RESEARCH PAPERS: Radiative Transfer

The Cylindrical Electrostatic Liquid Film Radiator for Heat Rejection in Space

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Kim, S. G. Bankoff

Department of Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

M. J. Miksis

Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

J. Heat Transfer 116(4), 986-992 (Nov 01, 1994) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2911475 History: Received January 01, 1993; Revised January 01, 1994; Online May 23, 2008


A new space radiator concept has been proposed (Kim et al., 1991, 1992a, b, 1993) in which a thin film of hot liquid, flowing along the inside of a closed membrane, rejects waste heat by radiation to the surroundings. In previous versions, the radiator rotates, supplying most of the driving force for the liquid flow. In the present design, the cylinder is stationary, and the liquid flows circumferentially under its initial momentum. Moderately large Reynolds numbers are required to overcome viscous drag, and prevent excessive thickening of the film. The major design consideration involves the application of an internal electrostatic field to pull the liquid away from the site of a membrane puncture due to micrometeorite impact. Calculations are presented that show that leaks can be stopped with a safety factor of two or more, while the surface wave thus produced is washed harmlessly out of the system. Some preliminary heat transfer performance characteristics are presented. The advantages of this concept include the absence of moving parts and the ease of deployment, compared to rotating units, and a factor of at least three for the reduction of the weight per unit surface area compared to heat pipes.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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