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Recent Stirling Conversion Technology Developments and Operational MeasurementsUnder contract to the Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC) has been developing the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG). The use of Stirling technology introduces a four-fold increase in conversion efficiency over Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs), and thus the ASRG in an attractive power system option for future science missions. In August of 2008, the ASRG engineering unit (EU) was delivered to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The engineering unit design resembles that of a flight unit, with the exception of electrical heating in place of a radioisotope source. Prior to delivery, GRC personnel prepared a test station continuous, unattended operation of the engineering unit. This test station is capable of autonomously monitoring the unit's safe operation and recording. , .. , .... performance data. Generator parameters recorded include temperatures, electrical power output, and thelmal power input. Convertor specific parameters are also recorded such as alternator voltage, current, piston amplitude, and frequency. Since November 2008, the ASRG EU has accumulated over 4,000 hours of operation. Initial operation was conducted using the AC bus control method in lieu of the LMSSC active power factor connecting controller. Operation on the LMSSC controller began in February 2009. This paper discusses the entirety of ASRG EU operation thus far, as well as baseline performance data at GRC and LMSSC, and comparison of performance using each control method.
Document ID
Document Type
Oriti, Salvatore
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Schifer, Nicholas
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 26, 2013
Publication Date
August 4, 2009
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Meeting Information
7th International Energy Conversion and Engineering Conference (IECEC 2009)(Denver, CO)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.01.04.01
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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