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Extended Operation of Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research CenterNASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) has been supporting development of free-piston Stirling conversion technology for spaceflight electrical power generation since 1999. GRC has also been supporting the development of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) since 2006. A key element of the ASRG project is providing life, reliability, and performance data for the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC). The Thermal Energy Conversion branch at GRC is conducting extended operation of several free-piston Stirling convertors. The goal of this effort is to generate long-term performance data (tens of thousands of hours) on multiple units to build a life and reliability database. Currently, GRC is operating 18 convertors. This hardware set includes Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDCs) from Infinia Corporation, of which one pair (TDCs #13 and #14) has accumulated over 60,000 hr (6.8 years) of operation. Also under test are various Sunpower, Inc. convertors that were fabricated during the ASC development activity, including ASC-0, ASC-E (including those in the ASRG engineering unit), and ASC-E2. The ASC-E2s also completed, or are in progress of completing workmanship vibration testing, performance mapping, and extended operation. Two ASC-E2 units will also be used for durability testing, during which components will be stressed to levels above nominal mission usage. Extended operation data analyses from these tests are covered in this paper.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Oriti, Salvatore, M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper-2011-5726
Meeting Information
IECEC 2011(San Diego, CA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.03
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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