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Application of Refrigerant Mixtures for Space Thermal Management Foster-Miller, Inc. Waltham, MA. Innovation Identified ways to utilize waste heat and to reduce thermal management system weight for manned space flight applications. Accomplishments

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application of refrigerant mixtures for space thermal management foster miller inc waltham ma

Application of Refrigerant Mixtures for Space Thermal Management Foster-Miller, Inc.Waltham, MA

Innovation

Identified ways to utilize waste heat and to reduce thermal management system weight for manned space flight applications.

  • Accomplishments
  • Constructed a heat pump heater for crew hygiene water. The heat pump utilized waste heat from the thermal bus and reduced the power needed for water heating from 5kW to 100 Watts.
  • Developed a proprietary oil-refrigerant separator for use in microgravity -- key component for the use of heat pumps in space.
  • Designed and tested a two-phase spacecraft thermal bus which employed a binary refrigerant mixture. The unique control system developed for the thermal bus resulted in a 85% decrease in pumping water.
  • As a result of these efforts, Foster-Miller has developed unique expertise in the fields of refrigerant chemistry and application engineering. Foster-Miller has also established itself as a world-class developer of vapor compressor systems and equipment for novel applications.
  • Commercialization
  • Engineering and consulting to the electric utility and supermarket industries to develop and test replacements for ozone depleting (ODP) refrigerants for commercial refrigeration. Efforts to date have resulted in company sales of $1M.
  • Development of a refrigerant mixture replacement for R-12 in automotive air conditioning. Potential annual revenue to Foster-Miller through licensing is on the order of $15M.

NonAzeotropic Heat Pump for Crew Water Heating

  • Government/Science Applications
  • NASA -- Design, fabrication, and testing of a high-lift heat pump for future Lunar and Mars exploration. Investigation of modular heat pumps for manned and unmanned space flights.
  • DoD -- Refrigerant replacement for silo-based missile guidance systems - finding the minimal cost approach to eliminate the use of R-12 in this application.
  • DoD -- Microclimate and man-portable personal cooling systems for NBC and HazMat applications.
  • Total revenue from government applications is on the order of $7M.

Points of Contact:

- NASA (Denise Swain; 256/544-8112)

- Foster-Miller, Inc. (David Walker; 781/684-4237)

1988/1989 SBIR Phase 2; NAS8-38407/NAS8-38482

Marshall Space Flight Center

Date of Update: 12/28/98

Success Story #: 8-012