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Technical Paper

Design Validation - via Parabolic Flight Tests - of a Condensate Buffer Equalizing a Discontinuous Gas / Water Flow between a Condensing Heat Exchanger and a Water Separator

EADS SPACE Transportation GmbH designed, built and tested a condensate buffer to be located between a Condensing Heat Exchanger (CHX) and a Condensate Water Separator Assembly (CWSA), as part of the ECLSS of the European Columbus Module. Under zero-g conditions, the separation of water from an air-water mixture is always difficult, especially if a passive device is to be used such as the low power consuming Columbus CWSA. The additional buffer volume reduces condensate water peaks reaching the CWSA to a level that excludes an overloading of the CWSA and a release of free water droplets into the air return to the cabin. In the CHX/CWSA system this may only be necessary under worst case operational conditions and with a failure of the qualified hydrophilic coating of the CHX. The buffer design principle was confirmed via prior analyses and on-ground testing. The performance of such a condensate buffer under micro-g conditions was verified during parabolic flights.
Technical Paper

Advanced Stainless Steel Condensing Heat Exchanger

Under an ESA Contract EADS SPACE Transportation GmbH has designed and built an advanced Stainless Steel Condensing Heat Exchanger (CHX) Spare as part of the Environmental Control and Life Support Subsystem (ECLSS) of the European Columbus Module that shall be docked to the ISS in early 2007. Lessons learnt from both, ground and space applications of condensing heat exchangers were to be considered, for risk mitigation, in a CHX alternative design. The slurper section is equipped with a sophisticated capillary suction feature that supports an adequate condensate removal and transport through the slurper holes to the water separator assembly even at low airflow condition. The air fin surface is covered with a hydrophilic coating that did pass qualification for 10 years' exposure to the various contaminants specified respectively determined in the ISS atmosphere so far. The biocidal additive of such coating is qualified for fungus growth prevention, accordingly.