microstructural stability is also being screened.

  2. Atomic Power in Space: A History

    DOE R&D Accomplishments Database

    1987-03-01

    "Atomic Power in Space," a history of the Space Isotope Power Program of the United States, covers the period from the program's inception in the mid-1950s through 1982. Written in non-technical language, the history is addressed to both the general public and those more specialized in nuclear and space technologies. Interplanetary space exploration successes and achievements have been made possible by this technology, for which there is no known substitue.

  3. Second Beamed Space-Power Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deyoung, Russell J. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    Potential missions for microwave and laser power beaming in space are discussed. Power beaming options, millimeter wave technology, laser technology, lunar bases, spacecraft propulsion, and near-Earth applications are covered.

  4. Space Station Freedom solar dynamic power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Springer, T.; Friefeld, Jerry M.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on Space Station Freedom solar dynamic power generation are presented. Topics covered include: prime contract activity; key solar dynamic power module requirements; solar dynamic heat receiver technology; and solar concentrator advanced development.

  5. Emerging US Space Launch, Trends and Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zapata, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    Reviews the state of the art of emerging US space launch and spacecraft. Reviews the NASA budget ascontext, while providing example scenarios. Connects what has been learned in space systems commercial partnershipsto a potential path for consideration by the space solar power community.

  6. Gyrotron development for space power beaming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manheimer, Wallace M.

    1989-01-01

    The use of a gyrotron for space power beaming, especially in the form of a lunar orbiting power station is discussed. The advantages of phased array power beaming, output power, and the design of a quasi-optical gyrotron are discussed.

  7. Developments in space power components for power management and distribution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Renz, D. D.

    1984-01-01

    Advanced power electronic components development for space applications is discussed. The components described include transformers, inductors, semiconductor devices such as transistors and diodes, remote power controllers, and transmission lines.

  8. Advanced power sources for space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gavin, Joseph G., Jr.; Burkes, Tommy R.; English, Robert E.; Grant, Nicholas J.; Kulcinski, Gerald L.; Mullin, Jerome P.; Peddicord, K. Lee; Purvis, Carolyn K.; Sarjeant, W. James; Vandevender, J. Pace

    1989-01-01

    Approaches to satisfying the power requirements of space-based Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) missions are studied. The power requirements for non-SDI military space missions and for civil space missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are also considered. The more demanding SDI power requirements appear to encompass many, if not all, of the power requirements for those missions. Study results indicate that practical fulfillment of SDI requirements will necessitate substantial advances in the state of the art of power technology. SDI goals include the capability to operate space-based beam weapons, sometimes referred to as directed-energy weapons. Such weapons pose unprecedented power requirements, both during preparation for battle and during battle conditions. The power regimes for these two sets of applications are referred to as alert mode and burst mode, respectively. Alert-mode power requirements are presently stated to range from about 100 kW to a few megawatts for cumulative durations of about a year or more. Burst-mode power requirements are roughly estimated to range from tens to hundreds of megawatts for durations of a few hundred to a few thousand seconds. There are two likely energy sources, chemical and nuclear, for powering SDI directed-energy weapons during the alert and burst modes. The choice between chemical and nuclear space power systems depends in large part on the total duration during which power must be provided. Complete study findings, conclusions, and eight recommendations are reported.

  9. 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.

  10. Air Force space power technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barthelemy, R.; Mahefkey, T.; Hebblewaite, T.

    1980-01-01

    The military spacecraft power subsystem design requirements, developments goals, and planned technology efforts are summarized. The mission drivers of performance (weight and volume), hardening (survivability), autonomy, reliability, and miniaturization influence space mission effectiveness are outlined. The anticipated performance versus power level trends for reactor static conversion systems are illustrated. A conceptual design for a space based radar system is also given.

  11. A power beaming based infrastructure for space power

    SciTech Connect

    Bamberger, J.A.

    1991-08-01

    At present all space mission power requirements are met by integral, on-board, self-contained power systems. To provide needed flexibility for space exploration and colonization, an additional approach to on-board, self-contained power systems is needed. Power beaming, an alternative approach to providing power, has the potential to provide increased mission flexibility while reducing total mass launched into space. Laser-power beaming technology provides a viable power and communication infrastructure that can be developed sequentially as it is applied to power satellite constellations in Earth orbit and to orbital transport vehicles transferring satellites and cargos to geosynchronous orbit and beyond. Coupled with nuclear electric propulsion systems for cargo transport, the technology can be used to provide global power to the Lunar surface and to Mars' surface and moons. The technology can be developed sequentially as advances in power system and propulsion system technology occur. This paper presents stepwise development of an infrastructure based on power beaming that can support the space development and exploration goals of the Space Exploration Initiative. Power scenarios based on commonality of power systems hardware with cargo transport vehicles are described. Advantages of this infrastructure are described. 12 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Heat Rejection Concepts for Lunar Fission Surface Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siamidis, John

    2006-01-01

    This paper describes potential heat rejection design concepts for lunar surface Brayton power conversion systems. Brayton conversion systems are currently under study by NASA for surface power applications. Surface reactors may be used for the moon to power human outposts enabling extended stays and closed loop life support. The Brayton Heat Rejection System (HRS) must dissipate waste heat generated by the power conversion system due to inefficiencies in the thermal-to-electric conversion process. Space Brayton conversion system designs tend to optimize at efficiencies of about 20 to 25 percent with radiator temperatures in the 400 K to 600 K range. A notional HRS was developed for a 100 kWe-class Brayton power system that uses a pumped water heat transport loop coupled to a water heat pipe radiator. The radiator panels employ a tube and fin construction consisting of regularly-spaced circular heat pipes contained within two composite facesheets. The water heat pipes interface to the coolant through curved sections partially contained within the cooling loop. The paper evaluates various design parameters including radiator panel orientation, coolant flow path, and facesheet thickness. Parameters were varied to compare design options on the basis of H2O pump pressure rise and required power, heat pipe unit power and radial flux, radiator area, radiator panel areal mass, and overall HRS mass.

  13. Brayton Cycle for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Oh, Chang H.; Moore, Richard L.

    2005-03-15

    This paper describes research on improving the Brayton cycle efficiency for a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). In this study, we are investigating the efficiency of an indirect helium Brayton cycle for the power conversion side of an HTGR power plant. A reference case based on a 250-MW(thermal) pebble bed HTGR was developed using helium gas as a working fluid in both the primary and power conversion sides. The commercial computer code HYSYS was used for process optimization. A numerical model using the Visual-Basic (V-B) computer language was also developed to assist in the evaluation of the Brayton cycle efficiency. Results from both the HYSYS simulation and the V-B model were compared with Japanese calculations based on the 300-MW(electric) Gas Turbine High-Temperature Reactor (GTHTR) that was developed by the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. After benchmarking our models, parametric investigations were performed to see the effect of important parameters on the cycle efficiency. We also investigated single-shaft versus multiple-shaft arrangements for the turbomachinery. The results from this study are applicable to other reactor concepts such as fast gas-cooled reactors, supercritical water reactors, and others.The ultimate goal of this study is to use other fluids such as supercritical carbon dioxide for the HTGR power conversion loop in order to improve the cycle efficiency over that of the helium Brayton cycle. This study is in progress, and the results will be published in a subsequent paper.

  14. Brayton Cycle for High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Chang Oh

    2005-03-01

    This paper describes research on improving the Brayton cycle efficiency for a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR). In this study, we are investigating the efficiency of an indirect helium Brayton cycle for the power conversion side of an HTGR power plant. A reference case based on a 250-MW(thermal) pebble bed HTGR was developed using helium gas as a working fluid in both the primary and power conversion sides. The commercial computer code HYSYS was used for process optimization. A numerical model using the Visual-Basic (V-B) computer language was also developed to assist in the evaluation of the Brayton cycle efficiency. Results from both the HYSYS simulation and the V-B model were compared with Japanese calculations based on the 300-MW(electric) Gas Turbine High-Temperature Reactor (GTHTR) that was developed by the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. After benchmarking our models, parametric investigations were performed to see the effect of important parameters on the cycle efficiency. We also investigated single-shaft versus multiple-shaft arrangements for the turbomachinery. The results from this study are applicable to other reactor concepts such as fast gas-cooled reactors, supercritical water reactors, and others. The ultimate goal of this study is to use other fluids such as supercritical carbon dioxide for the HTGR power conversion loop in order to improve the cycle efficiency over that of the helium Brayton cycle. This study is in progress, and the results will be published in a subsequent paper.

  15. Challenges for future space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Forecasts of space power needs are presented. The needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self-sufficiency, and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations and from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Mars are determined. Future launch cost reductions are predicted. From these projections the performances necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options are identified. The availability of plentiful cost effective electric power and of low cost access to space are identified as crucial factors in the future extension of human presence in space.

  16. Static conversion systems. [for space power reactors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewell, R.; Mondt, J.

    1985-01-01

    Historically, all space power systems that have actually flown in space have relied on static energy conversion technology. Thus, static conversion is being considered for space nuclear power systems as well. There are four potential static conversion technologies which should be considered. These include: the alkali metal thermoelectric converter (AMTEC), the thermionic converter, the thermoelectric converter, and the thermophotovoltaic converter (TPV). These four conversion technologies will be described in brief detail along with their current status and development needs. In addition, the systems implications of using each of these conversion technologies with a space nuclear reactor power system will be evaluated and some comparisons made.

  17. An evolutionary strategy for space nuclear power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1996-03-01

    A number of exciting mission opportunities are being considered for the 21st century, including (1) advanced robotic science missions to the outer planets and beyond; (2) advanced space transportation systems; and (3) human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Several of these missions will require some form of nuclear power; however, it is clear that current budgetary constraints preclude developing many different types of space nuclear power systems. This paper reviews the specific civil space missions which have been identified, the power levels and lifetimes required, and the technologies available. From this an evolutionary space nuclear power program is developed which builds upon the experience of radioisotope thermoelectric generators, improved static and dynamic isotope power systems, and space nuclear reactors. It is strongly suggested that not only does this approach make technical and budgetary sense but that it is consistent with the normal development of new technologies.

  18. Nuclear Space Power Systems Materials Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    Buckman, R.W. Jr.

    2004-02-04

    High specific energy is required for space nuclear power systems. This generally means high operating temperatures and the only alloy class of materials available for construction of such systems are the refractory metals niobium, tantalum, molybdenum and tungsten. The refractory metals in the past have been the construction materials selected for nuclear space power systems. The objective of this paper will be to review the past history and requirements for space nuclear power systems from the early 1960's through the SP-100 program. Also presented will be the past and present status of refractory metal alloy technology and what will be needed to support the next advanced nuclear space power system. The next generation of advanced nuclear space power systems can benefit from the review of this past experience. Because of a decline in the refractory metal industry in the United States, ready availability of specific refractory metal alloys is limited.

  19. Space nuclear power: a strategy for tomorrow

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Energy: reliable, portable, abundant and low cost will be a most critical factor, perhaps the sine qua non, for the unfolding of man's permanent presence in space. Space-based nuclear power, in turn, is a key technology for developing such space platforms and the transportation systems necessary to service them. A strategy for meeting space power requirements is the development of a 100-kW(e) nuclear reactor system for high earth orbit missions, transportation from Shuttle orbits to geosynchronous orbit, and for outer planet exploration. The component technology for this nuclear power plant is now underway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As permanent settlements are established on the Moon and in space, multimegawatt power plants will be needed. This would involve different technology similar to terrestrial nuclear power plants.

  20. In-Space Transportation for GEO Space Solar Power Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, James A.; Donnahue, Benjamin B.; Henley, Mark W.

    1999-01-01

    This report summarizes results of study tasks to evaluate design options for in-space transportation of geostationary Space Solar Power Satellites. Referring to the end-to-end architecture studies performed in 1988, this current activity focuses on transportation of Sun Tower satellite segments from an initial low Earth orbit altitude to a final position in geostationary orbit (GEO; i.e., 35,786 km altitude, circular, equatorial orbit). This report encompasses study activity for In-Space Transportation of GEO Space Solar Power (SSP) Satellites including: 1) assessment of requirements, 2) design of system concepts, 3) comparison of alternative system options, and 4) assessment of potential derivatives.

  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. 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.

  3. Nuclear systems for space power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M.

    1971-01-01

    As exploration and utilization of space proceeds through the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond, spacecraft in earth orbit will become increasingly larger, spacecraft will travel deeper into space, and space activities will involve more complex operations. These trends require increasing amounts of energy for power and propulsion. The role to be played by nuclear energy is presented, including plans for deep space missions using radioisotope generators, the reactor power systems for earth orbiting stations and satellites, and the role of nuclear propulsion in space transportation.

  4. Status of space station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraona, Cosmo R.; Sheibley, Dean W.

    1987-01-01

    The major requirements and guidelines that affect the manned space station configuration and the power systems are explained. The evolution of the space station power system from the NASA program development feasibility phase through the current preliminary design phase is described. Several early station concepts are described and linked to the present concept. The recently completed phase B tradeoff study selections of photovoltaic system technologies are described. The present solar dynamic and power management and distribution systems are also summarized for completeness.

  5. Alternative power generation concepts for space

    SciTech Connect

    Brandhorst, H.W. Jr.; Juhasz, A.J.; Jones, B.I.

    1994-09-01

    With the advent of the NASA Space Station, there has emerged a general realization that large quantities of power in space are necessary and, in fact, enabling. This realization has led to the examination of alternative options to the ubiquitous solar array/battery power system. Several factors led to the consideration of solar dynamic and nuclear power systems. These include better scaling to high power levels, higher efficiency conversion and storage subsystems, and lower system specific mass. The objective of this paper is to present the results of trade and optimization studies that high-light the potential of solar and nuclear dynamic systems relative to photovoltaic power systems.

  6. Future Photovoltaic Power Generation for Space-Based Power Utilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bailey, Sheila; Landis, Geoffrey; Hepp, Aloysius; Raffaelle, Ryne

    2002-01-01

    This paper discusses requirements for large earth orbiting power stations that can serve as central utilities for other orbiting spacecraft, or for beaming power to the earth itself. The current state of the art of space solar cells, and a variety of both evolving thin film cells as well as new technologies that may impact the future choice of space solar cells for high power mission applications are addressed.

  7. Artificial intelligence and space power systems automation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weeks, David J.

    1987-01-01

    Various applications of artificial intelligence to space electrical power systems are discussed. An overview is given of completed, on-going, and planned knowledge-based system activities. These applications include the Nickel-Cadmium Battery Expert System (NICBES) (the expert system interfaced with the Hubble Space Telescope electrical power system test bed); the early work with the Space Station Experiment Scheduler (SSES); the three expert systems under development in the space station advanced development effort in the core module power management and distribution system test bed; planned cooperation of expert systems in the Core Module Power Management and Distribution (CM/PMAD) system breadboard with expert systems for the space station at other research centers; and the intelligent data reduction expert system under development.

  8. Key issues in space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W.

    1991-01-01

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. Key to the success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience has been made. These needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self sufficiency, and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from LEO to Mars has been determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options has been made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs. Finally the cost of present space power systems has been determined and projections made for future systems.

  9. Making space nuclear power a reality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cook, Beverly A.

    2005-01-01

    Our current space exploration missions are power limited. Space nuclear reactors could provide the power for both onboard electrical power and propulsion to enable a new generation of space science and exploration. Implementing a mission using a space nuclear reactor presents many technical challenges. However, nuclear technologies are safely and reliably used throughout U.S. industries and the Government. Well-defined processes and regulations currently exist for the use of nuclear technologies in space or any other application. These processes and regulations assure safe, reliable use of nuclear technology in a manner that protects the public and the environment. The question is not one of choosing between safety and space science, but of investing in a technology that includes rigorous processes and procedures to assure safe.

  10. Buffer thermal energy storage for an air Brayton solar engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strumpf, H. J.; Barr, K. P.

    1981-01-01

    The application of latent-heat buffer thermal energy storage to a point-focusing solar receiver equipped with an air Brayton engine was studied. To demonstrate the effect of buffer thermal energy storage on engine operation, a computer program was written which models the recuperator, receiver, and thermal storage device as finite-element thermal masses. Actual operating or predicted performance data are used for all components, including the rotating equipment. Based on insolation input and a specified control scheme, the program predicts the Brayton engine operation, including flows, temperatures, and pressures for the various components, along with the engine output power. An economic parametric study indicates that the economic viability of buffer thermal energy storage is largely a function of the achievable engine life.

  11. International Space Station Electric Power System Performance Code-SPACE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hojnicki, Jeffrey; McKissock, David; Fincannon, James; Green, Robert; Kerslake, Thomas; Delleur, Ann; Follo, Jeffrey; Trudell, Jeffrey; Hoffman, David J.; Jannette, Anthony; Rodriguez, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    The System Power Analysis for Capability Evaluation (SPACE) software analyzes and predicts the minute-by-minute state of the International Space Station (ISS) electrical power system (EPS) for upcoming missions as well as EPS power generation capacity as a function of ISS configuration and orbital conditions. In order to complete the Certification of Flight Readiness (CoFR) process in which the mission is certified for flight each ISS System must thoroughly assess every proposed mission to verify that the system will support the planned mission operations; SPACE is the sole tool used to conduct these assessments for the power system capability. SPACE is an integrated power system model that incorporates a variety of modules tied together with integration routines and graphical output. The modules include orbit mechanics, solar array pointing/shadowing/thermal and electrical, battery performance, and power management and distribution performance. These modules are tightly integrated within a flexible architecture featuring data-file-driven configurations, source- or load-driven operation, and event scripting. SPACE also predicts the amount of power available for a given system configuration, spacecraft orientation, solar-array-pointing conditions, orbit, and the like. In the source-driven mode, the model must assure that energy balance is achieved, meaning that energy removed from the batteries must be restored (or balanced) each and every orbit. This entails an optimization scheme to ensure that energy balance is maintained without violating any other constraints.

  12. Modular, Intelligent Power Systems for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Button, Robert

    2006-01-01

    NASA's new Space Exploration Initiative demands that vehicles, habitats, and rovers achieve unprecedented levels of reliability, safety, effectiveness, and affordability. Modular and intelligent electrical power systems are critical to achieving those goals. Modular electrical power systems naturally increase reliability and safety through built-in fault tolerance. These modular systems also enable standardization across a multitude of systems, thereby greatly increasing affordability of the programs. Various technologies being developed to support this new paradigm for space power systems will be presented. Examples include the use of digital control in power electronics to enable better performance and advanced modularity functions such as distributed, master-less control and series input power conversion. Also, digital control and robust communication enables new levels of power system control, stability, fault detection, and health management. Summary results from recent development efforts are presented along with expected future technology development needs required to support NASA's ambitious space exploration goals.

  13. Design of a gigawatt space solar power satellite using optical concentrator system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dessanti, B.; Komerath, N.; Shah, S.

    A 1-gigawatt space solar power satellite using a large array of individually pointable optical elements is identified as the key mass element of a large scale space solar power architecture using the Space Power Grid concept. The proposed satellite design enables a significant increase in specific power. Placed in sun-synchronous dynamic orbits near 2000km altitude, these satellites can maintain the constant solar view requirement of GEO-based architectures, while greatly reducing the beaming distance required, decreasing the required antenna size and in turn the overall system mass. The satellite uses an array of individually pointable optical elements (which we call a Mirasol Concentrator Array) to concentrate solar energy to an intensified feed target that feeds into the main heater of the spacecraft, similar conceptually to heliostat arrays. The spacecraft then utilizes Brayton cycle conversion to take advantage of non-linear power level scaling in order to generate high specific power values. Using phase array antennas, the power is then beamed at a millimeter wave frequency of 220GHz down to Earth. The design of the Mirasol concentrator system will be described and a detailed mass estimation of the system is developed. The technical challenges of pointing the elements and maintaining constant solar view is investigated. An end-to-end efficiency analysis is performed. Subsystem designs for the spacecraft are outlined. A detailed mass budget is refined to reflect reductions in uncertainty of the spacecraft mass, particularly in the Mirasol system. One of the key mass drivers of the spacecraft is the active thermal control system. The design of a lightweight thermal control system utilizing graphene sheets is also detailed.

  14. Applications of power beaming from space-based nuclear power stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Preliminary design for a reverse Brayton cycle cryogenic cooler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swift, Walter L.

    1993-01-01

    A long life, single stage, reverse Brayton cycle cryogenic cooler is being developed for applications in space. The system is designed to provide 5 W of cooling at a temperature of 65 Kelvin with a total cycle input power of less than 200 watts. Key features of the approach include high speed, miniature turbomachines; an all metal, high performance, compact heat exchanger; and a simple, high frequency, three phase motor drive. In Phase 1, a preliminary design of the system was performed. Analyses and trade studies were used to establish the thermodynamic performance of the system and the performance specifications for individual components. Key mechanical features for components were defined and assembly layouts for the components and the system were prepared. Critical materials and processes were identified. Component and brassboard system level tests were conducted at cryogenic temperatures. The system met the cooling requirement of 5 W at 65 K. The system was also operated over a range of cooling loads from 0.5 W at 37 K to 10 W at 65 K. Input power to the system was higher than target values. The heat exchanger and inverter met or exceeded their respective performance targets. The compresssor/motor assembly was marginally below its performance target. The turboexpander met its aerodynamic efficiency target, but overall performance was below target because of excessive heat leak. The heat leak will be reduced to an acceptable value in the engineering model. The results of Phase 1 indicate that the 200 watt input power requirement can be met with state-of-the-art technology in a system which has very flexible integration requirements and negligible vibration levels.

  16. Adaptive Power Control for Space Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Willie L., II; Israel, David J.

    2008-01-01

    This paper investigates the implementation of power control techniques for crosslinks communications during a rendezvous scenario of the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) and the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM). During the rendezvous, NASA requires that the CEV supports two communication links: space-to-ground and crosslink simultaneously. The crosslink will generate excess interference to the space-to-ground link as the distances between the two vehicles decreases, if the output power is fixed and optimized for the worst-case link analysis at the maximum distance range. As a result, power control is required to maintain the optimal power level for the crosslink without interfering with the space-to-ground link. A proof-of-concept will be described and implemented with Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) Communications, Standard, and Technology Lab (CSTL).

  17. Future Photovoltaic Power Generation for Space-Based Power Utilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, S.; Landis, G.; Raffaelle, R.; Hepp, A.

    2002-01-01

    A recent NASA program, Space Solar Power Exploratory Research and Technology (SERT), investigated the technologies needed to provide cost-competitive ground baseload electrical power from space based solar energy conversion. This goal mandated low cost, light weight gigawatt (GW) power generation. Investment in solar power generation technologies would also benefit high power military, commercial and science missions. These missions are generally those involving solar electric propulsion, surface power systems to sustain an outpost or a permanent colony on the surface of the moon or mars, space based lasers or radar, or as large earth orbiting power stations which can serve as central utilities for other orbiting spacecraft, or as in the SERT program, potentially beaming power to the earth itself. This paper will discuss requirements for the two latter options, the current state of the art of space solar cells, and a variety of both evolving thin film cells as well as new technologies which may impact the future choice of space solar cells for a high power mission application. The space world has primarily transitioned to commercially available III-V (GaInP/GaAs/Ge) cells with 24-26% air mass zero (AMO) efficiencies. Research in the III-V multi-junction solar cells has focused on fabricating either lattice-mismatched materials with optimum stacking bandgaps or new lattice matched materials with optimum bandgaps. In the near term this will yield a 30% commercially available space cell and in the far term possibly a 40% cell. Cost reduction would be achieved if these cells could be grown on a silicon rather than a germanium substrate since the substrate is ~65% of the cell cost or, better yet, on a polyimide or possibly a ceramic substrate. An overview of multi-junction cell characteristics will be presented here. Thin film cells require substantially less material and have promised the advantage of large area, low cost manufacturing. However, space cell requirements

  18. The NASA Space Power Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullin, J. P.; Hudson, W. R.; Randolph, L. P.

    1979-01-01

    This paper discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Space Power Technology Program which is aimed at providing the needed technology for NASA's future missions. The technology program is subdivided into five areas: (1) photovoltaic energy conversion; (2) chemical energy conversion and storage; (3) thermal to electric conversion; (4) power system management and distribution, and (5) advanced energetics. Recent accomplishments, current status, and future directions are presented for each area.

  19. Trade studies for nuclear space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, John M.; Bents, David J.; Bloomfield, Harvey S.

    1991-01-01

    As visions of space applications expand and as probes extend further and further out into the universe, the need for power also expands, and missions evolve which are enabled by nuclear power. A broad spectrum of missions which are enhanced or enabled by nuclear power sources are defined. These include earth orbital platforms, deep space platforms, planetary exploration and extraterrestrial resource exploration. The recently proposed Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) to the moon and Mars has more clearly defined these missions and their power requirements. This paper presents results of recent studies of radioisotope and nuclear-reactor energy sources combined with various energy-conversion devices for earth orbital applications, SEI lunar/Mars rover and surface power, and planetary exploration.

  20. Trade studies for nuclear space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, John M.; Bents, David J.; Bloomfield, Harvey S.

    1991-01-01

    As human visions of space applications expand and as we probe further out into the universe, our needs for power will also expand, and missions will evolve which are enabled by nuclear power. A broad spectrum of missions which are enhanced or enabled by nuclear power sources have been defined. These include Earth orbital platforms, deep space platforms, planetary exploration, and terrestrial resource exploration. The recently proposed Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) to the Moon and Mars has more clearly defined these missions and their power requirements. Presented here are results of recent studies of radioisotope and nuclear reactor energy sources, combined with various energy conversion devices for Earth orbital applications, SEI lunar/Mars rovers, surface power, and planetary exploration.

  1. New directions for space solar power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mankins, John C.

    2009-07-01

    Several of the central issues associated with the eventual realization of the vision of solar power from space for terrestrial markets resolve around the expect costs associated with the assembly, inspection, maintenance and repair of future solar power satellite (SPS) stations. In past studies (for example, NASA's "Fresh Look Study", c. 1995-1997) efforts were made to reduce both the scale and mass of large, systems-level interfaces (e.g., the power management and distribution (PMAD) system) and on-orbit fixed infrastructures through the use of modular systems strategies. These efforts have had mixed success (as reflected in the projected on-orbit mass of various systems concepts. However, the author remains convinced of the importance of modular strategies for exceptionally large space systems in eventually realizing the vision of power from space. This paper will introduce some of the key issues associated with cost-competitive space solar power in terrestrial markets. It will examine some of the relevant SPS concepts and will assess the 'pros and cons' of each in terms of space assembly, maintenance and servicing (SAMS) requirements. The paper discusses at a high level some relevant concepts and technologies that may play r role in the eventual, successful resolution of these challenges. The paper concludes with an example of the kind of novel architectural approach for space solar power that is needed.

