Minimum-Weight Analysis of Anisotropic Plane-Fin Heat-Pipe Space Radiators

[+] Author and Article Information
Kurt O. Lund

Center for Energy and Combustion Research 0310, University of California, La Jolla, CA 92093-0310

Karl W. Baker

Power Technology Division 301-3, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

J. Sol. Energy Eng 115(1), 37-41 (Feb 01, 1993) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2930022 History: Received February 01, 1992; Revised August 01, 1992; Online June 06, 2008


Equations are formulated for the two-dimensional, anisotropic conduction of heat in space radiator fins. The transverse temperature field is obtained by the integral method, and the axial field by numerical integration. A shape factor, defined for the heat-pipe interface boundary condition, simplifies the analysis and renders the results applicable to general heat-pipe/conduction-fin designs. The thermal results are summarized in terms of the fin efficiency, a fin length parameter, and a radiation/axial-conductance number. These relations, together with those for mass distribution between fins, heat pipes, and headers are used in formulating a radiator mass/heat-rate criterion function. Minimization of the criterion function results in asymptotic solutions for the optimum radiator geometry and conditions. The effect of physical properties on the optimum design is determined; in particular, performance is found to vary with fin conductivity to the 1/3 power for large conductivity values.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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