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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