1991-04-01

THERMAL POWER LOOPS 911188

The concept of a Thermal Power Loop (TPL) for the transport of thermal power over relatively large distances is presented as an alternative to heat pipes and their derivatives. While retaining the passive nature of heat pipes, the TPL has demonstrated many performance advantages.In this paper, the TPL is compared to heat pipes, and capillary pumped loops with respect to weight, size, conservation of thermal potential, 1-g testing capability and start-up. This analysis illustrates that the development of specific thermal power loops will be highly cost effective and will result in substantial weight and cost savings for many spacecraft. Additionally, test results from a proof of feasibility demonstrator at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory are presented.

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