Heat Pipe Emitters for Thermionic Fuel Elements
Small Business Information
780 Eden Road, Lancaster, PA, 17601
AbstractIsothermalizing 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.
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