Two-Dimensional Model of a Space Station Freedom Thermal Energy Storage Canister

[+] Author and Article Information
T. W. Kerslake

National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135

M. B. Ibrahim

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH 44115

J. Sol. Energy Eng 116(2), 114-121 (May 01, 1994) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2930498 History: Received February 01, 1993; Revised October 01, 1993; Online June 06, 2008


The Solar Dynamic Power Module being developed for Space Station Freedom uses a eutectic mixture of LiF-CaF2 phase-change salt contained in toroidal canisters for thermal energy storage. This paper presents results from heat transfer analyses of the phase-change salt containment canister. A two-dimensional, axisymmetric finite difference computer program which models the canister walls, salt, void, and heat engine working fluid coolant was developed. Analyses included effects of conduction in canister walls and solid salt, conduction and free convection in liquid salt, conduction and radiation across salt vapor-filled void regions, and forced convection in the heat engine working fluid. Void shape and location were prescribed based on engineering judgment. The salt phase-change process was modeled using the enthalpy method. Discussion of results focuses on the role of free convection in the liquid salt on canister heat transfer performance. This role is shown to be important for interpreting the relationship between ground-based canister performance (in 1-g) and expected on-orbit performance (in micro-g). Attention is also focused on the influence of void heat transfer on canister wall temperature distributions. The large thermal resistance of void regions is shown to accentuate canister hot spots and temperature gradients.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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