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Title: Solar bi-modal: The challenge of developing advanced space power and propulsion technology

Abstract

One of the most promising system concepts to be developed is the solar thermal bi-modal concept developed by Babcock and Wilcox. By combining power and propulsion into a single system, the solar bi-modal can offer a significant payload mass improvement over chemical propulsion systems at similar power levels. This concept was developed by selecting the technologies which require the least amount of development, yet will still provide a significant improvement over current systems. Much of the technology which is required for this concept is directly applicable to both solar thermal propulsion systems and solar thermal power systems. Solar energy is focused into a cavity receiver by a pair of solar concentrators. The energy is distributed through the receiver by reflection and radiation. The energy is stored in a thermal mass by either latent heat of fusion (phase change) or sensible (specific) heat. The thermal energy storage enables the use of smaller solar concentrators, enables electrical power production in earth eclipse, and enables the use of a variety of energy conversion technologies, beginning with low risk flight proven thermoelectric devices and evolving to higher efficiency lower mass technologies such as thermionics or AMTEC. Once the energy is stored in the solarmore » receiver, it can be used by either the propulsion or power conversion systems as needed. In the propulsion mode, hydrogen is passed through the thermal storage material and out a nozzle to produce thrust. In the power mode, the heat is rejected through the power conversion devices, producing electricity and radiating waste heat to space.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Babcock and Wilcox, Lynchburg, VA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
163419
Report Number(s):
CONF-950729-
TRN: IM9604%%524
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 30. intersociety energy conversion engineering conference, Orlando, FL (United States), 30 Jul - 5 Aug 1995; Other Information: PBD: 1995; Related Information: Is Part Of Proceedings of the 30. intersociety energy conversion engineering conference. Volume 1; Goswami, D.Y. [ed.] [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)]; Kannberg, L.D.; Somasundaram, S. [eds.] [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)]; Mancini, T.R. [ed.] [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)]; PB: 798 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY; 33 ADVANCED PROPULSION SYSTEMS; 08 HYDROGEN FUEL; SOLAR THERMAL POWER PLANTS; DESIGN; PROPULSION SYSTEMS; SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES; HYBRID SYSTEMS; CAVITY RECEIVERS; THERMAL ENERGY STORAGE EQUIPMENT; HYDROGEN FUELS; SOLAR CONCENTRATORS; THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION; THERMIONIC CONVERSION; BRAYTON CYCLE POWER SYSTEMS; HYDROGEN STORAGE; TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT

Citation Formats

Westerman, K O. Solar bi-modal: The challenge of developing advanced space power and propulsion technology. United States: N. p., 1995. Web.
Westerman, K O. Solar bi-modal: The challenge of developing advanced space power and propulsion technology. United States.
Westerman, K O. Sun . "Solar bi-modal: The challenge of developing advanced space power and propulsion technology". United States.
@article{osti_163419,
title = {Solar bi-modal: The challenge of developing advanced space power and propulsion technology},
author = {Westerman, K O},
abstractNote = {One of the most promising system concepts to be developed is the solar thermal bi-modal concept developed by Babcock and Wilcox. By combining power and propulsion into a single system, the solar bi-modal can offer a significant payload mass improvement over chemical propulsion systems at similar power levels. This concept was developed by selecting the technologies which require the least amount of development, yet will still provide a significant improvement over current systems. Much of the technology which is required for this concept is directly applicable to both solar thermal propulsion systems and solar thermal power systems. Solar energy is focused into a cavity receiver by a pair of solar concentrators. The energy is distributed through the receiver by reflection and radiation. The energy is stored in a thermal mass by either latent heat of fusion (phase change) or sensible (specific) heat. The thermal energy storage enables the use of smaller solar concentrators, enables electrical power production in earth eclipse, and enables the use of a variety of energy conversion technologies, beginning with low risk flight proven thermoelectric devices and evolving to higher efficiency lower mass technologies such as thermionics or AMTEC. Once the energy is stored in the solar receiver, it can be used by either the propulsion or power conversion systems as needed. In the propulsion mode, hydrogen is passed through the thermal storage material and out a nozzle to produce thrust. In the power mode, the heat is rejected through the power conversion devices, producing electricity and radiating waste heat to space.},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/163419}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1995},
month = {12}
}

Conference:
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