Solid/Vapor Adsorption Heat Pumps for Space Application 881107

Thermal and environmental control of spacecraft and astronauts during extravehicular activity requires the transfer of heat between various thermal sources and sinks. Solid/vapor heat pump technology utilizing a condensing/evaporating refrigerant holds considerable promise for space applications due to the variable temperature and variable load capabilities of these devices. In addition, solid/vapor adsorption systems involve no moving parts, may utilize non-toxic and non-flammable solid adsorbents and refrigerants, and are lightweight. This paper describes the fundamental operating characteristics of solid/vapor adsorption technology. The effects of (1) the choice of the specific refrigerant/adsorbent pair, (2) the thermal sink and source temperatures, and (3) the heat transfer characteristics of the adsorption beds on the performance of the system are described.


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