Design and Fabrication of a Phase Change Material Heat Storage Device for the Thermal Control of Electronics Components of Space Applications
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Phase change materials
Space thermal control
Heat storage devices
In this paper, the design and validation of a heat storage device based on phase change materials are presented, with the focus on improving the thermal control of micro-satellites. The main objective of the development is to provide a system that is able to keep electronics within safe temperature ranges during the operation of manoeuvres, while reducing mass and volume in comparison to other thermal control techniques. Due to the low thermal conductivity of phase change materials, the conductivity of the device as a whole is one of the major challenges of the development. This issue has been solved by means of the use of a lattice of aluminium fins. The thermal behaviour of the proposed solution is assessed with numerical simulation tools, and the results prove that the developed phase change material-based thermal control technique is able to provide the suitable integrated thermal management of micro-satellites. Fabrication challenges found in the project are also explained. Numerical ...