Experimental characterization of a high efficiency AMTEC cell
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The Phillips Laboratory Power and Thermal Management Division (PL/VTP), in conjunction with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and supported by ORION International Technologies, is investigating the use of high efficiency Alkali Metal Thermal to Electric Conversion (AMTEC) systems for space flight applications. Advanced Modular Power Systems (AMPS) has fabricated six cells for the program so far. The first four cells went to JPL for testing. Phillips Laboratory (PL) has received two cells. The first Phillips Laboratory cell, known as Pluto 5, is being performance tested in vacuum. We expect to demonstrate 10% efficiency with this cell. Key issues we are investigating include thermal coupling of the heater to the cell, performance of the high temperature feedthrough, and thermal coupling of the cell to the heat sink.
Proceedings of the Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
complete list of authors
Schuller, M||Reiners, E||LeMire, R