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Proceedings Paper

Performance degradation of space Stirling cryocoolers due to gas contamination
Author(s): Xin-guang Liu; Yi-nong Wu; Shao-hua Yang; Xiao-ming Zhang; Guo-hua Lu; Li Zhang
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Paper Abstract

With extensive application of infrared detective techniques, Stirling cryocoolers, used as an active cooling source, have been developed vigorously in China. After the cooler's cooling performance can satisfy the mission's request, its reliability level is crucial for its application. Among all the possible failure mechanisms, gas contamination has been found to be the most notorious cause of cooler's performance degradation by failure analyses. To analyze the characteristic of gas contamination, some experiments were designed and carried out to quantitatively analyze the relationship between failure and performance. Combined with the test results and the outgassing characteristic of non-metal materials in the cryocooler, a degradation model of cooling performance was given by T(t)=T0+A[1-exp(-t/B)] under some assumptions, where t is the running time, T is the Kelvin cooling temperature, and T0, A, B are model parameters, which can be given by the least square method. Here T0 is the fitting initial cooling temperature, A is the maximum range of performance degradation, and B is the time dependent constant of degradation. But the model parameters vary when a cryocooler is running at different cooling temperature ranges, or it is treated by different cleaning process. In order to verify the applicability of the degradation model, data fit analysis on eight groups of cooler's lifetime test was carried out. The final work indicated this model fit well with the performance degradation of space Stirling cryocoolers due to gas contamination and this model could be used to predict or evaluation the cooler's lifetime. Gaseous contamination will not arouse severe performance degradation until the contaminants accumulate to a certain amount, but it could be fatal when it works. So it is more serious to the coolers whose lifetime is more than 10,000 h. The measures taken to control or minimize its damage were discussed as well. To the long-life cryocooler, internal materials must be baked and organic/epoxy materials should be used as few as possible. Further more, pipeline for filling working fluid must have purifying facilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8193, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2011: Advances in Infrared Imaging and Applications, 81930G (8 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.897534
Show Author Affiliations
Xin-guang Liu, Hangzhou Dianzi Univ. (China)
Yi-nong Wu, Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics (China)
Shao-hua Yang, Ministry of Information Industry (China)
Xiao-ming Zhang, Ministry of Information Industry (China)
Guo-hua Lu, Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics (China)
Li Zhang, Hangzhou Dianzi Univ. (China)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8193:
International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2011: Advances in Infrared Imaging and Applications

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