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Free-piston Stirling technology for space powerAn overview is presented of the NASA Lewis Research Center free-piston Stirling engine activities directed toward space power. This work is being carried out under NASA's new Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI). The overall goal of CSTI's High Capacity Power element is to develop the technology base needed to meet the long duration, high capacity power requirements for future NASA space missions. The Stirling cycle offers an attractive power conversion concept for space power needs. Discussed here is the completion of the Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) testing-culminating in the generation of 25 kW of engine power from a dynamically-balanced opposed-piston Stirling engine at a temperature ratio of 2.0. Engine efficiency was approximately 22 percent. The SPDE recently has been divided into two separate single-cylinder engines, called Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), that now serve as test beds for the evaluation of key technology disciplines. These disciplines include hydrodynamic gas bearings, high-efficiency linear alternators, space qualified heat pipe heat exchangers, oscillating flow code validation, and engine loss understanding.
Document ID
19890059149
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Slaby, Jack G. (NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: Space Power
Volume: 8
Issue: 1-2
ISSN: 0951-5089
Subject Category
SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Report/Patent Number
IAF PAPER ICOSP89-5-7
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other