Performance of a Kilowatt-Class Stirling Power Conversion System in a Thermodynamically-Coupled Configuration

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S. M. Geng; M. H. Briggs; D. S. Hervol (2011), JBIS, 64, 150-155

Refcode: 2011.64.150
Keywords: Stirling, free-piston, fission power system

A pair of 1kWe free-piston Stirling power convertors has been modified into a thermodynamically coupled configuration, and performance map testing has been completed. This is the same configuration planned for the full-scale 12 kWe power conversion unit (PCU) that will be used in the Fission Power System Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU). The 1-kWe convertors were operated over a range of conditions to evaluate the effects of thermodynamic coupling on convertor performance and to identify any possible control challenges. The thermodynamically coupled convertor showed no measurable difference in performance from the baseline data collected when the engines were separate and no major control issues were encountered during operation. The results of this test are guiding controller development and instrumentation selection for the TDU.

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