National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Stirling Research Lab

In-House Testing at GRC’s Stirling Research Lab

The Stirling Research Lab (SRL) is a facility for extended operation and performance testing of Stirling convertors. Testing can be performed in air or in a thermal vacuum chamber. The purpose of this testing is to provide Independent Verification and Validation of free-piston Stirling convertor and generator system operation. SRL includes ten (10) test stations capable of 24/7 operation of 100 We class Stirling convertors, as well as performance and controller testing. A thermal vacuum chamber (1.00 m x 3.00 m long) with LN2 cold wall, roughing pump, and cryogenic pumps is capable of maintaining a vacuum of 9 x 10-7 Torr and an internal temperature of -175 °C. This facility is capable of unattended operation, also. Each test station has a LabVIEW data acquisition system. As of 2013, total convertor run time has exceeded 550, 000 hours of operation.

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ASRG-EU

ASRG-EU

An Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) Engineering Unit (EU) is now under extended operation at Glenn Research Center’s Stirling Research Laboratory. The Engineering Unit is a complete generator system including two Stirling convertors, i...
ASC

ASC

Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) In-House Testing Extended operation testing of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is underway in the Stirling Research Lab (SRL) at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). Currently, seven ASCs are under extended operation ...
TDC

TDC

Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC) Testing at GRC NASA Glenn Research Center’s Stirling Research Lab has two pairs of Technology Demonstration Convertors (TDC) from Infinia, Corporation of Kennewick, WA on extended operation testing. These were d...
Advanced Stirling Convertor

Advanced Stirling Convertor

The Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) is being developed by Sunpower, Inc. for NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) with critical technology support tasks led by GRC. The goal of the ASC project, which is funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, is ...
Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

With the advent of advanced numerical methods and high performance computing technology, it is now possible to explore dynamic thermal energy conversion devices at a very high level of detail. This offers the promise of improved efficiency and reliability,...
Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) / Electromagnetic Compatibility

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) / Electromagnetic Compatibility

Initial AC and DC electromagnetic field characterization tests were performed on the Advanced Stirling Convertor ASC-1A-2 in March of 2006. The purpose of this initial test was to characterize the ASC electromagnetic fields and to evaluate the performance...