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Cold Start of a Radiator Equipped with Titanium-Water Heat PipesRadiator panels utilizing titanium-water heat pipes are being considered for lunar applications. A traditional sandwich structure is envisioned where heat pipes are embedded between two high thermal conductivity face sheets. The heat pipe evaporators are to be thermally connected to the heat source through one or more manifolds containing coolant. Initial radiator operation on the lunar surface would likely follow a cold soak where the water in the heat pipes is purposely frozen. To achieve heat pipe operation, it will be necessary to thaw the heat pipes. One option is to allow the sunlight impinging on the surface at sunrise to achieve this goal. Testing was conducted in a thermal vacuum chamber to simulate the lunar sunrise and additional modeling was conducted to identify steady-state and transient response. It was found that sunlight impinging on the radiator surface at sunrise was insufficient to solely achieve the goal of thawing the water in the heat pipes. However, starting from a frozen condition was accomplished successfully by applying power to the evaporators. Start up in this fashion was demonstrated without evaporator dryout. Concern is raised over thawing thermosyphons, vertical heat pipes operating in a gravity field, with no wick in the condenser section. This paper presents the results of the simulated cold start study and identifies future work to support radiator panels equipped with titanium-water heat pipes.
Document ID
Document Type
Jaworske, Donald A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sanzi, James L.
(Sest, Inc. Middleburgh Heights, OH, United States)
Siamidis, John
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
July 28, 2008
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
6th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference(Cleveland, OH)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 463169.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 20080047458.pdf STI