On the Question of “Decisive Advantages” of Thermionic Conversion for Space Power Systems
- 3 Downloads
The introduction of nuclear power in space at a new technological level will make it possible to create radically new space facilities and bring space activities to a qualitatively new level. One of the key problems in the development of space nuclear reactor power systems is choosing the system for conversion of the reactor thermal power to electricity. At present, thermionic and Brayton cycle gas turbine converters are considered for these power systems. The article presents the results of comparing these types of converters in one of the parameters that are important for space engineering: the required areas of the cooler-radiator for the release of the thermal power unused in the heat power converter. It has been shown that the thermionic converters have no significant advantages at the practically achievable efficiencies of conversion and thermal release temperatures as compared to the Brayton cycle converters with regard to the radiator area. These converters should be compared in terms of all parameters intrinsic to the space nuclear power systems.
Keywordsspace reactor nuclear power system thermionic converter Brayton cycle gas turbine converter total power (thermal) useful power (electric) thermal release power area of radiator emitting surfaces cooler-radiator
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.V. I. Yarygin, “Thermoelectricity and thermal emission in space nuclear power systems of direct conversion. Current state and prospects,” in Proc. Int. Conf. Nuclear Power Engineering in Space 2005, Moscow–Podol’sk, Mar. 1–3, 2005 (NIKIET, Moscow, 2005), Vol. 1, pp. 27–43.Google Scholar
- 2.Thermionics Quo Vadis? An Assessment of the DRTA’s Advanced Thermionics Research and Development Program (Natl. Acad., Washington, DC, 2001).Google Scholar
- 5.Prometheus Project. Final Report, 982—R120461 (2005).Google Scholar
- 6.R. A. Evdokimov and V. V. Sinyavskii, “Comparative analysis of thermionic and gas-turbine conversion schemes of thermal energy into electric energy in space nuclear power systems of transport-energy modules,” in Proc. Int. Conf. Nuclear Power Engineering in Space 2005, Moscow–Podol’sk, Mar. 1–3, 2005 (NIKIET, Moscow, 2005), Vol. 1, pp. 159–168.Google Scholar
- 7.V. P. Legostaev, V. A. Lopota, and V. V. Sinyavskii, “Prospects for and efficiency in application of space nuclear power plants and nuclear electrorocket propulsion systems,” Kosm. Tekh. Tekhnol., No. 1, 4–15 (2013).Google Scholar
- 8.V. V. Sinyavskii, “Advanced technology for nuclear electric propulsion orbital transfer vehicle Hercules,” Kosm. Tekh. Tekhnol., No. 3, 25–45 (2013).Google Scholar
- 9.V. V. Sinyavskii, “Design studies of thermionic lithiumniobium nuclear power generating systems with electric output of 5–10 MW,” Kosm. Tekh. Tekhnol., No. 4, 31–42 (2016).Google Scholar
- 10.A. V. Romanov, Theory of Complex Optimization of Spacecraft Design with Nuclear Thermionic Power Systems, Ed. by B. I. Poletaev, and A. P. Kovalev (NPO Professional, St. Petersburg, 2010) [in Russian].Google Scholar
- 11.“Space reactor systems,” in Machine Construction. Encyclopedia (Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 2005), Vol. IV–25, Book 2, Ch. 6.2 [in Russian].Google Scholar
- 12.N. E. Kukharkin, N. N. Ponomarev-Stepnoi, and V. A. Usov, Space Nuclear Power Engineering (Nuclear Reactors with Thermoelectric and Thermionic Conversion — “Romashka” and “Enisei”), Ed. by N. N. Ponomarev-Stepnoi (IzdAT, Moscow, 2012) [in Russian].Google Scholar
- 13.V. Ya. Pupko, History of Works on Nuclear Flying Vehicles for Spacecraft and Aircraft Systems in the State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation (Fiziko-Energ. Inst., Obninsk, 2002) [in Russian].Google Scholar