Gas Foil Bearing Technology Advancements for Closed Brayton Cycle Turbines

Samuel A. Howard, Robert J. Bruckner, Christopher DellaCorte, Kevin C. Radil
2007 AIP Conference Proceedings  
Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) turbine systems are under consideration for future space electric power generation. CBC turbines convert thermal energy from a nuclear reactor, or other heat source, to electrical power using a closed-loop cycle. The operating fluid in the closed-loop is commonly a high pressure inert gas mixture that cannot tolerate contamination. One source of potential contamination in a system such as this is the lubricant used in the turbomachine bearings. Gas Foil Bearings (GFB)
more » ... represent a bearing technology that eliminates the possibility of contamination by using the working fluid as the lubricant. Thus, foil bearings are well suited to application in space power CBC turbine systems. NASA Glenn Research Center is actively researching GFB technology for use in these CBC power turbines. A power loss model has been developed, and the effects of very high ambient pressure, start-up torque, and misalignment, have been observed and are reported here.
doi:10.1063/1.2437506 fatcat:butgs3qvu5bezom23zpv2tfl6a