  2. Tethered nuclear power for the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    A nuclear space power system the SP-100 is being developed for future missions where large amounts of electrical power will be required. Although it is primarily intended for unmanned spacecraft, it can be adapted to a manned space platform by tethering it above the station through an electrical transmission line which isolates the reactor far away from the inhabited platform and conveys its power back to where it is needed. The transmission line, used in conjunction with an instrument rate shield, attenuates reactor radiation in the vicinity of the space station to less than one-one hundredth of the natural background which is already there. This combination of shielding and distance attenuation is less than one-tenth the mass of boom-mounted or onboard man-rated shields that are required when the reactor is mounted nearby. This paper describes how connection is made to the platform (configuration, operational requirements) and introduces a new element the coaxial transmission tube which enables efficient transmission of electrical power through long tethers in space. Design methodology for transmission tubes and tube arrays is discussed. An example conceptual design is presented that shows SP-100 at three power levels 100 kWe, 300 kWe, and 1000 kWe connected to space station via a 2 km HVDC transmission line/tether. Power system performance, mass, and radiation hazard are estimated with impacts on space station architecture and operation.

  3. Material Requirements, Selection And Development for the Proposed JIMO SpacePower System

    SciTech Connect

    Ring, P.J.; Sayre, E.D.

    2004-02-04

    NASA is proposing a major new nuclear Space initiative--The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). A mission such as this inevitably requires a significant power source both for propulsion and for on-board power. Three reactor concepts, liquid metal cooled, heat pipe cooled and gas cooled are being considered together with three power conversion systems Brayton (cycle), Thermoelectric and Stirling cycles, and possibly Photo voltaics for future systems. Regardless of the reactor system selected it is almost certain that high temperature (materials), refractory alloys, will be required. This paper revisits the material selection options, reviewing the rationale behind the SP-100 selection of Nb-1Zr as the major cladding and structural material and considers the alternatives and developments needed for the longer duty cycle of the JIMO power supply. A side glance is also taken at the basis behind the selection of Uranium nitride fuel over UO2 or UC and a brief discussion of the reason for the selection of Lithium as the liquid metal coolant for SP-100 over other liquid metals.

  4. Material Requirements, Selection And Development for the Proposed JIMO SpacePower System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ring, P. J.; Sayre, E. D.

    2004-02-01

    NASA is proposing a major new nuclear Space initiative-The Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). A mission such as this inevitably requires a significant power source both for propulsion and for on-board power. Three reactor concepts, liquid metal cooled, heat pipe cooled and gas cooled are being considered together with three power conversion systems Brayton (cycle), Thermoelectric and Stirling cycles, and possibly Photo voltaics for future systems. Regardless of the reactor system selected it is almost certain that high temperature (materials), refractory alloys, will be required. This paper revisits the material selection options, reviewing the rationale behind the SP-100 selection of Nb-1Zr as the major cladding and structural material and considers the alternatives and developments needed for the longer duty cycle of the JIMO power supply. A side glance is also taken at the basis behind the selection of Uranium nitride fuel over UO2 or UC and a brief discussion of the reason for the selection of Lithium as the liquid metal coolant for SP-100 over other liquid metals.

  5. Space Power Facility Reverberation Chamber Calibration Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, Catherine C.; Dolesh, Robert J.; Garrett, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    This document describes the process and results of calibrating the Space Environmental Test EMI Test facility at NASA Plum Brook Space Power Facility according to the specifications of IEC61000-4-21 for susceptibility testing from 100 MHz to 40 GHz. The chamber passed the field uniformity test, in both the empty and loaded conditions, making it the world's largest Reverberation Chamber.

  6. Space power systems - 'Spacecraft 2000'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Faymon, K. A.

    1985-01-01

    The program 'Spacecraft 2000' has the objective to identify critical, high-payoff, potential spacecraft technologies, taking into account the formulation, advocation, and the management of the requisite technology development programs. This program represents a joint NASA-industry program. The technology areas addressed by 'Spacecraft 2000' are related to spacecraft power/energy storage, thermal control/thermal management, power management and distribution, autonomous operation-control, on-board system integration, spacecraft environmental interactions, secondary propulsion, communications technologies, a total system response approach, and system-subsystem technology verification. The expected benefits of a development of advanced technologies include decreased spacecraft bus system weights, decreased mission costs, increased reliability/lifetimes, and increased operational flexibility.

  7. Multiple reheat helium Brayton cycles for sodium fast reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Haihua Zhao; Per F. Peterson

    2008-07-01

    Sodium fast reactors (SFR) traditionally adopt the steam Rankine cycle for power conversion. The resulting potential for water-sodium reaction remains a continuing concern which at least partly delays the SFR technology commercialization and is a contributor to higher capital cost. Supercritical CO2 provides an alternative, but is also capable of sustaining energetic chemical reactions with sodium. Recent development on advanced inert-gas Brayton cycles could potentially solve this compatibility issue, increase thermal efficiency, and bring down the capital cost close to light water reactors. In this paper, helium Brayton cycles with multiple reheat and intercooling states are presented for SFRs with reactor outlet temperatures in the range of 510°C to 650°C. The resulting thermal efficiencies range from 39% and 47%, which is comparable with supercritical recompression CO2 cycles (SCO2 cycle). A systematic comparison between multiple reheat helium Brayton cycle and the SCO2 cycle is given, considering compatibility issues, plant site cooling temperature effect on plant efficiency, full plant cost optimization, and other important factors. The study indicates that the multiple reheat helium cycle is the preferred choice over SCO2 cycle for sodium fast reactors.

  8. Carbon-Carbon Composites as Recuperator Material for Direct Gas Brayton Systems

    SciTech Connect

    RA Wolf

    2006-07-19

    Of the numerous energy conversion options available for a space nuclear power plant (SNPP), one that shows promise in attaining reliable operation and high efficiency is the direct gas Brayton (GB) system. In order to increase efficiency, the GB system incorporates a recuperator that accounts for nearly half the weight of the energy conversion system (ECS). Therefore, development of a recuperator that is lighter and provides better performance than current heat exchangers could prove to be advantageous. The feasibility of a carbon-carbon (C/C) composite recuperator core has been assessed and a mass savings of 60% and volume penalty of 20% were projected. The excellent thermal properties, high-temperature capabilities, and low density of carbon-carbon materials make them attractive in the GB system, but development issues such as material compatibility with other structural materials in the system, such as refractory metals and superalloys, permeability, corrosion, joining, and fabrication must be addressed.

  9. The NASA space power technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephenson, R. Rhoads

    1992-01-01

    NASA has a broad technology program in the field of space power. This paper describes that program, including the roles and responsibilities of the various NASA field centers and major contractors. In the power source area, the paper discusses the SP-100 Space Nuclear Power Project, which has been under way for about seven years and is making substantial progress toward development of components for a 100-kilowatt power system that can be scaled to other sizes. This system is a candidate power source for nuclear electric propulsion, as well as for a power plant for a lunar base. In the energy storage area, the paper describes NASA's battery- and fuel-cell development programs. NASA is actively working on NiCd, NiH2, and lithium batteries. A status update is also given on a U.S. Air Force-sponsored program to develop a large (150 ampere-hour) lithium-thionyl chloride battery for the Centaur upper-stage launch vehicle. Finally, the area of power management and distribution (PMAD) is addressed, including power system components such as solid-state switches and power integrated circuits. Automated load management and other computer-controlled functions offer considerable payoffs. The state of the art in space power is described, along with NASA's medium- and long-term goals in the area.

  10. Alternative Architecture for Commercial Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Seth

    2000-01-01

    This presentation discuss the space solar power (SSP) concept. It takes us step by step through the process: the use of sunlight and solar cells to create power, the conversion of the sunlight into electricity, the conversion of electricity to microwaves, and finally the from microwaves back to electricity by the Rectennas on Earth.

  11. High Power Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for Cargo and Propellant Transfer Missions in Cislunar Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Falck, Robert D.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2003-01-01

    The performance of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) in transporting cargo and propellant from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the first Earth-Moon Lagrange point (EML1) is examined. The baseline NEP vehicle utilizes a fission reactor system with Brayton power conversion for electric power generation to power multiple liquid hydrogen magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. Vehicle characteristics and performance levels are based on technology availability in a fifteen to twenty year timeframe. Results of numerical trajectory analyses are also provided.

  12. The NASA space power technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanlandingham, E. E.

    1986-01-01

    The NASA Space Power Technology Program is driven by missions extending 30 years into the future. The general characteristics of these missions will be described insofar as they drive power system requirements. The various elements of the program will be presented and put into this mission context. Specific technologies discussed include: solar dynamic, nuclear, and photovoltaic power generation; electrochemical energy storage; power generation; electrochemical energy storage; thermal management; and power management and distribution, including environmental interactions and materials. These programs are strongly interlinked and interdependent and focus on meeting a broad range of agency and national needs.

  13. Hubble Space Telescope electrical power system model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baggett, Randy; Miller, Jim; Leisgang, Tom

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes one of the most comprehensive models ever developed for a spacecraft electrical power system (EPS). The model was developed for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to evaluate vehicle power system performance and to assist in scheduling maintenance and refurbishment missions by providing data needed to forecast EPS power and energy margins for the mission phases being planned. The EPS model requires a specific mission phase description as the input driver and uses a high granularity database to produce a multi-orbit power system performance report. The EPS model accurately predicts the power system response to various mission timelines over the entire operational life of the spacecraft.

  14. 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.

  15. Space Power for Communication Satellites Beyond 1995

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pierce, P. R.

    1984-01-01

    The space power trends for communication satellites beginning in the mid-70's are reviewed. Predictions of technology advancements and requirements were compared with actual growth patterns. The conclusions derived suggest that the spacecraft power system technology base and present rate of advancement will not be able to meet the power demands of the early to mid-90's. It is recommended that an emphasis on accelerating the technology development be made to minimize the technology gap.

  16. Space-to-earth power transmission system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevens, G. H.; Schuh, R.

    1976-01-01

    A preliminary analysis was conducted to establish the requirements of a space-to-earth microwave power transmission system. The need for accurate phase control on the transmitter was established and methods for assessing the impact of power density and thermal constraints on system performance were demonstrated. Potential radio frequency interference was considered. The sensitivity of transmission system scale to variations in power source, transportation and orbital fabrication and assembly costs was also determined.

  17. New Generation Power System for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Loren; Carr, Greg; Deligiannis, Frank; Lam, Barbara; Nelson, Ron; Pantaleon, Jose; Ruiz, Ian; Treicler, John; Wester, Gene; Sauers, Jim; Giampoli, Paul; Haskell, Russ; Mulvey, Jim; Repp, John

    2004-01-01

    The Deep Space Avionics (DSA) Project is developing a new generation of power system building blocks. Using application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and power switching modules a scalable power system can be constructed for use on multiple deep space missions including future missions to Mars, comets, Jupiter and its moons. The key developments of the DSA power system effort are five power ASICs and a mod ule for power switching. These components enable a modular and scalab le design approach, which can result in a wide variety of power syste m architectures to meet diverse mission requirements and environments . Each component is radiation hardened to one megarad) total dose. The power switching module can be used for power distribution to regular spacecraft loads, to propulsion valves and actuation of pyrotechnic devices. The number of switching elements per load, pyrotechnic firin gs and valve drivers can be scaled depending on mission needs. Teleme try data is available from the switch module via an I2C data bus. The DSA power system components enable power management and distribution for a variety of power buses and power system architectures employing different types of energy storage and power sources. This paper will describe each power ASIC#s key performance characteristics as well a s recent prototype test results. The power switching module test results will be discussed and will demonstrate its versatility as a multip urpose switch. Finally, the combination of these components will illu strate some of the possible power system architectures achievable fro m small single string systems to large fully redundant systems.

  18. Advanced Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle Development

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Mark; Sienicki, James; Moisseytsev, Anton; Nellis, Gregory; Klein, Sanford

    2015-10-21

    Fluids operating in the supercritical state have promising characteristics for future high efficiency power cycles. In order to develop power cycles using supercritical fluids, it is necessary to understand the flow characteristics of fluids under both supercritical and two-phase conditions. In this study, a Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) methodology was developed for supercritical fluids flowing through complex geometries. A real fluid property module was implemented to provide properties for different supercritical fluids. However, in each simulation case, there is only one species of fluid. As a result, the fluid property module provides properties for either supercritical CO2 (S-CO2) or supercritical water (SCW). The Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) was employed to model the two-phase flow. HEM assumes two phases have same velocity, pressure, and temperature, making it only applicable for the dilute dispersed two-phase flow situation. Three example geometries, including orifices, labyrinth seals, and valves, were used to validate this methodology with experimental data. For the first geometry, S-CO2 and SCW flowing through orifices were simulated and compared with experimental data. The maximum difference between the mass flow rate predictions and experimental measurements is less than 5%. This is a significant improvement as previous works can only guarantee 10% error. In this research, several efforts were made to help this improvement. First, an accurate real fluid module was used to provide properties. Second, the upstream condition was determined by pressure and density, which determines supercritical states more precise than using pressure and temperature. For the second geometry, the flow through labyrinth seals was studied. After a successful validation, parametric studies were performed to study geometric effects on the leakage rate. Based on these parametric studies, an optimum design strategy for the see

  19. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, Robert H.; Grobstein, Toni L.; Ellis, David L.

    1991-01-01

    The overall philosophy of the research was to develop and characterize new high temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  20. Space solar power - An energy alternative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. W.

    1978-01-01

    The space solar power concept is concerned with the use of a Space Power Satellite (SPS) which orbits the earth at geostationary altitude. Two large symmetrical solar collectors convert solar energy directly to electricity using photovoltaic cells woven into blankets. The dc electricity is directed to microwave generators incorporated in a transmitting antenna located between the solar collectors. The antenna directs the microwave beam to a receiving antenna on earth where the microwave energy is efficiently converted back to dc electricity. The SPS design promises 30-year and beyond lifetimes. The SPS is relatively pollution free as it promises earth-equivalence of 80-85% efficient ground-based thermal power plant.

  1. Nanostructured Materials Development for Space Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raffaelle, Ryne P.; Landi, B. J.; Elich, J. B.; Gennett, T.; Castro, S. L.; Bailey, Sheila G.; Hepp, Aloysius F.

    2003-01-01

    There have been many recent advances in the use of nanostructured materials for space power applications. In particular, the use of high purity single wall nanotubes holds promise for a variety of generation and storage devices including: thin film lithium ion batteries, microelectronic proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, polymeric thin film solar cells, and thermionic power supplies is presented. Semiconducting quantum dots alone and in conjunction with carbon nanotubes are also being investigated for possible use in high efficiency photovoltaic solar cells. This paper will review some of the work being done at RIT in conjunction with the NASA Glenn Research Center to utilize nanomaterials in space power devices.

  2. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Titran, Robert H.; Grobstein, Toni L.; Ellis, David L.

    1991-01-01

    The overall philosophy of the research was to develop and characterize new high temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites for fuel containment and structural supports considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  3. Challenges for future space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    1989-01-01

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. The key to success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience was made. These needs fall into three broad categories-survival, self sufficiency and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from low earth orbit (LEO) to Mars was determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options were made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs.

  4. Low cost space power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olsen, Randall B.

    1991-01-01

    The success of this study has given a method of fabricating durable copolymer films without size limitations. Previously, only compression molded samples were durable enough to generate electrical energy. The strengthened specimens are very long lived materials. The lifetime was enhanced at least a factor of 1,300 in full pyroelectric conversion cycle experiments compared with extruded, non-strengthened film. The new techniques proved so successful that the lifetime of the resultant copolymer samples was not fully characterized. The lifetime of these new materials is so long that accelerated tests were devised to probe their durability. After a total of more than 67 million high voltage electrical cycles at 100 C, the electrical properties of a copolymer sample remained stable. The test was terminated without any detectable degradation to allow for other experiments. One must be cautious in extrapolating to power cycle performance, but 67 million electrical cycles correspond to 2 years of pyroelectric cycling at 1 Hz. In another series of experiments at reduced temperature and electrical stress, a specimen survived over one-third of a billion electrical cycles during nearly three months of continuous testing. The radiation-limited lifetimes of the copolymer were shown to range from several years to millions of years for most earth orbits. Thus, the pyroelectric copolymer has become a strong candidate for serious consideration for future spacecraft power supplies.

  5. Advanced materials for space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Titran, R.H.; Grobstein, T.L. . Lewis Research Center); Ellis, D.L. )

    1991-01-01

    Research on monolithic refractory metal alloys and on metal matrix composites is being conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, in support of advanced space power systems. The overall philosophy of the research is to develop and characterize new high-temperature power conversion and radiator materials and to provide spacecraft designers with material selection options and design information. Research on three candidate materials (carbide strengthened niobium alloy PWC-11 for fuel cladding, graphite fiber reinforced copper matrix composites (Gr/Cu) for heat rejection fins, and tungsten fiber reinforced niobium matrix composites (W/NB) for fuel containment and structural supports) considered for space power system applications is discussed. Each of these types of materials offers unique advantages for space power applications.

  6. Optical Amplifier Based Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fork, Richard L.

    2001-01-01

    The objective was to design a safe optical power beaming system for use in space. Research was focused on identification of strategies and structures that would enable achievement near diffraction limited optical beam quality, highly efficient electrical to optical conversion, and high average power in combination in a single system. Efforts centered on producing high efficiency, low mass of the overall system, low operating temperature, precision pointing and tracking capability, compatibility with useful satellite orbits, component and system reliability, and long component and system life in space. A system based on increasing the power handled by each individual module to an optimum and the number of modules in the complete structure was planned. We were concerned with identifying the most economical and rapid path to commercially viable safe space solar power.

  7. Space Station power requirements and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Huckins, E.; Ahlf, P.

    1994-12-01

    This paper provides an overview of the space station configuration and summarizes the requirements, architecture, and significant challenges associated with the Electrical Power System (EPS). The space station configuration was baselined during the Systems Design Review (SDR) process in March, 1994. The current configuration includes the addition of Russia as an international partner, resulting in major changes to the assembly sequence, pressurized module complement, and overall power architecture. The Russian contributions to the power system architecture, as well as an overview and development status of the US provided elements is presented. Finally, a planned flight demonstration of solar dynamic power system on the Mir as part of the first phase of US/Russian cooperation in human space flight is described.

  8. Basic Research and Development Effort to Design a Micro Nuclear Power Plant for Brazilian Space Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guimares, L. N. F.; Camillo, G. P.; Placco, G. M.; Barrios, G., A., Jr.; Do Nascimento, J. A.; Borges, E. M.; De Castro Lobo, P. D.

    For some years the Nuclear Energy Division of the Institute for Advanced Studies is conducting the TERRA (Portuguese abbreviation for advanced fast reactor technology) project. This project aims at research and development of the key issues related with nuclear energy applied to space technology. The purpose of this development is to allow future Brazilian space explorers the access of a good and reliable heat, power and/or propulsion system based on nuclear energy. Efforts are being made in fuel and nuclear core design, designing and building a closed Brayton cycle loop for energy conversion, heat pipe systems research for passive space heat rejection, developing computational programs for thermal loop safety analysis and other technology that may be used to improve efficiency and operation. Currently there is no specific mission that requires these technology development efforts; therefore, there is a certain degree of freedom in the organization and development efforts. This paper will present what has been achieved so far, what is the current development status, where efforts are heading and a proposed time table to meet development objectives.

  9. A Solar Dynamic Power Option for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.

    1999-01-01

    A study was performed to determine the potential performance and related technology requirements of Solar Dynamic power systems for a Space Solar Power satellite. Space Solar Power is a concept where solar energy is collected in orbit and beamed to Earth receiving stations to supplement terrestrial electric power service. Solar Dynamic systems offer the benefits of high solar-to-electric efficiency, long life with minimal performance degradation, and high power scalability. System analyses indicate that with moderate component development, SD systems can exhibit excellent mass and deployed area characteristics. Using the analyses as a guide, a technology roadmap was -enerated which identifies the component advances necessary to make SD power generation a competitive option for the SSP mission.

  10. Non-Nuclear Validation Test Results of a Closed Brayton Cycle Test-Loop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Steven A.

    2007-01-01

    Both NASA and DOE have programs that are investigating advanced power conversion cycles for planetary surface power on the moon or Mars, or for next generation nuclear power plants on earth. Although open Brayton cycles are in use for many applications (combined cycle power plants, aircraft engines), only a few closed Brayton cycles have been tested. Experience with closed Brayton cycles coupled to nuclear reactors is even more limited and current projections of Brayton cycle performance are based on analytic models. This report describes and compares experimental results with model predictions from a series of non-nuclear tests using a small scale closed loop Brayton cycle available at Sandia National Laboratories. A substantial amount of testing has been performed, and the information is being used to help validate models. In this report we summarize the results from three kinds of tests. These tests include: 1) test results that are useful for validating the characteristic flow curves of the turbomachinery for various gases ranging from ideal gases (Ar or Ar/He) to non-ideal gases such as CO2, 2) test results that represent shut down transients and decay heat removal capability of Brayton loops after reactor shut down, and 3) tests that map a range of operating power versus shaft speed curve and turbine inlet temperature that are useful for predicting stable operating conditions during both normal and off-normal operating behavior. These tests reveal significant interactions between the reactor and balance of plant. Specifically these results predict limited speed up behavior of the turbomachinery caused by loss of load, the conditions for stable operation, and for direct cooled reactors, the tests reveal that the coast down behavior during loss of power events can extend for hours provided the ultimate heat sink remains available.

  11. Power Management for Space Advanced Life Support

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Harry

    2001-01-01

    Space power systems include the power source, storage, and management subsystems. In current crewed spacecraft, solar cells are the power source, batteries provide storage, and the crew performs any required load scheduling. For future crewed planetary surface systems using Advanced Life Support, we assume that plants will be grown to produce much of the crew's food and that nuclear power will be employed. Battery storage is much more costly than nuclear power capacity and so is not likely to be used. We investigate the scheduling of power demands by the crew or automatic control, to reduce the peak power load and the required generating capacity. The peak to average power ratio is a good measure of power use efficiency. We can easily schedule power demands to reduce the peak power from its maximum, but simple scheduling approaches may not find the lowest possible peak to average power ratio. An initial power scheduling example was simple enough for a human to solve, but a more complex example with many intermittent load demands required automatic scheduling. Excess power is a free resource and can be used even for minor benefits.

  12. Commercialization of solar space power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pant, Alok; Sera, Gary

    1995-01-01

    The objective of this research is to help U.S. companies commercialize renewable energy in India, with a special focus on solar energy. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Center (MCTTC) is working with ENTECH, Inc., a solar photovoltaic (SPV) systems manufacturer to form partnerships with Indian companies. MCTTC has conducted both secondary and primary market research and obtained travel funding to meet potential Indian partners face to face. MCTTC and ENTECH traveled to India during June 2-20, 1994, and visited New Delhi, Bombay, Pune and Calcutta. Meetings were held with several key government officials and premier Indian business houses and entrepreneurs in the area of solar energy. A firsthand knowledge of India's renewable energy industry was gained, and companies were qualified in terms of capabilities and commitment to the SPV business. The World Bank has awarded India with 280 million to commercialize renewable energies, including 55 million for SPV. There is a market in India for both small-scale (kW) and large SPV (MW) applications. Each U.S. company needs to form a joint venture with an Indian firm and let the latter identify the states and projects with the greatest business potential. Several big Indian companies and entrepreneurs are planning to enter the SPV business, and they currently are seeking foreign technology partners. Since the lager companies have adopted a more conservative approach, however, partnerships with entrepreneurs might offer the quickest route to market entry in India.

  13. Performance Analyses of 38 kWe Turbo-Machine Unit for Space Reactor Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallo, Bruno M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2008-01-01

    This paper developed a design and investigated the performance of 38 kWe turbo-machine unit for space nuclear reactor power systems with Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) energy conversion. The compressor and turbine of this unit are scaled versions of the NASA's BRU developed in the sixties and seventies. The performance results of turbo-machine unit are calculated for rotational speed up to 45 krpm, variable reactor thermal power and system pressure, and fixed turbine and compressor inlet temperatures of 1144 K and 400 K. The analyses used a detailed turbo-machine model developed at the University of New Mexico that accounts for the various energy losses in the compressor and turbine and the effect of compressibility of the He-Xe (40 mole/g) working fluid with increased flow rate. The model also accounts for the changes in the physical and transport properties of the working fluid with temperature and pressure. Results show that a unit efficiency of 24.5% is achievable at rotation speed of 45 krpm and system pressure of 0.75 MPa, assuming shaft and electrical generator efficiencies of 86.7% and 90%. The corresponding net electric power output of the unit is 38.5 kWe, the flow rate of the working fluid is 1.667 kg/s, the pressure ratio and polytropic efficiency for the compressor are 1.60 and 83.1%, and 1.51 and 88.3% for the turbine.

  14. Performance Analyses of 38 kWe Turbo-Machine Unit for Space Reactor Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Gallo, Bruno M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2008-01-21

    This paper developed a design and investigated the performance of 38 kWe turbo-machine unit for space nuclear reactor power systems with Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) energy conversion. The compressor and turbine of this unit are scaled versions of the NASA's BRU developed in the sixties and seventies. The performance results of turbo-machine unit are calculated for rotational speed up to 45 krpm, variable reactor thermal power and system pressure, and fixed turbine and compressor inlet temperatures of 1144 K and 400 K. The analyses used a detailed turbo-machine model developed at University of New Mexico that accounts for the various energy losses in the compressor and turbine and the effect of compressibility of the He-Xe (40 mole/g) working fluid with increased flow rate. The model also accounts for the changes in the physical and transport properties of the working fluid with temperature and pressure. Results show that a unit efficiency of 24.5% is achievable at rotation speed of 45 krpm and system pressure of 0.75 MPa, assuming shaft and electrical generator efficiencies of 86.7% and 90%. The corresponding net electric power output of the unit is 38.5 kWe, the flow rate of the working fluid is 1.667 kg/s, the pressure ratio and polytropic efficiency for the compressor are 1.60 and 83.1%, and 1.51 and 88.3% for the turbine.

