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Phase change based cooling for high burst mode heat loads with temperature regulation above the phase change temperature

United States Patent

7,633,980
December 15, 2009
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
An apparatus and method for transferring thermal energy from a heat load is disclosed. In particular, use of a phase change material and specific flow designs enables cooling with temperature regulation well above the fusion temperature of the phase change material for medium and high heat loads from devices operated intermittently (in burst mode). Exemplary heat loads include burst mode lasers and laser diodes, flight avionics, and high power space instruments. Thermal energy is transferred from the heat load to liquid phase change material from a phase change material reservoir. The liquid phase change material is split into two flows. Thermal energy is transferred from the first flow via a phase change material heat sink. The second flow bypasses the phase change material heat sink and joins with liquid phase change material exiting from the phase change material heat sink. The combined liquid phase change material is returned to the liquid phase change material reservoir. The ratio of bypass flow to flow into the phase change material heat sink can be varied to adjust the temperature of the liquid phase change material returned to the liquid phase change material reservoir. Varying the flowrate and temperature of the liquid phase change material presented to the heat load determines the magnitude of thermal energy transferred from the heat load.
Comaskey; Brian J. (Walnut Creek, CA), Albrecht; George F. (Livermore, CA), Scheibner; Karl F. (Livermore, CA), Ault; Earl R. (Livermore, CA), Vollmer; Hubert Joachim (Tracy, CA), Brady, Jr.; J. Philip (Livermore, CA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC), N/A (
12/ 039,766
February 29, 2008
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.