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Title: Advanced Thermophotovoltaic Devices for Space Nuclear Power Systems

Advanced thermophotovoltaic (TPV) modules capable of producing > 0.3 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 22% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1228 K and 325 K, respectively, have been made. These advanced TPV modules are projected to produce > 0.9 W/cm2 at an efficiency > 24% while operating at a converter radiator and module temperature of 1373 K and 325 K, respectively. Radioisotope and nuclear (fission) powered space systems utilizing these advanced TPV modules have been evaluated. For a 100 We radioisotope TPV system, systems utilizing as low as 2 general purpose heat source (GPHS) units are feasible, where the specific power for the 2 and 3 GPHS unit systems operating in a 200 K environment is as large as {approx} 16 We/kg and {approx} 14 We/kg, respectively. For a 100 kWe nuclear powered (as was entertained for the thermoelectric SP-100 program) TPV system, the minimum system radiator area and mass is {approx} 640 m2 and {approx} 1150 kg, respectively, for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 435 K and 200 K, respectively. Also, for a converter radiator temperature of 1373 K, the converter volume and mass remains less than 0.36more » m3 and 640 kg, respectively. Thus, the minimum system radiator + converter (reactor and shield not included) specific mass is {approx} 16 kg/kWe for a converter radiator, system radiator and environment temperature of 1373 K, 425 K and 200 K, respectively. Under this operating condition, the reactor thermal rating is {approx} 1110 kWt. Due to the large radiator area, the added complexity and mission risk needs to be weighed against reducing the reactor thermal rating to determine the feasibility of using TPV for space nuclear (fission) power systems.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. Bechtel Bettis, Inc., West Mifflin, PA 15122 (United States)
  2. Lockheed Martin Corp., Schenectady, NY 12301 (United States)
  3. EMCORE Photovoltaics, Albuquerque, NM 87123 (United States)
  4. Bandwidth Semiconductor, LLC, Hudson, NH 03051 (United States)
  5. Rugate Technologies, Inc., Oxford, CT 06804 (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20630571
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 746; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: STAIF 2005: Conference on thermophysics in microgravity; Conference on commercial/civil next generation space transportation; 22. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion; Conference on human/robotic technology and the national vision for space exploration; 3. symposium on space colonization; 2. symposium on new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 13-17 Feb 2005; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.1867275; (c) 2005 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; EFFICIENCY; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; HEAT EXCHANGERS; HEAT SOURCES; PHOTOVOLTAIC CONVERSION; RADIATORS; RISK ASSESSMENT; SHIELDS; SPACE PROPULSION REACTORS; THERMOELECTRIC CONVERSION NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems