Directed reflectivity, long life AMTEC condenser (DRC). Final report of Phase II SBIR program[Alkali Metal ThermoElectric Converter] Page: 26 of 33
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The hot end converter heater is a coiled Kanthal wire cast in ceramic. Voltage leads are attached to the
lead wires at the point where they enter the ceramic casting to measure the voltage drop in the heater. Using
this voltage and the current, the electric power being converted into thermal power can be determined.
As many as 22 thermocouples are used to measure temperatures as follows. Four are used to measure
and control the temperatures of the four zones of the guard heater. Seven are spot-welded in place at various
locations on the converter and the hot end heater; two of these are used to control the cold end heater and
the hot end heater. There are also two built-in thermocouple "wells" leading to points inside the BASE tube
and in the throat of the evaporator. The remaining eight are mounted to a moveable stage and are inserted
into eight wells made from 1.6 mm O.D. x 0.812 mm I.D. tubing (see Figure 23). Four of these wells are
fastened to the wall of the AMTEC converter to insure good thermal contact with the walls; the other four
are fastened to the guard heater so that they lie on the same radial line as the four on the cell. The moveable
stage is supported on a threaded rod, and by turning this, the stage and all eight thermocouples move
lengthwise along the cell/guard. The threaded rod has 7.09 threads per cm, giving a locating accuracy of 0.35
mm. The experimental data taken with this device indicate that the data is highly repeatable. During the
experiment, these eight temperatures along the cell/guard are measured every 1.27 cm from the condenser
to the hot end.
Data collection during the
performance testing is divided into two
major procedures. First, temperatures are
measured at numerous locations to 4 Outer
analyze the flow of heat energy into and 1 Inner
out of the converter. Once it has been 1 Outer
determined that the converter wall is in an
adiabatic environment, the power output Inner
is measured. These routines are repeated
with the converter under various loads and
with the hot end ( T ) of the cell at 1023
K, 1073 K, and 1123 K. In all cases, the
temperature of the cold end ( T..) of the Inner
converter was set to 623 K.
2 Inner 2 Outer
Figure 23 Midplane Cross Section of Guard Heater, PX Cell, and
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Hunt, Thomas K. Directed reflectivity, long life AMTEC condenser (DRC). Final report of Phase II SBIR program[Alkali Metal ThermoElectric Converter], report, September 10, 2001; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc717643/m1/26/: accessed April 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.