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Thermal Energy Conversion BranchThe Thermal Energy Conversion Branch (5490) leads the way in designing, conducting, and implementing research for the newest thermal systems used in space applications at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Specifically some of the most advanced technologies developed in this branch can be broken down into four main areas: Dynamic Power Systems, Primary Solar Concentrators, Secondary Solar Concentrators, and Thermal Management. Work was performed in the Dynamic Power Systems area, specifically the Stirling Engine subdivision. Today, the main focus of the 5490 branch is free-piston Stirling cycle converters, Brayton cycle nuclear reactors, and heat rejection systems for long duration mission spacecraft. All space exploring devices need electricity to operate. In most space applications, heat energy from radioisotopes is converted to electrical power. The Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) already supplies electricity for missions such as the Cassini Spacecraft. The focus of today's Stirling research at GRC is aimed at creating an engine that can replace the RTG. The primary appeal of the Stirling engine is its high system efficiency. Because it is so efficient, the Stirling engine will significantly reduce the plutonium fuel mission requirements compared to the RTG. Stirling is also being considered for missions such as the lunar/Mars bases and rovers. This project has focused largely on Stirling Engines of all types, particularly the fluidyne liquid piston engine. The fluidyne was developed by Colin D. West. This engine uses the same concepts found in any type of Stirling engine, with the exception of missing mechanical components. All the working components are fluid. One goal was to develop and demonstrate a working Stirling Fluidyne Engine at the 2nd Annual International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference in Providence, Rhode Island.
Document ID
20050186617
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Bielozer, Matthew C. (Ohio State Univ. Columbus, OH, United States)
Schreiber, Jeffrey, G. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wilson, Scott D. (Sest, Inc. Middleburgh Heights, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium II
Subject Category
Energy Production and Conversion
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20050186580Analytic PrimaryResearch Symposium II