1992-08-03

Evaluation of the Benefits of High Temperature Electronics for Lunar Power Systems 929005

A study was performed comparing several approaches to provide cooling for the power electronics used in a lunar power system. Thermal control on the moon is a challenging problem since the surface temperature on the moon exceeds 400 K during the 354 hour lunar day and lunar dust accumulation can contaminate sensitive power components and radiator surfaces. Under these severe environmental conditions, conventional thermal control systems will require massive and complex pumps, heat exchangers, coldplates, and radiators to cool electrical equipment on the lunar surface.
It was found that by raising the power electronic's baseplate temperature to 480 K, no thermal control system is needed. The surface of the baseplate acts as its own integral radiator to reject the waste heat generated within the unit. In order for this concept to work, the baseplate must be kept clean of lunar dust contamination and the electronics must be designed such that the efficiency does not degrade with increasing temperature. This “self radiating” concept can save up to 13,000 kg and is simpler to operate and maintain.

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