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Microgravity Phase Separation for the Rankine Cycle

Melissa Ghrist, Mike Ellis, David Bean, Cable Kurwitz, Frederick Best

Nuclear Technology / Volume 156 / Number 3 / Pages 282-288

December 2006


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Phase separation in reduced gravity continues to be an obstacle for the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations' power programs. Phase separation would be necessary for the use of a Rankine power conversion cycle in microgravity. The vortex phase separator invented by Texas A&M University may be implemented in a microgravity Rankine cycle for successful phase separation. With the known characteristics of the separator/inventory control system, the Texas A&M University vortex phase separator can be operated successfully for a wide variety of uses in microgravity. The separator operating principle and envelope, test performance data, and inventory monitoring system are described.

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