Modeling and Simulation of the Drying of Cabin Solid Waste in Long-Term Space Missions 2008-01-2194
A prototype packed bed convective dryer has been studied for use in an energy-efficient closed air-loop heat-pump drying system for astronaut cabin waste. This paper presents a transient continuum model for the heat and mass transfer between the air and wet ersatz trash in the cylindrical drying vessel. The model is based on conservation equations for energy and moisture applied to the air and solid phases and its formulation includes the unique waste characteristic of having both dry and wet solids. It incorporates heat and mass transfer coefficients for the system measured on an ersatz trash in the dryer vessel, and experimentally determined moisture sorption equilibrium relationship for the wet material. The resulting system of differential equations is solved by the finite-volume method as implemented by the commercial software COMSOL. The validated model will be used in the optimization of the entire closed-loop system consisting of dryer, condenser, and heat-recovery modules.