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 third stream air flows to effectively manage aircraft thermal loads. To this end, we propose to develop a compact, highly integrated condenser to enhance aircraft heat rejection capacity in very challenging thermal 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 efficiently 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 fuel and refrigerant from the air stream while allowing the cool fuel to absorb heat from the refrigerant. In Phase I, we proved the feasibility of our approach by defining a complete set of specifications for the condenser; designing and building a proof-of-concept adaptive condenser; and demonstrating its performance features in simulated hot and cool environments. In Phase II we will design, build, and demonstrate a full-size condenser module under prototypical thermal conditions. BENEFIT: Creare"s adaptive condenser technology will enhance heat rejection capacities of military aircraft in challenging thermal environments and reduce the size, weight, and drag penalties of thermal management systems. Military applications include adaptive thermal management systems for legacy and future advanced aircraft. Commercial applications include thermal management systems for commercial aircraft, air conditioning systems, and thermal management systems for computer farms.
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