Compact Adaptive Condenser With a Built-in Thermal Switch
ABSTRACT: Next-generation thermal management systems in advanced aircraft must utilize all available heat sinks, including fuel, ram air, and bleed air flows to effectively manage aircraft thermal loads. To this end, we propose to develop a compact, highly integrated condenser to prevent heat rejection capacity reduction in very hot environments. The condenser has a built-in thermal switch. When the cooling air is cooler than the fuel, the thermal switch is turned on to allow the air flow to cool not only the refrigerant, but also the fuel that serves as thermal storage. When the air is warmer than the fuel, the thermal switch is turned off to insulate the air stream from the refrigerant and the fuel, while allowing only the cool fuel to absorb heat from the refrigerant. The proposed condenser also has unique features to enable a lightweight structure to withstand large fluid pressures. In Phase I, we will prove the feasibility of our approach by defining a complete set of specifications for the condenser, designing and building a proof-of-concept condenser, and demonstrating its performance. In Phase II we will design, build, and demonstrate a laboratory prototype under prototypical conditions. BENEFIT: The proposed condenser will prevent heat rejection capacity reductions in very hot environments. Military applications include heat pump systems for high power electronics and advanced weapons platforms across all the armed services. Commercial applications include thermal management systems for commercial aircraft, air-conditioning systems, and thermal management systems for computer farms.
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