Testing of an R134a Spray Evaporative Heat Sink
The NASA Glenn Research Center has been developing a spacecraft open loop spray evaporative heat sink for use in pressure environments near sea-level, where evaporative cooling of water is not effective. The working fluid is R134a, a common refrigerant used in household appliances, considered safe and non-toxic for humans. The concept uses an open loop spray of R134a impinging on a heated flat plate, through which a closed loop of hot coolant flows, having acquired the heat from spacecraft electronics boxes, the cabin heat exchanger, and other heat sources. The latent heat of evaporation cools the outside of the hot plate, and through heat conduction, reduces the temperature of the coolant. The testing at NASA Glenn has used an electrically heated cylindrical copper target to simulate the hot plate. This paper will discuss the R134a feed system, the test matrix, and test results.