Date of Award
Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Nuclear power plants, Lunar bases, Exergy
An exergy-based analysis of a power generation system based on nuclear fission coupled to a Stirling converter is conducted to assess overall system performance. To determine the exergy characteristics of this system, exergy balances are derived for each subsystem and calculated in MATLAB codes. Exergy destruction and exergy efficiency are quantified over the lunar diurnal cycle for each of NASA’s Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) subsystem and the system as a whole. The presented results show that the KRUSTY integrated system efficiency is dependent on specific load profiles, and that constant load profiles result in the highest system exergy efficiency. Results also indicate higher exergy efficiency at colder ambient temperatures, allowing transient power draw cases to be created which maximize exergy efficiency by biasing towards nighttime operation.
Smith, Griffin, "Exergy analysis of nuclear power devices for lunar power applications" (2023). Theses. 462.