Constructing a High Temperature Heat Pump
SU Advisor: Steve Alexander
A thermal battery that can efficiently store heat energy for long periods of time could be used to supply hot air to a Stirling engine and thus generate electricity when needed. Thermal batteries require a substance with a high specific heat to store large amounts of heat energy without decomposition. Similarly, high-quality insulation is needed to maintain high temperatures inside the battery for long periods of time. There are two technical problems that earlier thermal batteries have encountered. One, the stainless-steel shot particulate was too small. The size of the particulate is important because if it is too small then air cannot efficiently travel between the particulate, which limits the thermal conductivity of the cell. Additionally, previous thermal batteries lacked a pump that could circulate air at the target temperature of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The goal of this project is to design a high temperature pump that can be used to operate and test a high temperature thermal battery.