Demonstration of Super Cooled Ice as a Phase Change Material Heat Sink for Portable Life Support Systems
A phase change material (PCM) heat sink using super cooled ice as a non-toxic, non-flammable PCM is being developed for use in a portable life support system (PLSS). The latent heat of fusion for water is approximately 70% larger than most paraffin waxes, which can provide significant mass savings. Further mass reduction is accomplished by super cooling the ice significantly below its freezing temperature for additional sensible heat storage. Expansion and contraction of the water as it freezes and melts is accommodated with the use of flexible bag and foam materials. A demonstrator unit has been designed, built, and tested to demonstrate proof of concept. Both testing and modeling results are presented.