THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW-WORK-FUNCTION COLLECTOR FOR THERMIONIC ENERGY CONVERTERS.
Annual technical summary rept. no. 3, 1 Nov 6430 Oct 65,
RADIO CORP OF AMERICA LANCASTER PA DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION DEPT
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The report covers the full years work toward the improvement of thermionic energy conversion. This work can be divided into two separate tasks which were concerned respectively with the analysis of special materials to enhance low work function in collector electrodes and the development of a mathematical equation to describe converter performance in terms of physical parameters and conditions. The analysis of materials verified prior work that matrix surfaces delivered improved performance over other electrode surfaces. Of the materials evaluated during the report period, tantalum was superior to tungsten, molybdenum and iridium while nickel was inferior to the three median matrices. The mathematical equation relates output potential to the other parameters of current density, emitter temperature, collector temperature, cesium temperature and electrode spacing. The functional relationships of the converter parameters used in the equations are based on the general theoretical model of thermionic converter operation. The coefficients assigned to each term of the equation are determined by application of linear regression statistical analysis to measured voltage current data. The analysis has been applied to data from several different electrode pairs from different laboratories with excellent correlation with measured data over a wide variation in parameters. Author
- Electric Power Production and Distribution