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Advanced Controller for the Free-Piston Stirling ConvertorThe free-piston Stirling power convertor is being considered as an advanced power conversion technology to be used for future NASA deep space missions requiring long life radioisotope power systems. This technology has a conversion efficiency of over 25%, which is significantly higher than the efficiency of the Radioisotope Thermal-electric Generators (RTG) now in use. The NASA Glenn Research Center has long been recognized as a leader in Stirling technology and is responsible for the development of advanced technologies that are intended to significantly improve key characteristics of the Stirling convertor. The advanced technologies identified for development also consider the requirements of potential future missions and the new capabilities that have become available in the associated technical areas. One of the key areas identified for technology development is the engine controller. To support this activity, an advanced controller is being developed for the Stirling power convertor. This controller utilizes active power factor correction electronics and microcontroller-based controls. The object of this paper is to present an overview of the advanced controller concept with modeling, simulation and hardware test data.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Gerber, Scott S.
(ZIN Technologies, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Jamison, Mike
Roth, Mary Ellen
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Regan, Timothy F.
(Sest, Inc. OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Meeting Information
2nd International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)(Providence, RI)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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