NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Stirling Convertor Extended Operation Testing and Data Analysis at GRCThis paper focuses on extended operation testing and data analysis of free-piston Stirling convertors at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Extended operation testing is essential to the development of radioisotope power systems and their potential use for long duration missions. To document the reliability of the convertors, regular monitoring and analysis of the extended operation data is particularly valuable; allowing us to better understand and quantity the long life characteristics of the convertors. Further, investigation and comparison of the extended operation data to baseline performance data provides us an opportunity for understanding system behavior should any off-nominal performance occur. GRC currently has 14 Stirling convertors under 24-hour unattended extended operation testing, including two operating the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering Unit (ASRG-EU). 10 of the 14 Stirling convertors at GRC are the Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) developed by Sunpower, Incorporated. These are highly efficient (up to > 33.5% conversion efficiency), low mass convertors that have evolved through technologically progressive convertor builds. The remaining four convertors at GRC are Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) from Infinia Corporation. They have achieved> 27% conversion efficiency and have accumulated over 178,000 of the total 250,622 hours of extended operation currently at GRC. A synopsis of the Stirling convertor extended operation testing and data analysis at NASA GRC is presented in this paper, as well as how this testing has contributed to the Stirling convertor's progression toward flight.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Cornell, Peggy A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Lewandowski, Edward J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Oriti, Salvatore M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Wilson, Scott D.
(Sest, Inc. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
August 2, 2009
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Meeting Information
Meeting: 7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
Location: Denver, CO
Country: United States
Start Date: August 2, 2009
End Date: August 5, 2009
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available