Continued Water-Based Phase Change Material Heat Exchanger Development



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45th International Conference on Environmental Systems


In a cyclical heat load environment such as low Lunar orbit, a spacecraft’s radiators are not sized to meet the maximum heat rejection demands. Traditionally, a supplemental heat rejection device (SHReD) such as an evaporator or sublimator is used to act as a “topper” to meet the additional heat rejection demands. Utilizing a Phase Change Material (PCM) heat exchanger (HX) as a SHReD provides an attractive alternative to evaporators and sublimators as PCM HX’s do not use a consumable, thereby leading to reduced launch mass and volume requirements. In continued pursuit of water PCM HX development two full-scale, Orion sized water-based PCM HX’s were constructed by Mezzo Technologies. These HX’s were designed by applying prior research on freeze front propagation to a full-scale design. Design options considered included bladder restraint and clamping mechanisms, bladder manufacturing, tube patterns, fill/drain methods, manifold dimensions, weight optimization, and midplate designs. Two units, Units A and B, were constructed and differed only in their midplate design. Both units failed multiple times during testing but several learning outcomes resulted. This report highlights the outcomes from these tests and application of the outcomes to a final sub- scale PCM HX which is slated to be tested on the ISS in early 2017. ICES-2015-188


Bellevue, Washington
Scott W. Hansen, NASA, Johnson Space Center, USA
Rubik B. Sheth, NASA, Johnson Space Center, USA
Joe Poynot, Mezzo Technologies Inc., USA
Tony Giglio, Mezzo Technologies Inc., USA
The 45th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Bellevue, Washington, USA on 12 July 2015 through 16 July 2015.