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Research Papers

Thermal Performance Model for Spacesuit Waste Heat Rejection Using Water Membrane Evaporators

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Janeborvorn, T. P. Filburn

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117

C. C. Yavuzturk

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117yavuzturk@hartford.edu

E. K. Ungar

Johnson Space Center, NASA, Houston, TX 77058

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 2(3), 031008 (Dec 22, 2010) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003011 History: Received June 15, 2010; Revised November 04, 2010; Published December 22, 2010; Online December 22, 2010

Hydrophobic, micropore membrane evaporators are studied for use in waste heat rejection in new generation spacesuits developed by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The waste heat rejection is accomplished via evaporation of liquid water through membrane pores, whereby the hydrophobic membrane allows only water vapor to pass through and retains the liquid phase inside the membrane water channel, allowing the waste heat rejection through the proposed spacesuit water membrane evaporator (SWME) system to be significantly less sensitive to contamination while improving the overall contaminant and system control. Although SWME uses the same heat transport loop as used in current NASA sublimator systems, thus eliminating the need for a separate feedwater system, it permits the system configuration to be simpler and more compact while also eliminating corrosion problems and reducing system freeze-up potential. An improved thermal performance model based on membrane segment energy balances is presented, which is a spacesuit water membrane evaporator for a single circular annulus water channel bounded by two annular vapor channels. The model allows for the investigation of the local heat transfer characteristics along the annulus including temperature gradients in the membrane wall and the water channel using a steady-state approach. The model also accounts for the effects of thermal and hydraulic entry lengths, far field radiation, and energy carried away by the mass of water evaporation. The local heat transfer analysis enables the straightforward calculation of the overall magnitude of heat transfer from the SWME. A model validation is presented via the sum of the squares error analyses between the model predictions and the experimental results.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Annulus membrane evaporator

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Figure 2

Water membrane evaporator segments 1 and 2. (a) Segment division for 100 segments and (b) connection of two segments.

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Figure 3

Control volumes of water channel and membrane

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Figure 4

Flowchart for the model algorithm

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Figure 5

Configuration of the experimental test stand (5)

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Figure 6

SWME model-predicted heat rejection compared with experimental data

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Figure 7

SWME model-predicted exiting membrane water temperature compared with experimental data

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Figure 8

Local Nusselt number Nux in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 9

Local membrane temperature Tmem,x in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 10

Local water temperature Twx in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 11

Local evaporative cooling flux q″evap,x in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 12

Local mass transport heat flux q″m,x in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 13

Local heat rejection flux q″rej,x in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 14

Cumulative heat rejection Qrej in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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Figure 15

Local radiation heat flux in the axial direction of the membrane annulus

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