Thermal Insulation Design of Portable Radioisotope Electrical Generators
Author(s)Wang, X.; Chan, Walker R; Fisher, Peter H; Liang, R.; Xu, J.
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Radioisotope generators can provide power for several decades without the need of any further energy input, such as solar or chemical energy. A portable radioisotope generator can foresee many applications in future military and civilian uses that require minimum access and maintenance, such as to power sensors in a polar region, on a floating buoy, or undersea. In this work, we report the design, simulation, and measurement results of the thermal insulation of a miniaturized radioisotope system. We tested a prototype powered by an electrical heater with the same size as a plutonium fuel pellet. We tested the material compatibilities and showed the designs suitable for generators using thermoelectric and thermophotovoltaic converters respectively. In addition, we proposed a new insulation that uses a layered dielectric's omni-directional reflectivity as a futuristic insulation mechanism to shield radiation heat for micro to meso-scale thermal systems.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies
19th International Conference on Micro and Nanotechnology for Power Generation and Energy Conversion Applications, PowerMEMS 2019
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Wang, X. et al. "Thermal Insulation Design of Portable Radioisotope Electrical Generators." 19th International Conference on Micro and Nanotechnology for Power Generation and Energy Conversion Applications, December 2019, Krakow, Poland, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, April 2020 © 2019 IEEE
Author's final manuscript