Conical evaporator and liquid-return wick model for vapor anode, multi-tube AMTEC cells

Tournier, Jean-Michel; El-Genk, Mohamed S.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p1361
Academic Journal
A detailed, 2-D thermal-hydraulic model for conical and flat evaporators and the liquid sodium return artery in PX-type AMTEC cells was developed, which predicts incipient dryout at the evaporator wick surface. Results obtained at fixed hot and cold side temperatures showed that the flat evaporator provided a slightly lower vapor pressure, but reached the capillary limit at higher temperature. The loss of performance due to partial recondensation over up to 20% of the wick surface of the deep conical evaporators was offset by the larger surface area available for evaporation, providing a slightly higher vapor pressure. Model results matched the PX-3A cell’s experimental data of electrical power output, but the predicted temperature of the cell’s conical evaporator was consistently ∼50 K above measurements. A preliminary analysis indicated that sodium vapor leakage in the cell (through microcracks in the BASE tubes’ walls or brazes) may explain the difference between predicted and measured evaporator temperatures in PX-3A. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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