Analysis of Power Pack for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle: Potential of Super-critical Carbon-Dioxide Brayton Power Cycle 2019-01-1260
Autonomous vehicles are being designed to operate on land, air as well as underwater. The autonomous-underwater-vehicles (AUV) have off late caught the attention of various developers .These AUV can be designed to be small, efficient and more productive. These autonomous-underwater vehicles can utilize a variety of power packs as a source of power. Amongst the various options available to power the AUV, new source of power is being proposed in this article. The proposed power pack is based on super-critical CO2 cycle which can be selectively sized to meet the requirements of AUV of various capabilities. As per literature theoretically the source of heat for this cycle may be solar, nuclear or fossil fuel. Keeping in mind the intended application a micro nuclear reactor of 150KW capacity is planned to be used as the source of heat for super-critical CO2 cycle. A nuclear reactor has also been chosen, keeping in mind the range it will provide to the proposed AUV. By the use of nuclear energy as a source of power, the endurance and range of AUV is expected to increase multifold times. The super-critical CO2 power cycle has numerous advantages such as high power cycle efficiency, small turbo-machinery size (due to high density of carbon –dioxide) and plant size(and therefore lower investment cost), lower critical pressure and temperature, stability, non-toxic, abundant, and low cost. The net power output from this pack cycle is around 40KW. The cycle has designed to operate at a maximum temperature (700oC) and pressure of (25MPa).