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A Computational Methodology for Simulating Thermal Loss Testing of the Advanced Stirling ConvertorThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) have been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system for space science missions. This generator would use two highefficiency Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs), developed by Sunpower Inc. and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The ASCs convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source into electricity. As part of ground testing of these ASCs, different operating conditions are used to simulate expected mission conditions. These conditions require achieving a particular operating frequency, hot end and cold end temperatures, and specified electrical power output for a given net heat input. In an effort to improve net heat input predictions, numerous tasks have been performed which provided a more accurate value for net heat input into the ASCs, including the use of multidimensional numerical models. Validation test hardware has also been used to provide a direct comparison of numerical results and validate the multi-dimensional numerical models used to predict convertor net heat input and efficiency. These validation tests were designed to simulate the temperature profile of an operating Stirling convertor and resulted in a measured net heat input of 244.4 W. The methodology was applied to the multi-dimensional numerical model which resulted in a net heat input of 240.3 W. The computational methodology resulted in a value of net heat input that was 1.7 percent less than that measured during laboratory testing. The resulting computational methodology and results are discussed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Reid, Terry V.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wilson, Scott D.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schifer, Nicholas A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Briggs, Maxwell H.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2011-5579
Meeting Information
Meeting: 9th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 31, 2011
End Date: August 3, 2011
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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