Thermal Management System Toolkit for Naval Warfare Applications
Navy SBIR FY2015.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2015.2
Topic No.: N152-115
Topic Title: Thermal Management System Toolkit for Naval Warfare Applications
Proposal No.: N152-115-0571
Firm: CU Aerospace
301 North Neil St.
Suite 400
Champaign, Illinois 61820-3169
Contact: Joseph Zimmerman
Phone: (217) 239-1701
Abstract: CU Aerospace (CUA), teamed with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), proposes to research, develop, and demonstrate thermal management simulation tools for next-generation two-phase cooling systems designed for transient high heat-flux naval applications. The software developed in this program can be used to evaluate advanced thermal management designs for critical emerging naval electronics applications (e.g. radar, railguns, and directed-energy). The improved heat transfer, increased power density, and reduced packaging size achievable with two-phase designs are advantageous when compared to single-phase cooling (e.g. water flow). However, active control features are required to address temperature variation, thermal lag, flow instabilities, and critical heat flux not found in current state-of-the-art single-phase systems. Addressing this, the proposed program introduces innovative tools for simulating two-phase systems which can serve as an industry standard for evaluating and optimizing naval thermal management designs. Phase I efforts will focus on component model development and preliminary experimental validation, serving as a basis for advanced multiple-cold-plate architecture pursued in Phase II. The toolset produced in this program will have major implications for the future designs of two-phase thermal management systems in warships, offering a comprehensive approach for reducing size, weight, and power consumption, while improving thermal load handling.
Benefits: Phase I work will provide a foundation for development of a prototype thermal system simulation suite for two-phase cooling systems which can be validated experimentally with a multi-cold-plate architecture in Phase II. Incorporating component models developed in Phase I along with guidance from the Navy on desired system characteristics, the thermal system simulation toolset will be demonstrated in Phase II as a software product which can be applied for active thermal control system optimization. Applications of the toolset include next-generation two-phase thermal control for the high-density electronics associated with electronic propulsion, weaponry, and sensor systems. Commercial opportunities include cooling applications in future electric and hybrid maritime vessels, high-performance computing, wind power turbines, more electric aircraft (MEA) systems, and hybrid automobiles, as well as electric-driven construction, mining or farming equipment. The Phase II work will expand the simulation toolkit to prepare for potential commercial applications in addition to military concerns.