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Loop Heat Pipe with Thermal Control Valve for Passive Variable Thermal Link

Award Information

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Advanced Cooling Technologies
1046 New Holland Ave. Lancaster, PA 17601-5606
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Loop Heat Pipe with Thermal Control Valve for Passive Variable Thermal Link
Agency: NASA
Contract: NNX10CF21P
Award Amount: $99,958.00


Loop heat pipes (LHPs) can provide variable thermal conductance needed to maintain electronics and batteries on Lunar/Martian rovers/landers within desired temperature range. During lunar day, the LHP transfers the heat to the radiator for rejection. During the fourteen-day-long lunar night, the sink temperature drops, lowering LHP and WEB/battery temperatures. Without a variable thermal link, the LHP will continue to remove heat during the night, cooling the electronics/batteries to unacceptably low temperatures. For spacecraft applications, a small heater is typically attached to the LHP reservoir to shutoff the LHP, preventing excessive cooling of the WEB/battery temperatures. The battery mass penalty to shutoff the LHP through the 14-day-long lunar night is large and must be avoided. This project will develop a LHP incorporating a passive thermal control valve, eliminating the shut-off power requirements. The valve will be installed in the vapor line to selectively route vapor to the radiator during daytime and directly to the compensation chamber (bypassing the radiator) during night, thereby maintaining electronics/battery temperatures. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing the thermal control valve as a varying thermal link. Phase II will fabricate and test a LHP with a thermal control valve, bringing the technology to TRL 6.

Principal Investigator:

John Hartenstine
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Jon Zuo
Small Business Information at Submission:

Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc.
1046 New Holland Avenue Lancaster, PA 17601

EIN/Tax ID: 571146896
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No