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THERMIONIC CONVERTER LIFE AND REPEATABILITY INVESTIGATION.
Final rept. 2 Jan - 31 Dec 64,
THERMO ELECTRON ENGINEERING CORP WALTHAM MASS
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Life-test equipment was designed and built to make possible testing of converters for long life as well as for cycling evaluation. Diagnostic facilities were incorporated in the design of the life-test station. The diagnostic facilities include equipment for the evaluation of gas evolution in the converters during life testing. A new technique was developed to analyze the minute quantities of gas which may evolve in the course of diode operation. Results from the outgassing of one converter are presented. The results indicate that copper members of the converter require about three times the outgassing period of any other materials. The predominant gas was found to be hydrogen for copper and hydrogen and carbon monoxide in equal amounts for the emitter and collector. Design details and life-limiting characteristics of the converter are described. These converters employ rhenium emitters operating at a design temperature of 2000K and a molybdenum collector at 940K. The converter components can be removed and replaced. Initial tests on the series 400 converters yielded an output of 30 watts at 0.7 volt 15 wattssq cm and 41.25 watts at 0.5 volt 20.6 wattssq cm.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE