A Heat Pipe Quick Disconnect 851323

This paper reports the proof of concept demonstration of a heat pipe quick disconnect being developed for the space constructible radiator system. The disconnect provides a maintainable coupling between the heat pipe evaporator, which is brazed to a mating heat exchanger, and the replaceable condenser section of a monogroove heat pipe radiator element. Test results, with pressurized nitrogen gas, confirm low leakage rates in both demated and mated configurations. Comparative thermal tests in a working 3 m (10 ft) test bed heat pipe using ammonia fluid revealed a 30% decrease in heat transport due to the additional minor pressure losses from the quick disconnect. The bulk of this loss is attributed to the transition section that joins the two adjacent heat pipe flow channels to the separated liquid and vapor passages within the disconnect coupling. It would be possible to decrease this overall loss in heat transport to under 10% with a redesigned transition section.


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