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Status of Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion Using a Pumped NaK Loop for Thermal InputFree-piston Stirling power conversion has been identified as a viable option for potential Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems on the Moon and Mars. Proposed systems consist of two or more Stirling convertors, in a dual-opposed configuration, coupled to a low-temperature uranium-dioxide-fueled, liquid-metal-cooled reactor. To reduce developmental risks associated with liquid-metal loop integration, a test rig has been built to evaluate the performance of a pair of 1-kW free-piston Stirling convertors using a pumped sodium-potassium (NaK) loop for thermal energy input. Baseline performance maps have been generated at the Glenn Research Center (GRC) for these 1-kW convertors operating with an electric heat source. Each convertor was then retrofitted with a custom-made NaK heater head and integrated into a pumped NaK system at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). This paper documents baseline testing at GRC as well as the progress made in integrating the Stirling convertors into the pumped NaK loop.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Briggs, Maxwell H.
(QinetiQ North America Cleveland, OH, United States)
Geng, Steven M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Robbie, Malcolm G.
(QinetiQ North America Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2010
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2009-4597
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 463169.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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