Multi-Cold Plate Direct Refrigerant Cooling System

Command, control, communications, computers, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C5ISR) systems are being continuously added to existing and new military vehicles to improve warfighter effectiveness. These systems include satellite communications on the move, computers, radios, lasers, sensors and an array of similar equipment. This equipment is deployed to some of the harshest environments on earth where it must remain reliable when exposed to extreme heat and cold, dust, rain vibration and shock. Much of this equipment dissipates heat and must be actively cooled to remain reliable.

Aspen Systems was approached by a customer who was aware of our ruggedized air conditioning unit, the ECU-550, and asked us to develop a specialized cooling system for a phased array antenna destined to be mounted on a HMMWV for the Marine Corps. Aspen Systems engineers went to work to identify the full specification, and determined that a direct refrigerant cooling approach was optimum for the project. Without a liquid line or a pump, the 6 cold plates are cooled directly with refrigerant. The cold plates are mounted in series, function as the evaporator and keep the phased array and concomitant electronics cool with phase change heat transfer. This approach eliminates the innate reliability and maintenance issues presented by alternate methods such as a circulating coolant loop. The resulting multi-cold plate direct refrigerant cooled system provides efficient cooling in high ambient temperatures, outdoor exposure, and dissipates a total of over 600 watts of waste heat. The system was designed to fit a highly constrained space and support differing heat loads on each cold plate. Developed as a prototype, this system has successfully undergone significant field testing.

Direct refrigerant cooling systems are used in widely ranging applications including military, laboratory equipment, medical laser equipment, and electronics applications. Contact us for more information about your cooling system requirements.