Abstract.

In this review the main features of MPD electrical power generation are described, with particular reference to oil-fired systems. Details of experimental work in this field are given and the problems which are particular to oil-firing are outlined. The development time scale for MPD generators is estimated, suggesting some possible effects on the oil industry.

In conclusion, it is stated that MPD generation is moving from speculative research to engineered prototypes, the possible reduction in the cost of electricity sent out is about 12 per cent and that, although no special demands will be made on the oil industry in the type of fuel supplied, there will be many research and development problems associated with plant component operation.

Résumé.

Cette revue décrit les qualités essentielles de la génération d'énergie électrique par MPD (Magnéto-Plasma-Dynamique) en référant particulièrement aux systèmes alimentés par fuel oil. Des détails sur les recherches expérimentales et les problèmes concernant les fours chauffés à combustibles liquides sont donnés. Le temps nécessaire pour le développement des générateurs MPD est estimé indiquant quelques effets sur l'industrie du pétrole.

On constate que les recherches spéculatives sur le dé- veloppement des générateurs MPD s'avancent à des prototypes fabriqués. La réduction possible des coûts de l'électricité produite s'élève à environ 12 '/o. Des demandes spéciales en ce qui concerne les types du fuel oil ne sont pas présentées à l'industrie du pétrole, mais on voit que beaucoup de problèmes de recherche et de développement associés à la marche des installations doivent être traités.

1 INTRODUCTION

Anticipating the eventual development of largescale steam turboalternator plant to overall thermal efficiencies of about 45 per cent, it follows that any future performance improvement must be achieved through a radical change in techniquel) 2, 3). It appears impossible to better the performance of the steam plant at the temperature range over which it operates; consequently, interest must be directed towards utilizing higher temperature heat sources in conjunction with energy conversion techniques 't Lindley, B. C., Great Britain, Engineer, Technical Applications Manoger, International Research & Development Co Ltd., Newcastle upon Tyne, England. which do not require highly-stressed rotating parts.

Both the thermionic and magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) systems fall into this category; thermionic generation depends on the emission of electrons from a very high temperature surface, while MPD generation involves the extraction of electrical energy from an electrically-conducting gas (a "plasma") flowing through a transverse magnetic field.

Neither of these can usefully employ low-grade heat and the rejected energy may be passed to steam plant, resul

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