The micro-reactor, the heat sinks, and heat pipes can be arranged in diverse configurations, depending on the peculiar application of interest to the customer.
(1) Steam-turbine/cogeneration plant. This application is the flagship of Nucleanova_ec batteries . It requires a steam generator and can be implemented in two different configurations.
(1.1) Standard Configuration. The steam generator is decoupled from the heat source, it is installed outside the silo, and heat management is performed by means of heat pipes assemblies, heat switches, and heat sinks.
(1.2) Compact Configuration. The steam generator is enclosed within the silo and thermally coupled to the micro-reactor hot plate. The micro-reactor remains sealed, and the high-temperature heat pipes are eliminated. The low temperature heat pipes remain in place to cool the condenser, as well as the heat decay whenever the reactor is stopped.
The choice of configuration depends on the user requirements in terms of local site physical conditions, initial capital investment, and maintenance protocols and cost.
(2) High-Efficiency, Adaptable Configuration. In this option, the heat is directly converted into electricity using an ensemble of high temperature heat pipes, each pipe delivering heat to each of the assigned large Stirling machines which are mechanically coupled to their assigned generator.
With this arrangement the need for a steam generator is eliminated and opens up the option to adapt the electrical output from each generator to the load parameters.