Pavlenko, Ilia V. (2003-12). Design, improvement, and testing of a thermal-electrical analysis application of a multiple beta-tube AMTEC converter. Master's Thesis.
A new design AMTEC converter model was developed, and its effectiveness as a design tool was evaluated. To develop the model, requirements of the model were defined, several new design models were successively developed, and finally an optimal new design model was developed. The model was created within Sinda/Fluint, with its graphical interface, Thermal Desktop, a software package that can be used to conduct complex thermal and fluid analyses. Performance predictions were then correlated and compared with actual performance data from the Road Runner II AMTEC converter. Predicted performance results were within 10% of actual performance data for all operating conditions analyzed. This accuracy tended to increase within operating ranges that would be more likely encountered in AMTEC applications. Performance predictions and parametric design studies were then performed on a proposed new design converter model with a variety of annular condenser heights and with potassium as a working fluid to evaluate the effects of various design modifications. Results clearly indicated the effects of the converter design modifications on the converter's power and efficiency, thus simplifying the design optimization process. With the close correlation to actual data and the design information obtained from parametric studies, it was determined that the model could serve as an effective tool for the design of AMTEC converters.