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Heat Rejection from a Variable Conductance Heat Pipe Radiator PanelA titanium-water heat pipe radiator having an innovative proprietary evaporator configuration was evaluated in a large vacuum chamber equipped with liquid nitrogen cooled cold walls. The radiator was manufactured by Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT), Lancaster, PA, and delivered as part of a Small Business Innovative Research effort. The radiator panel consisted of five titanium-water heat pipes operating as thermosyphons, sandwiched between two polymer matrix composite face sheets. The five variable conductance heat pipes were purposely charged with a small amount of non-condensable gas to control heat flow through the condenser. Heat rejection was evaluated over a wide range of inlet water temperature and flow conditions, and heat rejection was calculated in real-time utilizing a data acquisition system programmed with the Stefan-Boltzmann equation. Thermography through an infra-red transparent window identified heat flow across the panel. Under nominal operation, a maximum heat rejection value of over 2200 Watts was identified. The thermal vacuum evaluation of heat rejection provided critical information on understanding the radiator s performance, and in steady state and transient scenarios provided useful information for validating current thermal models in support of the Fission Power Systems Project.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Jaworske, D. A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Gibson, M. A.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hervol, D. S.
(QinetiQ North America Brookpark, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 21, 2012
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2012(The Woodlands, TX)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 429698.04.05.03
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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