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Survivable pulse power space radiator

Description: A thermal radiator system is described for use on an outer space vehicle, which must survive a long period of nonuse and then radiate large amounts of heat for a limited period of time. The radiator includes groups of radiator panels that are pivotally connected in tandem, so that they can be moved to deployed configuration wherein the panels lie largely coplanar, and to a stowed configuration wherein the panels lie in a stack to resist micrometerorite damage. The panels are mounted on a boom which separates a hot power source from a payload. While the panels are stowed, warm fluid passes through their arteries to keep them warm enough to maintain the coolant in a liquid state and avoid embrittlement of material. The panels can be stored in a largely cylindrical shell, with panels progressively further from the boom being of progressively shorter length. 5 figs.
Date: March 11, 1988
Creator: Mims, James; Buden, David & Williams, Kenneth
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superconducting thermoelectric generator

Description: Thermoelectricity is produced by applying a temperature differential to dissimilar electrically conducting or semiconducting materials, thereby producing a voltage that is proportional to the temperature difference. Thermoelectric generators use this effect to directly convert heat into electricity; however, presently-known generators have low efficiencies due to the production of high currents which in turn cause large resistive heating losses. Some thermoelectric generators operate at efficiencies between 4% and 7% in the 800{degrees} to 1200{degrees}C range. According to its major aspects and bradly stated, the present invention is an apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. In particular, the invention is a thermoelectric generator that juxtaposes a superconducting material and a semiconducting material - so that the superconducting and the semiconducting materials touch - to convert heat energy into electrical energy without resistive losses in the temperature range below the critical temperature of the superconducting material. Preferably, an array of superconducting material is encased in one of several possible configurations within a second material having a high thermal conductivity, preferably a semiconductor, to form a thermoelectric generator.
Date: January 1, 1994
Creator: Metzger, J.D. & El-Genk, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superconducting thermoelectric generator

Description: An apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. The present invention is a thermoelectric generator that uses materials with substantially no electrical resistance, often called superconductors, to efficiently convert heat into electrical energy without resistive losses. Preferably, an array of superconducting elements is encased within a second material with a high thermal conductivity. The second material is preferably a semiconductor. Alternatively, the superconducting material can be doped on a base semiconducting material, or the superconducting material and the semiconducting material can exist as alternating, interleaved layers of waferlike materials. A temperature gradient imposed across the boundary of the two materials establishes an electrical potential related to the magnitude of the temperature gradient. The superconducting material carries the resulting electrical current at zero resistivity, thereby eliminating resistive losses. The elimination of resistive losses significantly increases the conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric device.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Metzger, John D. & El-Genk, Mohammed S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermionic converter with differentially heated cesium-oxygen source and method of operation

Description: A thermionic converter having an emitter, a collector, and a source of cesium vapor is provided, wherein the source of cesium vapor is differentially heated so that said source has a hotter end and a cooler end, with cesium vapor evaporating from said hotter end into the space between the emitter and the collector and with cesium vapor condensing at said cooler end. The condensed cesium vapor migrates through a porous element from the cooler end to the hotter end.
Date: December 1, 1998
Creator: Rasor, N.S.; Riley, D.R.; Murray, C.S. & Geller, C.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermionic Converter Temperature Controller

Description: A method and apparatus for controlling the temperature of a thermionic reactor over a wide range of operating power, including a thermionic reactor having a plurality of integral cesium reservoirs, a honeycomb material disposed about the reactor which has a plurality of separated cavities, a solid sheath disposed about the honeycomb material and having an opening therein communicating with the honeycomb material and cavities thereof, and a shell disposed about the sheath for creating a coolant annulus therewith so that the coolant in the annulus may fill the cavities and permit nucleate boiling during the operation of the reactor.
Date: August 23, 1999
Creator: Shaner,B. J.; Wolf, Joseph H. & Johnson, Robert G. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

System and method to improve the power output and longetivity of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator

Description: By using the helium generated by the alpha emissions of a thermoelectric generator during space travel for cooling the thermal degradation of the thermoelectric generator can be slowed. Slowing degradation allows missions to be longer with little additional expense or payload.
Date: December 31, 1992
Creator: Mowery, A. L., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Superconducting thermoelectric generator

Description: This invention is comprised of an apparatus and method for producing electricity from heat. The present invention is a thermoelectric generator that uses materials with substantially no electrical resistance, often called superconductors, to efficiently convert heat into electrical energy without resistive losses. Preferably, an array of superconducting elements is encased within a second material with a higher thermal conductivity than that of the superconducting material. The second material is preferably a semiconductor. Alternatively, the superconducting material can be doped on a base semiconducting material, or the superconducting material and the semiconducting material can exist as alternating, interleaved layers of waferlike materials. A temperature gradient imposed across the boundary of the two materials, establishes an electrical potential related to the magnitude of the temperature gradient. The superconducting material carries the resulting electrical current at zero resistivity, thereby eliminating resistive losses. The elimination of resistive losses significantly increases the conversion efficiency of the thermoelectric device.
Date: December 31, 1992
Creator: Metzger, J.D. & El-Genk, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fiber optic signal amplifier using thermoelectric power generation

Description: A remote fiber optic signal amplifier for use as a repeater/amplifier, such as in transoceanic communication, powered by a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator. The amplifier comprises a unit with connections on the receiving and sending sides of the communications system, and an erbium-doped fiber amplifier connecting each sending fiber to each receiving fiber. The thermoelectric generator, preferably a Pu{sub 238} or Sr{sub 90} thermoelectric generator delivers power to the amplifiers through a regulator. The heat exchange surfaces of the thermoelectric generator are made of material resistant to corrosion and biological growth and are directly exposed to the outside, such as the ocean water in transoceanic communications.
Date: January 1, 1993
Creator: Hart, M.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insulator coating for high temperature alloys method for producing insulator coating for high temperature alloys

Description: A method for fabricating an electrically insulating coating on a surface is disclosed comprising coating the surface with a metal, and reacting the metal coated surface with a nonmetal so as to create a film on the metal-coated surface. Alternatively, the invention provides for a method for producing a noncorrosive, electrically insulating coating on a surface saturated with a nonmetal comprising supplying a molten fluid, dissolving a metal in the molten fluid to create a mixture, and contacting the mixture with the saturated surface. Lastly, the invention provides an electrically insulative coating comprising an underlying structural substrate coated with an oxide or nitride compound. This invention has applications to breeding blankets for fusion reactors as well as to alkali metal thermal to electric converters.
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Park, J.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department