Heat Pipe Emitters for Thermionic Fuel Elements
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
Isothermalizing a Thermionic Fuel Element (TFE) may increase efficiency from 8.78% to 10.8%. Phase I will design an isothermal heat pipe for the thin emitter wall of a long TFE. Recently demonstrated two-phase flow in sintered power metal wick structures will be used to achieve isothermal conditions in heat pipes. Hardware will be tested to demonstrate the principle. A successful design will also permit out-of-core thermionic reactors whereby a heat pipe delivers heat from the core to the thermionic unit, circumventing current problems of fuel swelling, neutron damage and life expectancy and allowing simplification of future designs.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Kevin Horner-richardson
780 Eden Road Lancaster, PA 17601
Number of Employees: