DEVELOPMENT OF A LIGHTWEIGHT, QUIET POWER SOURCE
Small Business Information
2952 George Washington Way, Richland, WA, 99352
Brad A. Ross
AbstractStirling Power systems have the potential to provide enabling technology for solar system exploration space science missions because of their relatively high efficiency and low mass. There is a need for a 2 watt electrical output power source for Martian weather stations and other applications. Radioisotopes are the only feasible heat source. The General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) is oversized because its minimal output is 250 thermal watts. The Radioisotope Heating Unit (RHU) supplies 1.1 thermal watts for heating of electronics, and is capable of operation at 500 degrees C. This heat source temperature is well-suited for small power level stirling engines; the number of RHUs needed depends on the desired output power. Stirling Technology (STC) proposes to design a Stirling power converter with an output of two electrical watts. The innovative work is based on 5 watt and 11.7 watt output engines previously developed at STC, but requires novel displacer support and alternator configuration.
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