ELECTRICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A LINEAR NON-EQUILIBRIUM, MHD GENERATOR.
GENERAL ELECTRIC CO PHILADELPHIA PA MISSILE AND SPACE DIV
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The purpose of this experimental study was to determine the electrical performance of a linear, segmented electrode, MHD generator. Various noble gasses were shock-heated to plasma conditions which allowed MHD generator operation with Hall parameters, omega sub e tau sub e, ranging from 1 to 20 and ratios of electron to static gas temperature of 1 to 2.5. For T sub eT sub g 1, the discharge structure in the generator was non-uniform. The major results were 1 The Faraday generator operated in the normal mode, in which the current vector is approximately perpendicular to the axial flow direction, at all values of omega sub e tau sub e. This result was obtained by comparing the experiments with an MHD generator theory which included the effect of nonuniform extrathermal ionization. Normal mode operation was obtained despite the development of an instability in the theoretical analysis at omega sub e tau sub e 4 which should cause shorted mode operation where the ohmic dissipation is considerably higher. 2 It was found that it was possible to obtain good agreement between the experiments and a simple uniform plasma, segmented electrode theory which included the Lorentz force effects, the electrode voltage losses, and the increased dissipation due to the plasma nonuniformities in the analyses. 3 Due to the relatively coarse electrode segmentation, it could not be established conclusively whether the effect of the electrothermal instabilities limited the performance of the generator. Author
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