Fabrication and Testing of Full-Length Single-Cell Externally Fueled Converters for Thermionic Reactors
Description: The preceding paper described designs and analyses of thermionic reactors employing full-core-length single-cell converters with their heated emitters located on the outside of their internally cooled collectors, and it presented results of detailed parametric analyses which illustrate the benefits of this unconventional design. The present paper describes the fabrication and testing of full-length prototypical converters, both unfueled and fueled, and presents parametric results of electrically heated tests. The unfueled converter tests demonstrated the practicality of operating such long converters without shorting across a 0.3-mm interelectrode gap. They produced a measured peak output of 751 watts(e) from a single diode and a peak efficiency of 15.4%. The fueled converter tests measured the parametric performance of prototypic UO(subscript 2)-fueled converters designed for subsequent in-pile testing. They employed revolver-shaped tungsten elements with a central emitter hole surrounded by six fuel chambers. The full-length converters were heated by a water-cooled RF-induction coil inside an ion-pumped vacuum chamber. This required development of high-vacuum coaxial RF feedthroughs. In-pile test rules required multiple containment of the UO (subscript 2)-fuel, which complicated the fabrication of the test article and required successful development of techniques for welding tungsten and other refractory components. The test measured a peak power output of 530 watts(e) or 7.1 watts/cm (superscript 2) at an efficiency of 11.5%. There are three copies in the file. Cross-Reference a copy FSC-ESD-217-94-529 in the ESD files with a CID #8574.
Date: June 1, 1994
Creator: Schock, Alfred
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department