ATHENS, OH- Sunpower, Inc. is pleased to announce the delivery of the third pair of the Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) Engineering Units (ASC-E3 #5 & #6) to NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) on August 22, 2014. The third of four pairs of engineering units to be delivered under contract with NASA GRC, the ASC-E3 design is nearly identical to the Flight ASC design. ASC-E3s continue to support demonstration of Flight-like processing at Sunpower and support long-term reliability, environmental, and system integration testing in NASA GRC’s dedicated Stirling Research Lab. To date, convertors have accumulated more than 325,000 hours (>37 years) of continuous operation at GRC with a single unit amassing more than 46,000 hours (> 5 years).
The ASC is under development by Sunpower for NASA GRC with critical technology support tasks led by GRC. The goal of the ASC project, which is funded by NASA’s Planetary Sciences Division within the Science Mission Directorate, is to develop a highly efficient, low mass, reliable power convertor for future Radioisotope Power Systems. The high efficiency, which is an increase of 4 times compared to current technology, is a requirement for future missions in order to minimize the fuel needed. The ASC technology has evolved through progressive convertor builds and successful testing which have demonstrated high conversion efficiency (>40%), low mass (<1.3 kg), hermetic sealing, launch vibration simulation, Electromagnetic Interference characterization, system integration, environmental testing, and extended operation.
Sunpower, Inc. is based in Athens, Ohio and is a unit within AMETEK Advanced Measurement Technologies (AMT), which is a division of AMETEK, Inc, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of $3.6 billion. More information is available at www.sunpowerinc.com