This paper presents in depth the major basic performance characteristics of electrofluid dynamic (EFD) energy conversion processes, which are shown to be complementary to magnetofluid dynamic processes. With a view toward making possible effective thermal-electric energy conversion without moving parts, the potential compatibility of incorporating low pressure ratio EFD processes into high pressure ratio thermodynamic cycles is shown. Investigations of scaling, similarity, performance characteristics, and the effects of physical properties of working media containing electric charges of one polarity are used as a basis to determine the major problems and corresponding research areas in EFD energy conversion. In general these are: Generation of Charged Colloids; Electrode and Conversion Duct Geometry; and Fluid Dynamic Energy Transfer Phenomena in Multicomponent, Multiphase Flows. Also given are typical configurations of EFD energy converters, and a look at potential applications, especially those associated with encapsulated, long-duration power supply for operations in space, under the ocean, or at remote unattended sites.

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