Development of a Compact, Efficient Cooling Pump for Spacesuit Life Support Systems 2009-01-2451
A compact, low-power, electrochemically driven fluid cooling pump is currently being developed by Lynntech. With no electric motor and lightweight components, the pump is significantly lighter than conventional rotodynamic and displacement pumps. Reliability and robustness are achieved with the absence of rotating or moving components (apart from the bellows). By employing sulfonated polystyrene-based proton exchange membranes rather than conventional Nafion® membranes, a significant reduction in the actuator power consumption was demonstrated. Lynntech designers also demonstrated that these membranes possess the mechanical strength, durability, and temperature range that are necessary for long-life space operation. The preliminary design for a prototype pump compares very favorably to the design targets of the next generation spacesuit Portable Life Support Systems cooling pump. Characteristics of the electrochemically driven pump are described and the benefits of the technology as a replacement for electric motor pumps in single-phase fluid loops are discussed.