The future capabilities of naval ships will be directly related to the electronic components used in advanced radar systems, fire control systems, electric propulsion and even electric weapons. The next generation of naval warships will fall under the concept of an all electric ship, where turbines convert all the power produced by the engine into electricity. This electrical power can then be distributed given the ship’s mission and operating profile. The current need for advanced electronics cooling techniques is paramount since power dissipation levels are rapidly exceeding the capabilities of forced air convection cooling. This paper reports an experimental investigation of the start-up and transient response to heat load change of a capillary assisted thermosyphon (CAT) for the shipboard cooling of electronics components. The capillary assisted thermosyphon differs from a capillary pumped loop or loop heat pipe system in that the basic cooling-loop is based on a thermosyphon. The capillary assist comes from the fact that there is a wicking structure in the flat evaporator plate. The wicking structure allows uniformly spread of the working fluid across the flat plate evaporator in the areas under the heat sources as well as providing additional capillary pumping assist to the loop. A vertical flat plate, CAT evaporator was designed and tested under a fixed thermal sink temperature of 21°C. The condenser cold plate cooling water flow rate was fixed as 3.785 liters per minute (i.e. 1 gpm). The heat input varied from 250 to 1000W — evenly spread over the area of the evaporator. The CAT flat plate evaporator performed very well under this range of heat inputs, sink temperature, and cold plate flow rate. The main result obtained showed that the CAT loop reached steady state operation within 10 min. to 15 min. The average plate temperature did not exceed 70°C for the maximum heat input of 1000W. The CAT evaporator operating temperature increased with increasing heat input for all conditions tested and reached 60°C at 1000W. The continuous and stable operation of the CAT loop during start-up, steady-state and during transient/sudden heat input variations indicates that the CAT loop is a viable solution for high flux electronics components cooling.

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