Summary of Test Results From a 1 kW(sub e)-Class Free-Piston Stirling Power Convertor Integrated With a Pumped NaK LoopAs a step towards development of Stirling power conversion for potential use in Fission Surface Power (FSP) systems, a pair of commercially available 1 kW class free-piston Stirling convertors was modified to operate with a NaK liquid metal pumped loop for thermal energy input. This was the first-ever attempt at powering a free-piston Stirling engine with a pumped liquid metal heat source and is a major FSP project milestone towards demonstrating technical feasibility. The tests included performance mapping the convertors over various hot and cold-end temperatures, piston amplitudes and NaK flow rates; and transient test conditions to simulate various start-up and fault scenarios. Performance maps of the convertors generated using the pumped NaK loop for thermal input show increases in power output over those measured during baseline testing using electric heating. Transient testing showed that the Stirling convertors can be successfully started in a variety of different scenarios and that the convertors can recover from a variety of fault scenarios.
Briggs, Maxwell H. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Geng, Steven M. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Pearson, J. Boise (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Godfroy, Thomas J. (Maximum Technology Corp. Huntsville, AL, United States)