Accession Number : AD0903664

Title :   Thermionic Converter Plasma Analysis

Descriptive Note : Final rept. Jan 71-Apr 72

Corporate Author : GENERAL ELECTRIC CO PLEASANTON CA NUCLEAR THERMIONIC POWER OPERATION

Personal Author(s) : McCandless, R. J.

Report Date : AUG 1972

Pagination or Media Count : 88

Abstract : This study develops an analysis of thermionic converter sheaths and weakly collisional thermionic converter plasmas. The analysis of thermionic converter sheaths is accomplished through the numerical solution of Poisson's equation and the Vlasov equations for electrons and ions in one dimensional planar geometry subject to half Maxwellian boundary conditions. The analysis considers monotonic accelerating and retarding sheaths and the class of non-monotonic sheaths with a single potential extremum. The results show that some thermionic converter operating points simultaneously admit self consistent monotonic and non-monotonic sheath potential profiles. The analysis of weakly collisional thermionic plasma is accomplished through the numerical solution of a set of plasma transport equations and Poisson's equation in one dimensional planar geometry subject to the known boundary conditions on the electron and ion distribution functions for charged particle emission at the emitter and collector surfaces for a given set of thermionic converter operating conditions. The converter operating condition is specified by the emitter temperature, collector temperature, reservoir temperature, interelectrode spacing, and operating current. The transport equations are derived as a set of moment equations from the Boltzmann equations for electrons and ions. The movement equations conserve mass, momentum, energy and energy flux.

Descriptors :   *PLASMA SHEATHS), (*THERMIONIC CONVERTERS, ELECTRONS, IONS, CHARGED PARTICLES, DENSITY, SPECIAL FUNCTIONS(MATHEMATICAL), PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS, DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS, LANGMUIR PROBES, MOMENTS, MOMENTUM, TEMPERATURE, PRESSURE, ANALYSIS, EMISSIVITY, TRANSPORT PROPERTIES, VELOCITY, ELECTRODES, ELECTRIC CURRENTS, VOLTAGE, NUMERICAL ANALYSIS.

Subject Categories : Electric Power Production and Distribution
      Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE