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Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research CenterThe U.S. Department of Energy, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than with currently available alternatives. One part of NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. and GRC. The ASC consists of a free-piston Stirling engine integrated with a linear alternator. NASA GRC has been building test facilities to support extended operation of the ASCs for several years. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. One part of the test facility is the test rack, which provides a means for data collection, convertor control, and safe operation. Over the years, the test rack requirements have changed. The initial ASC test rack utilized an alternating-current (AC) bus for convertor control; the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) test rack can operate with AC bus control or with an ASC Control Unit (ACU). A new test rack is being developed to support extended operation of the ASC-E2s with higher standards of documentation, component selection, and assembly practices. This paper discusses the differences among the ASC, ASRG EU, and ASC-E2 test racks.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Dugala, Gina M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2010
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Seventh International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)(Denver, CO)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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