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Micro-Scalable Thermal Control DeviceA microscalable thermal control module consists of a Stirling cycle cooler that can be manipulated to operate at a selected temperature within the heating and cooling range of the module. The microscalable thermal control module is particularly suited for controlling the temperature of devices that must be maintained at precise temperatures. It is particularly suited for controlling the temperature of devices that need to be alternately heated or cooled. The module contains upper and lower opposing diaphragms, with a regenerator region containing a plurality of regenerators interposed between the diaphragms. Gaps exist on each side of each diaphragm to permit it to oscillate freely. The gap on the interior side one diaphragm is in fluid connection with the gap on the interior side of the other diaphragm through regenerators. As the diaphragms oscillate working gas is forced through the regenerators. The surface area of each regenerator is sufficiently large to effectively transfer thermal energy to and from the working gas as it is passed through them. The phase and amplitude of the oscillations can be manipulated electronically to control the steady state temperature of the active thermal control surface, and to switch the operation of the module from cooling to heating, or vice versa. The ability of the microscalable thermal control module to heat and cool may be enhanced by operating a plurality of modules in series, in parallel, or in connection through a shared bottom layer.
Document ID
Document Type
Other - Patent
Moran, Matthew E.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
May 14, 2002
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Patent Application
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