Dynamic Simulation of a Periodic 10 K Sorption Cryocooler
A transient thermal simulation model has been developed to simulate the dynamic performance of a multiple-stage 10 K sorption cryocooler for spacecraft sensor cooling applications that require periodic quick-cooldown (under 2 minutes), negligible vibration, low power consumption, and long-life (5 to 10 years). The model was specifically designed to represent the Brilliant Eyes Ten-Kelvin Sorption Cryocooler Experiment (BETSCE), but it can be adapted to represent other sorption cryocooler systems as well.
The model simulates the heat transfer, mass transfer and thermodynamic processes in the cryostat and the sorbent beds for the entire refrigeration cycle, and includes the transient effects of variable hydrogen supply pressure due to expansion and outflow of hydrogen during the cooldown operation. The paper describes model limitations and simplifying assumptions, with estimates of errors induced by them, and presents comparisons of performance predictions with ground experiments.
An important benefit of the model is its ability to predict performance sensitivities to variations of key design and operational parameters. The insights thus obtained are expected to lead to higher efficiencies and lower weights for future designs.
KeywordsHeat Exchanger Mass Flow Rate Phase Change Material Thermal Capacitance Cold Head
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