Vacuum testing of high efficiency multi-base tube AMTEC cells

John M. Merrill, Michael Schuller, Robert Sievers, Chris Borkowski, Lianmin Huang, Mohamed S. El-Genk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The Phillips Laboratory Power Systems Branch (PL/VTVP) is fining vacuum testing of high performance Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Conversion (AMTEC) cells. These AMTEC cells are being built by Advanced Modular Power Systems, Inc. (AMPS) with design input from Orbital Sciences Corporation (OS), Nichols Research Corporation (NRC), Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS), and PL/VTVP. Tests are performed in a prototypical environment to demonstrate feasibility and identify bottlenecks to performance and endurance as well as to provide design feedback. Test results for two major design iterations of the PX series cells are discussed. The data shows that continued improvements made to the cell design have continually increased electric power output and conversion efficiency. To date, the best performance from a PX-series cell tested at PL/VTVP was an electric power output of 4.3 watts and a conversion efficiency of approximately 14%. These data imply that design goals of 6 watts and 22% efficiency per cell will be surpassed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1184-1189
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Merrill, J. M., Schuller, M., Sievers, R., Borkowski, C., Huang, L., & El-Genk, M. S. (1997). Vacuum testing of high efficiency multi-base tube AMTEC cells. Proceedings of the Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 2, 1184-1189.