  15. A new Space Station power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1988-01-01

    A new concept for a Space Station power system is proposed which reduces the drag effect of the solar panels and eliminates eclipsing by the Earth. The solar generator is physically separated from the Space Station, and power transmitted to the station by a microwave beam. The power station can thus be placed high enough that drag is not a significant factor. For a resonant orbit where the ratio of periods s:p is a ratio of odd integers, and the orbital planes nearly perpendicular, an orbit can be chosen such that the line of sight is never blocked if the lower orbit has an altitude greater than calculatable mininum. For the 1:3 resonance, this minimum altitude is 0.5 r(e). Finally, by placing the power station into a sun-synchronous orbit, it can be made to avoid shadowing by the Earth, thus providing continuous power.

  16. SPGD: A central power system for space title in French

    SciTech Connect

    Widrig, R.D.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes the Space Power Generation and Distribution (SPGD) concept for providing power to any satellite in earth orbit via power beaming. Other applications such as providing power for terrestrial or space exploration purposes are identified. An assessment of SPGD versus conventional space power is summarized concluding SPGD appears extremely attractive for our space future. 1 ref.

  17. Space nuclear power systems for extraterrestrial basing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lance, J. R.; Chi, J. W. H.

    1989-01-01

    Comparative analyses reveal that the nuclear power option significantly reduces the logistic burden required to support a lunar base. The paper considers power levels from tens of kWe for early base operation up to 2000 kWe for a self-sustaining base with a CELSS. It is shown that SP-100 and NERVA derivative reactor (NDR) technology for space power can be used effectively for extraterrestrial base power systems. Recent developments in NDR design that result in major reductions in reactor mass are described.

  18. Antenna technology for beamed space-power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregorwich, W. S.

    1989-01-01

    Based on present technology, the efficient transfer of RF power in space is feasible. However, many parameters must be taken into consideration when designing the system and the interrelationships of these parameters must also be considered. Once the distance between the orbiting spacecraft is specified and the transmit frequency is chosen, then the maximum size for the transmit and receive antennas is fixed (i.e., Rayleigh Range). Once the level of transmit power and trasmit time is specified, then the minimum number of spacecraft batteries is determined. High power RF transmission allows the satellite designer another option in the design of spacecraft power systems.

  19. Space Shuttle Orbiter auxiliary power unit status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reck, M.; Loken, G.; Horton, J.; Lukens, W.; Scott, W.; Baughman, J.; Bauch, T.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of the United States Space Shuttle Orbiter APU, which provides power to the Orbiter vehicle hydraulic system, is presented. Three complete APU systems, each with its own separate fuel system, supply power to three dedicated hydraulic systems. These in turn provide power to all Orbiter vehicle critical flight functions including launch, orbit, reentry, and landing. The basic APU logic diagram is presented. The APU includes a hydrazine-powered turbine that drives a hydraulic pump and various accessories through a high-speed gearbox. The APU also features a sophisticated thermal management system designed to ensure safe and reliable operation in the various launch, orbit, reentry, and landing environments.

  20. Space Shuttle Orbiter auxiliary power unit status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reck, M.; Loken, G.; Horton, J.; Lukens, W.; Scott, W.; Baughman, J.; Bauch, T.

    An overview of the United States Space Shuttle Orbiter APU, which provides power to the Orbiter vehicle hydraulic system, is presented. Three complete APU systems, each with its own separate fuel system, supply power to three dedicated hydraulic systems. These in turn provide power to all Orbiter vehicle critical flight functions including launch, orbit, reentry, and landing. The basic APU logic diagram is presented. The APU includes a hydrazine-powered turbine that drives a hydraulic pump and various accessories through a high-speed gearbox. The APU also features a sophisticated thermal management system designed to ensure safe and reliable operation in the various launch, orbit, reentry, and landing environments.

  1. Wireless Power Transmission Options for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, Mark; Potter, Seth; Howell, Joseph; Mankins, John

    2007-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP), combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In this presentation, two basic WPT options, using radio waves an d light waves, are considered for both long-term and near-term SSP applications. In the long-term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even further distances in space. Accordingly, radio- and light- wave WPT options are compared through a wide range of criteria, each showing certain strengths. In the near-term, we plan to beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today's technology. For the near-term, a 100 kWe-class "Power Plug" Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost are considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. By using SSP and WPT technology in nearterm space science and exploration missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from Space to Earth.

  2. Wireless Power Transmission Options for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, Mark; Potter, Seth; Howell, Joseph; Mankins, John

    2002-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP), combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In this paper two basic WPT options, using radio waves and light waves, are considered for both long-term and near-term SSP applications. In the long-term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even further distances in space. Accordingly, radio- and light- wave WPT options are compared through a wide range of criteria, each showing certain strengths. In the near-term, we plan to beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today's technology. For the near-term, a 100 kWe-class 'Power Plug' Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost are considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. By using SSP and WPT technology in near-term space science and exploration missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from Space to Earth.

  3. Automated power distribution system hardware. [for space station power supplies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Paul M.; Martin, James A.; Thomason, Cindy

    1989-01-01

    An automated power distribution system testbed for the space station common modules has been developed. It incorporates automated control and monitoring of a utility-type power system. Automated power system switchgear, control and sensor hardware requirements, hardware design, test results, and potential applications are discussed. The system is designed so that the automated control and monitoring of the power system is compatible with both a 208-V, 20-kHz single-phase AC system and a high-voltage (120 to 150 V) DC system.

  4. Space Solar Power Demonstrations: Challenges and Progress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, Joe T.; Mankins, John C.; Lavoie, Anthony R. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The prospects of using electrical power beamed from space are coming closer to reality with the continued pursuit and improvements in the supporting space solar research and technology. Space Solar Power (SSP) has been explored off and on for approximately three decades as a viable alternative and clean energy source. Results produced through the more recent Space Solar Power Exploratory Research and Technology (SERT) program involving extensive participation by industry, universities, and government has provided a sound technical basis for believing that technology can be improved to the extent that SSP systems can be built, economically feasible, and successfully deployed in space. Considerable advancements have been made in conceptual designs and supporting technologies including solar power generation, wireless power transmission, power management distribution, thermal management and materials, and the integrated systems engineering assessments. Basic technologies have progressed to the point were the next logical step is to formulate and conduct sophisticated demonstrations involving prototype hardware as final proof of concepts and identify high end technology readiness levels in preparation for full scale SSP systems designs. In addition to continued technical development issues, environmental and safety issues must be addressed and appropriate actions taken to reassure the public and prepare them for the future use of this alternative renewable energy resource. Accomplishing these objectives will allow informed future decisions regarding further SSP and related R&D investments by both NASA management and prospective external partners. In particular, accomplishing these objectives will also guide further definition of SSP and related technology roadmaps including performance objectives, resources and schedules; including 'multi-purpose' applications (terrestrial markets, science, commercial development of space, and other government missions).

  5. Space Shuttle Orbiter auxiliary power unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckenna, R.; Wicklund, L.; Baughman, J.; Weary, D.

    1982-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Orbiter auxiliary power units (APUs) provide hydraulic power for the Orbiter vehicle control surfaces (rudder/speed brake, body flap, and elevon actuation systems), main engine gimbaling during ascent, landing gear deployment and steering and braking during landing. Operation occurs during launch/ascent, in-space exercise, reentry/descent, and landing/rollout. Operational effectiveness of the APU is predicated on reliable, failure-free operation during each flight, mission life (reusability) and serviceability between flights (turnaround). Along with the accumulating flight data base, the status and results of efforts to achieve these long-run objectives is presented.

  6. Space Shuttle Orbiter improved auxiliary power unit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hagemann, D. W.; Wicklund, L. L.; Loken, G. R.; Baughman, J. R.; Lance, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Orbiter Auxiliary Power Unit subsystem has operated successfully on three vehicles by meeting mission requirements and has proven the design for space operation. The current Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) operational life is limited to 12 missions and the APU turnaround between flights is longer than originally anticipated. The Improved APU objective is to increase life to 50 missions, reduce the three - APU subsystem vehicle weight by 140 lbs., and reduce turnaround time. The design changes incorporated into the Improved APU and the associated development testing are described.

  7. Summary of gas bearing applications in the field of space electric power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunn, J. H.; Ream, L. W.

    1972-01-01

    The testing and evaluation of different bearing systems to be used in the turbine-alternator-compressor of a closed Brayton cycle electric power system are described. A specification of each bearing is presented along with the results of the evaluation and a comparison of the merits and limitations of each bearing. The contribution of improved bearings to the power supply reliability, potential life, and ability to accept shock and vibration is examined.

  8. Initial tests of thermoacoustic space power engine.

    SciTech Connect

    Backhaus, S. N.

    2002-01-01

    Future NASA deep-space missions will require radioisotope-powered electric generators that are just as reliable as current RTGs, but more efficient and of higher specific power (Wikg). Thennoacoustic engines at the -1-kW scale have converted high-temperature heat into acoustic, or PV, power without moving parts at 30% efficiency. Consisting of only tubes and a few heat exchangers, thennoacoustic engines are low mass and promise to be highly reliable. Coupling a thennoacoustic engine to a low mass, highly reliable and efficient linear alternator will create a heat-driven electric generator suitable for deep-space applications. Conversion efficiency data will be presented on a demonstration thennoacoustic engine designed for the 1 00-Watt power range.

  9. Thermoacoustic power systems for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Backhaus, Scott; Tward, Emanuel; Petach, Michael

    2002-01-01

    Future NASA deep-space missions will require radioisotope-powered electric generators that are just as reliable as current RTGs, but more efficient and of higher specific power (W/kg). Thermoacoustic engines can convert high-temperature heat into acoustic, or PV, power without moving parts at 30% efficiency. Consisting of only tubes and a few heat exchangers, these engines are low mass and promise to be highly reliable. Coupling a thermoacoustic engine to a low-mass, highly reliable and efficient linear alternator will create a heat-driven electric generator suitable for deep-space applications. Data will be presented on the first tests of a demonstration thermoacoustic engine designed for the 100-Watt power range. .

  10. Automation concepts for large space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Imamura, M. S.; Moser, R.; Aichele, D.; Lanier, R., Jr.

    1983-01-01

    A study was undertaken to develop a methodology for analyzing, selecting, and implementing automation functions for multi-hundred-kW photovoltaic power systems intended for manned space station. The study involved identification of generic power system elements and their potential faults, definition of automation functions and their resulting benefits, and partitioning of automation functions between power subsystem, central spacecraft computer, and ground. Automation to a varying degree was concluded to be mandatory to meet the design and operational requirements of the space station. The key drivers are indefinite lifetime, modular growth, high performance flexibility, a need to accommodate different electrical user load equipment, on-orbit assembly/maintenance/servicing, and potentially large number of power subsystem components. Functions that are good candidates for automation via expert system approach includes battery management and electrical consumables management.

  11. Zirconium Hydride Space Power Reactor design.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Asquith, J. G.; Mason, D. G.; Stamp, S.

    1972-01-01

    The Zirconium Hydride Space Power Reactor being designed and fabricated at Atomics International is intended for a wide range of potential applications. Throughout the program a series of reactor designs have been evaluated to establish the unique requirements imposed by coupling with various power conversion systems and for specific applications. Current design and development emphasis is upon a 100 kilowatt thermal reactor for application in a 5 kwe thermoelectric space power generating system, which is scheduled to be fabricated and ground tested in the mid 70s. The reactor design considerations reviewed in this paper will be discussed in the context of this 100 kwt reactor and a 300 kwt reactor previously designed for larger power demand applications.

  12. Space power plants and power-consuming industrial systems

    SciTech Connect

    Latyshev, L.; Semashko, N.

    1996-12-31

    An opportunity to create the space power production on the basis of solar, nuclear and fusion energies is analyzed. The priority of solar power production as the most accessible and feasible in comparison with others is emphasized. However, later on, it probably will play an auxiliary role. The possibilities of fusion power production, as a basic one in future, are also considered. It is necessary to create reactors using the fueling cycle with helium-3 (instead of tritium and deuterium, later on). The reaction products--charged particles, mainly--allow one to organize the system of direct fusion energy conversion into electricity. The produced energy is expected not to be transmitted to Earth, but an industry in space is expected to be produced on its basis. The industrial (power and science-consuming) objects located on a whole number of space apparatus will form a single complex with its own basic power plant. The power transmission within the complex will be realized with high power density fluxes of microwave radiation to short distances with their receivers at the objects. The necessary correction of the apparatus positions in the complex will be done with ion and plasma thrusters. The materials present on the Moon, asteroids and on other planets can serve as raw materials for industrial objects. Such an approach will help to improve the ecological state on Earth, to eliminate the necessity in the fast energy consumption growth and to reduce the hazard of global thermal crisis.

  13. Wireless Power Transmission Options for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Seth; Henley, Mark; Davis, Dean; Born, Andrew; Howell, Joe; Mankins, John

    2008-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP), combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In the long-term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even further distances in space. In the near-term, we can beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today s technology. In recent studies, a 100 kWe-class "Power Plug" Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost have been considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. Our current assessments include consideration of orbits, wavelengths, and structural designs to meet commercial, civilian government, and military needs. Notional transmitter and receiver sizes are considered for use in supplying 5 to 15 MW of power. In the longer term, lunar or asteroidal material can be used. By using SSP and WPT technology for near-term missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from space to Earth.

  14. Wireless Power Transmission Options for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Potter, Seth; Davis, Dean; Born, Martin; Bayer, Martin; Howell, Joe; Mankins, John

    2008-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP), combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In the long term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even further distances in space. In the near term, we can beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today s technology. In recent studies, a 100 kWe-class "Power Plug" Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost have been considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. Our current assessments include consideration of orbits, wavelengths, and structural designs to meet commercial, civilian government, and military needs. Notional transmitter and receiver sizes are considered for use in supplying 5 to 40 MW of power. In the longer term, lunar or asteroidal material can be used. By using SSP and WPT technology for near-term missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from space to Earth.

  15. Wireless Power Transmission Options for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, M. W.; Potter, Seth D.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Fikes, John C. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Space Solar Power (SSP). combined with Wireless Power Transmission (WPT), offers the far-term potential to solve major energy problems on Earth. In this paper WPT options using radio waves and light waves are considered for both long-term and near-term SSP applications. In the long-term, we aspire to beam energy to Earth from geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), or even from the moon. Accordingly, radio- and light- wave WPT options are compared through a wide range of criteria, each showing certain strengths. In the near-term. we plan to beam power over more moderate distances, but still stretch the limits of today's technology. For the near-term, a 100 kWe-class 'Power Plug' Satellite and a 10 kWe-class Lunar Polar Solar Power outpost are considered as the first steps in using these WPT options for SSP. By using SSP and WPT technology in near-term space science and exploration missions, we gain experience needed for sound decisions in designing and developing larger systems to send power from Space to Earth. Power Relay Satellites are also considered as a potential near- to mid-term means to transmit power from Earth to Space and back to distant receiving sites on Earth. This paper briefly considers microwave and laser beaming for an initial Power Relay Satellite system, and concludes that anticipated advancements in laser technology make laser-based concepts more attractive than microwave-based concepts. Social and economic considerations are briefly discussed, and a conceptual description for a laser-based system is offered for illustrative purposes. Continuing technological advances are needed if laser-based systems are to become practical and efficient or near- and far-term applications.

  16. Growing the Space Station's electrical power plant

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sundberg, Gale R.

    1990-01-01

    For over a decade NASA LeRC has been defining, demonstrating, and evaluating power electronic components and multi-kilowatt, multiply redundant, electrical power systems as part of OAST charter. Whether one considers aircraft (commercial transport/military), Space Station Freedom, growth station, launch vehicles, or the new Human Exploration Initiative, the conclusions remain the same: high frequency AC power distribution and control is superior to all other approaches for achieving a fast, smart, safe, versatile, and growable electrical power system that will meet a wide range of mission options. To meet the cost and operability goals of future aerospace missions that require significantly higher electrical power and longer durations, we must learn to integrate multiple technologies in ways that enhance overall system synergisms. The way NASA is doing business in space electric power is challenged and some approaches for evolving large space vehicles and platforms in well constructed steps to provide safe, ground testable, growable, smart systems that provide simple, replicative logic structures, which enable hardware and software verification, validation, and implementation are proposed. Viewgraphs are included.

  17. Space Shuttle Upgrades Advanced Hydraulic Power System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Three Auxiliary Power Units (APU) on the Space Shuttle Orbiter each provide 145 hp shaft power to a hydraulic pump which outputs 3000 psi hydraulic fluid to 41 hydraulic actuators. A hydrazine fuel powered APU utilized throughout the Shuttle program has undergone many improvements, but concerns remain with flight safety, operational cost, critical failure modes, and hydrazine related hazards. The advanced hydraulic power system (AHPS), also known as the electric APU, is being evaluated as an upgrade to replace the hydrazine APU. The AHPS replaces the high-speed turbine and hydrazine fuel supply system with a battery power supply and electric motor/pump that converts 300 volt electrical power to 3000 psi hydraulic power. AHPS upgrade benefits include elimination of toxic hydrazine propellant to improve flight safety, reduction in hazardous ground processing operations, and improved reliability. Development of this upgrade provides many interesting challenges and includes development of four hardware elements that comprise the AHPS system: Battery - The battery provides a high voltage supply of power using lithium ion cells. This is a large battery that must provide 28 kilowatt hours of energy over 99 minutes of operation at 300 volts with a peak power of 130 kilowatts for three seconds. High Voltage Power Distribution and Control (PD&C) - The PD&C distributes electric power from the battery to the EHDU. This 300 volt system includes wiring and components necessary to distribute power and provide fault current protection. Electro-Hydraulic Drive Unit (EHDU) - The EHDU converts electric input power to hydraulic output power. The EHDU must provide over 90 kilowatts of stable, output hydraulic power at 3000 psi with high efficiency and rapid response time. Cooling System - The cooling system provides thermal control of the Orbiter hydraulic fluid and EHDU electronic components. Symposium presentation will provide an overview of the AHPS upgrade, descriptions of the four

  18. The NASA Advanced Space Power Systems Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Hoberecht, Mark A.; Bennett, William R.; Lvovich, Vadim F.; Bugga, Ratnakumar

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the NASA Advanced Space Power Systems Project is to develop advanced, game changing technologies that will provide future NASA space exploration missions with safe, reliable, light weight and compact power generation and energy storage systems. The development effort is focused on maturing the technologies from a technology readiness level of approximately 23 to approximately 56 as defined in the NASA Procedural Requirement 7123.1B. Currently, the project is working on two critical technology areas: High specific energy batteries, and regenerative fuel cell systems with passive fluid management. Examples of target applications for these technologies are: extending the duration of extravehicular activities (EVA) with high specific energy and energy density batteries; providing reliable, long-life power for rovers with passive fuel cell and regenerative fuel cell systems that enable reduced system complexity. Recent results from the high energy battery and regenerative fuel cell technology development efforts will be presented. The technical approach, the key performance parameters and the technical results achieved to date in each of these new elements will be included. The Advanced Space Power Systems Project is part of the Game Changing Development Program under NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate.

  19. Space Solar Power Management and Distribution (PMAD)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lynch, Thomas H.

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents, in viewgraph form, SSP PMAD (Space Solar Power Management and Distribution). The topics include: 1) Architecture; 2) Backside Thermal View; 3) Solar Array Interface; 4) Transformer design and risks; 5) Twelve phase rectifier; 6) Antenna (80V) Converters; 7) Distribution Cables; 8) Weight Analysis; and 9) PMAD Summary.

  20. An analysis of space power system masses

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kenny, Barbara H.; Cull, Ronald C.; Kankam, M. David

    1990-01-01

    Various space electrical power system masses are analyzed with particular emphasis on the power management and distribution (PMAD) portion. The electrical power system (EPS) is divided into functional blocks: source, interconnection, storage, transmission, distribution, system control and load. The PMAD subsystem is defined as all the blocks between the source, storage and load, plus the power conditioning equipment required for the source, storage and load. The EPS mass of a wide range of spacecraft is then classified as source, storage or PMAD and tabulated in a database. The intent of the database is to serve as a reference source for PMAD masses of existing and in-design spacecraft. The PMAD masses in the database range from 40 kg/kW to 183 kg/kW across the spacecraft systems studied. Factors influencing the power system mass are identified. These include the total spacecraft power requirements, total amount of load capacity and physical size of the spacecraft. It is found that a new utility class of power systems, represented by Space Station Freedom, is evolving.

  1. Solar Power Beaming: From Space to Earth

    SciTech Connect

    Rubenchik, A M; Parker, J M; Beach, R J; Yamamoto, R M

    2009-04-14

    Harvesting solar energy in space and power beaming the collected energy to a receiver station on Earth is a very attractive way to help solve mankind's current energy and environmental problems. However, the colossal and expensive 'first step' required in achieving this goal has to-date stifled its initiation. In this paper, we will demonstrate that recent advance advances in laser and optical technology now make it possible to deploy a space-based system capable of delivering 1 MW of energy to a terrestrial receiver station, via a single unmanned commercial launch into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Figure 1 depicts the overall concept of our solar power beaming system, showing a large solar collector in space, beaming a coherent laser beam to a receiving station on Earth. We will describe all major subsystems and provide technical and economic discussion to support our conclusions.

  2. Optimal design of a space power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chun, Young W.; Braun, James F.

    1990-01-01

    The aerospace industry, like many other industries, regularly applies optimization techniques to develop designs which reduce cost, maximize performance, and minimize weight. The desire to minimize weight is of particular importance in space-related products since the costs of launch are directly related to payload weight, and launch vehicle capabilities often limit the allowable weight of a component or system. With these concerns in mind, this paper presents the optimization of a space-based power generation system for minimum mass. The goal of this work is to demonstrate the use of optimization techniques on a realistic and practical engineering system. The power system described uses thermoelectric devices to convert heat into electricity. The heat source for the system is a nuclear reactor. Waste heat is rejected from the system to space by a radiator.

  3. Small high cooling power space cooler

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, T. V.; Raab, J.; Durand, D.; Tward, E.

    2014-01-29

    The small High Efficiency pulse tube Cooler (HEC) cooler, that has been produced and flown on a number of space infrared instruments, was originally designed to provide cooling of 10 W @ 95 K. It achieved its goal with >50% margin when limited by the 180 W output ac power of its flight electronics. It has also been produced in 2 stage configurations, typically for simultaneously cooling of focal planes to temperatures as low as 35 K and optics at higher temperatures. The need for even higher cooling power in such a low mass cryocooler is motivated by the advent of large focal plane arrays. With the current availability at NGAS of much larger power cryocooler flight electronics, reliable long term operation in space with much larger cooling powers is now possible with the flight proven 4 kg HEC mechanical cooler. Even though the single stage cooler design can be re-qualified for those larger input powers without design change, we redesigned both the linear and coaxial version passive pulse tube cold heads to re-optimize them for high power cooling at temperatures above 130 K while rejecting heat to 300 K. Small changes to the regenerator packing, the re-optimization of the tuned inertance and no change to the compressor resulted in the increased performance at 150 K. The cooler operating at 290 W input power achieves 35 W@ 150 K corresponding to a specific cooling power at 150 K of 8.25 W/W and a very high specific power of 72.5 W/Kg. At these powers the cooler still maintains large stroke, thermal and current margins. In this paper we will present the measured data and the changes to this flight proven cooler that were made to achieve this increased performance.

  4. SOSPAC- SOLAR SPACE POWER ANALYSIS CODE

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Selcuk, M. K.

    1994-01-01

    The Solar Space Power Analysis Code, SOSPAC, was developed to examine the solar thermal and photovoltaic power generation options available for a satellite or spacecraft in low earth orbit. SOSPAC is a preliminary systems analysis tool and enables the engineer to compare the areas, weights, and costs of several candidate electric and thermal power systems. The configurations studied include photovoltaic arrays and parabolic dish systems to produce electricity only, and in various combinations to provide both thermal and electric power. SOSPAC has been used for comparison and parametric studies of proposed power systems for the NASA Space Station. The initial requirements are projected to be about 40 kW of electrical power, and a similar amount of thermal power with temperatures above 1000 degrees Centigrade. For objects in low earth orbit, the aerodynamic drag caused by suitably large photovoltaic arrays is very substantial. Smaller parabolic dishes can provide thermal energy at a collection efficiency of about 80%, but at increased cost. SOSPAC allows an analysis of cost and performance factors of five hybrid power generating systems. Input includes electrical and thermal power requirements, sun and shade durations for the satellite, and unit weight and cost for subsystems and components. Performance equations of the five configurations are derived, and the output tabulates total weights of the power plant assemblies, area of the arrays, efficiencies, and costs. SOSPAC is written in FORTRAN IV for batch execution and has been implemented on an IBM PC computer operating under DOS with a central memory requirement of approximately 60K of 8 bit bytes. This program was developed in 1985.

  5. Small high cooling power space cooler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, T. V.; Raab, J.; Durand, D.; Tward, E.

    2014-01-01

    The small High Efficiency pulse tube Cooler (HEC) cooler, that has been produced and flown on a number of space infrared instruments, was originally designed to provide cooling of 10 W @ 95 K. It achieved its goal with >50% margin when limited by the 180 W output ac power of its flight electronics. It has also been produced in 2 stage configurations, typically for simultaneously cooling of focal planes to temperatures as low as 35 K and optics at higher temperatures. The need for even higher cooling power in such a low mass cryocooler is motivated by the advent of large focal plane arrays. With the current availability at NGAS of much larger power cryocooler flight electronics, reliable long term operation in space with much larger cooling powers is now possible with the flight proven 4 kg HEC mechanical cooler. Even though the single stage cooler design can be re-qualified for those larger input powers without design change, we redesigned both the linear and coaxial version passive pulse tube cold heads to re-optimize them for high power cooling at temperatures above 130 K while rejecting heat to 300 K. Small changes to the regenerator packing, the re-optimization of the tuned inertance and no change to the compressor resulted in the increased performance at 150 K. The cooler operating at 290 W input power achieves 35 W@ 150 K corresponding to a specific cooling power at 150 K of 8.25 W/W and a very high specific power of 72.5 W/Kg. At these powers the cooler still maintains large stroke, thermal and current margins. In this paper we will present the measured data and the changes to this flight proven cooler that were made to achieve this increased performance.

  6. Solar dynamic power module design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    Studies have shown that use of solar dynamic (SD) power for the growth eras of the Space Station Freedom program will result in life cycle cost savings when compared to power supplied by photovoltaic sources. In the SD power module, a concentrator collects and focuses solar energy into a heat receiver which has integral thermal energy storage. A power conversion unit (PCU) based on the closed Brayton thermodynamic cycle removes thermal energy from the receiver and converts that energy to electrical energy. Since the closed Brayton cycle is a single phase gas cycle, the conversion hardware (heat exchangers, turbine, compressor, etc.) can be designed for operation in low earth orbit, and tested with confidence in test facilities on earth before launch into space. The concentrator subassemblies will be aligned and the receiver/PCU/radiator combination completely assembled and charged with gas and cooling liquid on earth before launch to, and assembly on orbit.

  7. Solar dynamic power module design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    Studies have shown that the use of solar dynamic (SD) power for the growth areas of the Space Station Freedom program will result in life cycle cost savings when compared to power supplied by photovoltaic sources. In the SD power module, a concentrator collects and focuses solar energy into a heat receiver which has integral thermal energy storage. A Power Conversion Unit (PCU) based on the closed Brayton cycle removes thermal energy from the receiver and converts that energy to electrical energy. Since the closed Brayton cycle is a single phase gas cycle, the conversion hardware (heat exchangers, turbine, compressor, etc.) can be designed for operation in low earth orbit, and tested with confidence in test facilities on earth before launch into space. The concentrator subassemblies will be aligned and the receiver/PCU/radiator combination completely assembled and charged with gas and cooling liquid on earth before launch to, and assembly on, orbit.

  8. Cost and price estimate of Brayton and Stirling engines in selected production volumes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fortgang, H. R.; Mayers, H. F.

    1980-01-01

    The methods used to determine the production costs and required selling price of Brayton and Stirling engines modified for use in solar power conversion units are presented. Each engine part, component and assembly was examined and evaluated to determine the costs of its material and the method of manufacture based on specific annual production volumes. Cost estimates are presented for both the Stirling and Brayton engines in annual production volumes of 1,000, 25,000, 100,000 and 400,000. At annual production volumes above 50,000 units, the costs of both engines are similar, although the Stirling engine costs are somewhat lower. It is concluded that modifications to both the Brayton and Stirling engine designs could reduce the estimated costs.

  9. Thermodynamic design of 10 kW Brayton cryocooler for HTS cable

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Ho-Myung; Park, C. W.; Yang, H. S.; Sohn, Song Ho; Lim, Ji Hyun; Oh, S. R.; Hwang, Si Dole

    2012-06-01

    Thermodynamic design of Brayton cryocooler is presented as part of an ongoing governmental project in Korea, aiming at 1 km HTS power cable in the transmission grid. The refrigeration requirement is 10 kW for continuously sub-cooling liquid nitrogen from 72 K to 65 K. An ideal Brayton cycle for this application is first investigated to examine the fundamental features. Then a practical cycle for a Brayton cryocooler is designed, taking into account the performance of compressor, expander, and heat exchangers. Commercial software (Aspen HYSYS) is used for simulating the refrigeration cycle with real fluid properties of refrigerant. Helium is selected as a refrigerant, as it is superior to neon in thermodynamic efficiency. The operating pressure and flow rate of refrigerant are decided with a constraint to avoid the freezing of liquid nitrogen

  10. Generalized model and optimum performance of an irreversible quantum Brayton engine with spin systems.

    PubMed

    Wu, Feng; Chen, Lingen; Sun, Fengrui; Wu, Chih; Li, Qing

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to establish a model of an irreversible quantum Brayton engine using many noninteracting spin systems as the working substance and consisting of two irreversible adiabatic and two isomagnetic field processes. The time evolution of the total magnetic moment M is determined by solving the generalized quantum master equation of an open system in the Heisenberg picture. The time of two irreversible adiabatic processes is considered based on finite-rate evolution. The relationship between the power output P and the efficiency eta for the irreversible quantum Brayton engine with spin systems is derived. The optimally operating region (or criteria) for the engine is determined. The influences of these important parameters on the performances (P and eta) of the engine are discussed. The results obtained herein will be useful for the further understanding and the selection of the optimal operating conditions for an irreversible quantum Brayton engine with spin systems.

  11. Systems Analyses of Advanced Brayton Cycles

    SciTech Connect

    A.D. Rao; D.J. Francuz; J.D. Maclay; J. Brouwer; A. Verma; M. Li; G.S. Samuelsen

    2008-09-30

    The main objective is to identify and assess advanced improvements to the Brayton Cycle (such as but not limited to firing temperature, pressure ratio, combustion techniques, intercooling, fuel or combustion air augmentation, enhanced blade cooling schemes) that will lead to significant performance improvements in coal based power systems. This assessment is conducted in the context of conceptual design studies (systems studies) that advance state-of-art Brayton cycles and result in coal based efficiencies equivalent to 65% + on natural gas basis (LHV), or approximately an 8% reduction in heat rate of an IGCC plant utilizing the H class steam cooled gas turbine. H class gas turbines are commercially offered by General Electric and Mitsubishi for natural gas based combined cycle applications with 60% efficiency (LHV) and it is expected that such machine will be offered for syngas applications within the next 10 years. The studies are being sufficiently detailed so that third parties will be able to validate portions or all of the studies. The designs and system studies are based on plants for near zero emissions (including CO{sub 2}). Also included in this program is the performance evaluation of other advanced technologies such as advanced compression concepts and the fuel cell based combined cycle. The objective of the fuel cell based combined cycle task is to identify the desired performance characteristics and design basis for a gas turbine that will be integrated with an SOFC in Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell (IGFC) applications. The goal is the conceptualization of near zero emission (including CO{sub 2} capture) integrated gasification power plants producing electricity as the principle product. The capability of such plants to coproduce H{sub 2} is qualitatively addressed. Since a total systems solution is critical to establishing a plant configuration worthy of a comprehensive market interest, a baseline IGCC plant scheme is developed and used to study

  12. Space solar power satellite systems with a space elevator

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-01-01

    The Space Elevator (SE) represents a major paradigm shift in mankind's access to outer space. If the SE's promise of low-cost access to space can be realized, the economics of space-based business endeavors becomes much more feasible. In this paper, we describe a Solar Power Satellite (SPS) system and estimate its costs within the context of an SE. We also offer technical as well as financial comparisons between SPS and terrestrial solar photovoltaic technologies. Even though SPS systems have been designed for over 35 years, technologies pertinent to SPS systems are continually evolving. One of the designs we present includes an evolving technology, optical rectennas. SPS systems could be a long-term energy source that is clean, technologically feasible, and virtually limitless. Moreover, electrical energy could be distributed inexpensively to remote areas where such power does not currently exist, thereby raising the quality of life of the people living in those areas. The energy 'playing field' will be leveled across the world and the resulting economic growth will improve the lot of humankind everywhere.

  13. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houts, M. G.; Poston, D. I.; Ranken, W. A.

    1995-04-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) that provides power only, and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS) that provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, greatly facilitating system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure greater than 10-year system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, a full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. The baseline HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of about 500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program, demonstrating an operational lifetime of decades. At higher thermal power, the same core can produce over 10 kWe using thermoelectric converters, and over 50 kWe using advanced power conversion systems.

  14. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Ranken, W.A.

    1995-12-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: The Heatpipe Power System (HPS), which provides power only; and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS), which provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, which greatly facilitates system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing of all modes is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and to ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single-point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, the fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure >10-yr system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. One design for a low-power HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of {approximately}500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot-shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program and has demonstrated an operational lifetime of decades. A core with a larger number of smaller modules (same overall size) can be used to provide up to 500 kWt to a power conversion subsystem, and a slightly larger core using a higher heatpipe to fuel ratio can provide >1 MWt.

  15. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Ranken, W.A.

    1995-07-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) that provides power only, and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS) that provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, greatly facilitating system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure greater than 10-year system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, a full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. The baseline HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of about 500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program, demonstrating an operational lifetime of decades. At higher thermal power, the same core can produce over 10 kWe using thermoelectric converters, and over 50 kWe using advanced power conversion systems.

  16. Space power stations - Space construction, transportation, and pre-development, space project requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Piland, R.

    1977-01-01

    Several features of solar energy space power stations are discussed. An end-to-end analysis of a system using silicon solar cells is reviewed, and the merits of construction in low earth orbit and in geosynchronous orbit are compared. A suggested space construction procedure, described in detail, would use a 'beam builder', an automated machine, to fabricate the first sublevel truss structural members from strip stock material that is stored on reels. An assembly jig would then be used to position a number of beam builders in the proper location and to support the beams as they are produced to facilitate joining them to form the final space power station structure. Space projects for evaluating the construction concept are proposed, and a possible space construction sequence is considered. Space transportation that would be required in conjunction with the space power station is described.

  17. Nuclear Power Sources for Space Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kukharkin, N. E.; Ponomarev-Stepnoi, N. N.; Usov, V. A.

    This chapter contains the information about nuclear power sources for space systems. Reactor nuclear sources are considered that use the energy of heavy nuclei fission generated by controlled chain fission reaction, as well as the isotope ones producing heat due to the energy of nuclei radioactive decay. Power of reactor nuclear sources is determined by the rate of heavy nuclei fission that may be controlled within a wide range from the zero up to the nominal one. Thermal power of isotope sources cannot be controlled. It is determined by the type and quantity of isotopes and decreases in time due to their radioactive decay. Both, in the reactor sources and in the isotope ones, nuclear power is converted into the thermal one that may be consumed for the coolant heating to produce thrust (Nuclear Power Propulsion System, NPPS) or may be converted into electricity (Nuclear Power Source, NPS) dynamically (a turbine generator) or statically (thermoelectric or thermionic converters). Electric power is supplied to the airborne equipment or is used to produce thrust in electric (ionic, plasma) low-thrust engines. A brief description is presented of the different nuclear systems with reactor and isotopic power sources implemented in Russia and the USA. The information is also given about isotopic sources for the ground-based application, mainly for navigation systems.

  18. High Temperature Fusion Reactor Cooling Using Brayton Cycle Based Partial Energy Conversion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, Albert J.; Sawicki, Jerzy T.

    2003-01-01

    For some future space power systems using high temperature nuclear heat sources most of the output energy will be used in other than electrical form, and only a fraction of the total thermal energy generated will need to be converted to electrical work. The paper describes the conceptual design of such a partial energy conversion system, consisting of a high temperature fusion reactor operating in series with a high temperature radiator and in parallel with dual closed cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power systems, also referred to as closed Brayton cycle (CBC) systems, which are supplied with a fraction of the reactor thermal energy for conversion to electric power. Most of the fusion reactor's output is in the form of charged plasma which is expanded through a magnetic nozzle of the interplanetary propulsion system. Reactor heat energy is ducted to the high temperature series radiator utilizing the electric power generated to drive a helium gas circulation fan. In addition to discussing the thermodynamic aspects of the system design the authors include a brief overview of the gas turbine and fan rotor-dynamics and proposed bearing support technology along with performance characteristics of the three phase AC electric power generator and fan drive motor.

  19. Wireless Power Transfer for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramos, Gabriel Vazquez; Yuan, Jiann-Shiun

    2011-01-01

    This paper introduces an implementation for magnetic resonance wireless power transfer for space applications. The analysis includes an equivalent impedance study, loop material characterization, source/load resonance coupling technique, and system response behavior due to loads variability. System characterization is accomplished by executing circuit design from analytical equations and simulations using Matlab and SPICE. The theory was validated by a combination of different experiments that includes loop material consideration, resonance coupling circuits considerations, electric loads considerations and a small scale proof-of-concept prototype. Experiment results shows successful wireless power transfer for all the cases studied. The prototype provided about 4.5 W of power to the load at a separation of -5 cm from the source using a power amplifier rated for 7 W.

  20. Solar dynamic space power system heat rejection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carlson, A. W.; Gustafson, E.; Mclallin, K. L.

    1986-01-01

    A radiator system concept is described that meets the heat rejection requirements of the NASA Space Station solar dynamic power modules. The heat pipe radiator is a high-reliability, high-performance approach that is capable of erection in space and is maintainable on orbit. Results are present of trade studies that compare the radiator system area and weight estimates for candidate advanced high performance heat pipes. The results indicate the advantages of the dual-slot heat pipe radiator for high temperature applications as well as its weight-reduction potential over the range of temperatures to be encountered in the solar dynamic heat rejection systems.

  1. The Space Technology 5 Power System Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, Karen D.; Hernandez-Pellerano, Amri I.

    2005-01-01

    The Space Technology 5 (ST5) mission is a NASA New Millennium Program (NMP) project that was developed to validate new technologies for future missions and to demonstrate the feasibility of building and launching multiple, miniature spacecraft that can operate as science probes, collecting research quality measurements. The three satellites in the ST5 constellation will be launched into a sun synchronous LEO (Low Earth Orbit) in early 2006. ST5 fits in the 25 kilogram and 24 Watt class of miniature but fully capable spacecraft. The power system design features the use of new technology components and a low voltage power bus. In order to hold the mass and volume low and to qualify new technologies for future use in space, high efficiency triple junction solar cells and a lithium ion battery were baselined into the design. The Power System Electronics (PSE) was designed for a high radiation environment and uses hybrid microcircuits for power switching and over current protection. The ST5 power system architecture and technologies will be presented.

  2. Space nuclear power applied to electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vicente, F. A.; Karras, T.; Darooka, D.; Isenberg, L.

    1989-01-01

    Space reactor power systems with characteristics ideal for advanced spacecraft systems applications are discussed. These characteristics are: high power-to-weight ratio (15 to 33 W/kg); high volume density (high ballistic coefficient); no preferential orientation in orbit; long operational life; high reliability; and total launch and operational safety. These characteristics allow the use of electric propulsion to raise spacecraft from low earth parking orbits to operational orbits, greatly increasing the useful orbit payload for a given launch vehicle by eliminating the need for a separation injection stage. A proposed demonstration mission is described.

  3. NASA mission planning for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Schnyer, A. D.

    1991-01-01

    An evaluation is conducted of those aspects of the Space Exploration Initiative which stand to gain from the use of nuclear powerplants. Low-power, less than 10 kW(e) missions in question encompass the Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby, the Cassini mission to Saturn, the Mars Network mission, a solar probe, the Mars Rover Sample Return mission, the Rosetta comet nucleus sample return mission, and an outer planets orbiter/probe. Reactor power yielding 10-100 kW(e) can be used by advanced rovers and initial lunar and Martian outposts, as well as Jovian and Saturnian grand tours and sample-return missions.

  4. Thermoelectric conversion for space nuclear power

    SciTech Connect

    Ewell, R.; Stapfer, G.

    1982-08-01

    A lightweight, high performance nuclear reactor power system can offer significant advantages for many space missions. Conceptual design has been completed for the SP-100, a system which utilizes many thermoelectric converters and is capable of delivering 100 kilowatts of electrical power. A reference design, using thermoelectric materials with an average figure of merit of 1.0 X 10/sup -3/K/sup -1/ and a reactor heat pipe temperature of 1500 K, is presented which has a mass of 2280 kg not including contingency. The sensitivity of system mass to changes in the configuration and thermoelectric material properties are presented.

  5. Thermoelectric conversion for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewell, R.; Stapfer, G.

    1982-01-01

    A lightweight, high performance nuclear reactor power system can offer significant advantages for many space missions. Conceptual design has been completed for the SP-100, a system which utilizes many thermoelectric converters and is capable of delivering 100 kilowatts of electrical power. A reference design, using thermoelectric materials with an average figure of merit of 0.001/K and a reactor heat pipe temperature of 1500 K, is presented which has a mass of 2280 kg not including contingency. The sensitivity of system mass to changes in the configuration and thermoelectric material properties are presented

  6. Space station electrical power system availability study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turnquist, Scott R.; Twombly, Mark A.

    1988-01-01

    ARINC Research Corporation performed a preliminary reliability, and maintainability (RAM) anlaysis of the NASA space station Electric Power Station (EPS). The analysis was performed using the ARINC Research developed UNIRAM RAM assessment methodology and software program. The analysis was performed in two phases: EPS modeling and EPS RAM assessment. The EPS was modeled in four parts: the insolar power generation system, the eclipse power generation system, the power management and distribution system (both ring and radial power distribution control unit (PDCU) architectures), and the power distribution to the inner keel PDCUs. The EPS RAM assessment was conducted in five steps: the use of UNIRAM to perform baseline EPS model analyses and to determine the orbital replacement unit (ORU) criticalities; the determination of EPS sensitivity to on-orbit spared of ORUs and the provision of an indication of which ORUs may need to be spared on-orbit; the determination of EPS sensitivity to changes in ORU reliability; the determination of the expected annual number of ORU failures; and the integration of the power generator system model results with the distribution system model results to assess the full EPS. Conclusions were drawn and recommendations were made.

  7. Space nuclear power systems, Part 3

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S. ); Hoover, M.D. )

    1992-01-01

    This volume, number three of three, contains reviewed and edited papers that are being presented at the Ninth Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 12--16, 1992. The objective of the symposium, and hence these volumes, is to summarize the state of knowledge in the area of space nuclear power and propulsion and to provide a forum at which the most recent findings and important new developments can be presented and discussed. Topics addressed in this volume are: dynamic energy conversion; nuclear safety; nuclear thermal propulsion; simulation and modeling; heat pipe technology; flight qualification and testing; nuclear electric propulsion; micro gravity two phase flow; space power and propulsion; core materials; fuel materials; and static energy conversion.

  8. Space nuclear power systems, Part 3

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D.

    1992-02-01

    This volume, number three of three, contains reviewed and edited papers that are being presented at the Ninth Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 12--16, 1992. The objective of the symposium, and hence these volumes, is to summarize the state of knowledge in the area of space nuclear power and propulsion and to provide a forum at which the most recent findings and important new developments can be presented and discussed. Topics addressed in this volume are: dynamic energy conversion; nuclear safety; nuclear thermal propulsion; simulation and modeling; heat pipe technology; flight qualification and testing; nuclear electric propulsion; micro gravity two phase flow; space power and propulsion; core materials; fuel materials; and static energy conversion.

  9. Hubble Space Telescope electrical power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitt, Thomas H.; Bush, John R., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) electrical power system (EPS) is supplying between 2000 and 2400 W of continuous power to the electrical loads. The major components of the EPS are the 5000-W back surface field reflector solar array, the six nickel-hydrogen (NiH2) 22-cell 88-Ah batteries, and the charge current controllers, which, in conjunction with the flight computer, control battery charging. The operation of the HST EPS and the results of the HST NiH2 six-battery test are discussed, and preliminary flight data are reviewed. The HST NiH2 six-battery test is a breadboard of the HST EPS on test at Marshall Space Flight Center.

  10. Space power for an expanded vision.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braselton, W. M., Jr.

    1995-03-01

    The author suggests that the problem with the space program in the 1990s is that there are few short term benefits that the public can directly relate to and no long term vision that will motivate them. Recent surveys have shown that public would support an expanded space program if they understood the specific short term purpose that provides benefits coupled to a longer term vision. The author discusses a proposed space program that has a 100 Year Vision and a specific beneficial near term purpose. The specific near term purpose is to return to the Moon and develop He for nuclear fusion power on Earth, and then expand into the Solar System and eventually to the nearby stars with the purpose of finding new life as a long term vision. This is how the author sees it unfolding-in three Epochs. Epoch I is proposed as the minimum near term space program. Space Station Freedom in near-Earth orbit being serviced by the Space Shuttle, the National Aerospace Plane and the Single-Stage-To-Orbit Vehicle. Just above Freedom is an Earth Observing System Satellite that, as part of Mission to Planet Earth, will monitor and analyze our planet's ecological systems. There are also a great many scientific, defense and launch systems whose technologies will evolve to play critical roles in future epochs.

  11. Advanced space power PEM fuel cell systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanderborgh, N. E.; Hedstrom, J.; Huff, J. R.

    1989-01-01

    A model showing mass and heat transfer in proton exchange membrane (PEM) single cells is presented. For space applications, stack operation requiring combined water and thermal management is needed. Advanced hardware designs able to combine these two techniques are available. Test results are shown for membrane materials which can operate with sufficiently fast diffusive water transport to sustain current densities of 300 ma per square centimeter. Higher power density levels are predicted to require active water removal.

  12. Space Power Requirements for Future NASA Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulville, Daniel R.

    1996-01-01

    The key technology issues for the power requirements of future NASA space missions are: reduction in mass to enable smaller launch vehicles, faster trip time and lower cost; simpler more autonomous operations to reduce life cycle cost; reduce design, development , and qualification time to enable frequent low-cost missions; increase payload fraction and science return; enable next generation missions; stimulate U.S. industry to promote strong world leadership capability; and incorporate dual-use strategy into technology development.

  13. Frequency stable high power lasers in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byer, Robert L.

    1989-01-01

    The concept of a laser heterodyne gravity wave antenna that would operate in solar orbit with a one million kilometer path length is discussed. Laser technology that would be appropriate for operation of this space-based gravity wave detector is also discussed. The rapid progress in diode laser coupled with the energy storage and potentially sub-Hertz linewidths of solid state lasers, and the possibility of efficient frequency conversion by nonlinear optical techniques defines a technology that is appropriate for laser interferometry in space. The present status of diode-laser-pumped, solid state lasers is summarized and future progress is projected in areas of linewidth control, high average power, operating efficiency, and operational lifetimes that are essential for space-based applications.

  14. Photovoltaics for high capacity space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flood, Dennis J.

    1988-01-01

    The anticipated energy requirements of future space missions will grow by factors approaching 100 or more, particularly as a permanent manned presence is established in space. The advances that can be expected in solar array performance and lifetime, when coupled with advanced, high energy density storage batteries and/or fuel cells, will continue to make photovoltaic energy conversion a viable power generating option for the large systems of the future. The specific technologies required to satisfy any particular set of power requirements will vary from mission to mission. Nonetheless, in almost all cases the technology push will be toward lighter weight and higher efficiency, whether of solar arrays of storage devices. This paper will describe the content and direction of the current NASA program in space photovoltaic technology. The paper will also discuss projected system level capabilities of photovoltaic power systems in the context of some of the new mission opportunities under study by NASA, such as a manned lunar base, and a manned visit to Mars.

  15. Photovoltaics for high capacity space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flood, Dennis J.

    1988-01-01

    The anticipated energy requirements of future space missions will grow by factors approaching 100 or more, particularly as a permanent manned presence is established in space. The advances that can be expected in solar array performance and lifetime, when coupled with advanced, high energy density storage batteries and/or fuel cells, will continue to make photovoltaic energy conversion a viable power generating option for the large systems of the future. The specific technologies required to satisfy any particular set of power requirements will vary from mission to mission. Nonetheless, in almost all cases the technology push will be toward lighter weight and higher efficiency, whether of solar arrays or storage devices. This paper will describe the content and direction of the current NASA program in space photovoltaic technology. The paper will also discuss projected system level capabilities of photovoltaic power systems in the context of some of the new mission opportunities under study by NASA, such as a manned lunar base, and a manned visit to Mars.

  16. Spacecraft Power Systems Engineering: Solutions for NASA's Manned Space Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, John H.

    2007-01-01

    An overview of spacecraft power systems is presented, with a focus on applications in the manned space program. The topics include: 1) History; 2) State-of-the-art; 3) Development directions; 4) Focus on applications in the manned space program led from JSC; 5) Power Systems Engineering Trade Space; 6) Power Generation and Energy Storage; 7) Power Distribution and Control; and 8) Actuation

  17. Sandwich module testing for space solar power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaffe, Paul

    Solar power satellites have been envisioned as a means to provide electricity for terrestrial use. The approach entails collection of solar energy in space and its wireless transmission to the earth. This potentially gives the benefit of provision of baseload power while avoiding the losses due to the day/night cycle and tropospheric effects that are associated with terrestrial solar power. Proponents have contended that the implementation of such systems could offer energy security, environmental, and technological advantages to those who would undertake their development. Among recent implementations commonly proposed for SSP, the Modular Symmetrical Concentrator and other modular concepts have received considerable attention. Each employs an array of modules for performing conversion of concentrated sunlight into microwaves or laser beams for transmission to earth. The research described herein details efforts in the development and testing of photovoltaic arrays, power electronics, microwave conversion electronics, and antennas for 2.45 GHz microwave-based “ sandwich” module prototypes. Prototypes were designed, fabricated, and subjected to the challenging conditions inherent in the space environment, including the solar concentration levels in which an array of modules might be required to operate.

  18. 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.

  19. Component technology for space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R.

    1982-01-01

    The Lewis/OAST program for the development of Component Technology for Space Power Systems is described. The program is divided into five generic areas: semiconductor devices (transistors, thyristors, and diodes); conductors (materials and transmission lines); dielectrics; magnetic devices; and thermal control devices. Examples of progress in each of the five areas is discussed. Bipolar power transistors up to 1000 V at 100 A with a gain of 10 and a 0.5 mu sec rise and fall time are presented. A new class of semiconductor devices with a possibility of switching 1000 000 V is described. Several 100 kW rotary power transformer designs and a 25 kW, 20 kHz transformer weighting 3.2 kg have been developed. Progress on the creation of diamond-like films for thermal devices and intercalated carbon fibers with the strength of steel and the conductivity of copper at one third the mass of copper is presented.

  20. Thermionic reactors for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Homeyer, W. G.; Merrill, M. H.; Holland, J. W.; Fisher, C. R.; Allen, D. T.

    1985-01-01

    Thermionic reactor designs for a variety of space power applications spanning the range from 5 kWe to 3 MWe are described. In all of these reactors, nuclear heat is converted directly to electrical energy in thermionic fuel elements (TFEs). A circulating reactor coolant carries heat from the core of TFEs directly to a heat rejection radiator system. The recent design of a thermionic reactor to meet the SP-100 requirements is emphasized. Design studies of reactors at other power levels show that the same TFE can be used over a broad range in power, and that design modifications can extend the range to many megawatts. The design of the SP-100 TFE is similar to that of TFEs operated successfully in test reactors, but with design improvements to extend the operating lifetime to seven years.

