A Novel Method for Enhanced Heat Removal from Closed Systems

Process Development Division
2008 AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 17, 2008 - 7:00pm
Removal of heat from confined cabins and space habitats is of immense importance to NASA in order to ensure proper thermal control. The design of important thermal subsystems for future applications as in boilers, condensers, evaporators, heat exchangers etc will involve complicated fluid flow systems. Enhanced heat removal is needed when high heat generation occurs as in materials processing experiments. Removal of this heat is important for proper thermal control for human habitation and instruments in an extra terrestrial space environment. Such technology also has spin-off uses in Earth applications as in the thermal stability of chemical reactors, removal of heat from electrical devices, and other enclosed environments such as submarines and underground facilities.In our talk we will discuss a novel method for the enhanced heat removal from an enclosed system. This method is independent of gravity and can work in single or two phase regimes. This novel idea incorporates the use of pulsatile flows to enhance the heat transport. The physical idea behind this is that if a heat source is connected to a heat sink via a fluid and if the fluid were oscillated, the convective motion will bring about sharp spikes in the velocity profile which in turn will transport the heat faster in both the radial and axial directions. It has been shown that through experiment and the theory that these pulsatile flows increase the heat transport of a system by as much as three orders of magnitude compared to ordinary conduction. Fluids as heat transport carriers are far better than metals because of the reduced added mass in space flights, particularly during lift-off. Our talk will focus on the physics of the enhanced heat transport and the verification of the theory by defined experiments.
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