The kilopower system runs at 800C at an efficiency of 38%. It delivers heat
from the nuclear fuel via sodium heat pipes.

Would it be possible to use refractory material in the construction of the
engine to get its operating temperature up higher?

On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 3:07 PM, Bob Higgins <>

> While the Carnot efficiency certainly goes up with temperature, the
> lifetime of the materials go down rapidly above about 500C.  Most
> commercial high reliability systems operate at about 300C.  The Sterling
> engine will have its share of material problems at 600C hot end, but is
> going to be a non-starter with the hot end at 3000C.  Of course, he could
> always insulate and take the heat out at 600C while taking the hit in
> efficiency.
> At 3000C, you will have substantial optical radiation - what happened to
> Mills' plan to use PV conversion?  I always thought that the high energy PV
> conversion he planned was much farther out than what he stated.
> On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 12:51 PM, Axil Axil <> wrote:
>> Mills could also use the Kilopower solution. At 3000C, the effect must be
>> way over 38%.
>> On Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 2:36 PM, <> wrote:
>>> In reply to  JonesBeene's message of Wed, 15 Nov 2017 18:15:22 -0800:
>>> Hi,
>>> [snip]
>>> >Sooner or later, it is likely that Mills will have a defector – unless
>>> of course he really has a breakthrough, but all indications are that this
>>> is the latest in a long string of over-hyped failures.
>>> >
>>> [snip]
>>> I don't think it's actually a failure, but rather shifted to the back
>>> burner, in
>>> favor of a design he thinks may be more likely to work. I suspect he went
>>> looking for another conversion technology after I pointed out to him
>>> that silver
>>> vapor wouldn't condense to a liquid in a cavity with a uniform
>>> temperature of
>>> over 3000 degrees.
>>> Regards,
>>> Robin van Spaandonk

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