  1. Historical overview of the US use of space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1989-01-01

    Since 1961, the United States has successfully flown 35 space nuclear power sources on 20 space systems. These space systems have included the Apollo, Pioneer, Viking and Voyager spacecraft launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and navigation and communications satellites launched by the Department of Defense. These power sources performed as planned and i8n many cases exceeded their power requirements and/or lifetimes. All of the power sources met their safety requirements. This paper surveys past uses of space nuclear power in the US and thus serves as a historical framework for other papers in this Conference dealing with future US applications of space nuclear power.

  2. Performance tuned radioisotope thermophotovoltaic space power system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horne, W. E.; Morgan, M. D.; Saban, S. B.

    1998-01-01

    The trend in space exploration is to use many small, low-cost, special-purpose satellites instead of the large, high-cost, multipurpose satellites used in the past. As a result of this new trend, there is a need for lightweight, efficient, and compact radioisotope fueled electrical power generators. This paper presents an improved design for a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) space power system in the 10 W to 20 W class which promises up to 37.6 watts at 30.1% efficiency and 25 W/kg specific power. The RTPV power system concept has been studied and compared to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) radioisotope, Stirling generators and alkali metal thermal electric conversion (AMTEC) generators (Schock, 1995). The studies indicate that RTPV has the potential to be the lightest weight, most efficient and most reliable of the three concepts. However, in spite of the efficiency and light weight, the size of the thermal radiator required to eliminate excess heat from the PV cells and the lack of actual system operational performance data are perceived as obstacles to RTPV acceptance for space applications. Between 1994 and 1997 EDTEK optimized the key converter components for an RTPV generator under Department of Energy (DOE) funding administered via subcontracts to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) and EG&G Mound Applied Technologies Laboratory (Horne, 1995). The optimized components included a resonant micromesh infrared bandpass filter, low-bandgap GaSb PV cells and cell arrays. Parametric data from these components were supplied to OSC who developed and analyzed the performance of 100 W, 20 W, and 10 W RTPV generators. These designs are described in references (Schock 1994, 1995 and 1996). Since the performance of each class of supply was roughly equivalent and simply scaled with size, this paper will consider the OSC 20 W design as a baseline. The baseline 20-W RTPV design was developed by Schock, et al of OSC and has been presented elsewhere. The

  3. Green Applications for Space Power Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Joel (Principal Investigator)

    2014-01-01

    Spacecraft propulsion and power for many decades has relied on Hydrazine monopropellant technology for auxiliary power units (APU), orbital circularization, orbit raising/lowering and attitude control. However, Hydrazine is toxic and therefore requires special ground handling procedures to ensure launch crew safety. The Swedish Company ECAPS has developed a technology based upon the propellant Ammonium Dinitramide (ADN) that offers higher performance, higher density and reduced ground handling support than Hydrazine. This blended propellant is called LMP-103S. Currently, the United States Air Force (USAF) is pursuing a technology based on Hydroxyl Ammonium Nitrate (HAN, otherwise known as AF-M315E) with industry partners Aerojet and Moog. Based on the advantages offered by these propellants, MSFC should explore powering APU's with these propellants. Due to the availability of space hardware, the principal investigator has found a collection of USAF hardware, that will act as a surrogate, which operates on a Hydrazine derivative. The F-16 fighter jet uses H-70 or 30% diluted Hydrazine for an Emergency Power Unit (EPU) which supplies power to the plane. The PI has acquired two EPU's from planes slated for destruction at the Davis Monthan AFB. This CIF will include a partnership with 2 other NASA Centers who are individually seeking seed funds from their respective organizations: Kennedy Space Center (KSC) and Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC). KSC is preparing for future flights from their launch pads that will utilize green propellants and desire a low-cost testbed in which to test and calibrate new leak detection sensors. DFRC has access to F-16's which can be used by MSFC & KSC to perform a ground test that demonstrates emergency power supplied to the jet. Neither of the green propellant alternatives have been considered nor evaluated for an APU application. Work has already been accomplished to characterize and obtain the properties of these 2 propellants

  4. Extension of the supercritical carbon dioxide brayton cycle to low reactor power operation: investigations using the coupled anl plant dynamics code-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 liquid metal reactor code system.

    SciTech Connect

    Moisseytsev, A.; Sienicki, J. J.

    2012-05-10

    Significant progress has been made on the development of a control strategy for the supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycle enabling removal of power from an autonomous load following Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) down to decay heat levels such that the S-CO{sub 2} cycle can be used to cool the reactor until decay heat can be removed by the normal shutdown heat removal system or a passive decay heat removal system such as Direct Reactor Auxiliary Cooling System (DRACS) loops with DRACS in-vessel heat exchangers. This capability of the new control strategy eliminates the need for use of a separate shutdown heat removal system which might also use supercritical CO{sub 2}. It has been found that this capability can be achieved by introducing a new control mechanism involving shaft speed control for the common shaft joining the turbine and two compressors following reduction of the load demand from the electrical grid to zero. Following disconnection of the generator from the electrical grid, heat is removed from the intermediate sodium circuit through the sodium-to-CO{sub 2} heat exchanger, the turbine solely drives the two compressors, and heat is rejected from the cycle through the CO{sub 2}-to-water cooler. To investigate the effectiveness of shaft speed control, calculations are carried out using the coupled Plant Dynamics Code-SAS4A/SASSYS-1 code for a linear load reduction transient for a 1000 MWt metallic-fueled SFR with autonomous load following. No deliberate motion of control rods or adjustment of sodium pump speeds is assumed to take place. It is assumed that the S-CO{sub 2} turbomachinery shaft speed linearly decreases from 100 to 20% nominal following reduction of grid load to zero. The reactor power is calculated to autonomously decrease down to 3% nominal providing a lengthy window in time for the switchover to the normal shutdown heat removal system or for a passive decay heat removal system to become effective. However, the

  5. A preliminary assessment of small steam Rankine and Brayton point-focusing solar modules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roschke, E. J.; Wen, L.; Steele, H.; Elgabalawi, N.; Wang, J.

    1979-01-01

    A preliminary assessment of three conceptual point-focusing distributed solar modules is presented. The basic power conversion units consist of small Brayton or Rankine engines individually coupled to two-axis, tracking, point-focusing solar collectors. An array of such modules can be linked together, via electric transport, to form a small power station. Each module also can be utilized on a stand-alone basis, as an individual power source.

  6. Life and Reliability Characteristics of TurboBrayton Coolers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breedlove, Jeff J.; Zagarola, Mark; Nellis, Greg; Dolan, Frank; Swift, Walt; Gibbon, Judith; Obenschain, Arthur F. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Wear and internal contaminants are two of the primary factors that influence reliable, long-life operation of turbo-Brayton cryocoolers. This paper describes tests that have been conducted and methods that have been developed for turbo-Brayton components and systems to assure reliable operation. The turbomachines used in these coolers employ self-acting gas bearings to support the miniature high-speed shafts, thus providing vibration-free operation. Because the bearings are self-acting, rubbing contact occurs during initial start-up and shutdown of the machines. Bearings and shafts are designed to endure multiple stop/start cycles without producing particles or surface features that would impair the proper operation of the machines. Test results are presented for a variety of turbomachines used in these systems. The tests document extended operating life and start/stop cycling behavior for machines over a range of time and temperature scales. Contaminants such as moisture and other residual gas impurities can be a source of degraded operation if they freeze out in sufficient quantities to block flow passages or if they mechanically affect the operation of the machines. A post-fabrication bakeout procedure has been successfully used to reduce residual internal contamination to acceptable levels in a closed cycle system. The process was developed during space qualification tests on the NICMOS cryocooler. Moisture levels were sampled over a six-month time interval confirming the effectiveness of the technique. A description of the bakeout procedure is presented.

  7. Investigation of heat exchangers for energy conversion systems of megawatt-class space power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ilmov, D. N.; Mamontov, Yu. N.; Skorohodov, A. S.; Smolyarov, V. A.; Filatov, N. I.

    2016-01-01

    The specifics of operation (high temperatures in excess of 1000 K and large pressure drops of several megapascals between "hot" and "cold" coolant paths) of heat exchangers in the closed circuit of a gasturbine power converter operating in accordance with the Brayton cycle with internal heat recovery are analyzed in the context of construction of space propulsion systems. The design of a heat-exchange matrix made from doubly convex stamped plates with a specific surface relief is proposed. This design offers the opportunity to construct heat exchangers with the required parameters (strength, rigidity, weight, and dimensions) for the given operating conditions. The diagram of the working area of a test bench is presented, and the experimental techniques are outlined. The results of experimental studies of heat exchange and flow regimes in the models of heat exchangers with matrices containing 50 and 300 plates for two pairs of coolants (gas-gas and gas-liquid) are detailed. A criterion equation for the Nusselt number in the range of Reynolds numbers from 200 to 20 000 is proposed. The coefficients of hydraulic resistance for each coolant path are determined as functions of the Reynolds number. It is noted that the pressure in the water path in the "gas-liquid" series of experiments remained almost constant. This suggests that no well-developed processes of vaporization occurred within this heat-exchange matrix design even when the temperature drop between gas and water was as large as tens or hundreds of degrees. The obtained results allow one to design flight heat exchangers for various space power plants.

  8. Space nuclear power systems 1989; Proceedings of the 6th Symposium, Albuquerque, NM, Jan. 8-12, 1989. Vols. 1 & 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S. (Editor); Hoover, Mark D. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    The present conference discusses such space nuclear power (SNP) issues as current design trends for SDI applications, ultrahigh heat-flux systems with curved surface subcooled nucleate boiling, design and manufacturing alternatives for low cost production of SNPs, a lightweight radioisotope heater for the Galileo mission, compatible materials for uranium fluoride-based gas core SNPs, Johnson noise thermometry for SNPs, and uranium nitride/rhenium compatibility studies for the SP-100 SNP. Also discussed are system issues in antimatter energy conversion, the thermal design of a heat source for a Brayton cycle radioisotope power system, structural and thermal analyses of an isotope heat source, a novel plant protection strategy for transient reactors, and beryllium toxicity.

  9. SP-100 space nuclear power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Given, R. W.; Morgan, R. E.; Chi, J. W. H.

    1984-01-01

    A baseline design concept for a 100 kWe nuclear reactor space power system is described. The concept was developed under contract from JPL as part of a joint program of the DOE, DOD, and NASA. The major technical and safety constraints influencing the selection of reactor operating parameters are discussed. A lithium-cooled compact fast reactor was selected as the best candidate system. The material selected for the thermoelectric conversion system was silicon germanium (SiGe) with gallium phosphide doping. Attention is given to the improved safety of the seven in-core control rod configuration.

  10. Photovoltaic array space power plus diagnostics experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burger, D. R.

    1990-01-01

    The objective is to summarize the five years of hardware development and fabrication represented by the Photovoltaic Array Space Power Plus Diagnostics (PASP Plus) Instrument. The original PASP Experiment requirements and background is presented along with the modifications which were requested to transform the PASP Experiment into the PASP Plus Instrument. The PASP Plus hardware and software is described. Test results for components and subsystems are given as well as final system tests. Also included are appendices which describe the major subsystems and present supporting documentation such as block diagrams, schematics, circuit board artwork, drawings, test procedures and test reports.

  11. Alternative power generation concepts for space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.; Juhasz, Albert J.; Jones, Barbara I.

    1986-01-01

    Trade and optimization studies that highlight the potential of solar and nuclear dynamic systems relative to photovoltaic power systems are summarized. The solar dynamic case is the LEO Stirling system, while the nuclear system is the SP-100 system goal. Nuclear systems have the potential for the lightest weight, least area, sunlight independent, radiation-durable system. Solar dynamic systems pose a stiff challenge to photovoltaic systems in the midaltitudes because of their insensitivity to the Van Allen radiation belts. While the initial operational capability space station power system is only slightly superior to the SOA PV system, with development focused on the key technologies, advanced solar dynamic systems are fully competitive in LEO midaltitudes with the advanced photovoltaic systems. Advances in energy storage systems (100 Whrs/kg required) are essential.

  12. Concept of electric propulsion realization for high power space tug

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharenkov, L. E.; Semenkin, A. V.; Solodukhin, A. E.

    2016-07-01

    Popular at the beginning of the Space Age, ambitious projects aimed at Moon, Mars, and other space objects exploration, have returned with new technology and design level. High power space tug with electric propulsion system (EPS) is mainly considered as a transport vehicle for such missions. Modern high power space tugs projects as well as their spacecraft (SC) power and propulsion systems are reviewed in the paper. The main technologies and design solutions needed for high-power EPS realization are considered.

  13. Space Power Architectures for NASA Missions: The Applicability and Benefits of Advanced Power and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The relative importance of electrical power systems as compared with other spacecraft bus systems is examined. The quantified benefits of advanced space power architectures for NASA Earth Science, Space Science, and Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) missions is then presented. Advanced space power technologies highlighted include high specific power solar arrays, regenerative fuel cells, Stirling radioisotope power sources, flywheel energy storage and attitude control, lithium ion polymer energy storage and advanced power management and distribution.

  14. Space power demonstrator engine, phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The design, analysis, and preliminary test results for a 25 kWe Free-Piston Stirling engine with integral linear alternators are described. The project is conducted by Mechanical Technology under the direction of LeRC as part of the SP-100 Nuclear Space Power Systems Program. The engine/alternator system is designed to demonstrate the following performance: (1) 25 kWe output at a specific weight less than 8 kg/kW; (2) 25 percent efficiency at a temperature ratio of 2.0; (3) low vibration (amplitude less than .003 in); (4) internal gas bearings (no wear, no external pump); and (5) heater temperature/cooler temperature from 630 to 315 K. The design approach to minimize vibration is a two-module engine (12.5 kWe per module) in a linearly-opposed configuration with a common expansion space. The low specific weight is obtained at high helium pressure (150 bar) and high frequency (105 Hz) and by using high magnetic strength (samarium cobalt) alternator magnets. Engine tests began in June 1985; 16 months following initiation of engine and test cell design. Hydrotest and consequent engine testing to date has been intentionally limited to half pressure, and electrical power output is within 15 to 20 percent of design predictions.

  15. A Space Based Solar Power Satellite System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, J. M.; Polling, D.; Ustamujic, F.; Yaldiz, R.; et al.

    2002-01-01

    (SPoTS) supplying other satellites with energy. SPoTS is due to be commercially viable and operative in 2020. of Technology designed the SPoTS during a full-time design period of six weeks as a third year final project. The team, organized according to the principles of systems engineering, first conducted a literature study on space wireless energy transfer to select the most suitable candidates for use on the SPoTS. After that, several different system concepts have been generated and evaluated, the most promising concept being worked out in greater detail. km altitude. Each SPoTS satellite has a 50m diameter inflatable solar collector that focuses all received sunlight. Then, the received sunlight is further redirected by means of four pointing mirrors toward four individual customer satellites. A market-analysis study showed, that providing power to geo-stationary communication satellites during their eclipse would be most beneficial. At arrival at geo-stationary orbit, the focused beam has expended to such an extent that its density equals one solar flux. This means that customer satellites can continue to use their regular solar arrays during their eclipse for power generation, resulting in a satellite battery mass reduction. the customer satellites in geo-stationary orbit, the transmitted energy beams needs to be pointed with very high accuracy. Computations showed that for this degree of accuracy, sensors are needed, which are not mainstream nowadays. Therefore further research must be conducted in this area in order to make these high-accuracy-pointing systems commercially attractive for use on the SPoTS satellites around 2020. Total 20-year system lifetime cost for 18 SPoT satellites are estimated at approximately USD 6 billion [FY2001]. In order to compete with traditional battery-based satellite power systems or possible ground based wireless power transfer systems the price per kWh for the customer must be significantly lower than the present one

  16. Performance tuned radioisotope thermophotovoltaic space power system

    SciTech Connect

    Horne, W.E.; Morgan, M.D.; Saban, S.B.

    1998-01-01

    The trend in space exploration is to use many small, low-cost, special-purpose satellites instead of the large, high-cost, multipurpose satellites used in the past. As a result of this new trend, there is a need for lightweight, efficient, and compact radioisotope fueled electrical power generators. This paper presents an improved design for a radioisotope thermophotovoltaic (RTPV) space power system in the 10 W to 20 W class which promises up to 37.6 watts at 30.1{percent} efficiency and 25 W/kg specific power. The RTPV power system concept has been studied and compared to radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) radioisotope, Stirling generators and alkali metal thermal electric conversion (AMTEC) generators (Schock, 1995). The studies indicate that RTPV has the potential to be the lightest weight, most efficient and most reliable of the three concepts. However, in spite of the efficiency and light weight, the size of the thermal radiator required to eliminate excess heat from the PV cells and the lack of actual system operational performance data are perceived as obstacles to RTPV acceptance for space applications. Between 1994 and 1997 EDTEK optimized the key converter components for an RTPV generator under Department of Energy (DOE) funding administered via subcontracts to Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC) and EG&G Mound Applied Technologies Laboratory (Horne, 1995). The optimized components included a resonant micromesh infrared bandpass filter, low-bandgap GaSb PV cells and cell arrays. Parametric data from these components were supplied to OSC who developed and analyzed the performance of 100 W, 20 W, and 10 W RTPV generators. These designs are described in references (Schock 1994, 1995 and 1996). Since the performance of each class of supply was roughly equivalent and simply scaled with size, this paper will consider the OSC 20 W design as a baseline. The baseline 20-W RTPV design was developed by Schock, et al of OSC and has been presented elsewhere

  17. Power components for the Space Station 20-kHz power distribution system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Renz, David D.

    1988-01-01

    Since 1984, NASA Lewis Research Center was developing high power, high frequency space power components as part of The Space Station Advanced Development program. The purpose of the Advanced Development program was to accelerate existing component programs to ensure their availability for use on the Space Station. These components include a rotary power transfer device, remote power controllers, remote bus isolators, high power semiconductor, a high power semiconductor package, high frequency-high power cable, high frequency-high power connectors, and high frequency-high power transformers. All the components were developed to the prototype level and will be installed in the Lewis Research Center Space Station power system test bed.

  18. Power components for the space station 20-kHz power distribution system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Renz, David D.

    1988-01-01

    Since 1984, NASA Lewis Research Center was developing high power, high frequency space power components as part of The Space Station Advanced Development program. The purpose of The Advanced Development program was to accelerate existing component programs to ensure their availability for use on the Space Station. These components include a rotary power transfer device, remote power controllers, remote bus isolators, high power semiconductor, a high power semiconductor package, high frequency-high power cable, high frequency-high power connectors, and high frequency-high power transformers. All the components were developed to the prototype level and will be installed in the Lewis Research Center Space Station power system test bed.

  19. Brayton heat exchange unit development program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morse, C. J.; Richard, C. E.; Duncan, J. D.

    1971-01-01

    A Brayton Heat Exchanger Unit (BHXU), consisting of a recuperator, a heat sink heat exchanger and a gas ducting system, was designed, fabricated, and tested. The design was formulated to provide a high performance unit suitable for use in a long-life Brayton-cycle powerplant. A parametric analysis and design study was performed to establish the optimum component configurations to achieve low weight and size and high reliability, while meeting the requirements of high effectiveness and low pressure drop. Layout studies and detailed mechanical and structural design were performed to obtain a flight-type packaging arrangement. Evaluation testing was conducted from which it is estimated that near-design performance can be expected with the use of He-Xe as the working fluid.

  20. Proceedings of the eighth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S. ); Hoover, M.D. . Inhalation Toxicology Research Inst.)

    1991-01-01

    The eighth symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the papers presented in Part Three of the conference proceedings in the following areas of interest: space power electronics; heat pipe technology; space nuclear fuels for propulsion reactors; power systems concepts; use of artificial intelligence in space; key issues in space nuclear power; flight qualifications and testing (including SP-100 nuclear assembly test program); microgravity two phase flow; simulation and modeling; manufacturing and processing; and space environmental effects. (MB)

  1. A Deep Space Multi-Hop Power Grid Infrastructure Using Space Solar Power Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergsrud, C. M.; Straub, J.

    2014-06-01

    A system utilizing multiple space solar power satellites to support a tortile-style orbit highway from the Earth to the Moon and/or Mars is presented. This reduces spacecraft mass and volume via removing large solar panels lowering mission costs.

  2. Solar dynamic power systems for space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irvine, Thomas B.; Nall, Marsha M.; Seidel, Robert C.

    1986-01-01

    The Parabolic Offset Linearly Actuated Reflector (POLAR) solar dynamic module was selected as the baseline design for a solar dynamic power system aboard the space station. The POLAR concept was chosen over other candidate designs after extensive trade studies. The primary advantages of the POLAR concept are the low mass moment of inertia of the module about the transverse boom and the compactness of the stowed module which enables packaging of two complete modules in the Shuttle orbiter payload bay. The fine pointing control system required for the solar dynamic module has been studied and initial results indicate that if disturbances from the station are allowed to back drive the rotary alpha joint, pointing errors caused by transient loads on the space station can be minimized. This would allow pointing controls to operate in bandwidths near system structural frequencies. The incorporation of the fine pointing control system into the solar dynamic module is fairly straightforward for the three strut concentrator support structure. However, results of structural analyses indicate that this three strut support is not optimum. Incorporation of a vernier pointing system into the proposed six strut support structure is being studied.

  3. Component technology for space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1982-01-01

    Progress made by NASA toward implementation of equipment for the conversion, management, and distribution of voltage power in space applications are reviewed. Work has been carried forward on components such as bipolar transistors, deep impurity semiconductors, conductors, dielectrics, magnetic devices, and rotary power transfer. Specific programs for the high voltage systems have included research on lightweight, low-cost conductors featuring graphite fibers containing electron donor materials for wires and cables with reduced mass and the conductivity of copper. Attention has also been given p-n junction technology for high-speed, high-current, high-voltage materials and diamond-like dielectric films which are hard, have high dielectric strength, and can operate up to 300 C. A transistor has been fabricated with a voltage of 1200 V at 100 A, with a gain of 10 and a 0.5 microsec rise/fall time. A 25 kW transformer has also been built which performs at 20 kHz with an efficiency of 99.2%.

  4. Direct conversion nuclear reactor space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, E.J.; Fitzpatrick, G.O.

    1982-08-01

    This paper presents the results of a study of space nuclear reactor power systems using either thermoelectric or thermionic energy converters. An in-core reactor design and two heat pipe cooled out-of-core reactor designs were considered. One of the out-of-core cases utilized, long heat pipes (LHP) directly coupled to the energy converter. The second utilized a larger number of smaller heat pipes (mini-pipe) radiatively coupled to the energy converter. In all cases the entire system, including power conditioning, was constrained to be launched in a single shuttle flight. Assuming presently available performance, both the LHP thermoelectric system and minipipe thermionic system, designed to produce 100 kWe for seven years, would have a specific mass near 22kg/kWe. The specific mass of the thermionic minipipe system designed for a one year mission is 165 kg/kWe due to less fuel swelling. Shuttle imposed growth limits are near 300 kWe and 1.2 MWe for the thermoelectric and thermionic systems, respectively. Converter performance improvements could double this potential, and over 10 MWe may be possible for very short missions.

  5. Space platform power system hardware testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sable, D.; Patil, A.; Sizemore, T.; Deuty, S.; Noon, J.; Cho, B. H.; Lee, F. C.

    1991-01-01

    The scope of the work on the NASA Space Platform includes the design of a multi-module, multi-phase boost regulator, and a voltage-fed, push-pull autotransformer converter for the battery discharger. A buck converter was designed for the charge regulator. Also included is the associated mode control electronics for the charger and discharger, as well as continued development of a comprehensive modeling and simulation tool for the system. The design of the multi-module boost converter is discussed for use as a battery discharger. An alternative battery discharger design is discussed using a voltage-fed, push-pull autotransformer converter. The design of the charge regulator is explained using a simple buck converter. The design of the mode controller and effects of locating the bus filter capacitor bank 20 feet away from the power ORU are discussed. A brief discussion of some alternative topologies for battery charging and discharging is included. The power system modeling is described.

  6. The economic viability of pursuing a space power system concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hazelrigg, G. A., Jr.

    1977-01-01

    The development of a space power system requires no fundamental technological breakthroughs. There are, however, uncertainties regarding the degree to which necessary developments can be achieved or exceeded. An analysis is conducted concerning the implementation of a 5000 MW space-based solar power system based on photovoltaic conversion of solar energy to electrical energy. The solar array is about 13 km long and 5 km wide. Placed in geosynchronous orbit, it provides power to the earth for 30 years. Attention is given to the economic feasibility of a space power system, a risk analysis for space power systems, and the use of the presented methodology for comparing alternative technology development programs.

  7. An Active Broad Area Cooling Model of a Cryogenic Propellant Tank with a Single Stage Reverse Turbo-Brayton Cycle Cryocooler

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guzik, Monica C.; Tomsik, Thomas M.

    2011-01-01

    As focus shifts towards long-duration space exploration missions, an increased interest in active thermal control of cryogenic propellants to achieve zero boil-off of cryogens has emerged. An active thermal control concept of considerable merit is the integration of a broad area cooling system for a cryogenic propellant tank with a combined cryocooler and circulator system that can be used to reduce or even eliminate liquid cryogen boil-off. One prospective cryocooler and circulator combination is the reverse turbo-Brayton cycle cryocooler. This system is unique in that it has the ability to both cool and circulate the coolant gas efficiently in the same loop as the broad area cooling lines, allowing for a single cooling gas loop, with the primary heat rejection occurring by way of a radiator and/or aftercooler. Currently few modeling tools exist that can size and characterize an integrated reverse turbo-Brayton cycle cryocooler in combination with a broad area cooling design. This paper addresses efforts to create such a tool to assist in gaining a broader understanding of these systems, and investigate their performance in potential space missions. The model uses conventional engineering and thermodynamic relationships to predict the preliminary design parameters, including input power requirements, pressure drops, flow rate, cycle performance, cooling lift, broad area cooler line sizing, and component operating temperatures and pressures given the cooling load operating temperature, heat rejection temperature, compressor inlet pressure, compressor rotational speed, and cryogenic tank geometry. In addition, the model allows for the preliminary design analysis of the broad area cooling tubing, to determine the effect of tube sizing on the reverse turbo-Brayton cycle system performance. At the time this paper was written, the model was verified to match existing theoretical documentation within a reasonable margin. While further experimental data is needed for full

  8. ISS Update: Powering the Space Exploration Vehicle

    NASA Video Gallery

    In the Space Vehicle Mock-Up Facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA Public Affairs Officer Brandi Dean talks with Abbie Ryan, lead engineer for the fuel cell of the Multi-Mission Space E...

