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Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Liquid Metal MHD Power Generation

Conference:

Abstract

Liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic power generation for space is studied. Closed- loop circulation of liquid metal without moving mechanical parts, and generation of electric power from the circulating metal, have been investigated analytically and experimentally, and the attainable cycle efficiencies have been calculated. Recent literature has pointed out the possibility of efficient a.c. generators with liquid metal as the working fluid, and this type of generator is under study. Analysis indicates that efficiencies up to 65% are attainable in a travelling-wave induction generator at the available liquid metal velocities of 100-200 m/sec, provided the generator has a length/gap ratio of no more than 50 for low friction loss, has an electrical length of no more than three wavelengths for low winding loss, and has end-effect compensation for cancelling finite-length effects in the power-generating region. The analysis leading to these conclusions is presented. The type of end-effect correction being studied is the ''compensating-pole'' technique in which an oscillating magnetic field is applied to the fluid entering and leaving the generator to make the flux linkages within the generator the same as those in a rotating or ''infinite'' generator. An experimental one-wavelength generator employing compensating poles has been fabricated, and empty-channel magnetic field  More>>
Authors:
Elliott, D. G.; Cerini, D. J.; Hays, L. G.; Weinberg, E. [1] 
  1. Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Nov 15, 1966
Product Type:
Conference
Report Number:
IAEA-SM-74/177
Resource Relation:
Conference: Symposium on magnetohydrodynamic electrical power generation, Salzburg (Austria), 4-8 Jul 1966; Other Information: 27 refs., 12 figs.; Related Information: In: Electricity from MHD. Vol. II. Proceedings of a Symposium on Magnetohydrodynamic Electrical Power Generation| 1180 p.
Subject:
30 DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION; 46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; EFFICIENCY; INDUCTION GENERATORS; LIQUID METALS; LIQUID-METAL MHD GENERATORS; LITHIUM; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMICS; POWER GENERATION; POWER PLANTS; TRAVELLING WAVES; WORKING FLUIDS; NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems
OSTI ID:
22137908
Research Organizations:
International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (Austria); European Nuclear Energy Agency, Paris (France)
Country of Origin:
IAEA
Language:
English
Contract Number:
Contract NAS 7-100
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISSN 0074-1884; TRN: XA13M1930092647
Submitting Site:
INIS
Size:
page(s) 995-1018
Announcement Date:
Oct 10, 2013

Conference:

Citation Formats

Elliott, D. G., Cerini, D. J., Hays, L. G., and Weinberg, E. Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Liquid Metal MHD Power Generation. IAEA: N. p., 1966. Web.
Elliott, D. G., Cerini, D. J., Hays, L. G., & Weinberg, E. Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Liquid Metal MHD Power Generation. IAEA.
Elliott, D. G., Cerini, D. J., Hays, L. G., and Weinberg, E. 1966. "Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Liquid Metal MHD Power Generation." IAEA.
@misc{etde_22137908,
title = {Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of Liquid Metal MHD Power Generation}
author = {Elliott, D. G., Cerini, D. J., Hays, L. G., and Weinberg, E.}
abstractNote = {Liquid metal magnetohydrodynamic power generation for space is studied. Closed- loop circulation of liquid metal without moving mechanical parts, and generation of electric power from the circulating metal, have been investigated analytically and experimentally, and the attainable cycle efficiencies have been calculated. Recent literature has pointed out the possibility of efficient a.c. generators with liquid metal as the working fluid, and this type of generator is under study. Analysis indicates that efficiencies up to 65% are attainable in a travelling-wave induction generator at the available liquid metal velocities of 100-200 m/sec, provided the generator has a length/gap ratio of no more than 50 for low friction loss, has an electrical length of no more than three wavelengths for low winding loss, and has end-effect compensation for cancelling finite-length effects in the power-generating region. The analysis leading to these conclusions is presented. The type of end-effect correction being studied is the ''compensating-pole'' technique in which an oscillating magnetic field is applied to the fluid entering and leaving the generator to make the flux linkages within the generator the same as those in a rotating or ''infinite'' generator. An experimental one-wavelength generator employing compensating poles has been fabricated, and empty-channel magnetic field measurements have been completed in preparation for tests with NaK. Two types of field measurements were made: d.c. measurements to determine the field profile as a function of phase angle and a.c. measurements to investigate the synchronization of the compensating poles with the travelling wave. The d.c. results showed that the flux linkages in the power generating region can be held close to those in a rotating machine, and the a.c. results showed that the compensating poles can be accurately synchronized with the travelling wave through transformer coupling. The component efficiencies from the analyses and experiments were combined to predict the cycle efficiencies possible in space applications. The calculations included the different liquid MHD cycles and working fluids that have been proposed in the literature, and these cycles are reviewed and compared. A possible limitation on lifetime at the 1100-1500 Degree-Sign K temperatures needed for a space power plant is erosion by the high velocity liquid metal, and this problem is being investigated in a 70 m/sec lithium loop. (author)}
place = {IAEA}
year = {1966}
month = {Nov}
}