1992-08-03

NASA Lewis Stirling SPRE Testing and Analysis with Reduced Number of Cooler Tubes 929396

Free-piston Stirling power converters are a candidate for high capacity space power applications. The Space Power Research Engine (SPRE), a free-piston Stirling engine coupled with a linear alternator is being tested at the NASA Lewis Research Center in support of the Civil Space Technology Initiative. The SPRE is used as a test bed for evaluating converter modifications which have the potential to improve converter performance and for validating computer code predictions. Reducing the number of cooler tubes on the SPRE has been identified as a modification with the potential to significantly improve power and efficiency. This paper describes experimental tests designed to investigate the effects of reducing the number of cooler tubes on converter power, efficiency and dynamics. Presented are test results from the converter operating with a reduced number of cooler tubes and comparisons between this data and both baseline test data and computer code predictions.

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