THE DEVELOPMENT OF A THERMIONIC CONVERTER MODULE SUITABLE FOR LIQUID METAL HEATING.
Quarterly technical rept. no. 7, 15 June15 Sep 63,
RADIO CORP OF AMERICA LANCASTER PA
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Effort was continued to improve performance and increase the reliability of thermionic energy converters for space applications. The particular objectives include optimization of geometry and ceramic insulation between emitters and heat source. This work will include the development of a thermionic generator module to develop 3.0 volts of potential from a liquid metal heat source. The overall concept of the 3-volt generator has been established. Before final design and fabrication of the generator, the more difficult problems are being solved by fabricating and testing prototype 3-converter modules. During this period, four 3-converter modules were assembled. A number of subassemblies were successfully tested and techniques for assembling a series of converters within a single envelope were perfected. A method of bonding the center heat source tubing has been tentatively selected and materials for detailed evaluation of the method have been ordered. Life testing of one Type A1198B converter was concluded after 1010 hours. Another converter of this type has since completed 600 hours of a life test with a constant output of 46 watts. Author