  9. NASA's Space Launch System: Powering Forward

    NASA Video Gallery

    One year ago, NASA announced a new capability for America's space program: a heavy-lift rocket to launch humans farther into space than ever before. See how far the Space Launch System has come in ...

  10. Solar dynamic power system definition study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallin, Wayne E.; Friefeld, Jerry M.

    1988-01-01

    The solar dynamic power system design and analysis study compared Brayton, alkali-metal Rankine, and free-piston Stirling cycles with silicon planar and GaAs concentrator photovoltaic power systems for application to missions beyond the Phase 2 Space Station level of technology for all power systems. Conceptual designs for Brayton and Stirling power systems were developed for 35 kWe and 7 kWe power levels. All power systems were designed for 7-year end-of-life conditions in low Earth orbit. LiF was selected for thermal energy storage for the solar dynamic systems. Results indicate that the Stirling cycle systems have the highest performance (lowest weight and area) followed by the Brayton cycle, with photovoltaic systems considerably lower in performance. For example, based on the performance assumptions used, the planar silicon power system weight was 55 to 75 percent higher than for the Stirling system. A technology program was developed to address areas wherein significant performance improvements could be realized relative to the current state-of-the-art as represented by Space Station. In addition, a preliminary evaluation of hardenability potential found that solar dynamic systems can be hardened beyond the hardness inherent in the conceptual designs of this study.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Paul K.; Hervol, David S.

    2006-01-01

    The Brayton Power Conversion Unit (BPCU) is a closed cycle system with an inert gas working fluid. It is located in Vacuum Facility 6 at NASA Glenn Research Center. Was used in previous solar dynamic technology efforts (SDGTD). Modified to its present configuration by replacing the solar receiver with an electrical resistance heater. The first closed-Brayton-cycle to be coupled with an ion propulsion system. Used to examine mechanical dynamic characteristics and responses. The focus of this work was the validation of a computer model of the BPCU. Model was built using the Closed Cycle System Simulation (CCSS) design and analysis tool. Test conditions were then duplicated in CCSS. Various steady-state points. Transients involving changes in shaft rotational speed and heat input. Testing to date has shown that the BPCU is able to generate meaningful, repeatable data that can be used for computer model validation. Results generated by CCSS demonstrated that the model sufficiently reproduced the thermal transients exhibited by the BPCU system. CCSS was also used to match BPCU steady-state operating points. Cycle temperatures were within 4.1% of the data (most were within 1%). Cycle pressures were all within 3.2%. Error in alternator power (as much as 13.5%) was attributed to uncertainties in the compressor and turbine maps and alternator and bearing loss models. The acquired understanding of the BPCU behavior gives useful insight for improvements to be made to the CCSS model as well as ideas for future testing and possible system modifications.

  12. Nuclear Reactors for Space Power, Understanding the Atom Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corliss, William R.

    The historical development of rocketry and nuclear technology includes a specific description of Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) programs. Solar cells and fuel cells are considered as alternative power supplies for space use. Construction and operation of space power plants must include considerations of the transfer of heat energy to…

  13. Recent Advances in Power Conversion and Heat Rejection Technology for Fission Surface Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee

    2010-01-01

    Under the Exploration Technology Development Program, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE) are jointly developing Fission Surface Power (FSP) technology for possible use in human missions to the Moon and Mars. A preliminary reference concept was generated to guide FSP technology development. The concept consists of a liquid-metal-cooled reactor, Stirling power conversion, and water heat rejection, with Brayton power conversion as a backup option. The FSP project has begun risk reduction activities on some key components with the eventual goal of conducting an end-to-end, non-nuclear, integrated system test. Several power conversion and heat rejection hardware prototypes have been built and tested. These include multi-kilowatt Stirling and Brayton power conversion units, titanium-water heat pipes, and composite radiator panels.

  14. NERI Quarterly Progress Report -- April 1 - June 30, 2005 -- Development of a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle: Improving PBR Efficiency and Testing Material Compatibility

    SciTech Connect

    Chang Oh

    2005-07-01

    The objective of this research is to improve a helium Brayton cycle and to develop a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle for the Pebble Bed Reactor (PBR) that can also be applied to the Fast Gas-Cooled Reactor (FGR) and the Very-High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (VHTR). The proposed supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle will be used to improve the PBR, FGR, and VHTR net plant efficiency. Another objective of this research is to test materials to be used in the power conversion side at supercritical carbon dioxide conditions. Generally, the optimized Brayton cycle and balance of plant (BOP) to be developed from this study can be applied to Generation-IV reactor concepts. Particularly, we are interested in VHTR because it has a good chance of being built in the near future.

  15. FY-05 Second Quarter Report On Development of a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle: Improving PBR Efficiency and Testing Material Compatibility

    SciTech Connect

    Chang Oh

    2005-04-01

    The objective of this research is to improve a helium Brayton cycle and to develop a supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle for the Pebble Bed Reactor (PBR) that can also be applied to the Fast Gas-Cooled Reactor (FGR) and the Very-High-Temperature Gas- Cooled Reactor (VHTR). The proposed supercritical carbon dioxide Brayton cycle will be used to improve the PBR, FGR, and VHTR net plant efficiency. Another objective of this research is to test materials to be used in the power conversion side at supercritical carbon dioxide conditions. Generally, the optimized Brayton cycle and balance of plant (BOP) to be developed from this study can be applied to Generation-IV reactor concepts. Particularly, we are interested in VHTR because it has a good chance of being built in the near future.

  16. Nuclear power sources in outer space. [spacecraft propulsion legal aspects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hosenball, S. N.

    1978-01-01

    Legal problems associated with nuclear power sources in space are discussed with particular reference to the Cosmos 954 incident. Deliberations of the Legal and Scientific and Technical Subcommittees on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on this subject are discussed.

  17. Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 1: Objectives, summary results and introduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    The objective was to determine which reactor, conversion, and radiator technologies would best fulfill future Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System Requirements. Specifically, the requirement was 10 megawatts for 5 years of full power operation and 10 years systems life on orbit. A variety of liquid metal and gas cooled reactors, static and dynamic conversion systems, and passive and dynamic radiators were considered. Four concepts were selected for more detailed study. The concepts are: a gas cooled reactor with closed cycle Brayton turbine-alternator conversion with heat pipe and pumped tube-fin heat rejection; a lithium cooled reactor with a free piston Stirling engine-linear alternator and a pumped tube-fin radiator; a lithium cooled reactor with potassium Rankine turbine-alternator and heat pipe radiator; and a lithium cooled incore thermionic static conversion reactor with a heat pipe radiator. The systems recommended for further development to meet a 10 megawatt long life requirement are the lithium cooled reactor with the K-Rankine conversion and heat pipe radiator, and the lithium cooled incore thermionic reactor with heat pipe radiator.

  18. Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 4: Concepts selection, conceptual designs, recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    A study was conducted by NASA Lewis Research Center for the Triagency SP-100 program office. The objective was to determine which reactor, conversion and radiator technologies would best fulfill future Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System Requirements. The requirement was 10 megawatts for 5 years of full power operation and 10 years system life on orbit. A variety of liquid metal and gas cooled reactors, static and dynamic conversion systems, and passive and dynamic radiators were considered. Four concepts were selected for more detailed study: (1) a gas cooled reactor with closed cycle Brayton turbine-alternator conversion with heatpipe and pumped tube fin rejection, (2) a Lithium cooled reactor with a free piston Stirling engine-linear alternator and a pumped tube-fin radiator,(3) a Lithium cooled reactor with a Potassium Rankine turbine-alternator and heat pipe radiator, and (4) a Lithium cooled incore thermionic static conversion reactor with a heat pipe radiator. The systems recommended for further development to meet a 10 megawatt long life requirement are the Lithium cooled reactor with the K-Rankine conversion and heat pipe radiator, and the Lithium cooled incore thermionic reactor with heat pipe radiator.

  19. Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 1: Objectives, summary results and introduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wetch, J. R.

    1988-09-01

    The objective was to determine which reactor, conversion, and radiator technologies would best fulfill future Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System Requirements. Specifically, the requirement was 10 megawatts for 5 years of full power operation and 10 years systems life on orbit. A variety of liquid metal and gas cooled reactors, static and dynamic conversion systems, and passive and dynamic radiators were considered. Four concepts were selected for more detailed study. The concepts are: a gas cooled reactor with closed cycle Brayton turbine-alternator conversion with heat pipe and pumped tube-fin heat rejection; a lithium cooled reactor with a free piston Stirling engine-linear alternator and a pumped tube-fin radiator; a lithium cooled reactor with potassium Rankine turbine-alternator and heat pipe radiator; and a lithium cooled incore thermionic static conversion reactor with a heat pipe radiator. The systems recommended for further development to meet a 10 megawatt long life requirement are the lithium cooled reactor with the K-Rankine conversion and heat pipe radiator, and the lithium cooled incore thermionic reactor with heat pipe radiator.

  20. Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 4: Concepts selection, conceptual designs, recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Wetch, J.R.

    1988-09-01

    A study was conducted by NASA Lewis Research Center for the Triagency SP-100 program office. The objective was to determine which reactor, conversion and radiator technologies would best fulfill future Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System Requirements. The requirement was 10 megawatts for 5 years of full power operation and 10 years system life on orbit. A variety of liquid metal and gas cooled reactors, static and dynamic conversion systems, and passive and dynamic radiators were considered. Four concepts were selected for more detailed study: (1) a gas cooled reactor with closed cycle Brayton turbine-alternator conversion with heatpipe and pumped tube fin rejection, (2) a Lithium cooled reactor with a free piston Stirling engine-linear alternator and a pumped tube-fin radiator,(3) a Lithium cooled reactor with a Potassium Rankine turbine-alternator and heat pipe radiator, and (4) a Lithium cooled incore thermionic static conversion reactor with a heat pipe radiator. The systems recommended for further development to meet a 10 megawatt long life requirement are the Lithium cooled reactor with the K-Rankine conversion and heat pipe radiator, and the Lithium cooled incore thermionic reactor with heat pipe radiator.

  1. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassady, R. Joseph; Frisbee, Robert H.; Gilland, James H.; Houts, Michael G.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M.; Oleson, Steven R.; Polk, James E.; Russell, Derrek; Sengupta, Anita

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear and radioisotope powered electric thrusters are being developed as primary in-space propulsion systems for potential future robotic and piloted space missions. Possible applications for high power nuclear electric propulsion include orbit raising and maneuvering of large space platforms, lunar and Mars cargo transport, asteroid rendezvous and sample return, and robotic and piloted planetary missions, while lower power radioisotope electric propulsion could significantly enhance or enable some future robotic deep space science missions. This paper provides an overview of recent U.S. high power electric thruster research programs, describing the operating principles, challenges, and status of each technology. Mission analysis is presented that compares the benefits and performance of each thruster type for high priority NASA missions. The status of space nuclear power systems for high power electric propulsion is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of power and thruster development strategies for future radioisotope electric propulsion systems,

  2. Development and Utilization of Space Fission Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael; Mason, Lee S.; Palac, Donald T.; Harlow, Scott E.

    2008-01-01

    Space fission power systems could enable advanced civilian space missions. Terrestrially, thousands of fission systems have been operated since 1942. In addition, the US flew a space fission system in 1965, and the former Soviet Union flew 33 such systems prior to the end of the Cold War. Modern design and development practices, coupled with 65 years of experience with terrestrial reactors, could enable the affordable development of space fission power systems for near-term planetary surface applications.

  3. Development and Utilization of Space Fission Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Mason, Lee S.; Palac, Donald T.; Harlow, Scott E.

    2009-01-01

    Space fission power systems could enable advanced civilian space missions. Terrestrially, thousands of fission systems have been operated since 1942. In addition, the US flew a space fission system in 1965, and the former Soviet Union flew 33 such systems prior to the end of the Cold War. Modern design and development practices, coupled with 65 years of experience with terrestrial reactors, could enable the affordable development of space fission power systems for near-term planetary surface applications.

  4. Launch Vehicle Assessment for Space Solar Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olds, John R.

    1998-01-01

    A recently completed study at Georgia Tech examined various launch vehicle options for deploying a future constellation of Space Solar Power satellites of the Suntower configuration. One of the motivations of the study was to determine whether the aggressive $400/kg launch price goal established for SSP package delivery would result in an attractive economic scenario for a future RLV developer. That is, would the potential revenue and traffic to be derived from a large scale SSP project be enough of an economic "carrot" to attract an RLV company into developing a new, low cost launch vehicle to address this market. Preliminary results presented in the attached charts show that there is enough economic reward for RLV developers, specifically in the case of the latest large GEO-based Suntower constellations (over 15,500 MT per year delivery for 30 years). For that SSP model, internal rates of return for the 30 year economic scenario exceed 22%. However, up-front government assistance to the RLV developer in terms of ground facilities, operations technologies, guaranteed low-interest rate loans, and partial offsets of some vehicle development expenses is necessary to achieve these positive results. This white paper is meant to serve as a companion to the data supplied in the accompanying charts. It's purpose is to provide more detail on the vehicles and design processes used, to highlight key decisions and issues, and to emphasize key results from each phase of the Georgia Tech study.

  5. CBC Control Panel (Closed Brayton Cycle Control System) v 1.0

    2012-09-13

    The CBC Control Panel is a LabviewTM Virtual Interface program that performs data acquisition, displays this data (over 100 channels), and provides control mechanisms for Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) power conversion systems. The Program uses a state point control method that transitions the CBC from an IDLE/OFF state to RUNNING state, to SHUTDOWN, and ultimately bac~ to IDLE/OFF. During each state a set of rules control the behavior of the machine.

  6. Preliminary design of a mini-Brayton Compressor-Alternator-Turbine (CAT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    The preliminary design of a mini-Brayton compressor-alternator-turbine system is discussed. The program design goals are listed. The optimum system characteristics over the entire range of power output were determined by performing a wide-range parametric study. The ability to develop the required components to the degree necessary within the limitations of present technology is evaluated. The sensitivity of the system to various individual design parameters was analyzed.

  7. Opening up to the future in space with nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buden, David; Angelo, Joseph, Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The relationship between the exploration of space and the availability of abundant power supplies is discussed. It is proposed that nuclear power will be needed to satisfy the power demands of manufacturing facilities in LEO, and power demands for the year 2000 are projected to be 300 KW(e). The capabilities and development of the Space Station are described; the use of nuclear power for the Station and various reactor location configurations are studied. The power requirements that will be necessary for the development of lunar resource bases and the exploration of Mars and other planets are considered; the advantages of nuclear power are examined.

  8. Is power-space a continuum? Distance effect during power judgments.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tianjiao; Zhu, Lei

    2015-12-01

    Despite the increasing evidence suggesting that power processing can activate vertical space schema, it still remains unclear whether this power-space is dichotomic or continuous. Here we tested the nature of the power-space by the distance effect, a continuous property of space cognition. In two experiments, participants were required to judge the power of one single word (Experiment 1) or compare the power of two words presented in pairs (Experiment 2). The power distance was indexed by the absolute difference of power ratings. Results demonstrated that reaction time decreased with the power distance, whereas accuracy increased with the power distance. The findings indicated that different levels of power were presented as different vertical heights, implying that there was a common mechanism underlying space and power cognition.

  9. Toward an electrical power utility for space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bercaw, Robert W.

    1989-01-01

    Future electrical power requirements for space exploration are discussed. Megawatts of power with enough reliability for multi-year missions and with enough flexibility to adapt to needs unanticipated at design time are some of the criteria which space power systems must be able to meet. The reasons for considering the power management and distribution in the various systems, from a total mission perspective rather than simply extrapolating current spacecraft design practice, are discussed. A utility approach to electric power integrating requirements from a broad selection of current development programs, with studies in which both space and terrestrial technologies are conceptually applied to exploration mission scenarios, is described.

  10. Space power development impact on technology requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassidy, J. F.; Fitzgerald, T. J.; Gilje, R. I.; Gordon, J. D.

    1986-01-01

    The paper is concerned with the selection of a specific spacecraft power technology and the identification of technology development to meet system requirements. Requirements which influence the selection of a given technology include the power level required, whether the load is constant or transient in nature, and in the case of transient loads, the time required to recover the power, and overall system safety. Various power technologies, such as solar voltaic power, solar dynamic power, nuclear power systems, and electrochemical energy storage, are briefly described.

  11. Spacecraft Power. America in Space: The First Decade.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corliss, William R.

    The various electric power sources suitable for use aboard spacecraft are described in this booklet. These power sources include batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, RTGs (radioisotope thermoelectric generator), and nuclear fission power plants. The introductory sections include a discussion of power requirements and the anatomy of a space power…

  12. Electric power management for the International Space Station experiment racks

    SciTech Connect

    Burcham, M.; Darty, M.A.; Thibodeau, P.E.; Coe, R.; Dunn, M.

    1995-12-31

    An intelligent, all solid state, electric power management system for International Space Station experiment racks is described. This power system is implemented via redundant internal microcomputers, controlling hybridized solid state power controllers in response to 1553B data bus commands. The solid state power controllers are programmable for current trip level and for normally-open or normally-closed operation.

  13. Enabling the space exploration initiative: NASA's exploration technology program in space power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Cull, Ronald C.

    1991-01-01

    Space power requirements for Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) are reviewed, including the results of a NASA 90-day study and reports by the National Research Council, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), NASA, the Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program, and the Synthesis Group. The space power requirements for the SEI robotic missions, lunar spacecraft, Mars spacecraft, and human missions are summarized. Planning for exploration technology is addressed, including photovoltaic, chemical and thermal energy conversion; high-capacity power; power and thermal management for the surface, Earth-orbiting platform and spacecraft; laser power beaming; and mobile surface systems.

  14. Nuclear space power safety and facility guidelines study

    SciTech Connect

    Mehlman, W.F.

    1995-09-11

    This report addresses safety guidelines for space nuclear reactor power missions and was prepared by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) under a Department of Energy grant, DE-FG01-94NE32180 dated 27 September 1994. This grant was based on a proposal submitted by the JHU/APL in response to an {open_quotes}Invitation for Proposals Designed to Support Federal Agencies and Commercial Interests in Meeting Special Power and Propulsion Needs for Future Space Missions{close_quotes}. The United States has not launched a nuclear reactor since SNAP 10A in April 1965 although many Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) have been launched. An RTG powered system is planned for launch as part of the Cassini mission to Saturn in 1997. Recently the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) sponsored the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) which was to demonstrate and evaluate the Russian-built TOPAZ II nuclear reactor as a power source in space. As of late 1993 the flight portion of this program was canceled but work to investigate the attributes of the reactor were continued but at a reduced level. While the future of space nuclear power systems is uncertain there are potential space missions which would require space nuclear power systems. The differences between space nuclear power systems and RTG devices are sufficient that safety and facility requirements warrant a review in the context of the unique features of a space nuclear reactor power system.

  15. High-power converters for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, J. N.; Cooper, Randy

    1991-01-01

    Phase 1 was a concept definition effort to extend space-type dc/dc converter technology to the megawatt level with a weight of less than 0.1 kg/kW (220 lb./MW). Two system designs were evaluated in Phase 1. Each design operates from a 5 kV stacked fuel cell source and provides a voltage step-up to 100 kV at 10 A for charging capacitors (100 pps at a duty cycle of 17 min on, 17 min off). Both designs use an MCT-based, full-bridge inverter, gaseous hydrogen cooling, and crowbar fault protection. The GE-CRD system uses an advanced high-voltage transformer/rectifier filter is series with a resonant tank circuit, driven by an inverter operating at 20 to 50 kHz. Output voltage is controlled through frequency and phase shift control. Fast transient response and stability is ensured via optimal control. Super-resonant operation employing MCTs provides the advantages of lossless snubbing, no turn-on switching loss, use of medium-speed diodes, and intrinsic current limiting under load-fault conditions. Estimated weight of the GE-CRD system is 88 kg (1.5 cu ft.). Efficiency of 94.4 percent and total system loss is 55.711 kW operating at 1 MW load power. The Maxwell system is based on a resonance transformer approach using a cascade of five LC resonant sections at 100 kHz. The 5 kV bus is converted to a square wave, stepped-up to a 100 kV sine wave by the LC sections, rectified, and filtered. Output voltage is controlled with a special series regulator circuit. Estimated weight of the Maxwell system is 83.8 kg (4.0 cu ft.). Efficiency is 87.2 percent and total system loss is 146.411 kW operating at 1 MW load power.

  16. High-power converters for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, J. N.; Cooper, Randy

    1991-06-01

    Phase 1 was a concept definition effort to extend space-type dc/dc converter technology to the megawatt level with a weight of less than 0.1 kg/kW (220 lb./MW). Two system designs were evaluated in Phase 1. Each design operates from a 5 kV stacked fuel cell source and provides a voltage step-up to 100 kV at 10 A for charging capacitors (100 pps at a duty cycle of 17 min on, 17 min off). Both designs use an MCT-based, full-bridge inverter, gaseous hydrogen cooling, and crowbar fault protection. The GE-CRD system uses an advanced high-voltage transformer/rectifier filter is series with a resonant tank circuit, driven by an inverter operating at 20 to 50 kHz. Output voltage is controlled through frequency and phase shift control. Fast transient response and stability is ensured via optimal control. Super-resonant operation employing MCTs provides the advantages of lossless snubbing, no turn-on switching loss, use of medium-speed diodes, and intrinsic current limiting under load-fault conditions. Estimated weight of the GE-CRD system is 88 kg (1.5 cu ft.). Efficiency of 94.4 percent and total system loss is 55.711 kW operating at 1 MW load power. The Maxwell system is based on a resonance transformer approach using a cascade of five LC resonant sections at 100 kHz. The 5 kV bus is converted to a square wave, stepped-up to a 100 kV sine wave by the LC sections, rectified, and filtered. Output voltage is controlled with a special series regulator circuit. Estimated weight of the Maxwell system is 83.8 kg (4.0 cu ft.). Efficiency is 87.2 percent and total system loss is 146.411 kW operating at 1 MW load power.

  17. Lunar electric power systems utilizing the SP-100 reactor coupled to dynamic conversion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harty, Richard B.; Durand, Richard E.

    1993-01-01

    An integration study was performed by Rocketdyne under contract to NASA-LeRC. The study was concerned with coupling an SP-0100 reactor to either a Brayton or Stirling power conversion system. The application was for a surface power system to supply power requirements to a lunar base. A power level of 550 kWe was selected based on the NASA Space Exploration Initiative 90-day study. Reliability studies were initially performed to determine optimum power conversion redundancy. This study resulted in selecting three operating engines and one stand-by unit. Integration design studies indicated that either the Brayton or Stirling power conversion systems could be integrated with the PS-100 reactor. The Stirling system had an integration advantage because of smaller piping size and fewer components. The Stirling engine, however, is more complex and heavier than the Brayton rotating unit, which tends to off-set the Stirling integration advantage. From a performance consideration, the Brayton had a 9 percent mass advantage, and the Stirling had a 50 percent radiator advantage.

  18. Analysis of closed cycle megawatt class space power systems with nuclear reactor heat sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Juhasz, A. J.; Jones, B. I.

    1987-01-01

    The analysis and integration studies of multimegawatt nuclear power conversion systems for potential SDI applications is presented. A study is summarized which considered 3 separate types of power conversion systems for steady state power generation with a duty requirement of 1 yr at full power. The systems considered are based on the following conversion cycles: direct and indirect Brayton gas turbine, direct and indirect liquid metal Rankine, and in core thermionic. A complete mass analysis was performed for each system at power levels ranging from 1 to 25 MWe for both heat pipe and liquid droplet radiator options. In the modeling of common subsystems, reactor and shield calculations were based on multiparameter correlation and an in-house analysis for the heat rejection and other subsystems.

  19. High Power Photodetectors for Space Communications Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mysoor, Narayan R.

    1995-01-01

    High power photodetectors in coplanar waveguide and distributed traveling-wave structures have been under development for communications applications. The distributed photodetectors demonstrated 70percent efficiency with a linear response up to 25 mW of optical power input.

  20. Parallel operation of two Brayton-cycle alternators with parasitic speed controllers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perz, D. A.

    1972-01-01

    The experimental paralleling characteristics of two 1200 Hz Brayton-cycle alternators are presented. Since the Brayton power conversion system uses electric speed controllers, the paralleling requirements are somewhat different from those for conventional ground-based systems. Results include the transient effects of synchronizing the two alternators with various phase-angle, voltage, and frequency differences. Based on these results, the effects of synchronizing differences can be defined, and adjustment requirements of the parasitic speed controllers during synchronizing can be established. Data indicate that parasitically loaded alternators are able to parallel over a wide range of synchronizing differences. However, equilibrium could not be reached in extreme cases where alternator load differences were great and, at the same time, the phase-angle error was large (150 deg or more).

  1. Multi-Megawatt Power System Trade Study

    SciTech Connect

    Longhurst, Glen Reed; Schnitzler, Bruce Gordon; Parks, Benjamin Travis

    2002-02-01

    A concept study was undertaken to evaluate potential multi-megawatt power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nominal electric power requirement was set at 15 MWe with an assumed mission profile of 120 days at full power, 60 days in hot standby, and another 120 days of full power, repeated several times for 7 years of service. Two configurations examined were (1) a gas-cooled reactor based on the NERVA Derivative design, operating a closed cycle Brayton power conversion system; and (2) a molten metal-cooled reactor based on SP-100 technology, driving a boiling potassium Rankine power conversion system. This study considered the relative merits of these two systems, seeking to optimize the specific mass. Conclusions were that either concept appeared capable of approaching the specific mass goal of 3-5 kg/kWe estimated to be needed for this class of mission, though neither could be realized without substantial development in reactor fuels technology, thermal radiator mass efficiency, and power conversion and distribution electronics systems capable of operating at high temperatures. The gas-Brayton systems showed an apparent specific mass advantage (3.53 vs 6.43 kg/kWe for the baseline cases) under the set of assumptions used, but reconciling differences in conservatism in the design algorithms used would make results much more comparable. Brayton systems eliminate the need to deal with two-phase working fluid flows in the microgravity environment of space.

