Liquid-metal MHD power conversion for space electric systems

L. Blumenau, H. Branover, A. El-Boher, E. Spero, S. Sukoriansky, E. Greenspan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The design environment for Space Electric Systems (SES) demands high specific power and high specific energy conversion system as well as components that are highly reliable. Liquid Metal Magnetohydrodynamic (LMMHD) technology may combine the advantages of general MHD power generation, in terms of specific power, flexibility and reliability, with the enhanced heat transfer capabilities offered by liquid metals which are already envisioned for use in space reactor electric systems. A number of synergistic configurations using liquid metals as the main reactor coolant, radiator fluid, or to provide some radiation shielding, have been conceived. This also has positive implications for burst power capability where the ability to rapidly absorb and deliver energy is a necessity and where MHD systems already show significant advantage. Being free of rotating machinery is another potential advantage as is an ability to operate at higher temperatures. A number of LMMHD Power Conversion Systems recently conceived for SES applications are described and their performance analyzed.
Original languageEnglish GB
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Liquid Metal Cooled Reactors
  • Magnetohydrodynamic Generators
  • Radiative Heat Transfer
  • Space Power Reactors
  • Carnot Cycle
  • Closed Cycles
  • Electric Power Supplies
  • Energy Conversion
  • Metal Vapors
  • Working Fluids


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