Radiation-Tolerant, Eclipse-Compatible Solar AMTEC System
Small Business Information
4667 Freedom Dr., Ann Arbor, MI, 48108
Dr. Terry J. Hendricks, P
AbstractAlkali Metal Thermal to Electric Converters (AMTEC) convert heat to electricity at high efficiency without moving parts at temperatures compatible with current solar receiver technology. A Phase I program is proposed which will deliver an integrated, high-temperature thermal storage/high-efficiency AMTEC cell system concepts and a small-scale thermal energy storage (TES) test article for materials compatibility testing. This will begin demonstrating a radiation-tolerant, eclipse-compatible solar AMTEC power systems for medium-earth and geosynchronous orbits. Solar AMTEC systems have the inherent advantage of tolerance to the high-energy radiation environments encountered in MEO and GEO. This Phase I work is directed toward development of high power solar AMTEC systems for future US Air Force (USAF) spacecraft missions using advanced multi-tube AMTEC cells. Successful development will provide AMTEC power systems for USAF missions, such as Space-Based Radar and Integrated Solar Upper Stage, requiring system power output of 10-50 kW, conversion efficiencies over 30%, cell specific powers over 100 W/kg, and system specific powers of 12-14 We/kg in medium-earth and geosynchronous orbits. This program will begin developing the efficient thermal energy storage systems, through basic materials compatibility research, which allow solar AMTEC systems to operate through eclipse phases of various MEO and GEO environments.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.