Design and performance evaluation of solar space Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) is described in this paper taking into account the influence of orbital and solar conditions.
With fixed external conditions (insolation, Tsink, power) overall performance and area of the plant are obtained and optimized (plant area minimization), while to evaluate plant mass a detailed and complete design of the plant components is carried out.
Utilizing as the input the results obtained with fixed external conditions, plant transient orbital analysis (TOA) is performed taking into account modification of insolation, Tsink, and power to be generated versus orbit time, (quasi steady transient analysis).
All these methods have been fully integrated — the common inputs are interchanged and the output of one code is directly input to the other codes — in a complete design procedure, named CBC-SPACE, suited for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) station power plant design.
The most important results are presented and discussed, while the importance of this study is pointed out taking also into account the possibility to extend this analysis to SDCC (solar dynamic combined cycle) plant proposed by the author (Massardo, 1991).