Cryocoolers 8 pp 185-195 | Cite as

Thermal Performance of Stirling-Cycle Cryocoolers: A Comparison of JPL-Tested Coolers

  • G. T. Smedley
  • G. R. Mon
  • D. L. Johnson
  • R. G. RossJr.

Abstract

Spacecraft cryocoolers continue to attract interest in the space science community. To date, many Stirling cycle cryocoolers have been characterized by JPL in a number of performance areas including thermal performance. A number of factors are used to evaluate the efficiency and cooling power of cryocoolers at cryogenic coldtip temperatures. A comparison of the measured thermal performance of several cryocoolers is presented.

The various cryocoolers tested by JPL include single compressor/single displacer, back-to-back dual compressor/dual displacer, back-to-back dual compressor/single displacer, and in-line single compressor/single displacer configurations. These cryocoolers were designed with various compressor and displacer sizes and strokes and were designed to operate at a drive frequency that is particular to each cooler. The design differences between various coolers complicates their comparison. This paper aims to evaluate the thermal performance data so that cooler-to-cooler comparisons can be made. As part of these comparisons, the paper explores the measured sensitivity of thermal performance to a wide range of operational variables. These include piston and displacer stroke, piston/displacer phase, fill pressure, heatsink temperature, and drive frequency. A multivariable plot format aids in the understanding of the complex interdependence of input power, coldtip temperature, coldtip heat load, specific power (efficiency), and the operational variable.

This paper provides the community with insight into the expected performance and limitations of state-of-the-art cryocoolers.

Keywords

Input Power Power Factor Heat Load Fill Pressure Thermal Performance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    V.Y. Kotsubo, D.L. Johnson, and R.G. Ross Jr., “Calorimetric Thermal-Vacuum Performance Characterization of the BAe 80K Space Cryocooler,” 27th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference. SAE Paper No. 929037, San Diego, August, 1992.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    V. Kotsubo, D.L. Johnson, and R.G. Ross, Jr., “Cold-tip Off-state Conduction Loss of Miniature Stirling-Cycle Cryocoolers,” Adv. Cryo. Engin., vol. 37B (1991), p. 10327.Google Scholar
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    R.G. Rossjr., D.L. Johnson, and, V.Y. Kotsubo, BAe 80K Stirling Cryocooler: Performance Characterization. JPL Internal Document D-9912, May 1992.Google Scholar
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    D.L. Johnson, G.R. Mon, and R.G. Rossjr., BAe 55k Development Model Cryocooler: Performance Characterization. JPL Internal Document D-10276, May 1993.Google Scholar
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    G.T. Smedley, D.L. Johnson, and R.G. Rossjr., Stirling Technology Company 80K TDM Cryocooler: Performance Characterization. JPL Internal Document D-11270, July 1993.Google Scholar
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    G.T. Smedley, D.L. Johnson, and R.G. Rossjr., Sunpower 140K Cryocooler: Performance Characterization. JPL Internal Document D-l 1085, July 1993.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. T. Smedley
    • 1
  • G. R. Mon
    • 1
  • D. L. Johnson
    • 1
  • R. G. RossJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasadenaUSA

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