  2. The role of fuel cells in NASA's space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Been, J. F.

    1979-01-01

    The advances in fuel cell technology which have expanded the capabilities of the fuel cell from that of power generation to include energy storage also expanded its potential role in space power systems. This paper presents a brief evolutionary history of the fuel cell technology and compares this with NASA's increasing space power requirements. The role of fuel cells is put in perspective with other energy storage systems applicable for space using such criteria as type of mission, weight, reliability, costs, etc. Potential applications of space fuel cells with projected technology advances are examined.

  3. Improving Safety and Reliability of Space Auxiliary Power Units

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Viterna, Larry A.

    1998-01-01

    Auxiliary Power Units (APU's) play a critical role in space vehicles. On the space shuttle, APU's provide the hydraulic power for the aerodynamic control surfaces, rocket engine gimballing, landing gear, and brakes. Future space vehicles, such as the Reusable Launch Vehicle, will also need APU's to provide electrical power for flight control actuators and other vehicle subsystems. Vehicle designers and mission managers have identified safety, reliability, and maintenance as the primary concerns for space APU's. In 1997, the NASA Lewis Research Center initiated an advanced technology development program to address these concerns.

  4. Oil-Free Rotor Support Technologies for Long Life, Closed Cycle Brayton Turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lucero, John M.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2004-01-01

    The goal of this study is to provide technological support to ensure successful life and operation of a 50-300 kW dynamic power conversion system specifically with response to the rotor support system. By utilizing technical expertise in tribology, bearings, rotordynamic, solid lubricant coatings and extensive test facilities, valuable input for mission success is provided. A discussion of the history of closed cycle Brayton turboalternators (TA) will be included. This includes the 2 kW Mini-Brayton Rotating Unit (Mini-BRU), the 10kW Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU) and the 125 kW turboalternator-compressor (TAC) designed in mid 1970's. Also included is the development of air-cycle machines and terrestrial oil-free gas turbine power systems in the form of microturbines, specifically Capstone microturbines. A short discussion of the self-acting compliant surface hydrodynamic fluid film bearings, or foil bearings, will follow, including a short history of the load capacity advances, the NASA coatings advancements as well as design model advances. Successes in terrestrial based machines will be noted and NASA tribology and bearing research test facilities will be described. Finally, implementation of a four step integration process will be included in the discussion.

  5. Coupling a Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Brayton Cycle to a Helium-Cooled Reactor.

    SciTech Connect

    Middleton, Bobby; Pasch, James Jay; Kruizenga, Alan Michael; Walker, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    This report outlines the thermodynamics of a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) recompression closed Brayton cycle (RCBC) coupled to a Helium-cooled nuclear reactor. The baseline reactor design for the study is the AREVA High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (HTGR). Using the AREVA HTGR nominal operating parameters, an initial thermodynamic study was performed using Sandia's deterministic RCBC analysis program. Utilizing the output of the RCBC thermodynamic analysis, preliminary values of reactor power and of Helium flow rate through the reactor were calculated in Sandia's HelCO2 code. Some research regarding materials requirements was then conducted to determine aspects of corrosion related to both Helium and to sCO2 , as well as some mechanical considerations for pressures and temperatures that will be seen by the piping and other components. This analysis resulted in a list of materials-related research items that need to be conducted in the future. A short assessment of dry heat rejection advantages of sCO2> Brayton cycles was also included. This assessment lists some items that should be investigated in the future to better understand how sCO2 Brayton cycles and nuclear can maximally contribute to optimizing the water efficiency of carbon free power generation

  6. Second beamed space-power workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Deyoung, R.J.

    1989-07-01

    The powering of aircraft with laser energy from a solar power satellite may be a promising new approach to the critical problem of the rising cost of fuel for aircraft transportation systems. The result is a nearly fuelless, pollution-free flight transportation system which is cost-competitive with the fuel-conservative airplane of the future. The major components of this flight system include a laser power satellite, relay satellites, laser-powered turbofans and a conventional airframe. The relay satellites are orbiting optical systems which intercept the beam from a power satellite and refocus and redirect the beam to its next target.

  7. Modern Air&Space Power and political goals at war

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Özer, Güngör.

    2014-05-01

    Modern AirandSpace Power is increasingly becoming a political tool. In this article, AirandSpacePower as a political tool will be discussed. The primary purpose of this article is to search how AirandSpacePower can provide contributions to security and also determine if it may reach the political goals on its own at war by SWOT Analysis Method and analysing the role of AirandSpace Power in Operation Unified Protector (Libya) as a case study. In conclusion, AirandSpacePower may not be sufficient to win the political goals on its own. However it may reach the political aims partially against the adversary on its own depending upon the situations. Moreover it can alone persuade the adversary to alter its behavior(s) in war.

  8. Quantum Brayton cycle with coupled systems as working substance.

    PubMed

    Huang, X L; Wang, L C; Yi, X X

    2013-01-01

    We explore the quantum version of the Brayton cycle with a composite system as the working substance. The actual Brayton cycle consists of two adiabatic and two isobaric processes. Two pressures can be defined in our isobaric process; one corresponds to the external magnetic field (characterized by F(x)) exerted on the system, while the other corresponds to the coupling constant between the subsystems (characterized by F(y)). As a consequence, we can define two types of quantum Brayton cycle for the composite system. We find that the subsystem experiences a quantum Brayton cycle in one quantum Brayton cycle (characterized by F(x)), whereas the subsystem's cycle is quantum Otto cycle in another Brayton cycle (characterized by F(y)). The efficiency for the composite system equals to that for the subsystem in both cases, but the work done by the total system is usually larger than the sum of the work done by the two subsystems. The other interesting finding is that for the cycle characterized by F(y), the subsystem can be a refrigerator, while the total system is a heat engine. The result in this paper can be generalized to a quantum Brayton cycle with a general coupled system as the working substance.

  9. Magnetic Materials Suitable for Fission Power Conversion in Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowman, Cheryl L.

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial fission reactors use combinations of shielding and distance to protect power conversion components from elevated temperature and radiation. Space mission systems are necessarily compact and must minimize shielding and distance to enhance system level efficiencies. Technology development efforts to support fission power generation scenarios for future space missions include studying the radiation tolerance of component materials. The fundamental principles of material magnetism are reviewed and used to interpret existing material radiation effects data for expected fission power conversion components for target space missions. Suitable materials for the Fission Power System (FPS) Project are available and guidelines are presented for bounding the elevated temperature/radiation tolerance envelope for candidate magnetic materials.

  10. Comprehensive report of aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science applications of the Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The research activities of the Lewis Research Center for 1988 are summarized. The projects included are within basic and applied technical disciplines essential to aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science/applications. These disciplines are materials science and technology, structural mechanics, life prediction, internal computational fluid mechanics, heat transfer, instruments and controls, and space electronics.

  11. Transactions of the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D.

    1987-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these papers include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, refractory alloys and high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  12. Transactions of the fifth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D.

    1988-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these paper include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  13. The role of fuel cells in NASA's space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Been, J. F.

    1979-01-01

    A history of the fuel cell technology is presented and compared with NASA's increasing space power requirements. The role of fuel cells is discussed in perspective with other energy storage systems applicable for space using such criteria as type of mission, weight, reliability, costs, etc. Potential applications of space fuel cells with projected technology advances were examined.

  14. Space power systems technology enablement study. [for the space transportation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, L. D.; Stearns, J. W.

    1978-01-01

    The power system technologies which enable or enhance future space missions requiring a few kilowatts or less and using the space shuttle were assessed. The advances in space power systems necessary for supporting the capabilities of the space transportation system were systematically determined and benefit/cost/risk analyses were used to identify high payoff technologies and technological priorities. The missions that are enhanced by each development are discussed.

  15. Application of high power lasers to space power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nored, D. L.

    1976-01-01

    The transmission of laser power over long distances for applications such as direct conversion to propulsive thrust or electrical power is considered. Factors discussed include: problems inherent in transmitting, propagating, and receiving the laser beam over long ranges; high efficiency, closed-cycle, continuous wave operation; advancement of CO2 laser technology; and compatibility with photovoltaic power conversion devices.

  16. Important technology considerations for space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kuspa, J.P.; Wahlquist, E.J.; Bitz, D.A.

    1988-03-01

    This paper discusses the technology considerations that guide the development of space nuclear power sources (NPS) by the Department of Energy (DOE) to meet a wide variety of applications. The Department and its predecessor agencies have been developing NPS since the 1950s and producing NPS for spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) since the early 1960s. No one nuclear power type, isotope or reactor, will suffice over the entire range of mission power required. Nor is one type of power conversion system, be it static or dynamic, the optimum choice of all space nuclear power system applications. There is a need for DOE, in partnership with its users, NASA and DOD, to develop a variety of types of space nuclear power sources -- isotope-static, isotope-dynamic, reactor-static, and reactor-dynamic -- to meet mission requirements well into the next century. 2 figs., 1 tab.

  17. The cavity heat pipe Stirling receiver for space solar dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kesseli, James B.; Lacy, Dovie E.

    1989-01-01

    The receiver/storage unit for the low-earth-orbiting Stirling system is discussed. The design, referred to as the cavity heat pipe (CHP), has been optimized for minimum specific mass and volume width. A specific version of this design at the 7-kWe level has been compared to the space station Brayton solar dynamic design. The space station design utilizes a eutectic mixture of LiF and CaF2. Using the same phase change material, the CHP has been shown to have a specific mass of 40 percent and a volume of 5 percent of that of the space station Brayton at the same power level. Additionally, it complements the free-piston Stirling engine in that it also maintains a relatively flat specific mass down to at least 1 kWe. The technical requirements, tradeoff studies, critical issues, and critical technology experiments are discussed.

  18. Multi-objective optimization of combined Brayton and inverse Brayton cycles using advanced optimization algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Venkata Rao, R.; Patel, Vivek

    2012-08-01

    This study explores the use of teaching-learning-based optimization (TLBO) and artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithms for determining the optimum operating conditions of combined Brayton and inverse Brayton cycles. Maximization of thermal efficiency and specific work of the system are considered as the objective functions and are treated simultaneously for multi-objective optimization. Upper cycle pressure ratio and bottom cycle expansion pressure of the system are considered as design variables for the multi-objective optimization. An application example is presented to demonstrate the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed algorithms. The results of optimization using the proposed algorithms are validated by comparing with those obtained by using the genetic algorithm (GA) and particle swarm optimization (PSO) on the same example. Improvement in the results is obtained by the proposed algorithms. The results of effect of variation of the algorithm parameters on the convergence and fitness values of the objective functions are reported.

  19. Nuclear power - How safe in space

    SciTech Connect

    Chien, P.

    1987-09-01

    The use of nuclear-powered spacecraft is examined. The nuclear-powered radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) serve only as power generators and are not involved in the propulsion of the spacecraft. The plutonium power core is contained in a graphite container in order to ensure safety in the event of a launch accident or the possible reentry of the lunar module into the earth's atmosphere. The operation of the RTG is described. Various experiments and applications for the RTGs, such as the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiment Package, the Viking Mars explorers, and Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft, are discussed.

  20. The results of application studies for space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Isenberg, L.; Mcgraw, K.; Mankins, J.; Mondt, J.; Olivieri, J.

    1987-01-01

    The results are summarized of the studies over the last several years to identify and characterize potential applications for the SP-100 space nuclear reactor power system in powering spacecraft. SP-100 is a space power system based on a fast spectrum nuclear reactor with thermoelectric power conversion and liquid metal and heat pipe thermal transport. SP-100 reactor systems are designed to provide electric power with user designated characteristics at levels in the range from 10 to 1000 kWe. The use of nuclear reactors such as SP-100 as a power source provides a potential means of providing uninterrupted electrical power as required for many of todays space missions within acceptable cost and safety constraints.

  1. Refractory metal alloys and composites for space power systems

    SciTech Connect

    Stephens, J.R.; Petrasek, D.W.; Titran, R.H.

    1994-09-01

    Space power requirements for future NASA and other United States missions will range from a few kilowatts to megawatts of electricity. Maximum efficiency is a key goal of any power system in order to minimize weight and size so that the space shuttle may be used a minimum number of times to put the power supply into orbit. Nuclear power has been identified as the primary power source to meet these high levels of electrical demand. One method to achieve maximum efficiency is to operate the power supply, energy conversion system, and related components at relatively high temperatures. NASA Lewis Research Center has undertaken a research program on advanced technology of refractory metal alloys and composites that will provide base line information for space power systems in the 1900`s and the 21st century. Basic research on the tensile and creep properties of fibers, matrices, and composites will be discussed.

  2. A look at the Soviet space nuclear power program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1989-01-01

    For the most part Soviet nuclear power sources have been low-power nuclear reactors using a thermoelectric conversion principle. Recently the Soviet Union has flown two satellites using a higher power reactor that employs a thermionic conversion system. Despite reentry of two of the earlier reactors on board Cosmos 954 and Cosmos 1402 and the recent potential accident involving Cosmos 1900, the evidence points toward a continued Soviet use of nuclear power sources in space. Information in the open literature on the Soviet space nuclear power program, including the Romashka Topaz, the new reactor based on the Topaz program, and the RORSAT reactor experience, is summarized.

  3. Automation of Space Station module power management and distribution system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bechtel, Robert; Weeks, Dave; Walls, Bryan

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on automation of space station module (SSM) power management and distribution (PMAD) system are presented. Topics covered include: reasons for power system automation; SSM/PMAD approach to automation; SSM/PMAD test bed; SSM/PMAD topology; functional partitioning; SSM/PMAD control; rack level autonomy; FRAMES AI system; and future technology needs for power system automation.

  4. Key issues in space nuclear power challenges for the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. Key to the success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience has been made. These needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self sufficiency, and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from LEO to Mars has been determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options has been made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs. Finally the cost of present space power systems has been determined and projections made for future systems.

  5. Key issues in space nuclear power challenges for the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W.

    1991-01-01

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. Key to success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience has been made. These needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self sufficiency and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from LEO to Mars has been determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options has been made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs. Finally the cost of present space power systems has been determined and projections made for future systems.

  6. Key issues in space nuclear power challenges for the future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandhorst, Henry W., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The future appears rich in missions that will extend the frontiers of knowledge, human presence in space, and opportunities for profitable commerce. Key to the success of these ventures is the availability of plentiful, cost effective electric power and assured, low cost access to space. While forecasts of space power needs are problematic, an assessment of future needs based on terrestrial experience has been made. These needs fall into three broad categories: survival, self sufficiency, and industrialization. The cost of delivering payloads to orbital locations from LEO to Mars has been determined and future launch cost reductions projected. From these factors, then, projections of the performance necessary for future solar and nuclear space power options has been made. These goals are largely dependent upon orbital location and energy storage needs. Finally the cost of present space power systems has been determined and projections made for future systems.

  7. Energy loss analysis of an integrated space power distribution system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kankam, M. D.; Ribeiro, P. F.

    1992-01-01

    The results of studies related to conceptual topologies of an integrated utility-like space power system are described. The system topologies are comparatively analyzed by considering their transmission energy losses as functions of mainly distribution voltage level and load composition. The analysis is expedited by use of a Distribution System Analysis and Simulation (DSAS) software. This recently developed computer program by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) uses improved load models to solve the power flow within the system. However, present shortcomings of the software with regard to space applications, and incompletely defined characteristics of a space power system make the results applicable to only the fundamental trends of energy losses of the topologies studied. Accountability, such as included, for the effects of the various parameters on the system performance can constitute part of a planning tool for a space power distribution system.

  8. Free-piston Stirling technology for space power

    SciTech Connect

    Slaby, J.G.

    1994-09-01

    An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space power. This work is being carried out under NASA`s new Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The overall goal of CSTI`s High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The Stirling cycle offers an attractive power conversion concept for space power needs. Discussed in this paper is the completion of the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) testing - culminating in the generation of 25 kW of engine power from a dynamically-balanced opposed-piston Stirling engine at a temperature ratio of 2.0. Engine efficiency was approximately 22 percent. The SPDE recently has been divided into two separate single-cylinder engines, called Space Power Research Engines (SPRE), that now serve as test beds for the evaluation of key technology disciplines. These disciplines include hydrodynamic gas bearings, high-efficiency linear alternators, space qualified heat pipe heat exchangers, oscillating flow code validation, and engine loss understanding. The success of the SPDE at 650 K has resulted in a more ambitious Stirling endeavor - the design, fabrication, test and evaluation of a designed-for-space 25 kW per cylinder Stirling Space Engine (SSE). The SSE will operate at a hot metal temperature of 1050 K using superalloy materials. This design is a low temperature confirmation of the 1300 K design. It is the 1300 K free-piston Stirling power conversion system that is the ultimate goal; to be used in conjunction with the SP-100 reactor. The approach to this goal is in three temperature steps. However, this paper concentrates on the first two phases of this program - the 650 K SPDE and the 1050 K SSE.

  9. Dynamic simulation of a reverse Brayton refrigerator

    SciTech Connect

    Peng, N.; Xiong, L. Y.; Dong, B.; Liu, L. Q.; Lei, L. L.; Tang, J. C.

    2014-01-29

    A test refrigerator based on the modified Reverse Brayton cycle has been developed in the Chinese Academy of Sciences recently. To study the behaviors of this test refrigerator, a dynamic simulation has been carried out. The numerical model comprises the typical components of the test refrigerator: compressor, valves, heat exchangers, expander and heater. This simulator is based on the oriented-object approach and each component is represented by a set of differential and algebraic equations. The control system of the test refrigerator is also simulated, which can be used to optimize the control strategies. This paper describes all the models and shows the simulation results. Comparisons between simulation results and experimental data are also presented. Experimental validation on the test refrigerator gives satisfactory results.

  10. Earth to space power beaming: A new NASA technology initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rather, John D. G.

    1992-02-01

    Laser power beaming from the Earth's surface is an innovative and potentially cost-effective option for reliably providing electrical power for applications such as space transportation, Earth-orbiting satellites, and lunar development. The maturation of laser power beaming technology can support low power applications such as upgraded conventional communications satellites in the present decade. Power beaming systems to support extensive lunar base operations that may consume extremely large amounts of power can be implemented early in the 21st century. The synergistic advantages of high-thrust, high specific-impulse electric propulsion may make enhanced, low cost space logistics an area of unique significance for laser power beaming. Economic forces will continue as a driving factor in the selection of major system elements for both commercial applications as well as the avant-garde national space missions envisioned for the 21st century. As a result, the implementation of laser power beaming systems will only take place if they can demonstrate clear economic benefits without sacrificing performance, personnel safety, or the environment. Similarly, the development activities that are a necessary precursor to any operational system will take place only if key industry and government leaders perceive laser power beaming systems as an achievable goal with realistic payoffs in comparison to competing energy options. This paper summarizes NASA's current research to evaluate laser power beaming systems as they apply to applications of greatest interest, and it includes a summary of the current laser power beaming program within the NASA Headquarters Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology. This research effort will quantify some key technical certainties and uncertainties pertaining to laser power beaming systems appropriate for space applications as well as establish a path of development that includes maturation of key technology components for reliable laser and

  11. The US space station and its electric power system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, Ronald L.

    1988-01-01

    The United States has embarked on a major development program to have a space station operating in low earth orbit by the mid-1990s. This endeavor draws on the talents of NASA and most of the aerospace firms in the U.S. Plans are being pursued to include the participation of Canada, Japan, and the European Space Agency in the space station. From the start of the program these was a focus on the utilization of the space station for science, technology, and commercial endeavors. These requirements were utilized in the design of the station and manifest themselves in: pressurized volume; crew time; power availability and level of power; external payload accommodations; microgravity levels; servicing facilities; and the ability to grow and evolve the space station to meet future needs. President Reagan directed NASA to develop a permanently manned space station in his 1984 State of the Union message. Since then the definition phase was completed and the development phase initiated. A major subsystem of the space station is its 75 kW electric power system. The electric power system has characteristics similar to those of terrestrial power systems. Routine maintenance and replacement of failed equipment must be accomplished safely and easily and in a minimum time while providing reliable power to users. Because of the very high value placed on crew time it is essential that the power system operate in an autonomous mode to minimize crew time required. The power system design must also easily accommodate growth as the power demands by users are expected to grow. An overview of the U.S. space station is provided with special emphasis on its electrical power system.

  12. Space power by ground-based laser transmission

    SciTech Connect

    Landis, G.A. NASA, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH )

    1992-07-01

    A new method for providing power to space vehicles consists of using high-power CW lasers on the ground to beam power to photovoltaic receivers in space. Such large lasers could be located at cloud-free sites at one or more ground locations, and use large mirrors with adaptive optical correction to reduce the beam spread due to diffraction or atmospheric turbulence. This can result in lower requirements for battery storage, due to continuous illumination of arrays even during periods of shadow by the earth, and higher power output, due to the higher efficiency of photovoltaic arrays under laser illumination compared to solar and the ability to achieve higher intensities of illumination. Applications include providing power for satellites during eclipse, providing power to resurrect satellites which are failing due to solar array degradation, powering orbital transfer vehicles or lunar transfer shuttles, and providing night power to a solar array on the moon. 22 refs.

  13. Preliminary evaluation of a space AMTEC power conversion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Sievers, Robert K.

    1991-01-01

    As original evaluation of a space solar energy source coupled with Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Conversion (AMTEC) is presented here. This study indicates that an AMTEC system would have 30 percent of the mass of a photovoltaic system and 70 percent of the mass of a Stirling cycle system at the 35-kWe level of power generation modules typical of the baseline for the U.S. Space Station. The operating temperatures and sodium heat pipe components for solar receiver/TES hardware (currently being developed by NASA) integrate well with AMTEC power conversion. AMTEC is therefore an attractive alternative specifically for space solar power generation.

  14. Preliminary evaluation of a space AMTEC power conversion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Sievers, Robert K.

    As original evaluation of a space solar energy source coupled with Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Conversion (AMTEC) is presented here. This study indicates that an AMTEC system would have 30 percent of the mass of a photovoltaic system and 70 percent of the mass of a Stirling cycle system at the 35-kWe level of power generation modules typical of the baseline for the U.S. Space Station. The operating temperatures and sodium heat pipe components for solar receiver/TES hardware (currently being developed by NASA) integrate well with AMTEC power conversion. AMTEC is therefore an attractive alternative specifically for space solar power generation.

  15. Preliminary evaluation of a space AMTEC power conversion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crowley, Christopher J.; Sievers, Robert K.

    1991-01-01

    An original evaluation of a space solar energy source coupled with Alkali Metal Thermoelectric Conversion (AMTEC) is presented here. This study indicates that an AMTEC system would have 30 percent of the mass of a photovoltaic system and 70 percent of the mass of a Stirling cycle system at the 35-kWe level of power generation modules typical of the baseline for the U.S. Space Station. The operating temperatures and Sodium heat pipe components for solar receiver/TES hardware (currently being developed by NASA) integrate well with AMTEC power conversion. AMTEC is therefore an attractive alternative specifically for space solar power generation.

  16. High temperature power electronics for space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammoud, Ahmad N.; Baumann, Eric D.; Myers, Ira T.; Overton, Eric

    1991-01-01

    A high temperature electronics program at NASA Lewis Research Center focuses on dielectric and insulating materials research, development and testing of high temperature power components, and integration of the developed components and devices into a demonstrable 200 C power system, such as inverter. An overview of the program and a description of the in-house high temperature facilities along with experimental data obtained on high temperature materials are presented.

  17. Refractory metal alloys and composites for space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, Joseph R.; Petrasek, Donald W.; Titran, Robert H.

    1988-01-01

    Space power requirements for future NASA and other U.S. missions will range from a few kilowatts to megawatts of electricity. Maximum efficiency is a key goal of any power system in order to minimize weight and size so that the space shuttle may be used a minimum number of times to put the power supply into orbit. Nuclear power has been identified as the primary source to meet these high levels of electrical demand. One way to achieve maximum efficiency is to operate the power supply, energy conversion system, and related components at relatively high temperatures. NASA Lewis Research Center has undertaken a research program on advanced technology of refractory metal alloys and composites that will provide baseline information for space power systems in the 1900's and the 21st century. Basic research on the tensile and creep properties of fibers, matrices, and composites is discussed.

  18. Photovoltaic receivers for laser beamed power in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    There has recently been a resurgence of interest in the use of beamed power to support space exploration activities. One of the most promising beamed power concepts uses a laser beam to transmit power to a remote photovoltaic array. Large lasers can be located on cloud-free sites at one or more ground locations and illuminate solar arrays to a level sufficient to provide operating power. Issues involved in providing photovoltaic receivers for such applications are discussed.

  19. Automated electric power management and control for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dolce, James L.; Mellor, Pamela A.; Kish, James A.

    1990-01-01

    A comprehensive automation design is being developed for Space Station Freedom's electric power system. It strives to increase station productivity by applying expert systems and conventional algorithms to automate power system operation. An integrated approach to the power system command and control problem is defined and used to direct technology development in: diagnosis, security monitoring and analysis, battery management, and cooperative problem-solving for resource allocation. The prototype automated power system is developed using simulations and test-beds.

  20. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, M.; Stikar, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is one of the nation's largest research and development (R and D) facilities and is responsible for national security programs in defense and energy with a primary emphasis on nuclear weapon R and D. However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. A brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space is presented.

  1. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities and is responsible for national security programs in defense and energy with a primary emphasis on nuclear weapon R&D. However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. A brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space is presented.

  2. Nuclear Power Technologies for Deep Space and Planetary Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephenson, K.; Blancquaert, T.

    2008-09-01

    Photovoltaic cells are well established as the appropriate primary power source for most space missions. For long duration missions that cannot rely on harnessing the external power of the sun, electrochemical processes are simply too low in energy density to provide useful sustained power. Nuclear processes, however, can have huge energy densities, and for this reason, nuclear power systems (NPS) are the only current alternative to solar arrays for long-term generation of power in space.Although nuclear power has been in use since the beginnings of spaceflight, it remains a niche technology that has not enjoyed the visibility and commercial-sector development effort of solar photovoltaics. However, as our space science and exploration programmes look to the outer planets or to long-duration lander missions, nuclear power becomes a key enabling technology.It is logical and useful to divide space nuclear power systems into three categories. In order of increasing complexity, these are:• Direct production of heat by radioactive decay.• Electrical power generation via radioactive decay heat.• Nuclear reactor systems.Past and future mission applications for these are briefly considered before examining, in greater detail, the technology challenges presented by the first two classes of NPS; the radioactive decay heat systems. Of particular current interest are the various methods for conversion of heat to electrical power. For space nuclear power systems, thermoelectricity has been the dominant technology, due to its long-term reliability and vibration-free operation. However, the cost, mass, and safety implications of radioisotopic fuel provide a strong driver to move towards higher-efficiency conversion techniques that could greatly reduce the fuel quantities required.This paper reviews the established technologies used in space nuclear power systems, and then looks to the future, summarising the main areas of worldwide development and considering the

  3. Space power tubes - very much alive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kosmahl, H. G.

    1983-01-01

    The application of the traveling wave tubes (TWT), the backbone of all civilian and military space communication programs, to past, present and future satellites is discussed. Performance characteristics and the trends and challenges in the future are reviewed. Finally, a comparison with Solid State devices, as derived from fundamental laws, is made and limitations discussed.

  4. An economically viable space power relay system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bekey, Ivan; Boudreault, Richard

    1999-09-01

    This paper describes and analyzes the economics of a power relay system that takes advantage of recent technological advances to implement a system that is economically viable. A series of power relay systems are described and analyzed which transport power ranging from 1,250 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts, and distribute it to receiving sites at transcontinental distances. Two classes of systems are discussed—those with a single reflector and delivering all the power to a single rectenna, and a second type which has multiple reflectors and distributes it to 10 rectenna sites, sharing power among them. It is shown that when offering electricity at prices competitive to those prevalent in developed cities in the US that a low IRR is inevitable, and economic feasibility of a business is unlikely. However, when the target market is Japan where the prevalent electricity prices are much greater, that an IRR exceeding 65% is readily attainable. This is extremely attractive to potential investors, making capitalization of a venture likely. The paper shows that the capital investment required for the system can be less than 1 per installed watt, contributing less than 0.02 /KW-hr to the cost of energy provision. Since selling prices in feasible regions range from 0.18 to over 030 $/kW-hr, these costs are but a small fraction of the operating expenses. Thus a very large IRR is possible for such a business.

  5. Future NASA mission applications of space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Mankins, John; Mcconnell, Dudley G.; Reck, Gregory M.

    1990-01-01

    Recent studies sponsored by NASA show a continuing need for space nuclear power. A recently completed study considered missions (such as a Jovian grand tour, a Uranus or Neptune orbiter and probe, and a Pluto flyby) that can only be done with nuclear power. There are also studies for missions beyond the outer boundaries of the solar system at distances of 100 to 1000 astronomical units. The NASA 90-day study on the Space Exploration Initiative identified a need for nuclear reactors to power lunar surface bases and radioisotope power sources for use in lunar or Martian rovers, as well as considering options for advanced, nuclear propulsion systems for human missions to Mars.

  6. Nuclear alkali metal Rankine power systems for space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Moyers, J.C.; Holcomb, R.S.

    1986-08-01

    Nucler power systems utilizing alkali metal Rankine power conversion cycles offer the potential for high efficiency, lightweight space power plants. Conceptual design studies are being carried out for both direct and indirect cycle systems for steady state space power applications. A computational model has been developed for calculating the performance, size, and weight of these systems over a wide range of design parameters. The model is described briefly and results from parametric design studies, with descriptions of typical point designs, are presented in this paper.

  7. Proceedings of the eighth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    SciTech Connect

    El-Genk, M.S. ); Hoover, M.D. . Inhalation Toxicology Research Inst.)

    1991-01-01

    The eighth symposium on Space Nuclear Power Systems was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Separate abstracts have been prepared for the papers presented in Part Two of the conference proceedings in the following areas of interest: nuclear electric propulsion: engine concepts; key nuclear technologies for human exploration of the solar system; materials and nuclear fuels; dynamic energy conversion; direct nuclear propulsion; thermionic conversion technology; reactor and power system control; thermal management; thermionic research; radiation effects to electronics; heat pipe technology; space nuclear fuels for power reactors; and radioisotope power systems. (MB)

  8. Design investigation of solar powered lasers for space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taussig, R.; Bruzzone, C.; Quimby, D.; Nelson, L.; Christiansen, W.; Neice, S.; Cassady, P.; Pindroh, A.

    1979-01-01

    The feasibility of solar powered lasers for continuous operation in space power transmission was investigated. Laser power transmission in space over distances of 10 to 100 thousand kilometers appears possible. A variety of lasers was considered, including solar-powered GDLs and EDLs, and solar-pumped lasers. An indirect solar-pumped laser was investigated which uses a solar-heated black body cavity to pump the lasant. Efficiencies in the range of 10 to 20 percent are projected for these indirect optically pumped lasers.

  9. Space Power Management and Distribution Status and Trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reppucci, G. M.; Biess, J. J.; Inouye, L.

    1984-01-01

    An overview of space power management and distribution (PMAD) is provided which encompasses historical and current technology trends. The PMAD components discussed include power source control, energy storage control, and load power processing electronic equipment. The status of distribution equipment comprised of rotary joints and power switchgear is evaluated based on power level trends in the public, military, and commercial sectors. Component level technology thrusts, as driven by perceived system level trends, are compared to technology status of piece-parts such as power semiconductors, capacitors, and magnetics to determine critical barriers.

  10. America in Space: The First Decade - Spacecraft Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corliss, William R.

    1970-01-01

    Electrical power is necessary for every manned and unmanned spacecraft, with the exception of a few special-purpose Earth satellites. It is the reliable flow and availability of electrical power that allows man to extend his personal ventures safely beyond the atmosphere and keeps unmanned scientific payloads serving as useful tools for space exploration and applications. Electric power is essential to space communications, guidance, control, tracking, telemetry, life-support systems, sensors, data handling and storage, and to assure the proper functioning of countless experimental and housekeeping systems and subsystems aboard operating spacecraft. It remains the task of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, since NASA's founding in 1958, to fully investigate the chemical, nuclear and solar sources of energy and to see how best they can be converted to reliable spacecraft power. The research and technology of power-generating systems illustrates a seldom recognized goal of NASA - to assure this Nation a freedom of choice; the choice, in this case, being that of going where we wish to go in the atmosphere or in space. Technical capability is the key to such freedom. Power requirements and profiles are reviewed and power sources, including batteries, fuel cells, solar cell, RTGs and nuclear fission power plants in space, are highlighted.

  11. Power management and control for space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.; Myers, I. T.; Terdan, F. F.; Stevens, N. J.

    1978-01-01

    Power management and control technology for the large, high-power spacecraft of the 1980's is discussed. Systems weight optimization that indicate a need for higher bus voltages are shown. Environmental interactions that are practical limits for the maximum potential on exposed surfaces are shown. A dual-voltage system is proposed that would provide the weight savings of a high-voltage distribution system and take into account the potential environmental interactions. The technology development of new components and circuits is also discussed.

  12. Space Station Freedom power management and distribution system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teren, Fred

    1989-01-01

    The design is described of the Space Station Freedom Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) System. In addition, the significant trade studies which were conducted are described, which led to the current PMAD system configuration.

  13. Computer optimization of reactor-thermoelectric space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maag, W. L.; Finnegan, P. M.; Fishbach, L. H.

    1973-01-01

    A computer simulation and optimization code that has been developed for nuclear space power systems is described. The results of using this code to analyze two reactor-thermoelectric systems are presented.

  14. Space power distribution system technology. Volume 3: Test facility design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Decker, D. K.; Cannady, M. D.; Cassinelli, J. E.; Farber, B. F.; Lurie, C.; Fleck, G. W.; Lepisto, J. W.; Messner, A.; Ritterman, P. F.

    1983-01-01

    The AMPS test facility is a major tool in the attainment of more economical space power. The ultimate goals of the test facility, its primary functional requirements and conceptual design, and the major equipment it contains are discussed.

  15. Space shuttle auxiliary power unit study, phase 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binsley, R. L.; Krause, A. A.; Maddox, R. D.; Marcy, R. D.; Siegler, R. S.

    1972-01-01

    A study was performed to establish the preliminary design of the space shuttle auxiliary power unit. Details of the analysis, optimizations, and design of the components, subsystems and systems are presented.

  16. Automated distribution system management for multichannel space power systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fleck, G. W.; Decker, D. K.; Graves, J.

    1983-01-01

    A NASA sponsored study of space power distribution system technology is in progress to develop an autonomously managed power system (AMPS) for large space power platforms. The multichannel, multikilowatt, utility-type power subsystem proposed presents new survivability requirements and increased subsystem complexity. The computer controls under development for the power management system must optimize the power subsystem performance and minimize the life cycle cost of the platform. A distribution system management philosophy has been formulated which incorporates these constraints. Its implementation using a TI9900 microprocessor and FORTH as the programming language is presented. The approach offers a novel solution to the perplexing problem of determining the optimal combination of loads which should be connected to each power channel for a versatile electrical distribution concept.

  17. A 5-GWe nuclear satellite power system conceptual design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goodman, M.; Thomson, W. B.

    1978-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a brief study performed for MSFC on the conceptual design of a nuclear satellite power station which delivers 5 GWe net power to earth by microwave transmission. The system contains 26 modules each consisting of a reactor, fuel processing plant, Brayton PCU, space radiator, and nuclear shield. A high-temperature, gas-cooled, pebble-bed plutonium breeder concept was selected which is resupplied with fertile U-238. Sections of this core are periodically replaced and the spent fuel is chemically processed, the radioactive wastes separated, and stored for eventual space disposal. Fresh fuel pellets, formed from the U-238 and the bred plutonium, are recycled back to the reactor. The hot (1317 C) helium gas exiting the reactor serves as the working fluid in a 30%-efficient Brayton PCU.

  18. An Isotope-Powered Thermal Storage unit for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisano, Michael E.; Rose, M. F.

    An Isotope-Powered Thermal Storage Unit (ITSU), that would store and utilize heat energy in a 'pulsed' fashion in space operations, is described. Properties of various radioisotopes are considered in conjunction with characteristics of thermal energy storage materials, to evaluate possible implementation of such a device. The utility of the unit is discussed in light of various space applications, including rocket propulsion, power generation, and spacecraft thermal management.

  19. An isotope-powered thermal storage unit for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisano, Michael E.; Rose, M. Frank

    1991-01-01

    An Isotope-Powered Thermal Storage Unite (ITSU), that would store and utilize heat energy in a ``pulsed'' fashion in space operations, is described. Properties of various radioisotopes are considered in conjunction with characteristics of thermal energy storage materials, to evaluate possible implementation of such a device. The utility of the unit is dicussed in light of various space applications, including rocket propulsion, power generation, and spacecraft thermal magnagement.

  20. Experimental evaluation of a volts-per-hertz reference circuit for the isotope Brayton system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wimmer, H. L.

    1972-01-01

    In Brayton-cycle power systems, the speed decreases rapidly with overload. If the voltage decreases linearly with speed (frequency), the power decreases as the square of the voltage. This makes the system more tolerant of overloads. A volts-per-hertz reference circuit, consisting of a volts-per-hertz sensor and a voltage limiter, was designed and fabricated. This reference circuit was incorporated in an existing voltage regulator to control a turbine-driven alternator. Test results show that the control does function to reduce voltage at speeds below the rated speed and that it performed successfully during transients.

  1. Exploration mission enhancements possible with power beaming. [Space Applications Power Beaming

    SciTech Connect

    Bamberger, J.A.; Coomes, E.P. ); Segna, D.R. )

    1990-10-01

    A key factor in the exploration and development of the space frontier is the availability of energy where and when it is needed. Currently all space satellites and platforms include self-contained power systems that supply the energy necessary to accomplish mission objectives. An alternative approach is to couple advanced high power system with energy beam transmitters and energy receivers to form an infrastructure of a space power utility where a central power system provides power to multiple users. Major space activities, such as low Earth orbit space commercialization and the colonization of the Moon or Mars, would benefit significantly from a central power generation and transmission system. This paper describes the power-beaming concept and system components as applied to space power generation and distribution in support of the Space Exploration Initiative. Beam-power scenarios are discussed including commonality of systems and hardware with cargo transport vehicles, power beaming from orbit to stationary and mobile users on the Lunar and Mars surfaces, and other surface applications. 6 refs.

  2. Scaling considerations for a multi-megawatt class supercritical CO2 brayton cycle and commercialization.

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Darryn D.; Holschuh, Thomas Vernon,; Conboy, Thomas M.; Pasch, James Jay; Wright, Steven A; Rochau, Gary E; Fuller, Robert Lynn

    2013-11-01

    Small-scale supercritical CO2 demonstration loops are successful at identifying the important technical issues that one must face in order to scale up to larger power levels. The Sandia National Laboratories supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle test loops are identifying technical needs to scale the technology to commercial power levels such as 10 MWe. The small size of the Sandia 1 MWth loop has demonstration of the split flow loop efficiency and effectiveness of the Printed Circuit Heat Exchangers (PCHXs) leading to the design of a fully recuperated, split flow, supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle demonstration system. However, there were many problems that were encountered, such as high rotational speeds in the units. Additionally, the turbomachinery in the test loops need to identify issues concerning the bearings, seals, thermal boundaries, and motor controller problems in order to be proved a reliable power source in the 300 kWe range. Although these issues were anticipated in smaller demonstration units, commercially scaled hardware would eliminate these problems caused by high rotational speeds at small scale. The economic viability and development of the future scalable 10 MWe solely depends on the interest of DOE and private industry. The Intellectual Property collected by Sandia proves that the ~10 MWe supercritical CO2 power conversion loop to be very beneficial when coupled to a 20 MWth heat source (either solar, geothermal, fossil, or nuclear). This paper will identify a commercialization plan, as well as, a roadmap from the simple 1 MWth supercritical CO2 development loop to a power producing 10 MWe supercritical CO2 Brayton loop.

  3. Power in the Production of Spaces Transformed by Rural Tourism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frisvoll, Svein

    2012-01-01

    The article critiques Halfacree's conceptualisation of rural space for masking the workings of power within "black boxes" such as "structural coherence" and "trial by space". One consequence is that rural change's social activities and also their social and personal consequences are cloaked, thereby rendering the localised fault lines of rurality…

  4. Power from space and the hydrogen economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Philip K.; Haynes, William E.

    2005-07-01

    Recent discoveries of methane hydrates under the Arctic permafrost and on continental shelves have revealed an immense energy resource. This has two major implications for the Solar Power Satellite (SPS). First, the SPS will not be built unless it can produce electricity at a price competitive with that generated using methane from hydrates (perhaps with sequestration of carbon dioxide). Second, steam reformation of methane is much cheaper than water electrolysis as a source of hydrogen, so there is little role for the SPS (or any other electric power technology) in the proposed hydrogen economy. On the other hand, an economy based on methane-electric hybrid vehicles offers advantages quite comparable to the hydrogen economy, without its technical problems and immense capital requirements. The methane economy also offers a transitional path to increasing direct use of electricity in transportation, a development that could create a major market for the SPS.

  5. Heat pipe reactors for space power applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koenig, D. R.; Ranken, W. A.; Salmi, E. W.

    1977-01-01

    A family of heat pipe reactors design concepts has been developed to provide heat to a variety of electrical conversion systems. Three power plants are described that span the power range 1-500 kWe and operate in the temperature range 1200-1700 K. The reactors are fast, compact, heat-pipe cooled, high-temperature nuclear reactors fueled with fully enriched refractory fuels, UC-ZrC or UO2. Each fuel element is cooled by an axially located molybdenum heat pipe containing either sodium or lithium vapor. Virtues of the reactor designs are the avoidance of single-point failure mechanisms, the relatively high operating temperature, and the expected long lifetimes of the fuel element components.

  6. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies.

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities, with headquarters at Albuquerque, New Mexico; a laboratory at Livermore, California; and a test range near Tonopah, Nevada. Smaller testing facilities are also operated at other locations. Established in 1945, Sandia was operated by the University of California until 1949, when, at the request of President Truman, Sandia Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Bell Lab's Western Electric Company to operate Sandia as a service to the U.S. Government without profit or fee. Sandia is currently operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by AT&T Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Sandia's responsibility is national security programs in defense and energy with primary emphasis on nuclear weapon research and development (R&D). However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. Assets, owned by DOE and valued at more than $1.2 billion, include about 600 major buildings containing about 372,000 square meters (m2) (4 million square feet [ft2]) of floor space, located on land totalling approximately 1460 square kilometers (km2) (562 square miles [mi]). Sandia employs about 8500 people, the majority in Albuquerque, with about 1000 in Livermore. Approximately 60% of Sandia's employees are in technical and scientific positions, and the remainder are in crafts, skilled labor, and administrative positions. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. The purpose of this brochure is to provide the reader with a brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space. Sandia is interested in forming partnerships with industry and government organizations, and has already

  7. Performance improvement options for the supercritical carbon dioxide brayton cycle.

    SciTech Connect

    Moisseytsev, A.; Sienicki, J. J.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2008-07-17

    The supercritical carbon dioxide (S-CO{sub 2}) Brayton cycle is under development at Argonne National Laboratory as an advanced power conversion technology for Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs) as well as other Generation IV advanced reactors as an alternative to the traditional Rankine steam cycle. For SFRs, the S-CO{sub 2} Brayton cycle eliminates the need to consider sodium-water reactions in the licensing and safety evaluation, reduces the capital cost of the SFR plant, and increases the SFR plant efficiency. Even though the S-CO{sub 2} cycle has been under development for some time and optimal sets of operating parameters have been determined, those earlier development and optimization studies have largely been directed at applications to other systems such as gas-cooled reactors which have higher operating temperatures than SFRs. In addition, little analysis has been carried out to investigate cycle configurations deviating from the selected 'recompression' S-CO{sub 2} cycle configuration. In this work, several possible ways to improve S-CO{sub 2} cycle performance for SFR applications have been identified and analyzed. One set of options incorporates optimization approaches investigated previously, such as variations in the maximum and minimum cycle pressure and minimum cycle temperature, as well as a tradeoff between the component sizes and the cycle performance. In addition, the present investigation also covers options which have received little or no attention in the previous studies. Specific options include a 'multiple-recompression' cycle configuration, intercooling and reheating, as well as liquid-phase CO{sub 2} compression (pumping) either by CO{sub 2} condensation or by a direct transition from the supercritical to the liquid phase. Some of the options considered did not improve the cycle efficiency as could be anticipated beforehand. Those options include: a double recompression cycle, intercooling between the compressor stages, and reheating

  8. Power system requirements and selection for the space exploration initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Biringer, K.L. ); Bartine, D.E. ); Buden, D. ); Foreman, J. ); Harrison, S. )

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) seeks to reestablish a US program of manned and unmanned space exploration. The President has called for a program which includes a space station element, a manned habitation of the moon, and a human exploration of Mars. The NASA Synthesis Group has developed four significantly different architectures for the SEI program. One key element of a space exploration effort is the power required to support the missions. The Power Speciality Team of the Synthesis Group was tasked with assessing and evaluating the power requirements and candidate power technologies for such missions. Inputs to the effort came from existing NASA studies as well as other governments agency inputs such as those from DOD and DOE. In addition, there were industry and university briefings and results of solicitations from the AIAA and the general public as part of the NASA outreach effort. Because of the variety of power needs in the SEI program, there will be a need for multiple power system technologies including solar, nuclear and electrochemical. Due to the high rocket masses required to propel payloads to the moon and beyond to Mars, there is great emphasis placed on the need for high power density and high energy density systems. Power system technology development work is needed results will determine the ultimate technology selections. 23 refs., 10 figs.

  9. Overview of NASA Power Technologies for Space and Aero Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beach, Raymond F.

    2014-01-01

    To achieve the ambitious goals that NASA has outlined for the next decades considerable development of power technology will be necessary. This presentation outlines the development objectives for both the space and aero applications. It further looks at the various power technologies that support these objectives and examines drivers that will be a driving force for future development.

  10. Alternative approaches to space-based power generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregory, D. L.

    1977-01-01

    Satellite Power Stations (SPS) would generate electrical power in space for terrestrial use. Their geosynchronous orbit location permits continuous microwave power transmission to ground receiving antenna farms. Eight approaches to the generation of the electrical power to be transmitted were investigated. Configurations implementing these approaches were developed through an optimization process intended to yield the lowest cost for each. A complete program was baselined for each approach, identifying required production rates, quantities of launches, required facilities, etc. Each program was costed, including the associated launches, orbital assembly, and maintenance operations. The required electric power charges to amortize these costs were calculated. They range from 26 to 82 mills/kWh (ground busbar).

  11. Systems definition space based power conversion systems: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    Potential space-located systems for the generation of electrical power for use on earth were investigated. These systems were of three basic types: (1) systems producing electrical power from solar energy; (2) systems producing electrical power from nuclear reactors; (3) systems for augmenting ground-based solar power plants by orbital sunlight reflectors. Configurations implementing these concepts were developed through an optimization process intended to yield the lowest cost for each. A complete program was developed for each concept, identifying required production rates, quantities of launches, required facilities, etc. Each program was costed in order to provide the electric power cost appropriate to each concept.

  12. Space station electric power system requirements and design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teren, Fred

    1987-01-01

    An overview of the conceptual definition and design of the space station Electric Power System (EPS) is given. Responsibilities for the design and development of the EPS are defined. The EPS requirements are listed and discussed, including average and peak power requirements, contingency requirements, and fault tolerance. The most significant Phase B trade study results are summarized, and the design selections and rationale are given. Finally, the power management and distribution system architecture is presented.

  13. 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.

  14. Assessment of nuclear reactor concepts for low power space applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, Andrew C.; Gedeon, Stephen R.; Morey, Dennis C.

    1988-01-01

    The results of a preliminary small reactor concepts feasibility and safety evaluation designed to provide a first order validation of the nuclear feasibility and safety of six small reactor concepts are given. These small reactor concepts have potential space applications for missions in the 1 to 20 kWe power output range. It was concluded that low power concepts are available from the U.S. nuclear industry that have the potential for meeting both the operational and launch safety space mission requirements. However, each design has its uncertainties, and further work is required. The reactor concepts must be mated to a power conversion technology that can offer safe and reliable operation.

  15. Space resources. Volume 2: Energy, power, and transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckay, Mary Fae (Editor); Mckay, David S. (Editor); Duke, Michael B. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    This volume of the Space Resources report covers a number of technical and policy issues concerning the energy and power to carry out advanced space missions and the means of transportation to get to the sites of those missions. Discussed in the first half of this volume are the technologies which might be used to provide power and a variety of ways to convert power from one form to another, store it, move it wherever it is needed, and use it. In the second half of this volume, various kinds of transportation, including both interplanetary and surface systems, are discussed.

  16. A Review of Tribomaterial Technology for Space Nuclear Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanford, Malcolm K.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently proposed a nuclear closed-cycle electric power conversion system for generation of 100-kW of electrical power for space exploration missions. A critical issue is the tribological performance of sliding components within the power conversion unit that will be exposed to neutron radiation. This paper presents a review of the main considerations that have been made in the selection of solid lubricants for similar applications in the past as well as a recommendations for continuing development of the technology.

  17. High voltage-high power components for large space power distribution systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Renz, D. D.

    1984-01-01

    Space power components including a family of bipolar power switching transistors, fast switching power diodes, heat pipe cooled high frequency transformers and inductors, high frequency conduction cooled transformers, high power-high frequency capacitors, remote power controllers and rotary power transfer devices were developed. Many of these components such as the power switching transistors, power diodes and the high frequency capacitor are commercially available. All the other components were developed to the prototype level. The dc/dc series resonant converters were built to the 25 kW level.

  18. Balance-of-plant options for the Heat-Pipe Power System

    SciTech Connect

    Berte, M.; Capell, B.

    1997-09-01

    The Heat-Pipe Power System (HPS) is a near-term, low-cost space fission power system with the potential for utilizing various option for balance-of-plant options. The following options have been studied: a low-power thermoelectric design (14-kWe output), a small Brayton cycle system (60--75 kWe), and a large Brayton cycle system (250 kWe). These systems were analyzed on a preliminary basis, including mass, volume, and structure calculations. These analyses have shown that the HPS system can provide power outputs from 10--250 kWe with specific powers of {approximately} 14 W/kg for a 14-kWe model to {approximately} 100 W/kg for a 250-kWe model. The system designs considered in this study utilize a common component base to permit easy expansion and development.

  19. Space Station Freedom photovoltaic power module design status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jimenez, Amador P.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    1989-01-01

    Electric power generation for the Space Station Freedom will be provided by four photovoltaic (PV) power modules using silicon solar cells during phase I operation. Each PV power module requires two solar arrays with 32,800 solar cells generating 18.75 kW of dc power for a total of 75 kW. A portion of this power will be stored in nickel-hydrogen batteries for use during eclipse, and the balance will be processed and converted to 20 kHz ac power for distribution to end users through the power management and distribution system. The design incorporates an optimized thermal control system, pointing and tracking provision with the application of gimbals, and the use of orbital replacement units to achieve modularization. The design status of the PV power module, as derived from major trade studies, is discussed at hardware levels ranging from component to system. Details of the design are presented where appropriate.

  20. Space Station Freedom photovoltaic power module design status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jimenez, Amador P.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    1989-01-01

    Electric power generation for Space Station Freedom will be provided by four photovoltaic (PV) power modules using silicon solar cells during Phase 1 operation. Each PV power module requires two solar arrays with 32,800 solar cells generating 18.75 kW of dc power for a total of 75 kW. A portion of this power will be stored in nickel-hydrogen batteries for use during eclipse, and the balance will be processed and converted to 20 kHz ac power for distribution to end users through the power management and distribution system. The design incorporates an optimized thermal control system, pointing and tracking provision with the application of gimbals, and the use of orbital replacement units (ORU's) to achieve modularization. Design status of the PV power module, as derived from major trade studies, is discussed at hardware levels ranging from component to system. Details of the design are presented where appropriate.