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Title: High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System

Abstract

A high temperature water heat pipes radiator design is developed for a space power system with a sectored gas-cooled reactor and three Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engines, for avoidance of single point failures in reactor cooling and energy conversion and rejection. The CBC engines operate at turbine inlet and exit temperatures of 1144 K and 952 K. They have a net efficiency of 19.4% and each provides 30.5 kWe of net electrical power to the load. A He-Xe gas mixture serves as the turbine working fluid and cools the reactor core, entering at 904 K and exiting at 1149 K. Each CBC loop is coupled to a reactor sector, which is neutronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically decoupled to the other two sectors, and to a NaK-78 secondary loop with two water heat pipes radiator panels. The segmented panels each consist of a forward fixed segment and two rear deployable segments, operating hydraulically in parallel. The deployed radiator has an effective surface area of 203 m2, and when the rear segments are folded, the stowed power system fits in the launch bay of the DELTA-IV Heavy launch vehicle. For enhanced reliability, the water heat pipes operate below 50% of theirmore » wicking limit; the sonic limit is not a concern because of the water, high vapor pressure at the temperatures of interest (384 - 491 K). The rejected power by the radiator peaks when the ratio of the lengths of evaporator sections of the longest and shortest heat pipes is the same as that of the major and minor widths of the segments. The shortest and hottest heat pipes in the rear segments operate at 491 K and 2.24 MPa, and each rejects 154 W. The longest heat pipes operate cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa) and because they are 69% longer, reject more power (200 W each). The longest and hottest heat pipes in the forward segments reject the largest power (320 W each) while operating at {approx} 46% of capillary limit. The vapor temperature and pressure in these heat pipes are 485 K and 1.97 MPa. By contrast, the shortest water heat pipes in the forward segments operate much cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa), and reject a much lower power of 45 W each. The radiator with six fixed and 12 rear deployable segments rejects a total of 324 kWth, weights 994 kg and has an average specific power of 326 Wth/kg and a specific mass of 5.88 kg/m2.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20798013
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 813; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: 10. conference on thermophysics applications in microgravity; 23. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion; 4. conference on human/robotic technology and the national vision for space exploration; 4. symposium on space colonization; 3. symposium on new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 12-16 Feb 2006; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.2169253; (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; BRAYTON CYCLE; BRAYTON CYCLE POWER SYSTEMS; COOLING; EFFICIENCY; ENERGY CONVERSION; GAS COOLED REACTORS; HEAT PIPES; POTASSIUM ALLOYS; POWER GENERATION; RADIATORS; REACTOR CORES; SODIUM ALLOYS; SPACE; SPACE VEHICLES; SURFACE AREA; TURBINES; VAPOR PRESSURE; WATER; WORKING FLUIDS; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems

Citation Formats

El-Genk, Mohamed S., Tournier, Jean-Michel, and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.1063/1.2169253.
El-Genk, Mohamed S., Tournier, Jean-Michel, & Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System. United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169253.
El-Genk, Mohamed S., Tournier, Jean-Michel, and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. Fri . "High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System". United States. doi:10.1063/1.2169253.
@article{osti_20798013,
title = {High Temperature Water Heat Pipes Radiator for a Brayton Space Reactor Power System},
author = {El-Genk, Mohamed S. and Tournier, Jean-Michel and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131},
abstractNote = {A high temperature water heat pipes radiator design is developed for a space power system with a sectored gas-cooled reactor and three Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engines, for avoidance of single point failures in reactor cooling and energy conversion and rejection. The CBC engines operate at turbine inlet and exit temperatures of 1144 K and 952 K. They have a net efficiency of 19.4% and each provides 30.5 kWe of net electrical power to the load. A He-Xe gas mixture serves as the turbine working fluid and cools the reactor core, entering at 904 K and exiting at 1149 K. Each CBC loop is coupled to a reactor sector, which is neutronically and thermally coupled, but hydraulically decoupled to the other two sectors, and to a NaK-78 secondary loop with two water heat pipes radiator panels. The segmented panels each consist of a forward fixed segment and two rear deployable segments, operating hydraulically in parallel. The deployed radiator has an effective surface area of 203 m2, and when the rear segments are folded, the stowed power system fits in the launch bay of the DELTA-IV Heavy launch vehicle. For enhanced reliability, the water heat pipes operate below 50% of their wicking limit; the sonic limit is not a concern because of the water, high vapor pressure at the temperatures of interest (384 - 491 K). The rejected power by the radiator peaks when the ratio of the lengths of evaporator sections of the longest and shortest heat pipes is the same as that of the major and minor widths of the segments. The shortest and hottest heat pipes in the rear segments operate at 491 K and 2.24 MPa, and each rejects 154 W. The longest heat pipes operate cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa) and because they are 69% longer, reject more power (200 W each). The longest and hottest heat pipes in the forward segments reject the largest power (320 W each) while operating at {approx} 46% of capillary limit. The vapor temperature and pressure in these heat pipes are 485 K and 1.97 MPa. By contrast, the shortest water heat pipes in the forward segments operate much cooler (427 K and 0.52 MPa), and reject a much lower power of 45 W each. The radiator with six fixed and 12 rear deployable segments rejects a total of 324 kWth, weights 994 kg and has an average specific power of 326 Wth/kg and a specific mass of 5.88 kg/m2.},
doi = {10.1063/1.2169253},
journal = {AIP Conference Proceedings},
number = 1,
volume = 813,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Jan 20 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}