Monthly Archives: August 2013

Phase Separator in Operation

The vortex separator developed at Texas A&M and licensed to Advanced Cooling Technologies is a passive device with no moving parts that relies on the momentum of the incoming fluid to produce a rotational flow within the device. The flow field produces a radial acceleration that drives the separation process which can acheive high throughput compared to capillary devices. Videos of the device operating under Earth-g and during NASA reduced gravity aircraft testing show how the acceleration field can be designed to operate against gravity or to minimize the pumping power under zero gravity conditions. Another design feature is that the liquid inventory can change by controlling the gas volume within the separator which allows the device to both separate and serve as an accumulator. This feature makes the separator ideal for the DoVR radiator system since liquid and gas must be exchanged between the separator and selected radiator segments.

 

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Using Eductor to Remove Liquid from Transport Line

A novel approach to clearing liquid from radiator lines in reduced gravity was recently demonstrated. THe approach uses a passive eductor pump and phase separator both of which have operated successfully in reduced gravity. A video of a single line being cleared using an eductor shows how effective the removal of liquid can be in an earth gravity environment. Since the dominant flow regime will be slug in zero gravity rather than slug/stratified in Earth gravity, performance should be improved. Using an appropriate arrangement of valves, eductor, and phase seperator, one could remove liquid from selected portions of the radiator which would change its heat transfer performance. A montage of the clearing process for one of the tests is shown below.

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