Development of encapsulated lithium hydride sink-side thermal energy storage for pulsed space power systems
Description: Value analysis indicates that inclusion of thermal energy storage (TES) as an element in a pulsed space power supply will reduce the mass of the heat rejection system. A candidate design for the TES component utilizes lithium hydride (LiH) encapsulated in 304L stainless steel or molybdenum in a packed-bed configuration with a lithium or sodium-potassium (NaK) heat transport fluid. Critical concerns with this concept are the need to (1) accommodate shell stresses induced by volumetric expansion of the melting salt or surface gripping by the freezing salt and (2) minimize hydrogen loss through the shell due to LiH dissociation at high temperatures. Experimental observation of significant cracking of the LiH during cooling mitigates the first of these issues by providing a leakage path into the interior void as melting occurs at the salt-containment interface, thus allowing use of thin shells.
Date: January 1, 1988
Creator: Morris, D.G.; Foote, J.P.; Olszewski, M. & Whittaker, J.W.
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