CUED Publications database

Conceptual design of Americium nuclear battery for space power applications

Ronen, Y and Kurtzhand, M and Droizman, L and Shwageraus, E (2007) Conceptual design of Americium nuclear battery for space power applications. Journal of Propulsion and Power, 23. pp. 874-880. ISSN 0748-4658

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Abstract

This work presents simplified 242mAm-fueled nuclear battery concept design featuring direct fission products energy conversion and passive heat rejection. Optimization of the battery operating characteristics and dimensions was performed. The calculations of power conversion efficiency under thermal and nuclear design constraints showed that 5.6 W e/kg power density can be achieved, which corresponds to conversion efficiency of about 4%. A system with about 190 cm outer radius translates into 17.8 MT mass per 100 kW e. Total power scales linearly with the outer surface area of the battery through which the residual heat is rejected. Tradeoffs between the battery lifetime, mass, dimensions, power rating, and conversion efficiency are presented and discussed. The battery can be used in a wide variety of interplanetary missions with power requirements in the kW to MW range. Copyright © 2007 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div A > Energy
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 11:28
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 19:06
DOI: 10.2514/1.25837