Hybrid thermal management systems (TMS) enable faster response to rapid transient heat loads by supplementing heat rejection through a primary heat sink with temporary heat storage in a thermal energy storage (TES) device. The TES is not a passive component; it must be actively controlled by a realtime controller to decide when the TES should be discharged or recharged. While various types of controllers have been developed for hybrid TMS architectures, controllers for hybrid TMS in transient electronics cooling applications have predominantly been demonstrated in simulation environments. One such controller developed previously is a heuristic logic-based controller that leverages a state of charge (SOC) metric and feedback from several thermocouples placed in the fluid loop to manage the operation of the TES. In that prior work, the controller was demonstrated in simulation only; this paper builds on that work by implementing and validating the controller’s performance in an experimental single-phase hybrid TMS testbed. A particular advantage of this controller is its low level of computational complexity, facilitated by its rule-based architecture, which makes it more amenable for industrial use. We present an experimental case study to demonstrate the heuristic controller’s ability to meet two objectives: reduce the peak temperature at the surface of the cold plate below an allowable threshold and manage the SOC so the thermal storage capacity is not depleted.

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