Thermal Fluid Analysis of the Combustor Test Setup for a US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Liquid-Fueled Thermophotovoltaic Power Source Demonstrator

Report No. ARL-TR-7482
Authors: William R Allmon and Dr C Mike Waits
Date/Pages: September 2015; 34 pages
Abstract: Compact power sources with high energy and power densities are critical for many military applications. These applications span from personal or squad-level power sources for long duration missions without resupply to unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) requiring only a few hours of running time. In the 10100 W+ power range, battery technology is the best solution currently available, but higher energy dense technologies are needed to augment batteries and extend the available energy density well beyond state of the art battery technology. One way to approach this is to take advantage of the large energy content of hydrocarbons or alcohols. Conversion efficiencies of only a few percent can provide comparable energy density to battery technology with the added advantage of instant recharge. One technology being pursued by the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is combustion-based thermophotovoltaic (TPV) power sources. Combustion can be used to convert fuel to heat a surface to temperatures above 500 °C. A Combustor Test Setup is being developed to allow testing of various combustors in vacuum. The purpose of this report is to estimate the temperatures of various components of the Combustor Test Setup to ensure proper function.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2015