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ISSN Online: 2688-7231

ISBN Online: 978-1-56700-524-0

Proceedings of the 26thNational and 4th International ISHMT-ASTFE Heat and Mass Transfer Conference December 17-20, 2021, IIT Madras, Chennai-600036, Tamil Nadu, India
December, 17-20, 2021, IIT Madras, Chennai, India

CFD Simulations of a PCM coupled heat pipe with thermal enhancers

Get access DOI: 10.1615/IHMTC-2021.3760
pages 2489-2494


The thermal control system is often overdesigned to reach the heat dissipation demands based on peak heat load and not orbit-average heat load. Phase Change Material (PCM) coupled heat pipe is a promising solution to avoid such overdesign, reducing the spacecraft's cost and mass. PCM canister stores heat from the electronic devices during the brief transient peaks and slowly releases this heat to the heat pipe, which subsequently transfers it to the thermal radiator during idle cycle time. CFD Modelling of PCM coupled heat pipe forms the objective of this work.
Three-dimensional (3D) transient numerical simulation of PCM-based heat sink with thermal enhancers coupled to heat pipe is carried out in this work. The n-eicosane is employed as a PCM inside the heat sink to store the heat generated from the electronic device applied at the heat sink base. Transient numerical simulations are performed using finite-volume-method, and conjugate heat transfer and melting/solidification phenomenon are investigated for the given case.
The significant enhancement of the operating time and reduction in the peak temperature is seen due to the thermal enhancers in PCM coupled with heat pipes. This would be very useful in spacecraft applications to increase heat transfer properties of PCM canister and subsequently to reduce the size (and hence mass) of the thermal radiator. The concept can also be extended to terrestrial applications like high-performance laptops or servers encountering unsteady heat loads.
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