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Test Rack Development for Extended Operation of Advanced Stirling Convertors at NASA Glenn Research CenterThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Company (LMSC), Sun power Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science missions. This generator will make use of free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. NASA GRC's support of ASRG development includes extended operation testing of Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASCs) developed by Sunpower Inc. In the past year, NASA GRC has been building a test facility to support extended operation of a pair of engineering level ASCs. Operation of the convertors in the test facility provides convertor performance data over an extended period of time. Mechanical support hardware, data acquisition software, and an instrumentation rack were developed to prepare the pair of convertors for continuous extended operation. Short-term tests were performed to gather baseline performance data before extended operation was initiated. These tests included workmanship vibration, insulation thermal loss characterization, low-temperature checkout, and fUll-power operation. Hardware and software features are implemented to ensure reliability of support systems. This paper discusses the mechanical support hardware, instrumentation rack, data acquisition software, short-term tests, and safety features designed to support continuous unattended operation of a pair of ASCs.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Dugala, Gina M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center 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 and Engineering Conference (IECEC 2009)
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
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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