Thermal Modeling of a Thermally Regenerative Electrochemical Device: AMTEC 941435

The Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Converter (AMTEC) system is a thermally regenerative electrochemical device converting heat energy to electrical energy. Minimal thermal computer modeling and analysis has been conducted on this device. Using an industry standard Computer Aided Engineering / Computer Aided Design (CAE/CAD) computer package, a detailed finite element model (FEM) has been developed and studies conducted. The FE analysis simulates the thermal performance of the cell by the calculation of the intrinsic and parasitic thermal losses. It is these losses that need to be identified and resolved because they reduce the overall cell efficiency and total electrical output. The temperature field of the cell is presented for steady state operation under various boundary conditions. This modeling effort is sponsored by, and conducted in conjunction with and compared to testing conducted at the U.S. Air Force Phillips Laboratory.


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