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Title: Thulium heat source for high-endurance and high-energy density power systems

Abstract

We are studying the performance characteristics of radioisotope heat source designs for high-endurance and high-energy-density power systems that use thulium-170. Heat sources in the power range of 5--50 kW{sub th} coupled with a power conversion efficiency of {approximately}30%, can easily satisfy current missions for autonomous underwater vehicles. New naval missions will be possible because thulium isotope power systems have a factor of one-to-two hundred higher endurance and energy density than chemical and electrochemical systems. Thulium-170 also has several other attractive features, including the fact that it decays to stable ytterbium-170 with a half-life of four months. For terrestrial applications, refueling on that time scale should be acceptable in view of the advantage of its benign decay. The heat source designs we are studying account for the requirements of isotope production, shielding, and integration with power conversion components. These requirements are driven by environmental and safety considerations. Thulium is present in the form of thin refractory thulia disks that allow power conversion at high peak temperature. We give estimates of power system state points, performance, mass, and volume characteristics. Monte Carlo radiation analysis provides a detailed assessment of shield requirements and heat transfer under normal and distressed conditions is also considered.more » 11 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
5360904
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-105761; CONF-910801-23
ON: DE91018991
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 26. intersociety energy conversion engineering (IECE) conference, Boston, MA (United States), 3-9 Aug 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCES; DESIGN; THULIUM 170; EFFICIENCY; POWER RANGE 01-10 KW; POWER RANGE 10-100 KW; POWER SUPPLIES; SUBMARINES; THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION; BETA DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; BETA-MINUS DECAY RADIOISOTOPES; CONVERSION; DAYS LIVING RADIOISOTOPES; DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; ELECTRON CAPTURE RADIOISOTOPES; ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT; ENERGY CONVERSION; EQUIPMENT; HEAT SOURCES; INTERMEDIATE MASS NUCLEI; ISOTOPES; KILOWATT POWER RANGE; NUCLEI; ODD-ODD NUCLEI; POWER RANGE; RADIOISOTOPES; RARE EARTH ISOTOPES; RARE EARTH NUCLEI; SHIPS; THULIUM ISOTOPES; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems; 070300* - Isotopic Power Supplies

Citation Formats

Walter, C.E., Kammeraad, J.E., Van Konynenburg, R., and VanSant, J.H. Thulium heat source for high-endurance and high-energy density power systems. United States: N. p., 1991. Web.
Walter, C.E., Kammeraad, J.E., Van Konynenburg, R., & VanSant, J.H. Thulium heat source for high-endurance and high-energy density power systems. United States.
Walter, C.E., Kammeraad, J.E., Van Konynenburg, R., and VanSant, J.H. Wed . "Thulium heat source for high-endurance and high-energy density power systems". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/5360904.
@article{osti_5360904,
title = {Thulium heat source for high-endurance and high-energy density power systems},
author = {Walter, C.E. and Kammeraad, J.E. and Van Konynenburg, R. and VanSant, J.H.},
abstractNote = {We are studying the performance characteristics of radioisotope heat source designs for high-endurance and high-energy-density power systems that use thulium-170. Heat sources in the power range of 5--50 kW{sub th} coupled with a power conversion efficiency of {approximately}30%, can easily satisfy current missions for autonomous underwater vehicles. New naval missions will be possible because thulium isotope power systems have a factor of one-to-two hundred higher endurance and energy density than chemical and electrochemical systems. Thulium-170 also has several other attractive features, including the fact that it decays to stable ytterbium-170 with a half-life of four months. For terrestrial applications, refueling on that time scale should be acceptable in view of the advantage of its benign decay. The heat source designs we are studying account for the requirements of isotope production, shielding, and integration with power conversion components. These requirements are driven by environmental and safety considerations. Thulium is present in the form of thin refractory thulia disks that allow power conversion at high peak temperature. We give estimates of power system state points, performance, mass, and volume characteristics. Monte Carlo radiation analysis provides a detailed assessment of shield requirements and heat transfer under normal and distressed conditions is also considered. 11 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1991},
month = {5}
}

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