High power levels and high power densities associated with directed energy weapon (DEW) systems, electronic warfare systems, and high thrust-to-weight propulsion systems require the development of effective and efficient thermal management solutions. Among many critical thermal management issues, high peak waste heat generation and limited cooling capacity onboard mobile weapon platforms necessitate the development of advanced thermal storage devices. In addition to storing large amounts of energy in a compact, lightweight package, the devices must be able to store energy rapidly at high power levels.
This paper presents the design of an advanced phase-change thermal storage device developed to meet the requirements of high-power-density systems. Results of experimental performance evaluations are also presented. Based on these evaluations, it is predicted that the device will be able to store an average heat load of up to 2.9 kW/kg over a 20-second period. This thermal storage device is applicable to many different thermal management architectures, is easily adapted to meet the requirements of a wide range of high-power systems, and has potential to significantly reduce thermal management size, weight, and power requirements.