Awards Registry

Advanced Cooling System for Modular Power Electronics
Profile last edited on: 6/25/2022

Program
SBIR
Agency
NASA | GSFC
Total Award Amount
$874,999
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
Kuan-Lin Lee
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Advanced Cooling Technologies Inc (AKA:ACT)

1046 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601
   (717) 295-6061
   info@1-act.com
   www.1-act.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   11
County:   Lancaster

Phase I

Phase I year
2021
Phase I Amount
$124,999
In order to optimize the performance of advanced modular power system (AMPS) for future deep space exploration missions, Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) proposes to develop a novel cooling system consisting of multiple thermal management solutions (two-phase thermal plane, conduction enhancement card retainers, etc.), which can minimize the thermal resistance and the temperature drop across the heat transfer path from the semiconductors, to a circuit board, to chassis rails and eventually to the heat rejection system of the space vehicle. The thermal plane will incorporate advanced two-phase concepts to enable high heat flux thermal management and enable a reliable operation (i.e. smooth start-up) in microgravity, etc. In Phase I, ACT will perform a detailed trade study to optimize the performance, mass, and volume of the embedded heat transfer devices for 3U electronic cards. With a given trade space, multiple versions of two-phase thermal planes will be developed. The best solutions will be integrated into a prototype cooling system designed for AMPS. Both transient and steady-state thermal performance testing will be carried out. The experimental data will be used to validate and correlate a mathematical model, also developed in Phase I. The electricity consumption, total mass, volume and the cost of the proposed cooling system for different modular electronics units will be evaluated and reported at the end of Phase I. Phase II will involve component level optimization as well as system-level modeling and experimental validation. Multiple ground-based validation testing and a potential reduced-gravity flight demonstration will be performed in Phase II. Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words): The proposed cooling solution packages can effectively and reliably remove the waste heat from AMPS cards to the enclosure. This will allow for a long duration operation of high power and high-performance electronics in space. The modular electronic units with enhanced cooling performance will be useful for many NASA applications, including human landing systems, cis-lunar Gateway, Mars planetary habitat, etc. The two-phase thermal plane concept is also applicable for high-performance CubeSat thermal management. Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words): The proposed cooling system for high power density electronics (e,g, MOSFETs, GTOs, IGBTs, IGCTs) has great market potential. Various “plug-and-play” components developed in this program will be adaptable for many terrestrial l applications, including multifunctional information distribution system (MIDS) for military/DoD communication systems, data center cooling, etc. Duration: 6

Phase II

Phase II year
2022 (last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount
$750,000
Advanced Cooling Technologies, Inc. (ACT) proposes to develop and mature a compact and effective cooling system for standardized modular power electronics aiming for future space missions. In Phase I, ACT performed a trade study and developed two advanced heat spreaders for 3U electronics cooling: (1) Hi-K™ plate and (2) pulsating heat pipe (PHP) thermal plane. Both heat spreaders outperform the conventional heat spreader (conduction only aluminum plate), and can operate in both vertical and horizontal orientations. PHP is 10% lighter than Hi-K™ plate and aluminum plate. In Phase II, ACT will continue to mature the PHP heat spreader technology and develop the complete cooling system of a Modular Electronics Unit (MEU) for space missions. The thermal performance of the PHP from theoretical models and manufacturability will be evaluated to yield an optimum design applicable for various electronics in Space VPX platforms. To characterize the heat spreader performance under various conditions, both transient and steady-state operation will be tested for high and low heat fluxes, as well as in vacuum, and at system level. The performance of PHPs and Hi-K™ plate will be compared in relevant Space VPX environments. An advanced enclosure with embedded cooling will also be developed to minimize the overall system thermal resistance from the cards to the ultimate heat sink on a spacecraft. The final deliverable will be a flight-like MEU cooling system, consisting of down-selected PHP heat spreaders, enhanced conduction card retainers, and an embedded cooling chassis. Potential NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words): The proposed cooling system can effectively remove the waste heat from electronics cards to the heat sink. This will allow for a long duration operation of high-power electronics in space. Many NASA applications will benefit, including human landing systems, cis-lunar Gateway, Electric propulsion to Mars and Planetary habitat, etc. The two-phase thermal plane and embedded chassis cooling concepts are also applicable for high-performance CubeSat thermal management. Potential Non-NASA Applications (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words): High-power-density electronics (e,g, MOSFETs, GTOs, IGBTs, IGCTs) and Space VPX systems will be the major market for the proposed cooling solutions. The “plug-and-play” components developed under this program are adaptable for many terrestrial applications, including MIDS communication systems for military, electronics in missile and radar systems, electric vehicles, data center cooling, etc. Duration: 24