A High Power-to-Weight Ratio Liquid Metal MHD Concept Reactor for Space and Terrestrial Needs
Presented is a next generation space reactor concept. A brief review of liquid metal magneto hydrodynamics (LMMHD) will be given. The main features of this concept include a molten salt core that has a helical heat exchanger that is cooled by liquid lithium. The MHD conversion section consists of a liquid cesium injector, the MHD convertor, a nozzle, and a phase separator. The heat rejection stage consists of an electrostatic liquid droplet radiator. The system is optimized for a high power to weight ratio suitable for nuclear electric propulsion. The power is in the 200-500MWth range and modular for scalability of mission needs. The concept could be potentially extended to terrestrial applications by replacing the space radiator with a liquid metal heat exchanger, and replace the cesium injector with a noble gas injector and use the hot noble gas after the separation in a turbine to boost the efficiency of the power plant. 2012 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.
name of conference
10th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference